Jelly Canners question


10 Years
Feb 16, 2009
Do people still use melted wax to preserve jelly and jam?

We used to do that as a kid, melt parafin and seal jelly. Is it safe?
I don't do that for my jam. I fill the jars to about 1/4-1/2 inch headspace and use the standard canning jars/lids & rings. Then a water bath to get them sealed properly.

I remember my grandma used to use the wax when she would do jam though!! She had the hinged jars with the metal latch and the rubber ring seal. May want to do some research on it before trying.
I've done a lot of reading about canning since this is my first year for it. The wax method is discouraged because it's not reliable. Now they (that would be the canning police, LOL) want you to use regular jars, lids and rings like all the other canning you'd do, and then process the jars in a water bath.

Have fun!! We just opened our first jar of Black Rasberry and had it with fresh bread on Tuesday evening -- YUMMY!! Now the kids are way more fired up to help with the picking next year
Back in Grandma's time, wax was used to seal jars that might not have tight fitting little juice glasses.

My grandmother would pour in a 1/8 inch layer of wax while the jelly/jam was first poured into the glass. She would prick any air bubbles and then let it cool.
Next she would pour another layer on top of the first and that layer was about 1/4 inch. She would swirl the wax so that it cooled on the inside rim of the glass insuring a better tighter seal.
These would be stored in a cool dark place until it was all consumed by her jelly or jam made it through to the next spring because it was eatten!

Now it is much safer to seal jelly/jam with a water bath or the turn upside down for 5 minutes method than to use wax. Freezer jam is also a better option.

I use the upside down jar trick only if my jelly has hit a rolling boil for three minutes and my jars and lids are in boiling everything is really hot and sterile. I'm using tongs and insulated gloves for this pour.
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Thanks! I have a complex with all that "in my grandma's time....." talk !!!

Okay, so I'm not a Spring Chicken either but I'm only (
) 46!

...and NanaKat we used to do it just as you described.

Here is another thread on BYC that you should join in.

There is a lot of great advice, information and recipes for canning.

I'm also new to canning only second year of doing it. You might want to pose your question on the other thread and also ask about turning jars over. Someone told me not to do that but then there are always different ways/opinions of doing things. I use lids, rings and water bath as the canning book calls for.

Good luck and canning is so rewarding you will love it more and more.

My sister does the wax sealing... but only when she runs out of lids and rings... I like using lids and rings... The canning police would surely arrest me if they saw the way I can stuff....

My jam is boiling hot and I rinse the jars with hot water and put the lids in hot water and then put the jam into the jars make sure there's no jam on the jar and pop on a lid and a ring and let it cool.... I've only had 1 jar this year out of 6 cases that didn't seal...

When I do tomatos I put the filled jars in a water bath for 3-5 min after I put the lid and ring on....

I can't wait to do more stuff next year... LOVE CANNING!!!
TammyX - Best advice is follow the recipes in the canning books exactly. They all have been tested and balanced to make sure no bacteria gets started. Cleanliness here is extremely important as well as water bathing for the right amount of time. Pressure canning is another whole thing that I have not tried and it is for low acid vegetables, meats and soup.

When canning tomatoes as an example you need to add the acid since there may not be enough. Green beans are low acid and need to be pressure canned. So again make sure you have a tested recipe that you are using and stick to it. You will be successful and enjoy the rewards of opening that jar and getting the best quality stuff around.

Using rings and lids are just simpler. Yes, you can still use paraffin, but the trick is you need to make sure you completely cover the jam so no air can contaminate the jelly.

Getting the paraffin off is the other tricky part!

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