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Keeping Jars Hot

by Anonymous

filling jars of green beans

filling jars of green beans

filling jars of green beans
filling jars of hot pack venison
keep jars in a pan of hot water

Sharon, I don't usually can only one batch at a time so I have time between the processing of one batch and the next. In that time, my jars get too cool.

What's the best way to keep them warm enough not to break when they hit the water in the water bath or pressure canner?

I usually use the dishwasher to sterilize them, but they will still cool off after waiting an hour for a batch to process.


You could do several different things.
If you are using the dishwasher just run the rinse cycle for a few minutes before packing the second batch. Just enough to warm the jars.

Place them in a sink of hot water, of course the water may cool off. Just run fresh hot just before you fill them.

I've seen it recommended that you place your jars waiting in a warm oven. However I've checked into that and jar manufacturers don't recommend any oven heat for their jars. I've been told that the jars may be compromised with a dry heat. I don't recommend this method.

What I usually do... Just leave them out at room temperature. The whole point is not to dump hot liquid in so fast that the jar breaks. Fill them gradually with your hot foods. For example if I'm raw pack canning green beans. (meaning the beans are not cooked first, thus they are not hot.)

  • I'll fill all my jars with the beans. (7 jars)

  • Then fill each jar about 1/4 full of boiling water,

  • and go back around and fill to 1/2 full,

  • then go around one more time and fill to the top.

This fills the jars gradually enough that the jar warms as the hot liquid is added.

I've had success using this method with a variety of uncooked foods. Just don't fill too quickly. If your food is hot going into the jars then you must heat those jars first.

I've told some folks about this... and they look at me with fear and trembling! LOL but really it works for me. Just be cautious.

If you don't think that is very safe.... use one of the other methods. Not a problem!

Comments for Keeping Jars Hot

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Keeping jars warm
by: Shaunna B

I always have a large extra pot of water on the stove.. I fill it with jars and simmer them until I am ready to use them. Keeps them hot... And I can sterilize them to if need be. One article I read suggested to use a large crock pot filled with water and jars on high heat...

String Bean Canning
by: Anonymous

I keep mine in boiling water and take out one at a time.

Hold in the Water Bath canner
by: Benita

I usually hold jars in the water bath canner, filled with water, until needed. I just bought the Ball electric WB canner and I think I will now use that to hold jars, set up on the other side of the sink, while I fill jars for the steam canner on the stove.

by: Anonymous

My mom used to do canning all the time when my brother and I were kids. I remember her using a big canning pot on the stove top with boiling water. She would remove them with tongs and a towel. Also placing them on a towel.

Jar warming
by: Terri T

I have struggled with this as well. But one thing that works really well for me is to put the rack of the canner in the up position and put the jars in there. That way I have about 1/2 inch of water that the jars are in to keep warm. If I am doing one batch, I just put them in there as I am warming the water. But if the water is already hot, then I prewarm the jars under hot water. As I fill the jars, I take one out, fill it, put it back into the steamy bath, and take the next jar.

Keeping jars hot before canning process
by: Lillian

I put a kettle of water on and let it boil. Then I fill my jars with the hot water. I pour the water off and fill the jars with the hot beans and water that I have cooked the beans in before canning. The jars stay hot until you are ready to do the next one. I do one at a time, and put them in the canner on very low heat until I have all the jars ready to can. Then can as per directions on your cooker. I use a pressure cooker.

by: Janet

I fill clean jars half way with water and put in microwave on high for 6 minutes. They stay hot until ready to fill with food.

Keeping jars hot
by: Dave Wakefield

I use a roaster oven with about an inch or two of water. Place the jars upside down as shown in the stove top pan example shown above. The roaster oven keeps many more jars warm and doesn't use a burner on the stove. You can also pre-warm your lids in the water also.

Oven heat
by: Lisa

Ball and Kerr have both warned about heating jars in the oven. The jars are not manufactured to take the dry heat and the glass can be damaged. I have done this but after hearing from someone that her jars 'softened' in the oven I won't do it again. Always heat your jars in water.

(Thank you Lisa, I added this information to the page above. )

hot jars
by: Robin Moore

Ok get a oblong cake pan & place a tea towel in bottom. Put your jars in waterbath canner or deep pot to sterilize. Right before filling remove jars and place hot jars on tea towel. Use a ladle in put 3 ladle dips of hot water in cakepan. My Granny did this. Then fill hot jars & process. Works great as pan & tea towel holds heat.

Keeping jars hot
by: Lois

I always pour scalding water around the tops of my jars to scald them so I just leave the water in and pour it off as I get ready to fill each jar

(usually 7 qt jars at a time because that's what my canner holds).

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