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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