Stacking canning jars

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by Vosey, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Vosey

    Vosey Well-Known Member

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    I am running out of room again! Of course all the books say never to stack. But I see stacked canning jars in many of your guys' pictures. I have been stacking 1/2 pint jars with cardboard in between and the jars offset so the weight is on the seal, not the middle of the jar.

    What do you all do? Do you recommend cardboard, plywood or anything? Or just making sure lighter jars are on top. And how many times do you think you might lose a jar?

    DH did build me some more shelves, but the space they are in it's only 1 jar deep, so they filled quickly. We have a few other areas we can squeeze shelves into under the stairs, but those will fill quickly too. Someday we might get the garage cleaned out of all the unpacked boxes and get something else built! I do have 2 small cupboards in the garage as well.
     
  2. hercsmama

    hercsmama Well-Known Member

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    It might be to late to do what I do. But my Granny taught me to always keep the boxes that the jars came in. She reinforced them with a bit of packing tape at the edges, so they last longer, and then just put the filled jars back in them.
    Then they are perfectly stackable! I have done the same for the 20 years I've been canning without her. Works great.
    In your situation, I would place like sized jars on top, no more than two high, and put something like a sheet of cardboard between the layers.
    In the future, keep those boxes!:thumb:
     
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  3. doingitmyself

    doingitmyself Well-Known Member

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    I pack in original flat or box and put a 1/4" piece of paneling on top then stack another box on top. 2 high is enough for me as well. I also slit the plastic wrap just enough to peel it down around the box so it acts like reinforcement too! Helps to make it a little more waterproof too.
     
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  4. hercsmama

    hercsmama Well-Known Member

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    I love the idea of just slitting the plastic! So much easier than my method.
    Thanks for sharing that.:clap:
     
  5. oneokie

    oneokie Well-Known Member

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  6. Horseyrider

    Horseyrider Well-Known Member

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    It makes sense to not stack them.

    I stack them. Sometimes, with the half pints, they're three high.

    If I didn't do this, I'd have to tuck jars in in plants, couch cushions, and pillowcases.

    I do check seals each and every time, and listen for the *whoosh!* noise that lets me know the vacuum has been broken. So far, no casualties. ;)
     
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  7. Bountiful Ranch

    Bountiful Ranch Well-Known Member

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    I agree with horseyrider in that it makes sense not too but I do and I've never had a casualty either. I can't imagine what kind of space one would have to have to single them. But I do check seals each and every time and also try to lift the lid with my hand before using a can opener to get the lid off. I think in the past 15 years I had a few jars that the lids came off with my hand and I dumped and they were not stacked, they were quart size whole tomatoes.
     
  8. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a seal failure.

    I stack them now with little circles or squares of that foam cushion-ey drawer liner stuff. That just helps with keeping the top jars from falling off.
     
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  9. where I want to

    where I want to Well-Known Member

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    Ok- from a person who has always stacked- the quarts two high and the pints three- is this an official recommendation NOT to do this? I would have (and obviously did) think that a little extra weight would help keep the jar sealed if it had any effect at all.
     
  10. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Vosey, that is the opposite of what I would do. The danger (or so they say) of stacking is having a problem with the seal. By putting the jars directly over the lower jar, you would be distributing the weight of the upper jar evenly on the lid of the lower jar. By offsetting the jar, you have more weight on some areas of the lids.


    That being said, here is my storage area after I ran out of room in the house. It's in the pole barn. You can see I'm not too picky about stacking. I've never had a failure. Most of the boxes have double stacked jars.


    [​IMG]
     
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  11. bluebird2o2

    bluebird2o2 bluebird2o2

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    I also stack them in the original boxes.
     
  12. mpennington

    mpennington Well-Known Member

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    I also save my original boxes and only slit the plastic in a cross shape on the top so can pull up to cover filled jars. I stack half-pint and 4 ounce jars 3 high - others only 2 high.

    We recently purchased some double sided 15" deep (on one side) solid maple shelving units from a university book store for our basement. Shelves are adjustable and DH is making additional shelves as units came with only 4 shelves per side. Also purchased a maple one-sided unit for the kitchen that is 8' tall with 4 separate columns of adjustable 11"x15" shelves. 12 quart mason jars perfectly fit on each shelf!!

    DH was going to build shelves, but these are beautiful and very sturdy. So much easier for him to only make additional shelves. And so much less expensive; purchasing wood to make the entire units would have been much more. Hopefully, it will take me a few years to fill these up.
     
  13. Vosey

    Vosey Well-Known Member

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    I do have a few awesome boxes. Since I live in almost the middle of nowhere I often order canning jars from Amazon, sometimes they come in incredible Ball boxes from the factory, heavy duty cardboard. But 'out of sight out of mind', I guess I think I'll get to the boxes in 2030 and there'll be some serious old food, but that is pretty silly.

    Thanks for the ideas and advice!
     
  14. Vosey

    Vosey Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see pix of the kitchen unit! We have a lot of space in the garage for shelves if we ever get it cleaned out. My 'new cupboard' is an old 1930's kitchen cupboard unit we got for free at a neighbor's yard sale. I love the smell, reminds me of my grandma's kitchen in the 1970's : )
     
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  15. mpennington

    mpennington Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how to attach pictures. :ashamed: After the pears are all processed, I'll see if one of my grand kids will show me how.

    Right now, the unit is only about 1/4 full. I moved two 30" wide x 11" deep x 72" tall units from the kitchen to make room for the new unit. All my jars full of dehydrated food that were on one of the original units, are in the mason jar boxes stacked in my living room. I'm having a hard time cooking now as that was my working pantry of readily available, already peeled and chopped food :). I labeled everything, but it's such a chore to move the stacks that I'm just not using. Really has emphasized to me how much I use my dehydrated things on daily basis. I'm gradually moving things back into the kitchen as I have time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
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