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I am planning to can a plum chutney and have ordered the Stagioni 10 1/2 oz jars. Having only used Ball jars, I am not sure I understand why their website says to remove from water and place upside down for 15 minutes:

For preparations that require cooking (e.g. jams, marmalades, sauces, etc..) it’s possible to create the vacuum without boiling the jars in water, proceeding as follows: preheat the jars with hot water, fill them with the hot preparation, seal with the cap and immediately turn upside down (taking care not to handle them with bare hands to prevent burns). Avoid placing them on cold surfaces (metal, marble, etc..) and keep them upside down for at least 15 minutes. Subsequently put them back with the capsule facing upwards and let them cool down in a cool place. It is not advisable to use the 0.15 l jar for the above described heat potting due to the reduced content within which employs a much shorter time for the cooling that may not be sufficient for the vacuum formation process.

Does anyone know?

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What canning method are you planning to use? –  KatieK Aug 23 '13 at 16:03
    
Okay, I've made it more clear in the title what you're asking here, and found (I think) the relevant quote from the website. Feel free to edit your answer further if I've done anything you don't like.(Also, welcome to Seasoned Advice, and good question!) –  Jefromi Aug 23 '13 at 17:39
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This technique goes by the name 'inversion canning'. There are questions of if it's safe, or safe for some foods but not othes. –  Joe Aug 23 '13 at 19:36
    
KatieK, Hot water bath. Recipe calls for 15 minutes then removal and cool. I've done that for years with Ball. –  Bubbeskitchen Aug 23 '13 at 20:36

3 Answers 3

That passage is suggesting an entire canning/processing method, one that may not be safe. It will generally work to create a seal, as they say, but it may not fully sterilize the contents and the seal will not be as likely to hold. I would not follow their instructions, and instead process your chutney according to a trusted canning recipe you find elsewhere.

See for example this USDA source, which says:

Some other methods of sealing jars call for inverting a closed, filled jar of hot product for anywhere from thirty seconds to one hour. (Inverting is turning the filled jar upside down on its lid.) While this inversion process can be successful in producing a sealed jar, it works best with very hot product. Individual variation in practicing this procedure or unexpected interruptions can result in delays between filling jars, getting lids screwed on, and inverting the jars. If the product cools down too much, the temperature of the product can become low enough to no longer be effective in sealing jars or preventing spoilage.

When the inversion process does work, the vacuum seals of filled jars still tend to be weaker than those produced by a short boiling water canning process. A larger amount of retained oxygen in the headspace may allow some mold growth if airborne molds contaminated the surface of the product as the jar was filled and closed. More complete removal of oxygen from the headspace also offers some longer protection from undesirable color and flavor changes with some types of fruit products. A weak seal may be more likely to fail during storage.

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If you sterilize the cans in boiling water after filling the cans and closing the lid, it is often not possible to cover the cans with water, since the cans may have a lower density than the surrounding water and therefore float.

This may cause that the top of can is not heated enough to be sterilized properly. If you place the cans upside down after removing them from the boiling water, the (near) boiling content of the jars will come in contact with the upper part of the jar and the lid and continue the sterilization even after the jar has been removed from the boiling water.

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They're definitely not supposed to float. If they did, it wouldn't be just the lid you'd be worried about - some of the glass and even the contents of the jar may not reach the proper temperature and be held there for long enough. Simply tipping them upside down at that point won't sterilize them. (But I don't think floating is generally a problem, either. The density of whatever you're canning will be at least similar to that of water, and possibly significantly higher if it has a lot of sugar; there should be very little air at the top, and the glass is heavier than water.) –  Jefromi Aug 23 '13 at 16:59
    
See nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/cannedfoodproblems.html (the bottom of the table) if you are having trouble with floating. See also nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html which mentions in a few places that it's necessary for the jars to be covered the whole time. –  Jefromi Aug 23 '13 at 17:01
    
Please indulge me a moment more: I thought that I could hot water process a as usual but, that Stagioni lids still required inversion. The information provided here is quite helpful. The 8 oz Ball jars didn't float so I don't expect the volume sized jars from Stagioni to float. –  Bubbeskitchen Aug 24 '13 at 18:37
    
@Bubbeskitchen My point was that no, this is not helpful advice. It's encouraging bad processing. Inverting jars doesn't help sterilize them. If it does anything, it helps them seal - but it's not even reliable for that. –  Jefromi Aug 27 '13 at 15:31
    
@Jefromi: It is peculiar that food safety requirements and recommendations are much more strict when they come from US institutes compared to what is actually practiced or considered acceptable elsewhere in the world. I am not sure why, but I suspect that the US institutes may be held liable for any consequences. If not following US food safety requirements had been unsafe, humans had probably been extinct a long time ago. –  Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 27 '13 at 16:43

I just received a new box of the Stagioni 10.5 oz jars and the "Pasteurizing" instructions have clarified my question and may help others:

Fill jars with room temperature product, 1.5" from top. Put jars in pot, not touching, and add lukewarm water to cover by 2.5" Boil according to time on recipe. Allow to cool in water.

There is no mention of inversion on this size jar.

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I don't think I'd follow this advice either. If the recipe's expecting hot pack, filling them at room temperature is dangerous. (Or is the idea that you can only use raw pack recipes??) Also, wow, 1.5" is a lot of headroom. –  Jefromi Aug 27 '13 at 15:28
    
And if you meant to be revising your question, you should do so by editing it. But replacing your question with this would completely change it. It sounds like this company just is inconsistent about what instructions they provide for their jars, and with something like canning where doing it wrong means getting people sick, the right thing to do in that case is to ignore the company and use trusted recipes. –  Jefromi Aug 27 '13 at 15:35
    
Inches or centimeters? I believe 1.5 cm would be about right. –  Randall Fitz Sep 9 at 13:22

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