Safety question - air at the top

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erinsue1

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 17, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Gibsonia, PA
I canned some quart jars of peaches, and when I pulled them from the hot water bath, the liquid inside was bubbling up and out of the jars. I’m wondering if I didn’t have the lids screwed on tight enough.

Now there are a few jars that have a significant amount of air at the top (maybe 1/4 of the jar). The jar lids popped fine. Are these safe to put away or should I refrigerate and consume?
 

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blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,746
They are fine to store.
When liquid comes out while hot, into the environment which is not as hot, it is called siphoning.


You don't mention if you are using metal lids or reusable tattler lids. Either way, they must be tight enough but not so tight to prevent hot air from boiling within the jar from coming out. If they are tight enough (finger tip tight), they will seal when air stops coming out and the boiling/steaming is done. That is, unless a piece of fruit or peel or seed, comes between the lid the the rim and it will not seal.


Your lids must have been tight enough, if they sealed.



To avoid siphoning, when the waterbath time is up, turn off the heat, and move the lid from fitting, to an inch off, cock the lid, to allow cooling but only a little. The temperature in the water will drop, as will the peaches, (they are in the same environment, and won't siphon). After about 5-10 minutes, remove the top completely and then remove the jars to a surface with a towel.


The rule of thumb in siphoning, is that if there is at least half the jar that still has liquid then it is safe to store. If more than half the liquid is gone, then it is not safe to store.


Your peaches look great! We canned peach salsa yesterday too.
 

erinsue1

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 17, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Gibsonia, PA
What a helpful response, thank you so so much! I used metal lids and rings. I’m so glad to know they’re safe to put up and consume later. I’ve never had this happen before after several years of canning, so thank you for the thorough explanation, I really appreciate it!

They are fine to store.
When liquid comes out while hot, into the environment which is not as hot, it is called siphoning.


You don't mention if you are using metal lids or reusable tattler lids. Either way, they must be tight enough but not so tight to prevent hot air from boiling within the jar from coming out. If they are tight enough (finger tip tight), they will seal when air stops coming out and the boiling/steaming is done. That is, unless a piece of fruit or peel or seed, comes between the lid the the rim and it will not seal.


Your lids must have been tight enough, if they sealed.



To avoid siphoning, when the waterbath time is up, turn off the heat, and move the lid from fitting, to an inch off, cock the lid, to allow cooling but only a little. The temperature in the water will drop, as will the peaches, (they are in the same environment, and won't siphon). After about 5-10 minutes, remove the top completely and then remove the jars to a surface with a towel.


The rule of thumb in siphoning, is that if there is at least half the jar that still has liquid then it is safe to store. If more than half the liquid is gone, then it is not safe to store.


Your peaches look great! We canned peach salsa yesterday too.
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
869
it is NOT NOT safe.
stuff boiling / foaming out of the jars contaminates the jar to lid seal and can/will allow air to slowly seep back into the jar(s)


jar lids must NOT be screwed on super tight during water canning.
the lid MUST allow expanded air (only) to escape so when they are cooled, a vacuum holds the lids tight.


remove the lids, clean the jar tops, use new lids (NEVER reused canning lids) and reprocess.
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,746
dcSaute, do you have any references where we can learn what you have said?


Here the the basic guidelines from the National Center for Home Food Preservation about how to react to this:


"If liquid has been lost from jars, but the jars have sealed, do not reopen them to replace it. Use those jars first or food may become discolored.



If more than half of the liquid in the jars has been lost, the food may not be adequately processed. In this situation, break the seal on the lid, refrigerate the jar and use it within 2 to 3 days.”
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
869
just read all of the instructions in the referenced documents.
_anything_ that interrupts a clean seal of the jar to lid is a problem.
 

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