Dear Frugal Upstate,
Do you have any posts on canning? I had my first experience yesterday, with tomatoes, and the seals are popping up and down! Now I have 7 large jars that I need to use soon! Help!!
Yes indeed I do! I did an entire pictorial post!
Now for help with your jars that didn’t seal. Usually if I have just one or two jars that don’t seal I’ll stick them in the fridge and use them up in the next week or so. Since you had 7 jars you may just want to reprocess instead of using them up.
Reprocessing is easy-just remember, you want to put hot food into hot jars. Just dump it all in a pot, get it hot again and follow the entire canning process again using clean hot jars & new lids. With some foods the additional cooking may cause it to be mushy-but this shouldn’t be much of a problem with canned tomatoes.
Why did the problem happen in the first place? My guess would be that your problem is one of three things:
1. You may not have left enough head space in your jar, which would cause the food to push out of the jar and get between the rim of the jar and the seal of the lid.
2. You may not have wiped the rims of your jar well enough which would again cause something to get into the seal. While you are at it, make sure you don’t have any nicks or cracks in the glass rim-that would also cause failure.
3. There is also the possibly that you are not heating up the lids enough before putting them on. That rubberized ring on the inside of the lid has to be heated enough to get soft.
Now, just take a deep breath and try again-it’s fine! We all have fails and we all have to learn. It’s a skill and while it can be a bit finicky (more of a science than an art if you know what I mean) it is something you really can master!
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