07/02/2012 08:09 am ET | Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Seal Canning Jars In A Cardboard Box

If you've ever made homemade jam or pickles, you know how pleasurable it is to enjoy something you've made yourself. But you have to preserve them properly, and the water-bath method that most people employ can be quite cumbersome. But we've got an idea that works every time that's easier than anything you've done before.

Here's a MacGyver trick that you can try at home the next time you're canning. Take a cardboard box with a lid or with flaps that you can fold in, and line it thickly with many cloth towels. After you've filled your jars with hot jam or pickles and screwed the metal lids on, place the jars in the box, making sure they're tightly nestled into the towels, and then close the box. Leave the jars overnight and the next day you will have jars that have sealed themselves -- it's all because of the residual heat. You know your jars are sealed when you press on the center of each lid and you don't get that clicking sound. Store jars of homemade jam for up to 1 year in your pantry.

Do you have a special way to seal canning jars without a water bath? Let us know in the comments below.