Canning ? If lids don't seal... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I made some plum jam yesterday and the lids didn't seal. If I store it in the fridge, how long should it be good for? I processed the jars in a water bath for ten minutes. The lids are the one-piece kind, (that's what they use here.)
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#2 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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i'd say a few weeks at least (and ours never live that long, so it's hard to say)..
one trick my dh taught me was to turn the jelly upside down while you fill the next jar (after the lid's on) just for a few minutes, then right it when you finish the following jar. not sure why it helps but all ours sealed up this go round.

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#3 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank for for the tip about turning the jars over. I made another batch this morning and once again, the lids didn't seal! They were both small batches and I intend to give a few jars away to family, so I'm sure they'll be eaten before they go bad. I did some research on the one-piece lids and discovered that this is often a problem with them. So I am definitely going to be turning the jars over the next time.
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#4 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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You can re-process your previous batches with new lids to see if you can get them to seal. That way you don't have to worry about going through jars and jars of jam right away

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#5 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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Depends on the food, but jam and pickles I'd go for a few months. I'd equate it with a just opened jar of the same product.
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#6 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Yes, it will last quite a while. You can also pop them back into the water bath and reprocess them if you're confident there's nothing onthe rim preventing sealing.

I always flip my jars until they cool. Metal and glass cool at different rates, and the contents will keep the glass hot for hours. Inverting the jar keeps the lid hot so that it doesn't contract faster than the jar.

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#7 of 20 Old 06-23-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Yes, it will last quite a while. You can also pop them back into the water bath and reprocess them if you're confident there's nothing onthe rim preventing sealing.

I always flip my jars until they cool. Metal and glass cool at different rates, and the contents will keep the glass hot for hours. Inverting the jar keeps the lid hot so that it doesn't contract faster than the jar.
i wondered about that!!!! tfs the why!

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#8 of 20 Old 06-23-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hildare View Post
i'd say a few weeks at least (and ours never live that long, so it's hard to say)..
one trick my dh taught me was to turn the jelly upside down while you fill the next jar (after the lid's on) just for a few minutes, then right it when you finish the following jar. not sure why it helps but all ours sealed up this go round.
This is not safe. It's called "open kettle canning". Google it.
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#9 of 20 Old 06-23-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your input, everyone. It's a relief to know the jam should be fine for a few months.

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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
This is not safe. It's called "open kettle canning". Google it.
I thought open kettle canning also involved not processing the jars in a water bath. Does it make any difference if you do a water bath, then invert the jars?
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#10 of 20 Old 06-23-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I thought open kettle canning also involved not processing the jars in a water bath. Does it make any difference if you do a water bath, then invert the jars?
Yes, open kettle is technically without processing, however the web pages that talk about it will also talk about why it's important to not invert your jars and what I have read kind of lumps oven canning, inversion and true open kettle all together under the title "open kettle canning" when discussing unsafe practices.

The reason you wipe the rims then leave headspace in the jars is to ensure that there is no food near the lid and seal. The instructions for every canning recipe tells you to bring the jars out of the canner completely upright, to not tilt them at all... to get a clean seal. When you invert them, the food can get on the seal and even if they "ping", you can't guarantee it's creating a sterilized seal.
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#11 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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I think, maybe, and i'm still trying to read about it.. that the acidity of the food you're canning might make a difference re: the danger of open kettle. i'm glad you mentioned that, though.

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#12 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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They should be fine for a couple months in the fridge.

Quote:
The reason you wipe the rims then leave headspace in the jars is to ensure that there is no food near the lid and seal. The instructions for every canning recipe tells you to bring the jars out of the canner completely upright, to not tilt them at all... to get a clean seal. When you invert them, the food can get on the seal and even if they "ping", you can't guarantee it's creating a sterilized seal.
I wouldn't recommend turning the cans upside down.

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I think, maybe, and i'm still trying to read about it.. that the acidity of the food you're canning might make a difference re: the danger of open kettle. i'm glad you mentioned that, though.
Open kettle canning is dangerous no matter what the acidity of the food is. Obviously it's *more* dangerous for low-acidity foods, but even in high acidity foods, it increases the spoilage risk.

And yes, inverting jars during the canning process is considered "open kettle canning" and not safe. (Not chastising anyone here, it's your business, just saying!)
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#13 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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well PHOOEY! We're going to have to majorly bump up our jelly consumption around here, then! I am seriously glad you guys mentioned this before the tomato canning frenzy begins, though.

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#14 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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If the jars aren't too full, you could put some in the freezer so they last longer.

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#15 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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I have a neighbor who inverts all his tomatoes and pickles and it makes me nervous. I found out because I saw him pick one up off his counter to give to me. I hated to do it, but I dumped the contents of the jars he'd previously given us out for my chickens. It was probably fine because he'd just made it a couple of days before, but I still won't eat it. He even leaves them inverted until he remembers to put them up in the cabinet. I tried to tell him it's not safe, but someone he knows does it, and when this guy listens to this other guy he only listens to part of it so imo it's doubly unsafe.

My sister was telling me that she was doing this and I was very concerned. She was doing it to be frugal. She didn't want to heat the house too much, and didn't want to pay for using the burner that long.

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#16 of 20 Old 06-25-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
The reason you wipe the rims then leave headspace in the jars is to ensure that there is no food near the lid and seal. The instructions for every canning recipe tells you to bring the jars out of the canner completely upright, to not tilt them at all... to get a clean seal. When you invert them, the food can get on the seal and even if they "ping", you can't guarantee it's creating a sterilized seal.
I have 2 problems with this. 1- taking them out of the canner completely upright guarantees that the lids will be full of boiling water that I will invariably dump on myself. 2- when I made pickled beets recently, the bath water was pink at the end of the processing time. No way that happened without the jars leaking - so the "clean rim" isn't so clean. I've been paying attention, and every time since then, the bath water is obviously contaminated from the jars leaking.

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#17 of 20 Old 06-25-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
I have 2 problems with this. 1- taking them out of the canner completely upright guarantees that the lids will be full of boiling water that I will invariably dump on myself. 2- when I made pickled beets recently, the bath water was pink at the end of the processing time. No way that happened without the jars leaking - so the "clean rim" isn't so clean. I've been paying attention, and every time since then, the bath water is obviously contaminated from the jars leaking.
Yes, the lids have boiling water standing on them. I've never spilled it on myself, though. I do *not* ever tilt my jars. The only thing I water bath can, though is jam. Everything else gets the pressure treatment, so standing water on the lids is not an issue for me for 90% of my canning.

If the water was contaminated, then yes, I'd say your jars were overfilled and leaked. This has happened to me before once when I was water bath canning jam and once for corn. For the jam, I reprocessed, but for the corn I didn't want to reprocess and completely destroy the nutrients nor take the time. I made a large pot of corn chowder that I froze instead.
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#18 of 20 Old 06-25-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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Ok, I went and double-checked because what you were saying did not sound like anything I had heard before. According to my Ball Blue Book of Preserving, there is nothing in there that says not to tip the jars as you pull them out of the water bath. It does say not to invert them, but it specifies that it is because it can prevent a proper seal. It also says to physically check for a proper seal (rather than visually checking) on every jar, and if it's sealed you're good.

It also says that some over-run in the water bath is normal, not something to be concerned about.

Quote:
Inverting jars, moving jars, or storing jars in a box while still warm are all factors that can cause seal failure or spoilage.
Quote:
You may notice a slight decrease in the food and/or liquid levels... result from a siphoning of the liquid during processing. Should you notice a change, do not open the jars to add product or liquid. The sealed jars should be stored as is.
Quote:
...test the lids to determine if a vacuum seal has formed... If the center does not flex up and down and you cannot lift the lid off, the lid has a good vacuum seal.
I even checked their website to see if they had more current info on it, and they don't. Since Ball is the "Bible" of canning, I'm going to stick with it on the proper processing of my canned goods. Canning does not have to be that complicated. There's a reason so many people are intimidated to try it - they're told that the slightest mistake can kill them.

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#19 of 20 Old 06-25-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I've slightly tilted mine to get off the water for years and years, and have never ever had a problem. I've also had some leakage while processing, but never worried because everything I ever read said it was normal. My children have been raised on healthy home-canned foods for years.

Speaking of safe canning....please make sure to take your pressure cookers to your county extension office yearly for a safety check!

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#20 of 20 Old 06-25-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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Places like the USDA's website, as does my former extension office's guide (page 3, step 10) as well as MANY others state that you should not tilt the jars. When you google about it, use the word "tilt", not "tip".
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