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Pressure Canning Question--Need Help ASAP

Posted by TheLunaticOnTheGrass none (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 2, 12 at 15:22

Hi everyone. It is my third time ussing my pressure canner and I processed three quart-sized jars of chili. One of them popped almost immediately after I removed them from the canner. The other two failed to seal. This morning, about 14 hours after they had been removed from the canner, I pressed the lids to check which ones had sealed. One of the lids that failed to seal actually sealed when I pressed it down. The dimple did not pop back up, and the lid seems secure.

I do not quite know what to make of this situation. I am worried that bacteria may have gotten into the jar during the 14 hours of being unsealed. Should I reprocess both jars or just the one that is still unsealed?

I only have 2-4 hours left to reprocess them, so quick advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pressure Canning Question--Need Help ASAP

OPen the 2 that did not seal - the finger press isn't a valid seal - wipe off the rims, put on new lids and reprocess them before the 24 hours is up.

What happened is usually caused by boil over that leaves foods on the rim blocking a seal. Make sure your headspace is correct and the bands are screwed on correctly.


RE: Pressure Canning Question--Need Help ASAP

Thanks a lot, Dave. I am reprocessing now. You were right, the finger-pressed lid came off very easily after all. I think I did not have quite enough head space the first time, but I filled them correctly this time. Fingers crossed!

RE: Pressure Canning Question--Need Help ASAP

I hope you removed the chili from the jars, brought it back to the boil and re-filled fresh hot jars before applying new lids.

Also, be careful about maintaining a steady pressure to avoid siphoning from the jars and be generous with the wait time before removing jars from the canner. If pressure has not really returned to true zero, there can be siphoning when you remove the weight from the canner.

If you continue to have difficulty (some recipes are just more challenging), consider a thinner chili, not cooking it down so far.


RE: Pressure Canning Question--Need Help ASAP

Thanks Carol. My jars failed to seal again the second time (I realized just a little too late that I forgot to properly vent it), but I am learning. I really appreciate all the advice. I will certainly be using these forums frequently from now on. Hopefully by the time my tomato crop starts to come in, I will be better prepared to can my sauce and salsa.

Also, I did not know to remove and reheat the chili before reprocessing. Thanks for letting me know.

RE: Pressure Canning Question--Need Help ASAP

It's all part of the learning curve, so pat yourself on the back for what you have achieved, learn from the less-than-successful efforts, and move on.

The chili can still be refrigerated or frozen, so you've lost some work but the food can be salvaged.

You might want to re-read the NCHFP instructions on using a pressure canner to see if you can pick up some additional tips. The canner manuals are seldom revised, and their instructions for the canning process are often out of date. I use the manual only for instructions on the canner itself (like how much water to put in).

Also, since a lot of canning is seasonal, it's easy to forget things. I make notes of each item I can, what works, where the problems were, so that next canning season I'm not "re-inventing the wheel" so to speak.

I also re-read the canner instructions every season, for the same reason.

Whenever you re-process something, you're basically starting fresh, so you have to dump the product out of the jars, get those jars or others clean and hot, new lids, clean rings. Product is re-heated because processing times are predicated on a hot chili in the jars. (The exception would be raw-packed foods.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Using Pressure Canners

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