Weekend Preserver Series: The Nitty Gritty About Rings

There are three pieces to for most of us to understand regarding home canning jars: the jar, the lid, and the ring. You can thank Alexander Kerr for preserving jar innovations in 1915!

It all seems so simple, what's to know about canning jar rings?

Box Elder County, Utah. 1940. In 1937 the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was charged with working on the complex problem of farming and rural poverty. Self-sufficiency thus home food preservation were a part of the program. Library of Congress, Prints and Photography Division, FSA/OWI Collection, #LC-USF34-014110-D.

Box Elder County, Utah. 1940. In 1937 the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was charged with working on the complex problem of farming and rural poverty. Self-sufficiency thus home food preservation were a part of the program. Library of Congress, Prints and Photography Division, FSA/OWI Collection, #LC-USF34-014110-D.

What is the job of the ring?

The job of the ring is to hold the lid in place until the lid has sealed and the jar is cool. Take a look at a Ball or Kerr canning jar ring--notice the flange on the underside of the ring.  It is that flange that will make contact with the lid. The inside flange ensures the lid is evenly and firmly held against the rim of the jar. The design of the flange is why we don't need to and shouldn't over tighten the ring.

Good Canning Ring Practices

  • Inspect rings before reusing.
  • Don't use rusty rings.
  • Don't use bent rings.
  • Don't cinch rings down--only finger tight.
  • Don't tighten rings after removing the jars from the canner.
  • Don't remove rings until the jars have cooled (12-24 hours) and wipe the jars down too.
  • Store rings in a dry location.
  • Don't store home canned goods with the ring in place.

Why not store home canned goods with the ring on?

  • Moisture trapped between ring and lid can lead to corrosion--corrosion leads to broken seals and spoiled food.
  • Bits of trapped food lead to nastiness including mold, compromised seals and again spoiled food.
  • Ring can conceal failed seal.
  • Ring can be reused rather than tied up doing a job it doesn't need to do.

And finally, don't forget to Avoid Common Home Canning Mistakes

Be safe and eat well.

Peace.