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Aug 1, 2011 06:46 PM

Why are my Canning Seals Stuck on like Glue?

Since it is that time of year again I thought I pose this question because I don't want the same thing happening again. Firstly, I followed the directions regarding the seals and put them in simmering water, took them off the heat and placed on my jars and secured them with the screw band, and processed. Everything turned out great except (don't laugh) my husband has to drill a hole on the seal to release the pressure so we can get the jars open. My sister-in-law told me you that the new seals do not require heating before using yet all the books I have read says to do so. If this is the case I won't heat them up before using, if not why are they so stuck?

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  1. This isn't the answer to your question. . . but I use a bottle opener to leverage the lids off. The lip on the arm of a Swing Away can opener is at hand in the kitchen.

    I'd be more concerned if the lids weren't so firmly sealed that I needed to do this.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Same here, just a little lift with a bottle opener breaks the seal. Frankly, I want the lids to be hard to remove!

    2. Those lids should be stuck on like glue! Don't worry about the method of removal (I use a bottle opener too) since the lids aren't reusable.

      As far as heating before using — how else do you sterilize?

      4 Replies
      1. re: odkaty

        we reuse ours, when "canning" rice and stuff. pry 'em off with a spoon, all gentle like.

        1. re: Chowrin

          Hi Chowrin,
          I never heard of canning rice, can you tell me how you do that?

          1. re: TDEL

            I use a foodsaver, put a vacuum seal on it. keeps it dry. Gonna see how it turns out, at any rate. doing ditto with some popcorn (which is far more interesting, as popcorn requires hulls to be solid. Worked well with the sour cherries, for the week I had them.

          2. re: Chowrin

            Well sure, that's a good re-use. I meant (and obviously didn't state clearly) that they're not reusable for canning purposes.

        2. Next time, try just washing your lids with soap and water rather than boiling them. Also, make sure you don't over-tighten your bands when sealing the jars before processing. It's true that a good seal is a good thing, but you don't want any residue coming off on the jar.

          1. l have been told that a light tightening is needed before processing or the air you are trying to expel will not be removed and either you will not sterilize or the jar my explode in the water. After leaving the hot water bath, allow to cool on rack and when cool then tighten the ring. Many people at this stage remove the ring for storage and store only with the top. l am sort of a belt and suspenders guy , so use the ring as well. l use either a church key or old knife through the top if the seal does not release easily.

            1. I work for University of Missouri Extension, and just helped teach a couple of canning classes, and I have canned for way more years than I want to admit to. :) (I claim to be 39, but I have actually been canning almost that long!!

              A tight seal is a good seal--use a church key (hard to find these days!) to pry the lids off.

              The lids made now are made with a different sealing compound--you should NOT boil them, they should sit in 180 degree water until you use them. Tighten the rings just finger tight, don't crank them down, because that can result in the sealing compound being squished (technical term!) out, and jars that don't seal.

              Delucacheesemonger, don't leave the rings on, and DO NOT tighten after canning. Tightening after canning can break the seal. If you leave the rings on, they rust, and they can also hide bad seals. If they rust on, and the flats come off when you remove the ring, you don't know if the jar was sealed properly. Just trying to keep you safe!. I do put rings back on when I give jars away, or transport them for any reason.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sparrowgrass

                I never even thought to use a can opener. Now that I think about it how silly to use a drill. I will not boil the seals this year. I always store my jars without the screw bands unless I am transporting them and even then I don't screw them on really tight. Since you have a lot more experience than I when it comes to canning I have another question I hope you can help me with. If not, I'll post it on the board. Obviously, I am in the process of taking inventory etc. for the upcoming season. I canned too many plums last year and have quite a few jars remaining. I wanted to make some plum jam and was wondering if I can use the plums I already have. Of course I would make the jam and reprocess the jars. Is this safe?