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Bottling/Preserving Ketchup and Other Sauces

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Hiya, I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with preserving/canning using bottles (not jars) - specifically the swing top variety (maybe called Grolsch?) that have a ceramic plug with a rubber gasket and a wire bail. I have several of these that I would like to use for preserving homemade ketchup and other sauces, however once these are sterilized and filled, I'm not sure how to process the bottles. Can they be processed in boiling water like regular canning jars? It seems if the wire was snapped in place, there would not be enough give for extra air to bubble out during the boiling process - I'm afraid the bottle could burst in this case. However if you just put the stopper on top of the bottle, without using the wire to lock it down, it seems like there's not enough resistance and water would just seep into the bottle.

Has anyone worked with these bottles before? All the info I've been able to find so far pertains to beer bottles which don't seem to undergo this hot processing.

Thanks in advance,
-O

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  1. With the caveat that I have never done it, I do have a book on preserving that uses bail and wire stoppers for things like ketchup as well as glass bottles and corks. This is a British book--the USDA does not reccommend using such closures. If you use bail or clamp type bottles, you have to use new rubber gaskets. I'd also make sure that your bottles were made to be processed and aren't simply decorative, as the glass may not be strong enough for canning. You must leave headspace (as in all canning) for the contents to expand and create the vacuum. You do use the clamp to hold the stopper in place while you process.

    The book is called Preserving by Oded Schwartz. It also has good instructions on how to tie corks on bottles to process and how to seal them with wax after processing.

    If you want an easy use for the bottles--you can make aquavit or other liquers. SInce they don't need to be processed, they are very easy and make very attractive gifts.