Canning food as a means of preserving it has been around for generations upon generations, but the J. WECK Company founded in Germany started to really change the game around the turn of the 20th century, at least in Europe. With the rise of the almighty Amazon and worldwide shipping, Weck Jars are now giving plain Jane mason jars a run for their money.
So why are weck jars best for canning? Weck jars are not your average glass jar used for canning. They are heavy, thick and thoroughly resistant to chipping. What really sets them apart, however, is the fact that their lid is also glass and not aluminum like traditional canning jars in North America.
In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at why Weck jars are so incredible, and then we’ll share with you our opinions on the 5 best Weck jars for canning.
Why Weck Jars Are The Best Jars for Canning
As already mentioned, Weck jars stand out because of their glass lid. Each jar also comes with 1 natural rubber ring and 2 clamps made out of stainless steel for optimizing their revolutionary canning process, which we’ll get into in a minute.
Not only do you not have to worry about harmful chemicals and compounds leaching into your food from the metal lid, but you also don’t have to worry about rusting or sharp edges.
Weck jars make it really easy to check for a clean seal, they are simple and safe to open and they even stack reliably because of the stability of their glass lid. There are so many shapes, sizes and designs to choose from, you can make at-home canning an art, not just a cheap way to stay healthy through a long, cold winter.
The company even provides plastic lids that you can use after a jar has been opened, decorative jars that double as serving dishes and even jars with spouts for pouring broths or juices nice and cleanly.
There is no end to the appeal of a great Weck jar.
Using Weck Jars for Canning
If you’ve never canned before, Weck jars make the process simple and safe. As a general rule, food spoils because bacteria or mold grows on your food when it’s exposed to air.
The canning process kills any potentially harmful microorganisms and then seals your food completely, protecting it from spoiling. With a Weck jar, this seal is accomplished thanks to the rubber ring and the spring clamps.
The heating process not only kills any bacteria, but it also pressurizes the jar, creating a perfect seal. Any air left inside the jar is forced out and the clamps prevent any new air from sneaking in.
When the jar cools, it vacuum seals, making the jar air-tight permanently, or at least until it’s opened on purpose. You don’t even need the clamps any longer!
Just to be safe, after your jars are cooled, you can test the seal by trying to lift the lid. The rubber seal has a pull tab that will very clearly point downwards, and you shouldn’t pull it until you’re ready to open your jar. When you are ready to eat your goods, you just have to pull the tab. You’ll hear the air being slowly sucked into the jar and you might hear a pop. At this point, your seal is compromised and you now have to store the food in the fridge or repackage it for freezing. Better yet, eat up!
The 5 Best Weck Jars for Canning
The main benefits of all Weck jars are relatively similar, but the size, shape and designs make a difference depending on what you’re looking to can. We’ve narrowed down the options to the top 5 varieties that make the most sense in an average canning-friendly kitchen.
1. Weck Tulip Jar – 1 Liter
Weck imprints its jars with a classic embossed strawberry, giving it a vintage appeal and making them not just great for your own use, but perfect for gifting, especially in this large, versatile size.
- The tulip shape is a favorite for both canning and serving
- 1 Liter is on the large side for canning jars, but they make perfect storage solution and are fantastic for canning soups or anything that you might want a larger batch of
The biggest danger to ordering anything made out of glass online is the potential for damaged goods arriving at your doorstep.
Most of the negative reviews for this product are due to broken glass, which says a lot more about the packaging and delivery process than it does about the product itself.
2. Weck Tulip Jar – 16.9 Ounce
The ½ Liter size is perfect for smaller portions or gifting your canning to others on a small scale, such as hostess gifts.
- Perfect size for a variety of canned goods, including sauces, vegetables, fruits and pickled goods
- Designed with a wide mouth for easy filling and serving
The clamps provided for Weck jars are intended for using in the canning process and, as such, they don’t need to be overly sturdy as they just need to hold the lid in place inside the canner.
If you’re buying Weck jars for the decorative quality and want a lid that seals easily, over and over and over gain, these clamps are not as convenient or reliable as a removable lid (see bonus listing below!)
3. Weck Mold Jar – 28.7 Ounce
This is a much smaller size, but still highly useful. They’re perfect for single servings of a variety of foods or test batches for larger scale canning
- The Mold shape has straight sides and makes stacking and storing easy and safe
- They’re similar in size to store-bought pasta sauce containers, making them the perfect size for your own healthy alternatives
If you’re new to canning with Weck jars it can take you a little while to get used to placing the rubber seal and holding it in place as you fix the lid in place with the stainless-steel clamps. Have patience though because once you hit your stride, it’s well worth the practice.
4. Weck Mold Jar – .5 Liter
The 0.5 Liter jar is smaller still, but surprisingly handy for a variety of canned and stored goods,
- This size is particularly popular with bread makers who need a jar that will allow air out but not in for their sourdough starter
- Use a marker to date your jars or create a measurement system on the clear glass
The smaller sizes of Weck jars can be a bit deceiving when you’re looking at online photos. The 0.5 liter is not overly large, but it can be a perfect size for canning jams or making single servings, so long as you’re prepared for what you’re getting.
5. Weck Mold Jar – 0.25 Liter
Sometimes you only need a little bit of something to go a long way, and these tiny mold jars are the perfect solution.
- This size is very popular for sous vide crème Brule and/or eggs
- Perfect size for lunch box treats and specialty condiments
One of the biggest complaints about Weck jars is that the seals should be replaced for each use. If you know this going into the process, it’s not nearly as disappointing, especially considered you can get 10 replacement seals for just a few extra dollars (see bonus listing #2 below!)
Bonus Listing: 100mm Weck Wood Lid
If you’re looking to use Weck jars for attractive countertop storage, you’ll want to trade in the glass lids designed for canning for a gorgeous wooden lid made for everyday use.
- Made from Acacia wood, Weck has lids for all their jar sizes, just make sure you get one that fits the appropriate jar that you own
- The lid has a silicone gasket that helps seal the jar, keeping your dry goods fresh while still easily accessible
This lid is made for basic storage purposes only. It does not provide a foolproof seal, but it does look very pretty if your goal is decorative, basic countertop storage.
Bonus Listing #2: Weck 100mm Rubber Seals
Since you can only use the rubber seals once, it’s a good idea to buy extras so that you have them on hand when you’re ready to can, spur of the moment.
- Weck’s rubber seals are completely BPA free and safe for use in canning and food storage
- Weck has been around for a long time and it’s good to know that the seals that you can buy today will fit the jars you bought 40+ years ago!
The biggest complaint for this product is that the seals don’t fit generic products. If you’re using Weck jars, you’ll have no problem as long as you order the seals that are the appropriate size for your particular jars.
Can you put Weck jars in the freezer?
You can freeze Weck jar, yes, but it’s better to use their plastic “keep fresh” lids rather than the glass lid designed for canning and dry storage. Always make sure you leave space at the top of the jar for the ingredients inside to expand without risking breaking your jar, and never put hot or even warm ingredients directly in your freezer.
Can you reuse Weck rubber seals?
The risk to the rubber seals is that if they lose their elasticity they may not give a perfect seal. It’s always better to start with a fresh rubber seal for each batch of canning you do. Of course, the jars and clamps are completely reusable.
Do Weck jars stack?
Yes, you can stack Weck jars. It’s part of their appeal actually! You don’t have to worry about breaking a seal like you might with a fragile aluminum lid, though you should always be careful not to stack too high. Weck jars are heavy in their own right, more so when they’re filled with food, so you want to be very sure they don’t fall on you. Stack them with the seal placed outwards so you can keep an eye on them, making sure they’re always facing appropriately downwards.