Can I thaw marinara and then pressure can it?

austinb82(USDA 8)December 5, 2012

Hi. This summer we had a very bountiful tomato crop and we made some home made spaghetti sauce without meat added. We were going to can it but when we looked at the USDA guidlines it recommended pressure canning it and we didn't have a pressure canner at the time. We followed all the steps we would take if we were going to water bath can it by washing mason jars, sterilizing lids and hot packing the jars but then put the jars in the freezer.

So now we are running out of freezer room but we recently acquired a pressure canner. I was wondering if it would be safe to thoroughly thaw the jars and then pressure can them following USDA guidelines for meatless spaghetti sauce to free up some freezer space?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Assuming you used a recipe that is pH and density safe for canning then yes, you can thaw and can it.

However, the sauce has to be jarred hot for the processing time given to be valid so the jars will have to be fully thawed, all dumped into a pot, heated fully, re-jarred hot into clean jars with fresh lids and then fully processed in the PC.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:31PM
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austinb82(USDA 8)

It was mostly tomatoes with a few peppers, some corn and oregano and thyme. Since it is primarily tomato based which is borderline for pH with a water bath canner is there any reason why it would not be ok with a pressure canner?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:37AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Yes. It isn't just a matter of pH, though corn is very low. Density is also an issue and corn is one of the most dense vegetables out there. This isn't a tested recipe and so there's no way of knowing for certain an appropriate processing time. I suppose you could just pick a really long time, like that for creamed corn or even fish but then the risk is significant loss of quality.

You've already expended time, energy, lids on the frozen sauce. If you're not desperate for the freezer space, I'd leave it where it is. The money's already been spent.

If freezer space is tight, I'd thaw the sauce, bag in freezer bags, lay to freeze flat and then stack.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 4:48AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree that with the corn, very unusual for marina, the issue changes. Density - time required for full heat penetration - is the most important issue with pressure canning, not just the corn but the thickness of the sauce over-all. The necessary processing time would more than triple from 20-25 min. to 85 min. and quality would decline substantially.

Your best bet is to do as Carol suggested - freeze in flat bags.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:05AM
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