Learn the best methods for canning with Weck jars and decide if they're something you want to consider for your home canning adventures!
Weck jars are made in Germany and are popular for home canning across Europe. Water bath and pressure canning with Weck jars is very similar to canning with Mason jars. The difference is the jars and lids are both glass and all components are reusable.
If you need a refresher, check out this introduction to home canning which includes the basics of everything you need to know!
I'm going to share what I've found in my personal research along with my limited use of Weck jars, but I can't make a recommendation for what type of jar you should use.
Weck jars have not been USDA approved because there has been no testing on them in America.
After reading and researching extensively, I have decided that I'm willing to take the risk and use Weck jars for canning for my family. However, you will have to reach that decision for yourself and your family.
What Is a Weck Jar?
With Mason jars, the metal lids are consumable. This means they can't be reused. Weck jars are glass and have a glass lid. They use a rubber ring gasket and metal clips to accomplish the sealing of the contents.
I have never liked the idea of having to purchase new lids for my Mason jars every year. It's so tempting to reuse them, but the risk of food spoilage is too great!
With Weck jars, the rubber gasket can be reused for many canning seasons as long as it isn't broken or brittle.
The jars come in different sizes but consist of the following components:
- Glass Jar – wide and easy to fill jars, similar to a wide-mouth Mason jar (but better!).
- Glass Lid – the top of the jar is clear making it easy to see the contents, and they look beautiful on the shelf.
- Rubber Gasket – the ring is reusable as long as it's sanitized and unbroken.
- Metal Clips – two clips used for holding the lid in place while processing. These clips can be reused on future batches, much like the ring of a two-part Mason jar canning lid.
How Do You Can with Weck Jars?
I have only water bath canned jams and high acid foods with my Weck canning jars and have not experimented with the pressure canner.
I'll list a few basic canning steps, but you can find more extensive canning instructions here.
- Sanitize Equipment – Sterilize all of your equipment including glass jars in boiling water to kill any bacteria.
- Fill Jars – Place a metal funnel on top of the jar and fill it with the food you are processing. Since Weck jars are made in Europe, they use the metric system of measurement. The ounces are usually listed, so a trick I've adopted is to add up the cups in my recipe and convert them to ounces. Don't forget to leave the recommended amount of head space the recipe requires.
- Heat Rubber Gaskets – In a separate saucepan, bring water to a boil and simmer the rubber gaskets for a few minutes. This helps them soften up a bit to ensure a proper seal.
- Wipe Rim of Jar – Fill a container with hot water and a splash of vinegar. Using a clean rag, wipe the rim of each jar to remove any food particles.
- Place Rubber Gasket – This is a little tricky! Carefully lift the rubber ring out of the hot water with a knife or fork and place it on the top of the canning jar. Then top with the glass lid and try to keep both centered.
- Clip-on Metal Clips – These metal clips need to be clamped in place to hold all the pieces together during the canning process.
- Process Jars – Follow the processing times recommended on your recipe.
How to Store and Use Weck Canning Jars
- After the jars are finished processing, carefully remove them from the canner. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours on a towel-lined counter. You will not hear the typical popping sounds that metal lids make.
- After 12-24 hours, carefully remove the metal clips.
- Test them to make sure the rubber sealing is working by holding the jar carefully by the lid only (as seen in the photo above). Keep one hand under the jar, just in case the seal fails. If the lid holds, you know you have a good seal! If it fails, place that jar in the refrigerator and consume the contents right away.
- Store jars in a cool, dark location either in your pantry or basement.
- To use the jars, pull gently on the rubber gasket until it releases enough air to allow the lid to pop off.
Pros and Cons of Canning with Weck Jars
- Beautiful jars – I personally love the look of Weck jars!
- Strong glass – They are virtually indestructible!
- Reusable – The parts are all reusable and can be used for many canning seasons without the need to purchase new canning lids.
- More expensive – The jars will cost between $3 and $6 each, so there's more of an upfront investment to save money later on.
- Metric system – This is unhandy but manageable. Who doesn't need to keep their brain juices sharpened by doing a little math?
- Different sizes – If you are accustomed to knowing how many Mason jars fit in your canner, this might be a little bit of a learning curve as the sizes are different.
- Metal clips – These can be difficult to keep track of.
Are Weck Jars Safe for Canning?
Yes, in my opinion, they are. As long as everything is sterilized and in working condition, they can be just as safe as any other jars.
Can You Pressure Can in Weck Jars?
I haven't tried this, but there is information available in cookbooks and blogs indicating you can.
Can You Reuse Weck Rubber Seals?
I found conflicting information, but I have been reusing them. As long as the seal is in good condition and sterilized, it can be reused.
Where to Find Weck Canning Jars
Thankfully there are quite a few options when it comes to finding Weck canning jars in the states.
- Find ALL Weck Jars on Amazon here.
- Tulip Jelly Jars
- 3/4 Liter Mold Jar
- 1/2 Liter Mold Jars
- 1/2 Liter Tulip Short Jars
- Weck Website where you can order parts.
This is where I originally saw someone reusing Weck Seals.