is RECYCLING the jars of commercially sold tomato sauce is inferior to buying new MASON JARS for canning cooked tomato sauce?
should i buy new jars for storing hommade tomato sauce or recycle the old ones?
how about italian made bormioli canning fidos with glass lids and rubber gasket?
could the italian ones be bad choice for storing the tomato sauce in refrigeration?
Glass jars from store bought sauce are not made with the same process as mason jars sold for home canning. Jars from commercial sauce were not designed for repeated heating/cooling, jostling in water bath or use in pressure canners, and will have a higher rate of cracking/breaking than mason jars. I reuse pasta sauce jars for refrigerator pickles of other food storage that does not involve processing in a canner, and use real canning jars for "putting up" foods.
DO NOT reuse store bought sauce jars that *look* like canning jars for home canning or freezing. They are not tempered to withstand the repeated heating and cooling cycles that jars made specifically for home canning (like Kerr and Ball brands) are. The grocery store sauce (and other product) jars are only tempered for single use. The "mason jar" appearance is a marketing ploy used to attract customers looking for that "homemade" taste.
The store jars are perfectly fine to use for refrigeration or storing dry goods. For canning, go with jars made specifically for repeated use home canning.
The Bormioli jars are made for home canning. They require a little more care and attention to detail to achieve a good seal. The rubber gaskets do have a limited (2 uses and you have to mark and flip them to be sure of using the correct side when reusing) reuse life and can be hard to find. Lehman's carries them. They can be used for both water bath and pressure canning. Yes indeed you can sterilize them in boiling water. Latest National Center for Home Food Preservation information is if the product you're home canning is going to be processed (water bath or pressure) for 10 minutes or more, you don't need to sterilize as long as everything is sparkling clean (http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/).
If you're using the Bormiolis for refrigeration or dry storage only you can reuse the gaskets indefinitely.
I use the Classico jars all the time. The lids fit, the jars are heavy and I have never had one break. However. . . . they are not quart jars--they are a little smaller. Doesn't make any difference to me, but if you are using a recipe that calls for a quart of tomatoes, you will be a little shy of that measurement.
USDA does not like the jars with rubber gaskets and wire bails. I understand that they are in common use in Europe, but I have never personally tried them.
So did I until I started to lose jars (and what they contained) to cracking after a couple of uses in the canner. Explanation from the cooperative extension was as above. If you (as we do) depend on what you grow and preserve to get you through the winter, it's not worth taking the chance and losing the batch to be green or save pennies. Use the Classico jars for dehydrated and dry goods.
The deal with the USDA stance against the gaskets and wire bail jars is the failure rate of the seals usually due to operator error. The Bormioli jars, which are in wide spread use in Europe and gaining popularity with advanced preservers here, use a clamping system instead of the wire bails. They do require considerably more attention when preparing the seal, are a more expensive initial investment than standard canning jars, and the gaskets need to be replaced after a recommended two uses (also expensive). The Ball and Kerr jar, lid, ring system is pretty much idiot proof thus the USDA and NCHFP recommendation. It's also a reasonably priced initial investment.
There is a reusable lid on the market called a Tattler lid (http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/Ho...) that is made of plastic, contains no BPAs (unlike regular lids), and has a multi-use gasket. They've been around since 1979 but it's only in the past few years that I've run into more people using them. They work much like a standard canning lid with a few differences. Initial investment is a little pricey, but the investment is quickly recouped with reuse. I may have missed it but I don't think the USDA and NCHFP have voiced an opinion although I wouldn't be surprised if they came out against them. I'm buying a batch to test this year.
I've used commercial pasta sauce jars to can my own stuff. I've never has one crack or not seal yet.
Recycling is a good thing, let's not kid ourselves. I rarely discourage it.
If you can obtain a strong vacuum seal with "Non-Mason" jars, then I'd say you're fine. The way to do that is to pour boiling hot tomato sauce into the jar and seal it IMMEDIATELY (immediately means that very second) using gloves of course, and hoping the jar is tempered. There are risks involved, but as long as the seal is formed, you have success. It's also important to note that filling your jars should be done with ONE quick pour. Use a small 1 or 2 quart sauce pot for best results.
I'm in Ontario, and the commercial tomato sauce jars I buy here are labelled as Mason, just smaller than quart jars. I've been using them for canning for many years now, and I've never had a problem. I just make sure to use new snap lids every time.