Caning Seal Woes

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Sona

Assistant Cook
Joined
Feb 10, 2024
Messages
5
Location
Texas
I seem to be having a lot of trouble getting my canning to stay properly. I fill the contents to 1/4" from the edge, I water seal them for ten minutes, but sometimes the jar seals still just randomly fail. Would a vacuum sealer work better?
 
Welcome to the forum!

We'll need more info, such as size of jars, what you are canning, what you did with the jars and lids before filling. As for a vacuum sealer, if you mean a pressure canner, some things require this - only acidic things or high sugar things can be done in a water bath, and 10 minutes is less than most call for. Usually it starts at 15 min for pints, so maybe you are working with 8 oz or smaller. As for an actual vacuum sealer, that wouldn't be used for canning - just dry ingredients, and the like.
 
When you say you fill it to 1/4th inch, then, is that the required headspace for your item? (Item, headspace in inches?) Say tomatoes might be 1/4th inch.

When you say you seal it for ten minutes, do you mean your water bath canner was boiling with the jars for 10 minutes or something else? (describe your method?)

Vacuum sealers remove the air but do not sterilize the contents and push the air out. It would not be 'canned' or safe except for storing dry goods.
 
Welcome to the forum!

We'll need more info, such as size of jars, what you are canning, what you did with the jars and lids before filling. As for a vacuum sealer, if you mean a pressure canner, some things require this - only acidic things or high sugar things can be done in a water bath, and 10 minutes is less than most call for. Usually it starts at 15 min for pints, so maybe you are working with 8 oz or smaller. As for an actual vacuum sealer, that wouldn't be used for canning - just dry ingredients, and the like.
I keep the jars and lids in a pot of boiling water to bring them to the temperature of the fruit preserves before pouring in. Usually 8oz and 4oz jars. Sorry for not stating earlier, but I do a lot of things with fruits. Preserves, jams, marmalades and the like. I was thinking of buying this to get a better seal.
 
When you say you fill it to 1/4th inch, then, is that the required headspace for your item? (Item, headspace in inches?) Say tomatoes might be 1/4th inch.

When you say you seal it for ten minutes, do you mean your water bath canner was boiling with the jars for 10 minutes or something else? (describe your method?)

Vacuum sealers remove the air but do not sterilize the contents and push the air out. It would not be 'canned' or safe except for storing dry goods.
IIRC 1/4" from the top of the rim. And you're right on the sealing. I heat the jars and lids up while cooking, pour the contents in, seal the jars, put back in boiling water for ten minutes, take out, and let sit for a day.
 
It should seal with what you are doing. If the rolling boil slows down or stops when you put the closed jars in it, wait until it is back and at a rolling boil and time it for 10 minutes. I usually have mine slow down when the top is off the canner and the jars aren't as hot as the water, so then I put the lid back until it gets to a rolling boil, then time it.

If you decide to try to recan the ones that didn't seal. Start with removing the lid, making sure the level is at 1/4 inch from the top, wipe the rim of the glass with a paper towel and a few drops of vinegar, then put a new lid on it and the ring. Then instead of starting with boiling water, start with lukewarm water, put the jars in, cover it and turn it on high. Once it gets to a rolling boil, time for 10 minutes, then remove.
 
I checked that vacuum sealer out, and way down in the description they tell you how much longer storage it gives you for some things, usually just several days. DEFINITELY not for sterilizing. I do things like that with my Foodsaver, to vacuum seal some dry goods, I don't use very often.
 
I too, looked at that Electric Vacuum sealer. It is strictly for dry goods. Not jams nor jellies, etc. I'm afraid it would suck liquid up into the "vacuum" and make a huge mess.

Go back and do as bliss has described. Let us know how it works out or you!
 
I apologize for taking so long to respond to you, bad habit of not checking. When I first seal, I pour the freshly hot contents into the already boiling jars, seal, and put back into the water and leave the heat on so it stays boiling constantly for 10 minutes, then take out. Sometimes the seals just... fail a week or two later. Needless to say, thank you for the advice.
It should seal with what you are doing. If the rolling boil slows down or stops when you put the closed jars in it, wait until it is back and at a rolling boil and time it for 10 minutes. I usually have mine slow down when the top is off the canner and the jars aren't as hot as the water, so then I put the lid back until it gets to a rolling boil, then time it.

If you decide to try to recan the ones that didn't seal. Start with removing the lid, making sure the level is at 1/4 inch from the top, wipe the rim of the glass with a paper towel and a few drops of vinegar, then put a new lid on it and the ring. Then instead of starting with boiling water, start with lukewarm water, put the jars in, cover it and turn it on high. Once it gets to a rolling boil, time for 10 minutes, then remove.
 
I too, looked at that Electric Vacuum sealer. It is strictly for dry goods. Not jams nor jellies, etc. I'm afraid it would suck liquid up into the "vacuum" and make a huge mess.

Go back and do as bliss has described. Let us know how it works out or you!
Well phooey. Is there any sealers more meant for wet contents like preserves?
 

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