Category Archives: Kilner Jars

Recipes for Kilner jars

Recipes for Kilner jars Kilner photo food in jars

Trusted the world over as the king of home preserving jars, the iconic Kilner jar has been used for making jams, pickles and preserves for decades. Whilst it is true that this is the season for making all sorts of jams and chutneys, there is so much more that you can do with a Kilner jar. In today’s blog post we highlight a few tempting recipe ideas that look amazing when prepared in one of these screw top preserving jars.

Savoury recipe ideas for Kilner jars

We have talked in previous posts about how great these jars are for layered salads. These are quick and easy to prepare and are great for an on-the-go lunch or sophisticated picnic, keeping all the ingredients separate whilst looking fabulous through the glass jar. Salads are not the only option, however, and today we thought we would showcase a few ideas for some savoury treats that work brilliantly in a Kilner jar.

Macaroni cheese is a firm favourite comfort food for many people and works brilliantly in a jar. Prepare your macaroni and cheese sauce in the usual way, then combine and spoon into the jars. Top with breadcrumbs, grated parmesan and chopped walnuts, then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

We admit that we were a little sceptical when we read about making mini pizzas in a jar, but it really works. Layer your mozzarella, tomato sauce and additional ingredients in the jar before adding a knob of pizza dough on the very top. Stand your pizza-filled jars in a deep tray filled with water, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes or so.

Puddings in Kilner jars

With a couple of ideas for main courses under our belts, it is time to think about dessert. One of the easiest Kilner jar dessert ideas is Eton mess. Whip double cream until it is thick and creamy, then add chopped strawberries and crushed meringues. Spoon into jars and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Chocolate banana pudding is another mouth-watering dessert that will have your dinner guests begging for second helpings. Layer crushed chocolate cookies in the jars, followed by whipped cream or creme fraiche, then bananas and a spoonful of good-quality honey. Repeat until the jar is full, ending with a layer of cream. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs and chill in the fridge.

Have you tried any Kilner jar recipes of your own? We would love to see your ideas, so be sure to share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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THE HISTORY OF KILNER JARS

The history of Kilner jars

 For kitchen enthusiasts and lovers of jams, jellies and preserves, the humble Kilner jar is an iconic symbol of home preserving at its finest. From small pots of lemon curd to gallon jars of pickled eggs, these instantly-recognisable glass preserving jars can handle anything you might like to preserve. In today’s blog post, we take a step back in time and investigate the history of the Kilner jar, with a catch-up on where the company is today and how these fabulous jars have changed over the years.

 The earliest Kilner jars

 The very first Kilner jars were created by a Yorkshire-based glassmaking firm called John Kilner and Co. The firm started business way back in 1842, with the classic vacuum seal Kilner jar introduced in 1900. The firm continued to operate from its Yorkshire factories until 1937, when the patents and trademarks to the Kilner brand were sold to the United Glass Bottle Company. Under new ownership, the range of jars was expanded and the design improved.

 In the 60s, Kilner introduced the two-step lid with its metal sealing band and metal disc lid. This design is still going strong over 50 years later and is one of the most recognisable parts of the Kilner brand.

 In 2003, the Kilner brand was again sold to new owners. The Rayware Group now owns the brand and has worked hard to breathe new life into the range whilst remaining true to the original spirit of Kilner. With a creative design team and stringent quality control processes, Kilner’s preserving jars are just as much of a kitchen classic as they were when they were first introduced.

 Kilner jars in all shapes and sizes

 Back when these jars were first launched, Kilner promoted them as ‘The original and best’. This slogan is still used today on some of its preserving jar range; however, the brand now offers far more than the two-part preserving jars. Kilner fans can enjoy clip top jars and bottles, drinking jars and dispensers, storage jars and twist top jars, and a number of limited edition special designs and gift sets. Whilst the original jars from Kilner were clear glass creations, today’s jars and bottles are available in a number of pastel colours and in frosted and ridged designs.

 

Homemade sliced pickles in mason jars on a kitchen counter

Over the years, the range of jar sizes has also increased. There are now jars to suit every preserving or pickling project you could think of, so why not check out the Kilner range on our website today?

 

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Packed lunches in Kilner jars

Packed lunches in Kilner jars 

Tomato pasta with sauce, thyme and sliced cherry tomatoes in glass mason jar, served over old dark wooden background. Lunch to go.

With summer more or less on the doorstep, there are plenty of tasty salad vegetables on offer in the greengrocers or even at home if you grow your own. If summer means you would like to eat healthily to lose a pound or two, and you would like to save money ready for the holiday season, taking a packed lunch to work could help with both these goals. Taking your own lunch to work does not mean it has to be a boring old cheese sandwich – with the help of a Kilner jar or two, your lunch can be just as appetising as the prepared salads that the café chains sell. Read on for some ideas on how to create your own lunch in a Kilner jar.

Salads in Kilner jars

Salads work brilliantly in these jars, as the airtight seal keeps them fresh and the glass jar means that you can see exactly what you have for lunch in all its crisp and colourful glory. Try layering different salad items for the best effect. Start with a delicious salad dressing in the bottom of the jar, then add items such as tomatoes, celery, red onion, carrots and cucumber. Next add a layer or sweetcorn or beans, and then rice or feta cheese. At the very top, add chopped lettuce, herbs and nuts. Seal the jar and you are good to go!

You can, of course, experiment with what you put in your Kilner jar. Some salad vegetables work better than others and some need to be kept away from the salad dressing if they are to stay fresh and tasty, so it pays to play around to see what works. Noodles, chickpeas, couscous and quinoa are all fabulous healthy additions to any lunch in a jar experiment.

Desserts in Kilner jars 

Autumn overnight oats with apples and cranberries in a mason jar on vintage metal background

With all this healthy eating going on, you might want to treat yourself to a dessert in a jar once in a while. You can stick with the healthy vibe by creating a fruit salad in a jar, layering fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and kiwi fruit, and adding a little orange juice to keep everything fresh. If you fancy an extra treat, substitute a layer of fruit for a little crème fraîche or natural yoghurt. Avoid apples, as these are likely to turn an unappetising shade of brown whilst in the jar.

If you have a favourite lunch in a jar recipe, be sure to tell us about it via Facebook or Twitter.

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Kilner bottles

Kilner bottles kilner bottles 2

There is no denying that Kilner is one of the most well-known and well-loved kitchen brands in the UK, with the firm holding a special place in the nation’s hearts for decades. Whilst best known for the iconic preserving jars that formed the foundation of the company over a century ago, Kilner also produces an extensive range of swing top bottles and it is these delightful bottles that we are taking a look at in today’s post.

Kilner bottles

The range of Kilner swing top bottles that we stock includes a variety of shapes and sizes, all carrying the distinctive Kilner name emblazoned on the front of the bottle. From the tiniest 70ml bottles right up to one-litre bottles, there is certainly plenty of choice. Some of the most popular Kilner bottles are the coloured ones, which are available in pastel pink, blue and green. These coloured bottles are available in both 250ml and one-litre sizes.

There are also some delightful vintage-shaped bottles in the range, which have a wide base, narrow neck, red stopper, and metal carrying handle. They are perfect for vintage-themed parties or picnics and look amazing filled with old-fashioned homemade lemonade.

Alternatives to Kilner bottles 

Currants, swing top bottles and steam juicer for homemade currants syrup

Many of our customers refer to any brand of swing top bottle as a Kilner bottle due to the similarity in style; in fact, we carry quite a few other types of swing top bottle in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Our Sorrento bottle is tall and elegant and is available with either a blue or an opaque stopper. This bottle makes us think of beautiful summer days in Italy, which is why we named the bottle the Sorrento! For afternoons spent lazing on the patio, reading a book and sipping a refreshing lemonade or elderflower cordial, the Sorrento is just perfect.

We have a number of larger one-litre swing top bottles in the range, all of which work brilliantly for serving fresh water at the dining table. Fill a bottle or two with tap water and chill in the fridge before supper time, then serve at the table for a refreshing drink whilst eating.

These one-litre bottles are not just for water, of course; for example, you can also use them to make delicious homemade cordials or even vinegars. Elderflowers will be ready in no time, so get ready to make your own elderflower cordial. Not long after this, raspberries will be ready and you could make either another cordial or raspberry vinegar to use drizzled on puddings or even on salad leaves.

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Recipe for a Kilner jar

Recipe for a Kilner jar 

Baking concept. Fresh ingredients for almond cookies, Italian cantuccini biscuits or pastry preparation

Whilst the most obvious use for Kilner jars is home preserving, there are many other creative ways in which these jars can be utilised. In today’s post, we take a look at how you can use our jars to cleverly present a cake.

Cooking with Kilner jars 

Using the Kilner screw top jars, it is possible to create unique and visually appealing individual cakes, baked in the oven just like any other cake. Here is a recipe for a decadent velvet cake:

Cake mixture 

Chocolate peppermint cupcakes in a jar sitting on a white plate on red and white striped background

250g margarine
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
4 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
red food colouring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water

Icing

60g butter
60g caster sugar
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp milk

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Use an oil spray to grease the insides of three 500ml Kilner jars.
2. Whisk the margarine and sugar together until the mixture is creamy, then gently beat in the eggs.
3. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Once everything is mixed, split the mixture in half, putting one half in a separate bowl.
4. In one bowl, add the food colouring and mix well; in the other, add the cocoa powder and hot water and mix thoroughly.
5. Use a spoon to place a 1cm layer of the red mixture in each jar. Bake for 20 minutes without using the jar lids.
6. Remove the jars from the oven, then add a 2cm layer of the cocoa mixture and bake for a further 15 minutes.
7. Again, remove the jars from the oven. Add another layer of the red mixture and bake for another 15 minutes.
8. Remove the jars from the oven and leave them to cool.
9. To make the icing, whisk the butter and caster sugar together until smooth. Gradually add in the water and milk and beat until the mixture is creamy.
10. When the cakes have cooled, spoon the icing into the top of each Kilner jar. Put the lids on the jars and eat the cakes within two days.

Kilner jars and similar alternatives

The Kilner jar range here at Wares is extensive and covers both screw top and clip top styles. We also carry a variety of similar jars from other manufacturers, which work in the same way but offer cost savings for those looking for a budget-friendly alternative. In a future post, we will look at a cake recipe for a clip top Kilner jar for further baking delights.

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Kilner jars explained

Kilner jars explained 

A close up selection of pickled and fermented vegetables in Kilner jars

If you asked someone to describe a traditional Kilner jar is, they would probably depict a swing top jar, with the lid fixed to the jar with a metal clip and a bright orange rubber ring forming a perfect seal to keep the contents of the jar impeccably preserved. Whilst Kilner does indeed make this type of jar, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, the original Kilner jar was quite different.

The history of Kilner jars

The Kilner company dates back to 1842, when it was founded by John Kilner in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. By 1866, with the ownership of the business passed down through the family, Kilner had built a second glass factory in Conisbrough, employing around 500 workers at this site. Towards the end of the 19th century, the firm patented a design for a glass jar with an innovative lid that formed a pressure seal to keep the jar’s contents free from contamination and properly preserved. The Kilner jar was born and the firm produces the same iconic design to this day.

Whilst the jars remain true to their original design heritage and the seal functions as it always did, there have been a few changes along the way. Today, the Kilner brand is no longer owned by the Kilner family; instead, it was purchased by the Rayware Group back in 2000. This change of ownership has not compromised the integrity of the brand in any way, with the new owners working hard to raise awareness of the brand among younger consumers with new and inspired product ranges.

It is worth pointing out that whilst Kilner can claim the be the grandfather of the pressure seal jar, there are now several other manufacturers making very similar jars, working on the same pressure seal principle. Leifheit and Familia Wiss make pressure seal jars and clip top jars; in addition, there are generic, unbranded alternatives for the budget-conscious shopper.

Kilner jars in all shapes and sizes

We stock a huge variety of screw top and clip top jars and bottles from Kilner. From the iconic 500ml jar, which is perfect for jams and preserves, to the larger jars that are brilliant for pickled eggs or preserved lemons, there is a Kilner jar to suit every preserving project.

We also stock a huge number of Kilner clip top jars, from tiny 125ml jars that are great for jellies and relishes through to the huge two-litre clip top jar that can handle even the biggest home preserving tasks.

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Kilner bottles

Kilner bottles kilner bottles

If you asked just about anyone what Kilner was famous for, they would say jam jars. They would be right with this answer, of course, with the iconic clip top and screw top preserving jars made by Kilner well known throughout the world. The company offers far more than these jars, however, and in today’s post we will be looking at Kilner’s range of glass bottles and at some foodie and craft ideas for how to use them.

Kilner bottles with clip tops 

Kilner’s range of clip top bottles are just the thing for old-fashioned homemade cordials and soft drinks. Their vintage shapes and nostalgic swing tops are just made for homemade lemonade or elderflower cordial. With elderflower season just around the corner, now is the time to stock up on these bottles if you fancy making some cordials this year, just like your grandmother used to make.

These clip top glass bottles come in a range of sizes, from 250ml right up to one litre. The smaller bottles are perfect for serving refreshing individual drinks on a picnic, or a day at the beach, whilst the one-litre bottles are great for bottling cordials and infusions. Whilst elderflower cordial might be the one everyone thinks of when it comes to making homemade drinks, there are plenty of other flavours to choose from; for example, why not try raspberry, rhubarb, rosehip or blackcurrant?

Kilner bottles with lids and corks

In addition to the familiar clip top bottles, Kilner produces a variety of other styles of bottle, each with its own unique identity but still true to the Kilner look and feel. From vintage-inspired milk bottles in one-pint and ‘infant school’ sizes to bottles perfect for salad dressings and oils, there is a bottle for every project.

The mini milk bottles are great for serving cream-based liqueurs at a party; in addition, they make great craft accessories. Try filling them with coloured sand or seashells for an instant ornament that will look cute and fresh on a bathroom shelf, for example.

If you are keen on home preserving but have already made enough jam and chutney to feed an army, why not have a go at making your own infused oils and salad dressings? You can create the same great taste and visual impact as those expensive shop-bought oils and dressings for a fraction of the cost and with all the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself using only the freshest ingredients. Try adding herbs from your garden to some good-quality olive oil; alternatively, for something a little more powerful, add chilli flakes.

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Creative ideas for Kilner jars

Creative ideas for Kilner jars

Baking Ingredients on antique hutch

There is something about Kilner jars that makes people love them. Whether it is the iconic shape or the nostalgic feelings these jars conjure up in us, we have taken the humble Kilner jar to our hearts. Whilst many of us use them to preserve food, make jams and chutneys and produce scrumptious homemade drinks, a Kilner jar offers others a vessel to use in creative crafts. In today’s post, we take a brief look at some creative ideas for using Kilner jars, from homemade gifts to fancy lunchbox alternatives.

Using Kilner jars for homemade gifts

A Kilner jar makes the perfect container for a homemade gift, such as bath salts or hand creams. The 125ml clip top jars would be perfect for homemade hand cream, whilst the 0.5-litre clip top jars or the standard 250ml Kilner jars would look fabulous filled with colourful bath salts or a body scrub, topped off with a stylish bath buffer or scrunchie.

Another great idea for a homemade gift would be to make your own bonbons or boiled sweets and fill a Kilner jar with them to give to friends or family. Decorated with a hand-drawn label and topped off with a pretty ribbon, this kind of gift would look every bit as stylish and desirable as a shop-bought jar of sweets. With Mother’s Day just a few short weeks away, these ideas could be just the thing for a creative and thoughtful gift.

Creative food storage with Kilner jars

One recent trend we have been watching closely is using Kilner jars to carry food, in much the same way as an old-school lunchbox or a Japanese bento box. Fresh, colourful salads work brilliantly in a Kilner jar, with the glass jar allowing you to see exactly what you have for lunch in all its zesty freshness. First, add a little salad dressing to the jar, then layer different ingredients for a vibrant and appetising effect. Adding crisp vegetables immediately after the salad dressing protects other softer items from going soggy; therefore, add peppers, carrots, celery, onion and tomatoes as the first layer before moving on to other ingredients such as sweetcorn, kidney beans, rice and feta cheese.

If you don’t fancy a salad in a jar, smoothies, juices and noodles also work well. Our 250ml Kilner jars are also the perfect size for making breakfast in a jar; for example, fill the jar with fresh fruit, oats and natural yogurt for a healthy breakfast on the go.

 

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Creative bathroom ideas for blue Kilner jars

Creative bathroom ideas for blue Kilner jars blue kilner jar

When we think of Kilner jars, we tend to think of clear glass jars; in addition, we tend to assume that the most likely place to see them is in the kitchen or pantry, filled with delicious jams, pickles or preserves. It is true that the iconic clear glass Kilner jar is the most popular style of jar available; however, Kilner has expanded its range in recent years to include some shaped jars and coloured jars. In today’s post, we take a look at the blue Kilner jar and how it can be used in the bathroom for both practical and decorative purposes.

Blue Kilner jars for storage

If your bathroom shelves look a little cluttered and you are forever picking up cotton buds and the like that have fallen out of the pack, why not get organised and start storing all your bathroom essentials in some Kilner jars? The blue jars are perfect for working a slightly coastal look that is perfect for bathrooms, and a row of these jars will look very stylish indeed lined up on the bathroom windowsill or on a shelf. Take a good look through your bathroom shelves and cabinets to see what would work better stored in a jar, then simply order the number of jars you need.

Blue Kilner jars for decoration

These gorgeous Kilner jars are not just useful, as they can also be put to work as decorative elements in a stylish bathroom. Try filling a jar with beautiful sea shells, or perhaps driftwood, for a simple, low-budget design feature that will make you smile whenever you go into the bathroom. You could also use these jars to hold tealights and dot them around the bathroom for the ultimate romantic and relaxing bathtime experience.

If you are feeling particularly creative, why not make your own perfumed bath salts? There are lots of recipes for homemade bath salts available online and the ingredients are easy to source. Once you have made the salts and added your own personal fragrance, simply pour them into one of our blue Kilner jars and sit it by the bath ready for an indulgent soak. Homemade bath salts are so lovely; in fact, you may even decide to make some to give away as gifts to friends and family.

As you can see, the humble Kilner jar can be put to very good use outside the kitchen environment; in fact, once you start thinking about ideas such as those we have talked about today, you will start to think of all sorts of other creative ways to use them.

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Kilner jars explained

Jars of home canned food on a picnic table in autumn

Jars of home canned food on a picnic table in autumn

 Kilner jars explained

We have talked recently about some of the most iconic kitchenware brands that are still going strong decades after they first arrived in our kitchens. Kilner is surely one of these brands, with its trademark design and clever lid system. Let’s take a look at what makes the humble Kilner jar so special and see just how they do their magic.

How Kilner jars work

 The original Kilner jar was invented by a firm called John Kilner towards the end of the 19th century. These jars differ from traditional jam jars principally due to their unique pressure-sealed lids. Each lid comprises two parts – a metal heat-sealable disc and a screw band – with these two parts forming a pressure seal when used correctly. This ensures that food is preserved properly in the jar, with no risk of spoiling.

 In addition to the jars with the two-part Kilner lids, Kilner also manufactures a range of clip top jars and bottles. With these, the lid is permanently attached to the jar by a wire mechanism. Around the shaped rim of the lid is a tight rubber ring; when the jar is clipped shut, this ring forms an airtight seal to safely preserve the food in the jar.

 Uses for Kilner jars

 Kilner jars and bottles can be used for all manner of home preserving projects, from jam making to homemade cordials and from pickled eggs to piccalilli. As they have such a charming vintage look, they are also brilliantly suited for preserving projects that are destined to be given as gifts to friends and family. To really work that traditional kitchen look, go for old-fashioned recipes such as hedgerow jelly or wild berry jam. A spiced plum chutney would also look heavenly in a small Kilner jar, as would an infused jelly such as rosemary jelly. Part of the charm of the finished product is its visual appeal, with the clear golden jelly dotted with rosemary leaves. Looking through the jar, you just know that the jelly is going to taste divine.

 One trend we have noticed more recently is Kilner jam jars being used for serving food. A small Kilner jar is ideal to use as a quirky pot for serving desserts such as homemade trifles or individual cheesecakes. Our creative customers are even using them to make healthy layered salads to take to work as a packed lunch. If only the inventor of the Kilner jar could see them now!

 

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Drinks dispensers for party time

Infused water bottles in party tent orange and lemon water with small taps wine in background

Drinks dispensers for party time

‘Tis the season to be jolly, with big Christmas parties and smaller, more intimate gatherings taking place across the country from now until the New Year. No matter what style of party you are planning, one thing is for certain – someone always gets the unenviable task of making sure all the guests have a full glass at all times. There is a solution to this perennial problem, however, and it comes in the form of glass drinks dispensers.

What are glass drinks dispensers?

Drinks dispensers are a great idea for parties. These glass dispensers typically hold between five and eight litres and come with a wide top opening and a low tap for self-service drinks delivery. The wide opening at the top makes it easy to add ice or fruit, while the sealed lid means less mess and no spills.

Our range of glass drinks dispensers

We stock a variety of drinks dispensers from Kilner and other suppliers. The Kilner dispensers all have the iconic Kilner styling for a vintage chic look and have the trademark clip-top lid with the familiar orange rubber seal. The five-litre clear glass Kilner dispenser has the ‘Kilner Original’ logo moulded on the front of the dispenser, while the larger eight- litre dispenser has a slight outwards curve in its design and a ridged effect to the glass, giving it a distinctive retro look. If a clear glass dispenser is not your style, the Kilner five-litre dispensers are also available in green, blue and pink for some pastel fun.

Our range of drinks dispensers is complemented perfectly by a wide variety of glass drinking jars. Match the two for an all-round vintage party feel.

What to serve?

It is all well and good deciding on the type of drinks dispenser for your Christmas parties, but you also need to decide what to serve in them. Straight drinks are fine, but a party is not a party without a little homemade creation in the form of a cocktail or a festive punch. Warm punch with spices always goes down well at Christmas; however, don’t forget to allow your punch to cool slightly before pouring into the dispensers, as these items can hold liquids up to a maximum temperature of 80°C.

Prosecco cocktails are guaranteed to get the party swinging – add one part brandy to four parts prosecco, along with a splash of Angostura bitters and a little cane sugar. Alternatively, make a fruity prosecco cocktail by pouring the prosecco into the drinks dispenser and adding some clementine, pomegranate, lime, grapefruit and passion fruit juice.

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Alternative uses for Kilner Jars

KilnerAlternative uses for Kilner Jars

If you think that Kilner jars are just for jams, chutneys and home preserving, think again! These iconic glass jars with their uniquely-designed lids are perfect for all sorts of other uses; for example, you can use them for everything in interior design projects, craft activities and even serve food and drinks in them. In today’s blog, we share some of our favourite alternative ideas for Kilner creativity.

Making gifts using Kilner jars

There are so many easy ways to create a lovely homemade gift using Kilner jars. Fill a jar with delicious homemade cookies or shortbreads and top it off with a festive gift tag for a charming Christmas gift; alternatively, add a tealight and some fresh or dried sprigs of herbs, such as lavender or rosemary, for a seasonal gift that could not be easier to make. You could even make your very own snow globes using plastic toy animals, distilled water, glycerine and glitter. Glue the animal in place in the jar, fill the jar with water and a tablespoon of glycerine, and pour in the glitter. Seal the lid tightly and hey presto, you have your snow globe!

Kilner jar storage ideas

Using these jars for storage is a great idea for the kitchen or pantry. Using the larger sized jars for flour, pasta and oats will keep everything tidy and fresh, while smaller jars are perfect for herbs and spices. For a rustic look in the kitchen, why not create some shelves using reclaimed scaffold planks and line up your Kilner jars on them for a really stylish feel.

It is not just the kitchen that can benefit from Kilner jar storage. Small Kilner jars are perfect for organising sewing items such as pins, needles and buttons; meanwhile, paperclips, drawing pins and loose change can all be tidied up stylishly in a small jar in the home office.

Kilner jar crafts

If you enjoy craft projects, there are so many ways you could use a Kilner jar. Try painting jars using Annie Sloan chalk paint to create a rustic container, or decorate a jar using pretty Japanese washi tape. From tea light holders to soap dispensers, pen pots to plant pots and bird feeders to pincushions, the only limit is your imagination!

From small Kilner jars to giant jars, our extensive range covers every shape and size to suit all types of creative application. Why not take a look now and get busy with your own creative Kilner jar ideas?

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Soups in Kilner Jars

Soups in Kilner Jars

With autumn upon us and the leaves starting to turn on the trees, what could be more heartening than making some delicious homemade soups to store for the coming months? Canning a range of soups in preserving jars will set you up for many hearty lunches and cosy suppers, served with crusty homemade bread.

Jars of home canned food on a picnic table in autumn

How to can soup in Kilner jars

There are a few rules to consider when making soup to store in preserving jars. Don’t add any pasta, rice, noodles, cream or other dairy product, or any thickeners. These ingredients should only be added when you heat the soup, just prior to eating it.

Home-canned soup will always need to be pressure-canned to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated. A special pressure canner is needed for this; it is not enough to simply stand your Kilner jars in a pan of boiling water. Without proper pressure canning, you risk all sorts of bacteria remaining in the food and your soup may be spoiled when you open it, or may even give you food poisoning! Don’t be tempted to use a standard pressure cooker, as pressure canners are much bigger and reach much higher temperatures. Invest in a proper pressure canner, such as the Hawkins Bigboy or the Mirro pressure canner, to do the job properly.

Filling those Kilner jars

Rather than simply adapting a conventional soup recipe, it is better to follow a specific home-canning recipe. Here is our recipe for homemade spicy vegetable soup, which makes about seven pint jars.

Ingredients

2lb tomatoes, chopped and peeled
1.5lb diced potatoes
1.5lb chopped carrots

1lb chopped celery

1lb chopped onion

1lb diced swede
2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
3 cups water

 

1. Place the preserving jars in a pan of simmering water, ready for use. Wash the lids and bands and set aside.

2. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan or crockpot and add the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

3. Use a slotted spoon to ladle vegetables into the jars, filling half way. Pour the liquid over the vegetables to ensure all jars get an equal mix. Leave one inch at the top of each jar. Screw the lids onto the preserving jars.

4. Process the jars in the pressure canner at 10lb pressure for 50 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the canner to reach zero pressure. Wait for five minutes and then remove the canner lid. Leave the jars for 10 minutes to cool.

5. After 24 hours, check the jar lids to ensure a seal has formed.

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Autumn Recipes for Mason Jars

Autumn Recipes for Mason Jars

With the arrival of October, there is no escaping the fact that autumn has very definitely arrived. Some of us may have enjoyed a brief Indian summer over the last few weeks, but now the nights are rapidly drawing in and the temperatures are dropping. Far from hankering for the summer that has passed, it is now time to embrace autumn and all that it offers to the adventurous enthusiast of canning and preserves. It is easy to think that the end of the growing season means the end of the preserving season; however, nothing could Stencilsbe further from the truth and there are still plenty of possibilities for filling those empty preserving jars.

Preserving fruit in Mason jars

The start of autumn means the start of apple season. As with most fruit trees, apple trees typically produce such a quantity of fruit at one time that we often wonder what we can do with it all. Try canning apple sauce, adding cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice for some different flavours. Apple butter is another delicious idea and is the perfect sweet treat for the cold mornings to come. If you are an apple pie fan, fill a few jars with prepared apples for ready-made apple pie filling. Many people don’t realise that apples form the basis for traditional mincemeat but you could make your own mincemeat now and have 100% homemade mince pies at Christmas.

Preserving vegetables in Mason jars

Large preserving jars are perfect for canning large batches of vegetables to use up any end of summer gluts. It is possible to pickle most vegetables, with your imagination the only limit. If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, try pickled brussels sprouts spiced with garlic and chilli flakes. With Halloween looming, a pickled pumpkin recipe might be just the ticket to use up the carved-out pumpkin flesh. Flavoured with chillies, allspice, cinnamon and ginger, pickled pumpkin will keep for up to six months in sealed preserving jars.

There are so many other possibilities for pickling vegetables, such as marinated roasted peppers, pickled cauliflower, sauerkraut and pickled beetroot. These ideas are all simple to prepare and will provide a pantry full of hearty, warming food to use up through the winter months.

Preserved fruit and vegetables also make great gifts, of course, and provide a welcome change from jam or chutney. With Christmas on the horizon, now is a good time to start planning ahead to produce some unusual and tasty Christmas treats.

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Glass Kilner jars

KilnerGlass Kilner jars

For many of us, the sight of a Kilner jar brings back happy memories of our childhood. These iconic jars were a staple feature in the kitchens of our mothers and grandmothers, when just about everyone made jams, chutneys and preserves on a regular basis and the kitchen was a hive of industry. Sweet-smelling concoctions were created and canned in Kilner jars to be consumed through the winter months.

Whilst the Kilner business was founded back in 1842, it was towards the end of that century that the Kilner jar was invented. It is a testament to the efficacy of the jar’s design, and to the iconic good looks of the Kilner jar, that it is as popular today as it has been throughout its 120-year history.

Kilner’s extensive range

The traditional Kilner jar is just one item in a wide range of jars and pots made by Kilner. These jars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from the traditional shape to clip top jars for terrines and pâtés and from sauce bottles to honey pots.

Kilner has branched out into more decorative designs for its products in recent years and into new areas. Several Kilner clip top jars are available in pink, blue and green, and the company has also diversified into the home brewing arena. Many swing-top bottles are now available, as are home brewing kits and preserving equipment.

How glass Kilner jars work

Traditional Kilner jars feature a two-part lid comprising a vacuum seal and a metal screw band. This unique design means that preserves are always sealed hygienically and in an airtight way. Whilst the metal bands can be reused, it is recommended that the rubber vacuum seals are replaced after each use.

Sterilising the jars and lids after each use is a simple affair. Don’t be tempted to pour boiling water directly onto the jars; instead, place the jars in a pan of water and bring to the boil for 10 minutes. Do the same with the lids in a separate pan, although these should only be heated to 82° for about 10 minutes.

A trip down memory lane

If you have fond memories of your grandmother’s blackberry jam or your mother’s homemade raspberry vinegar, what better tribute to their skills than to be inspired to have a go yourself? You can even use the same stylish jars they used all those years ago!

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Mason drinking jars with handles

kilner-drinkingMason drinking jars with handles

The trend for using Mason jars to serve drinks began a few years ago in East London’s hipster hotspot of Hoxton. Bars here began serving cool cocktails in Mason jars, just to be different. The trend rapidly caught on and spread throughout the capital and eventually across the country. The fashion for Mason drinks jars is now well and truly mainstream, with customers snapping them up for use at home. From birthday parties and summer barbecues to DIY wedding parties, Mason drinks jars can definitely add a special touch.

Standard Mason drinking jars

Our standard drinking jars are 450ml in size and come with a lid with a hole for a straw. Their sturdy handles make them comfortable to hold and the lid is great for minimising spills and keeping out those creepy-crawlies at outdoor events. There are plain gold lids, red gingham lids, and even lids with designs such as flowers. The 450ml size makes these jars ideal for serving everything from fruit punch and cocktails to beer and cider. The non-drinkers are not left out either, as iced tea or iced coffee looks fabulous served in these Mason drinking mugs.

Fancy Mason drinking jars

In addition to our basic range of drinking jars, we have some fancy options. If you would like a little colour, for example, we have packs comprising two red, two blue and two green jars, all with vintage-inspired lettering on the front to give an authentic retro feel.

The drinking jars in our Kilner range are 400ml in size and come in blue, green, pink and clear. There is also an adorable ‘fruit cocktail’ design in the Kilner range, with the jar decorated with a colourful fruity pattern, and a ‘fruit punch’ design, again with a bright and breezy fruit design on the jar.

To complement our Mason drinks jars, we have a range of glass drinks dispensers. Again, these come in a range of different colours and styles and sit perfectly with our drinking jars to create a delightful overall impression.

Whether you are planning a big barbecue for all your friends and neighbours or are preparing for your own wedding, using Mason drinking jars will add a little sparkle and a splash of colour to your event. As with many of our products, these drinking jars are available to buy in bulk packs, offering tremendous value for money.

Grab a drinking jar, pour yourself a refreshing drink, and sit back and enjoy.

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Add a splash of style to your party with a drinks dispenser

Image 1Add a splash of style to your party with a drinks dispenser

Summer is here and it’s very definitely time to party. Whether it’s an informal barbecue for friends and family, or an outdoor wedding celebration in a gorgeous rural setting, choosing the right table accessories can make all the difference. It can help to transform an ordinary occasion into a day to really remember. A drinks dispenser from Wares of Knutsford is one way to add a stylish touch to that outdoor party.

Our range of drinks dispensers covers many sizes and styles, from 3.7 litre capacity dispensers right up to 8 litre versions. Each dispenser comes with a solid tap at the bottom of the bottle, so guests can easily top up their glasses themselves. That leaves the host free to concentrate on food, socialising and actually enjoying the party. The clip-top lid with rubber seal prevents spills and drips, keeping everything clean and tidy.

Which drinks dispenser to choose?

From smaller dispensers that are perfect for a family picnic or day at the seaside to the 2 gallon barrel-shaped whopper for larger parties, there is a dispenser to suit every occasion.

The 7.5 litre dispenser with infuser is a clever idea. Simply fill the central infuser with fruit, herbs or cordials and then fill the jar with water and let the ingredients gently flavour the drink. The dispenser is great for cordials, fruit punches and cocktails.

For anyone staging a country garden or vintage-themed wedding, the Kilner drinks dispensers are a neat finishing touch to the wedding table decor. Kilner’s 5 litre dispensers are available in clear glass, or a subtle blue, pink or green colour for a pastel theme. The embossed writing on the front of the jars adds to the simple but stylish effect. Elderflower champagne would look delightful served in one of these drinks dispensers.

The Kilner Vintage Drinks Dispensers

With its delicately curved shape and ridged surface design, the Kilner vintage drinks dispensers also make a fabulous addition to any garden party, picnic or wedding celebration. These vintage-style dispensers are available in 5 litre and 8 litre sizes, making it easy to ensure that there is always plenty of liquid refreshment available for party guests. The wide top opening means that it is easy to add fruit, herbs and ice to the drink and to keep it topped up without spills.

From a back garden barbecue to a sophisticated wedding reception, a drinks dispenser will add a special touch. Charming to look at and practical too, these drinks dispensers are likely to be a big hit this summer.

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Kilner drinks dispensers

Kilner drinks dispensersStandard Jar

A drinks dispenser is one of those things you never realised you needed; however, once you have one, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! We stock a variety of drinks dispensers by Kilner, all of which are perfect for your summer events. Used outdoors they keep flies out of drinks and keep the contents fresh and clean, with easy, one-handed access courtesy of a tap at the bottom of the jar.

The standard dispensers are designed in the same style as the traditional Kilner preserving jar in high-quality clear glass in a round shape with a heavy duty clip fastening and an orange rubber seal. The wide neck makes it easy to add fruit, ice or herbs and to refill. The jars are embossed with the familiar Kilner logo and are available in five- and eight-litre sizes, which are sold singly. This means they hold plenty of drinks for garden parties, weddings, children’s birthday parties, fetes and galas, indoor or out. They can be used for soft drinks or cocktails, milkshakes and smoothies, or even just water, but are not suitable for very hot drinks. The dispensers should only be used for liquids with a maximum temperature of 80°C.

In addition to the round dispensers, we stock a square version in the same style with an eight-litre capacity.

Kilner vintage style drinks dispensersVintage Jar

Also available in five- and eight-litre sizes is a vintage style dispenser, similar to the basic model but with a decorative ribbed jar. It works in the same way but would fit in really well in a more rustic or retro setting. A Kilner vintage style drinks dispenser is a great way to keep guests served at a laidback summer wedding; even better, set up a row of them with labels stating the contents. Traditional drinks such as cloudy lemonade, fruit punch and elderflower cordial look pretty and taste delicious. You could also set up a dispenser of freshly-
squeezed orange juice with a few bottles of champagne for some Buck’s Fizz.Square Jar

Add a few Kilner handled drinking jars for a really cute, coordinated effect and make sure there are plenty of straws available.

Remember that a flat delivery charge applies when ordering from Wares of Knutsford, no matter how much you order, so feel free to fill up your basket without worrying about mounting postage costs.

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Kilner jars

Kilner jars

At Wares of Knutsford we have dedicated a whole department to the Kilner jar. This classic piece of preserving equipment is still available in its original form and also in a number of modern variations on the theme.

The history of Kilner jars

The traditional Kilner jar was invented towards the end of the 19th century; however, John Kilner started producing glass jars and bottles in Thornhill Lees in Dewsbury in the 1840s. Upon his death in 1857, the business passed to his sons and continued to go from strength to strength, including winning industry awards. In the 1860s a second Kilner factory was opened in Conisborough, Don Valley and became a huge local employer. The awards kept coming; however, the pressure of increased competition hit the firm hard in the early 1920s.

In 1937 the Kilner family was forced to close the business, having sold the trademark and patent for its original Kilner glass jar design to the United Glass Bottle Company. In 2000 the Rayware Group bought the rights to the patent and trademark for the original Kilner jar and continues to manufacture under the Kilner brand name. A number of modern products have been introduced, still inspired by the original product, and these have helped to expand the Kilner brand.

Kilner jars at Wares of Knutsford

The Kilner clip top clear glass preserving jar is available at Wares of Knutsford in a number of sizes: 70ml, 125ml, 350ml, 500ml, 1 litre, 1.5 litres, 2 litres and 3 litres. Square and faceted versions of the same style are also available in various sizes, sold singly or in great value packs.

Screw top Kilner jars for preserving, which use the metal sealing disc and screw band method, are also available in 250ml, 500ml and 1-litre sizes, along with spare metal discs and screw bands.

A number of speciality products have been introduced in the Kilner style and have been proving very popular, such as clip top jars in coloured glass. These are available in blue, green and pink and in 500ml and 1-litre sizes. You can also buy handled drinking jars in clear or coloured glass.

Kilner swing top bottles can be bought in a variety of designs in clear and coloured glass in 250ml and 1 litre sizes; for sloe gin with a 275ml capacity; in a square shape; and in an 850ml ribbed design. You can also buy a 70ml miniature clip top bottle and a 200ml handled version.

Finally, a new product we love this season is the Kilner milk bottle, which comes in 189ml and 568ml sizes.

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The History of the Kilner Jar

Kilner jar

Kilner jars are a classic preserving tool, known all over the world.

The original Kilner jar

The Kilner jar and bottle company was founded by John Kilner in 1842 in Yorkshire. Upon his death in 1857, Kilner’s four sons took over the business, followed later by their sons. The business thrived and expanded, winning various awards and international recognition. The pressure seal system was created and patented towards the end of the 19th century and has been in use ever since. In 1937 the company sold the patent rights to the Kilner jar and the similar Mason jar, also made by Kilner, to the United Glass Bottle company – an American firm. The Rayware Group purchased Kilner in 2000 and continues to produce the jars and develop new and modern variations on the theme.

How does the Kilner jar work?

The traditional system uses a screw top with a rubber seal, which is processed in a hot water bath to dispel any air and create a pressure seal. This ensures no air or bacteria can enter the jar to spoil your preserves once the seal has been created.

After sterilising your Kilner jars, fill them with your jam while it is still warm as part of the sealing process. Fill to the bottom of the jar neck and gently tap the jar on the work surface to disperse air bubbles. Wipe around the neck of the jar to ensure it is clean, then close your jar. You can use the Kilner disc and screw band jars, screw top jars and clip top jars in the same way for preserving, as all create the necessary pressure seal when correctly used. You can then create a pressure seal using the water bath method, which means putting the jars in a large pan filled with water and boiling for about 30 minutes. Remove the jars from the pan with a jar lifter and allow to cool for 24 hours. The next day, check that the sealing process has been successful. A proper seal will preserve homemade jams, chutneys and curds for up to six months when stored in a cool, dark place.

The Kilner range of today includes clip top jars, handled drinking jars, screw top and clip top bottles, push top knobstopper jars, home brewing kits, and accessories for preserving and home brewing.

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