"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Canning and Preserving
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-12-2007, 10:01 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Exclamation ISO help. Two newbie questions on strawberry jam

Ok, so I dove into canning headfirst without my usual tedious research . Went to pick 15# of strawberries and had to put them up asap. I followed directions fairly meticulously but there were a few things I did not know: For one that it takes the jam cooling in order to fully verify your seal. So I was poking about in a panic right after they came out of the water bath. When they cooled most had the vacuum seal (no give or clicky sound at all) but some did not. However, when I pushed these lids IN and they did NOT pop back out. Now they look like the other lids. Are these valid seals or did I help it along and they're really no good? The worst part is that I was NOT paying attention to which of these were poped up in the sea of jars .

I also wanted to know if it's ok that there is condensation on the top of the lids (inside). The jar I opened did make that nice whooshing pop sound but had a few drops of water on the lid.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm certainly not going to give these jars to anyone if there's a chance it will make them sick or worse .

Chezmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2007, 10:25 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 16,324
First of all, welcome to DC, Chezmo.

Well, you were certainly ambitious with your strawberry efforts. Whew! Fifteen pounds of the beautiful ruby fruits.

I don't have the answer to your question but, have patience, someone with knowledge of this area of canning will come along and offer help.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 07:44 AM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
Uncle Bob's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,541
Miss chezmo...

My guess is that the jars are properly sealed! I would however watch them in the coming days by just looking at them, not pressing the lids.

In the future when canning take the jars out of the hot water bath (or pressure canner) and let them cool naturally. Do not press the lids. They will let you know as each jar seals itself by making a small "ping" sound. Don't be impatient as they will not seal at the same time. Occassionaly for various reasons one will not seal and depending on the item can be reprocessed! Most of them time however in the case of jams and jellies if one does not seal. It goes in the refrigerator and is enjoyed first! Hopes this helps and..

There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2007, 10:30 PM   #4
Assistant Cook
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Thanks a ton for your response Uncle Bob! Very helpful indeed
Chezmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2007, 11:15 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 57
Everything Uncle Bob said and a few additional pointers I got from my Mom. She always boiled the jars, lids and rings first. She always said to start hot water bath with cold water just covering the tallest jar. Remove hot jars carefully and allow to cool in a draft free area.

I used to have the job of counting the pops each jar made to confirm the finished batch. Once the jars have cooled we always stored the jars with out the rings. Removing the rings was also a test for jars that didn’t have a good seal. Use a new lid if you reprocess.
Use a clean spoon if you just sample the goods.
Mirandgl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 07:02 PM   #6
Assistant Cook
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9
Hey Chezmo,
I have a large hi-producing strawberry patch and want to make jam. Did you use a product such as Sure-Jel? Please tell me how you made yours. I have never made jam before. thank you.
Ms. Roxie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 10:14 PM   #7
Assistant Cook
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Hi Ms. Roxie, Well I am thee most definitely, decidedly LAST person you want telling you how to make jam as my ENTIRE batch went moldy or worse . I did a few things very wrong and I think that taught me more than if I had been lucky and gotten away with it as a first timer. I used Sure-Jel on one batch and Pamona's on another. I believe that these were my foibles:

1) Not long enough processing time with a full boil and enough water covering the top of the jars.
2) I fussed with the lids after they had been processed (tightening).
3) My batches were too large.
4) Tried the low sugar variety right off the bat. It's, in my experience, usually best to stick with a tried and true formula when trying something for the first time (Did I listen to that voice of reason?? Nope).

I think I would also use a real canner/pressure cooker (or whaever) next time because it was really...REALLY painful to lose 15# of strawberries! Just do all of your homework and you will rock the jam! Good luck
Chezmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 12:00 AM   #8
Assistant Cook
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9
On a separate thread I asked about how to best utilize and preserve my strawberry patch. Most said pick a product and follow that recipe. The elder females in my family canned and preserved. Although, a handful are still alive, they "can't seem" to remember the process. I have yet to encounter a "pilgrims guide to preserving". Such a simple tradition seems so difficult. Anyway, I'm sorry your batch wasn't great this time. I'm sure between your mistakes, and mine...we will be strawberry experts. I'll keep you posted on my jam and thanks for naming your foibles... I will pay attention to those.
Ms. Roxie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 06:18 AM   #9
Master Chef
bethzaring's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 5,549
Check your library for books on canning. Or eBay. Or your local county extension office. There really is a lot of information out there on canning. I am sure someone will come along with a few links to websites concerning canning. I prefer the book in front of me though.

I also use a sure-gel type product. Mine is made by the Ball canning jar co. and is called Fruit Jell Pectin. Wonderful product. It works beautifully when you follow the enclosed directions.

Good luck.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
bethzaring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 08:14 AM   #10
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 80
I use sure jell to make jams. I just puree the fruit (strawberries, peaches) to get the amount of fruit called for--usually 4C.
I use clean jars from the dishwasher, boil the lids and rings. Fill jars with hot jam to the top, put on lids and rings and turn over. I don't water process high sugar concentrations like jam.
The seal, in addition to being "pulled down", makes a dull sound when hit with your fingernail, not a "bright" click sound.
For blueberry or blackberry jelly, I boil the fruit and strain out the seeds. Blueberries make a great syrup--add sugar to the juice and boil to the syrup stage, just short of the jell stage.
Charleysaunt is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.