Regular vs. Wide Mouth Jars - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 09/06/10, 12:56 PM
 
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Location: The Beautiful Ozarks
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Regular vs. Wide Mouth Jars

Any time I have to buy canning jars, I always buy the wide mouth jars because they are soooooo much easier to clean. I've been given plenty of regular mouth jars & of course, can't bear to part with them even though I can't stand cleaning them.

Is there a specific reason / function for the regular mouth jars?

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  #2  
Old 09/06/10, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Is there a specific reason / function for the regular mouth jars?
Surprising to you perhaps but many would ask that question in reverse - is there any use for the wide-mouth jars?

Based on annual sales figures, many much prefer the regular mouth jars to the wide mouth. Myself included. I will only use any wide-mouths I have inherited - never bought any - when I run out of regular mouth jars.

The wide mouth jars were a much later addition to the jar line so there are far, far more regular mouth jars in circulation than wide-mouth ones. Wide-mouth are more expensive as are the lids and the regular lids are much easier to find too. And more problems are reported annually on the wide-mouth than on the regular mouth jars. WM are well-known for more seal failures and as easier to damage because of the weaker shoulders, and depending on the type of canner, less WM jars will fit in a load vs. regulars.

The regular mouth jars will hold anything a wide-mouth jar will and are easily cleaned with a handled scrub brush. Many report they have less problems with floating fruit and vegetables using regular mouth jars, again because of the narrower shoulder, and they are easier to store if you stack jars on storage shelves.

But it all boils down to a personal preference and if your preference is wide-mouth, that's fine.
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  #3  
Old 09/06/10, 01:56 PM
 
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Location: Gratiot Co, Michigan
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We use regular for pickles and veggies.

Wide mouth for meat and chicken.

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  #4  
Old 09/06/10, 01:57 PM
 
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I agree with everything judylou has said. The only advantage of the wide mouth jars is when you want to can meat, especially whole pieces as with pork loin - it's easier to get the pieces out of a wide-mouth jar.

I have run out of regular jars and have gone to the store to get more rather than use the wide mouths.

As a side note, I have found that you may get a better seal if you decrease the headspace in the wide mouth jar, say down from 1" to about 5/8".

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  #5  
Old 09/06/10, 02:57 PM
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Location: Western VA
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I haven't canned meat yet, however I prefer regular mouth quart jars and wide mouth pint. I like the WM pint because I use pint sizes for jams. It's easier to get the jam out of the jar with a WM.

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  #6  
Old 09/06/10, 06:30 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: N. Texas
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I tend to use my regular mouth jars for fresh peas, beans, sauces. Wide mouth for stuff I need to be more percise in packing.

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  #7  
Old 09/06/10, 06:45 PM
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Location: SW Michigan
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I love the WM...the only thing I don't like is that if you tap them together - you can pop a flat off if you removed the ring. The flats are at exactly the same level. RM can't tap each other's flats....LOL!!

I find that the stores run out of WM first around here and there are only RM left. I use both equally. I Like my green beans, pickles, beets, jelly/jam, potatoes, and pears in WM. Anything runny can go in regular.

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  #8  
Old 09/06/10, 07:20 PM
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This:

Quote:
Originally Posted by judylou View Post
Based on annual sales figures, many much prefer the regular mouth jars to the wide mouth.
I suspect has much to do with this:

Quote:
The wide mouth jars were a much later addition to the jar line so there are far, far more regular mouth jars in circulation than wide-mouth ones.
And this:

Quote:
Wide-mouth are more expensive
more than anything rooted in actual usability.

First of all, people are creatures of habit. Since many, perhaps most, of those who can today are older their canning habits were largely rooted in the use of regular mouth jars, probably before wide mouth came out with any real popularity. By that same token many already also have a good stock of regular mouth jars established and wouldn't want to switch and/or have the hassle of dealing with two different types/sizes of jars.

People who can, as a general rule of thumb, also tend to be frugal, the added expense of the wide mouth jars -- $2 per flat last time I looked -- is a deterrent for sure. And because, as you noted, regular mouth are in greater circulation getting yard sale and second hand deals on jars is much easier if you're using regular mouth jars. Another added bonus for the frugal at heart.

Quote:
And more problems are reported annually on the wide-mouth than on the regular mouth jars. WM are well-known for more seal failures
By extension of the above we might assume wide mouth jars are being used by those new to canning more regularly than those with a lot of canning experience. With this in mind I wouldn't be too quick to jump on blaming errors on the jars. Newbies make mistakes and are more likely to have failures than those who have been canning for many years.

I agree with you that whatever one prefers they should use, I'm just not so sure the usability of the regular mouth over the wide mouth has anything to do with the current popularity of one over the other.
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  #9  
Old 09/06/10, 07:42 PM
bluebird2o2
 
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The wide mouth lids are expensive and hard too find here.I rarely use them.

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  #10  
Old 09/06/10, 08:59 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I love wide mouth jars for things I spoon out -- pickles, etc. I also like the way they look; can't put my finger on it, but they just look cool.

Then again, most of my regular mouth jars are antiques handed down from my mom, and I really like the way they look!

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  #11  
Old 09/07/10, 01:50 PM
 
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I just knew I would get a "your the weird one" for liking Wide Mouth jars!

Truthfully, it's been SO long since I purchased canning jars that I don't remember the price differences. If I were to go shopping today for bunches of jars & saw a $2 per flat difference, I would probably buy the RM jars & just use the handled scrubby & deal with the cleaning "issue" I have.

I did kind of wonder if the fact that there was more surface area on the WM vs. the RM jars if the sealing would be more likely to fail. I've only had one jar in a batch of apple pie filling fail, and it was the RM jars, but I'm sure it was operator error and not lid error!

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  #12  
Old 09/07/10, 07:33 PM
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I like the wide mouths just because I'm used to using them. I have accumulated quite a few regulars that I use too.
DH just picked up 58 ($30) boxes of unopened regular flats at an auction the other day so I'll be using regular jars for a while!

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  #13  
Old 09/07/10, 07:36 PM
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Wow, I actually prefer WM jars- I like the uniformity and the straight sided "look" when they are stacked. I haven't had any noticeable differences other than I just don't like to clean the RM jars, eh, call me lazy. I still have a few dozen RM that I got from my Mom, I remember making pickles with these when I was a kid. so I don't give them away. When I make canned goods to give away, I always give away the RM ones! I don't mind using the RM one too much especially when I'm making juice. I guess we all have our preferences. Very interesting topic. I look forward to hearing some more on this....



Kris

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  #14  
Old 09/07/10, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Solarmom View Post
When I make canned goods to give away, I always give away the RM ones! Kris
Me too!

It's like the fruitcake syndrome.....there are really only about two dozen Regular Mouth jars in the world, but they just keep being passed on as gifts!!
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  #15  
Old 09/08/10, 12:26 PM
 
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I prefer RM jars because the lids cost so much less. I do have some WM jars which I use when I run out of RM so I buy a couple of boxes of WM flats each year. The extra costs always makes me happy I'm using RM 99% of the time. Until my arthritis got bad my small hands would fit in a RM jar so I had no trouble washing them. Now days I use a brush. I do like WM for pork loin as its almost impossible to get it out of RM jars.

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  #16  
Old 09/08/10, 01:09 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Ann, that's interesting. Just last night my husband said "how come all the canning jar mouths are so narrow? I can't get my hand in there." He has arthritis too. And I assured him that we did have some wide mouth jars...but they are expensive here too, so I use the RM mostly. Although if I want a dish washing helper, I may need to switch over!

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  #17  
Old 09/08/10, 02:52 PM
 
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I like the WM ones too. Especially for big stuff like whole beets and peach halves. I've never had them fail yet. I use what ever I have though. I guess I never paid attention to the fact that the lids are more expensive on the WM, just bought what I needed. In fact I better go get some more lids for the pears.

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  #18  
Old 09/08/10, 07:58 PM
 
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The wide mouth jars are SO much easier to clean, and easier to stuff with pears, peaches, etc. But we purchase as many used jars as we can find reasonably priced and most of them are regular mouth sized. And of course the regular sized lids are cheaper... If we were wealthy we'd probably change over to all wide mouth for quart sizes, but for now we'll go with the cheaper alternatives!

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  #19  
Old 09/09/10, 05:30 PM
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I use both, it depends on what I am canning. For things that tend to float (green beans, for example) I prefer a RM. For the salmon, salsa, and etc, I prefer the WM.

You guys wouldn't believe how much a case of quarts costs here now, wow!

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  #20  
Old 09/09/10, 10:11 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 107

I completely agree about the cleaning of RM jars. They are a pain. But a friend of mine found a solution, especially if cleaning a lot of jars at a time. Buy a "new" round toilet brush, file down the handle to fit your drill, insert in jar and turn on the drill. Make sure you turn off the drill before you pull the brush out of the jar. This works wonders for cleaning.

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