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Canning/Bottling with methods other than Fowlers-Vacola

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    Fowlers-Vacola I find to have a steep start up cost. I’m looking for ways to either reuse commercial jars (I have plenty of those), or alternatively, I’d like a much cheaper jar and lid alternative. Any advice?


    There is a web site where the woman uses nothing but the ordinary jars, Can’t remember it at the moment. But if you go into one of the googling sites you like and type in using jars for preserving I am sure it will come up with something for you,

    I mainly use those jars for jams and marmalade found a few failures with other food.


    Easily done – re-use pasta sauce jars/jam jars etc. It is recommended that you purchase new lids for them (the sealing compund can get damaged and create an issue with the seal forming correctly, which can mean you lose all your hard work).

    Lids can be bought at if they are still selling them, which I hope they are.

    You can buy the american canning jars at, they are a little different to the fowlers jars, where you just use new lids each time instead of new rings – but I’ve not done a price comparison from those to Fowlers as yet.

    I use a combination of them – I have loads of Fowlers’ Jars that I have picked up second hand around the place. I have some recycled pasta jars, and some mason-style jars too.

    As for the actual processing – cheapest way with high-acid foods is to get one of those big cheap and nasty stainless pots from the reject shop or similar, chuck a tea-towel in the bottom of it when you use it (stops the jars touching the hot base of the pot and cracking) and just put hot produce in hot jars, seal, put in hot water in big pot, fill pot to about an inch over the top of the highest jar, and boil for 20 mins (or the relevant time for whatever high acid food you are processing).


    Hi Neko, if you haunt the Salvos and Red cross etc.. you can get fowlers jars for around 50c each I have gathered over 400 like this. For the cheapest fowlers seals and lids I have found by far the best. I see that they are have presto canners and ball mason jars now as well. If you get stuck let me know and if you are close by I might be able to spare a few.

    Farm Chick


    I use a lot of fowler jars for canning meats and vegetables but you can use just about any glass jars so long as the lids are in good condition.

    Greenliving sells replacement lids for most size jars

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