Back to basics with Fowlers Vacola

The Fowlers Vacola preserving kit is the most popular canning and preserving product in Australia. It was first developed right in Melbourne by Joseph Fowler in 1915. The Fowlers Vacola canning system uses a system of glass jars, stainless steel or other metal lids, and rubber rings, to seal the two together.

In this regard, it is not vastly different from the mason jars developed separately in America. The chief difference is that the lids of the Fowlers Vacola system are not threaded. Instead, they are temporarily secured by steel tension clips, while the jars are still hot, and then removed once the contents have cooled enough to develop a vacuum seal.

The Fowlers Vacola food storage solutions are still manufactured in Australia, and are available both from the company itself, and in several hardware stores. The glass jars, and stainless steel lids are quite sturdy, and there is a healthy trade in used kits, and individual components on eBay.

From preserving kits and dehydrators, preserving accessories to preserving aids, you can find a wide range of Fowlers Vacola items here on eBay.

Fowlers Vacola preserving kit

The preserving kit is suitable for preserving most kinds of fruits, and vegetables, including quinces, plums, pineapple, pears, peaches, passionfruit, mangoes, grapes, all types of citrus fruit, tomatoes, cherries, and berries of all kinds, as well as apples, and apricots.

Other products in the Fowlers Vacola range

Fowlers Vacola also makes canning accessories, such as a heated water bath for sterilisation, specialised tongs, Fowlers Vacola Bottle Tongs, for lifting the hot bottles, or jars, replacement preserver rings, Fowlers Vacola Jamsetta with pectin, and specialised sterilisation thermometer.

Fowler's method of bottling fruits and vegetables

Originally a sort of instruction manual for the Fowlers Vacola canning kit, this book has been published in 26 separate editions in the 100-year-plus history of the company. Some enthusiasts consider early editions of the book, in good condition, to be quite collectable.