I'm new to canning... last night I canned some tomatoes. I just diced them and raw packed them. I was pushing them down a little to make sure the jar was full and leaving 1/2" head space... but after processing, there is a lot of space in the top of the jar, at least full inch, and there is tomato sitting above the juices. These were roma tomatoes, not super juicy, and I didn't add any additional water or anything, just 1/2 tsp salt to each pint (I was following a very old copy of "Putting Food By"). The jars did seal, but I'm wondering if these are safe to store?
Well, the amount of headspace isn't really an issue. The recommended headspace is the minimum amount you need to get a good seal on it so you should be okay there.
Not sure about the separating if you didn't pack it with water. I mean, they have a large water content but I would think it would take a while to have them separate. I watched it happened with tomatoes that were a year or many years old (yup--MANY) but I don't recall it ever happening immediately after processing. Maybe someone else knows.
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I'm not sure I understand what you mean by separating... there just wasn't that much juice in there to begin with, but my recipe specifically said not to add water. If there is tomato sitting above the juices, does that mean it is not safe to eat?
No, I don't think so. I think it's fine. I guess I'm picturing something different than what you're talking about...? If there was no additional water I'm trying to envision how you would see tomatoes sitting on top of liquid...
If it's sealed and you can push the top and not hear a "click" (so that you KNOW it's sealed) then it should be fine.