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Information and discussion about canning and dehydrating tomatoes and other garden vegetables and fruits. DISCLAIMER: SOME RECIPES MAY NOT COMPLY WITH CURRENT FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES - FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK

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Old July 25, 2013   #1
sjoella
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Default canning lids during processing

i admit i dont know much about canning, very basic so i pay attention to how i should prep, how i should fill, process times and whatnot...

i always have a couple of lids that expand to much? and while they "pop" after processing (when i say this i mean that air tight seal type of pop), i dont know that i want to store them like i should be able to.

take for instance, i just canned stewed tomatoes. they are quart jars and have 1/2" - 3/4" head space after filled with juice. i used sterile jars and lids...half way thru the process time the lids are not flush on all jars only half of them are...the other lids are slightly expanded/popped...when i take them out, i know they will pop down creating that seal i want...but the lid will still have a tiny crease outwards type i cant describe it well...

what am i doing wrong or can you even tell what i am trying to say!?

Last edited by sjoella; July 25, 2013 at 07:38 PM.
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Old July 25, 2013   #2
Patihum
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This is a new one on me and I've been canning for 20+ years. I can only think of a couple of things to ask. Are you using regular canning jars? Are your lids hot when you put them on and are you tightening them down finger tight? You might want to call your local extension service and ask their advice.
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Old July 25, 2013   #3
joseph
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Sounds to me like you are tightening the rings too tight.
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Old July 25, 2013   #4
Doug9345
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I'm assuming your are using a hot water bath. I've always pressure canned and when I pull the jars, the lids are always bulged up from the pressure in the jar. I not sure what you mean by a tiny crease. What brand jars and lids are you using. If I'm going to lose a seal on a jar it's usually in the first day or two. The cause is usually from some particle of food that got under the lid seal.

Sometimes I've had jars not seal. I call those dinner.

The only possible I can think of is that you are really tighting the rings down. They only need to be snug, not cranked on.

Last edited by Doug9345; July 25, 2013 at 07:48 PM.
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Old July 25, 2013   #5
coronabarb
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Agree with above, the lids should 'ping' and dimple inwards at some point after removing from water bath. An upward bulge at all is indicative of not a good enough vacuum seal and the food is not safe to store at room temp. It can be from not leaving enough headspace or tightening lids too much. You can reprocess or refrigerate or freeze. Make sure you are using only approved canning jars, lids and rings and nothing with rust...always use new lids. Don't use leftover store product jars (like spaghetti sauce jars). Follow approved directions such as local extension or Ball Blue Book. Next time, see if you can take a picture. :-D
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Old July 26, 2013   #6
Rockporter
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I would take those lids off and take a look at the seal, you might have some that are defective in some way but otherwise I am with everyone else. Those should be sealing and if they have not you can always reprocess with a new lid and only tighten finger tight and let them cool after they have sealed then you can tighten the rings.

Some folks I know don't use the rings for storage but I do because I want to make sure there is no way for the lid to be popped off somehow when someone other than myself is rifling through the goods.
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Old July 26, 2013   #7
lurley
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You might have lids that have buckled. Its rare in water bath canning, happens more often in pressure canning. You may be over tightening the rings or have poor quality lids. Many people reported a higher incidence last year of buckled lids when ball changed their lids from gold to silver and changed how they made the lids at that time.

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Old July 26, 2013   #8
sjoella
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sounds like i am doing 2 things wrong...

1 head space--maybe this is it, i certainly tried to pay close attention
2 i do tighten the lids down good...real good!

next go around i will give just a little more space, and not crank down the lids...i will go for snug

i am using Ball jars and new lids/rings.

bulge is a better word to describe what happens, i could not for the life of me grab that word in my head when i was typing :p and when all was said and done last night 2 qts went into the fridge. I know when the seal is not met, dont even try to put on a shelf. I am ok with that being dinner

Thank you ALL for the helpful advice!
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Old July 26, 2013   #9
Doug9345
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1/2" to 3/4" sounds about right to me. I'd have to look it up to see if it's different for a hot water bath.

Here's the process I go through for a canner load of food.

I gather 7 jars. That's what my canner holds.
Check the sealing edge for chips nicks or imperfections that would stop them from sealing. I do this by not only looking but also running my finger along the sealing surface of the jar. I'd do this on new jars as well as old. Remember most canning is done in used jars and things can happen in storage.

I then wash them

I get 7 lids out of the package, separate them, and exam the rubber seals in the lids for imperfections. I drop them as I look at them into a pan of hot water sealing surface up. I make sure they aren't setting tight on top of each other but spread around a little. Two hot, wet lids aren't the easiest things to separate. I drop them sealing surface up because that seems to be the easiest way for me to get a grip on them in the water YMMV.

Next I fill the jars. After I fill them I take a clean dish cloth and carefully wipe the sealing surface and threads. No matter how careful you are filling the jars you will will drip a certain amount of food on the seal. That jar either won't seal or it will come unsealed shortly.

Process according to instructions. When you take them from the canner use your jar tongs and grab them below the glass ring and not by the metal ring. Set them on the counter table or where you put them with a little space between them. it helps the jars cool and you don't want to be banging the rings and lids until they seal and cool.

I've never taken the rings off until the next day when they are cool.

I generally take the rings off fir storage because when we were doing a lot of canning we had way more jars than rings and I personally have found that it takes a major prying effort to get well sealed lids off.
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Old July 26, 2013   #10
Rockporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjoella View Post
sounds like i am doing 2 things wrong...

1 head space--maybe this is it, i certainly tried to pay close attention
2 i do tighten the lids down good...real good!

next go around i will give just a little more space, and not crank down the lids...i will go for snug
If by snug you mean finger tight, great, but you want the air to escape from between the lids and jar tops.

Make sure you clean the jars with a clean wet rag before placing the lids/rings on them.

As for head space, if you use the shoulder of the jar for reference when filling, you will do good not to pass the shoulder of the jar.


Two going into the frig isn't bad, I'd be happy with that.

I wanted to make clear my thoughts on finger tight here. My husband thinks finger tight for him would be easy for me to open but alas, I may as well just bring it to him to open because there is no way my hands can pry it off. If you happen to have very strong fingers might I suggest you find someone else to do the "finger tight" tightening of the lids.
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Last edited by Rockporter; July 26, 2013 at 05:25 PM.
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Old July 26, 2013   #11
joseph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjoella View Post
next go around i will give just a little more space, and not crank down the lids...i will go for snug
That still seems too tight... Air needs to be able to escape from the jar. When we say finger tight, I think that we are meaning one finger and one thumb, lightly applied until the first hint of resistance is felt, not a palm, and not a thumb and 4 fingers, not a jar gripper.... The vacuum will hold the lid on the jar after it comes out of the canner.

Last edited by joseph; July 26, 2013 at 05:22 PM.
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Old July 26, 2013   #12
sjoella
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Doug, what you explained is pretty much what I do...so at least i am on the right track thank you!

Rock...think man hands! haha!!

Joseph...i am actually glad you elaborated, i would have used all fingers and thumb...i will use the 2 finger way next time

yall are wonderful resources! thanks again...
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Old July 30, 2013   #13
sjoella
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drum roll....

ok so....i filled all jars to the neck, and used the 2 finger rule on placing the lids and every single thing i processed was perfection...

yall are wonderful!

thanks again for the guidance...i needed it!
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Old July 30, 2013   #14
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Yay! Wonderful! Glad to hear it was a success!
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Old August 9, 2013   #15
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Great!!! Good job!!. I always hate not getting a perfect seal. It is almost like the jar is mocking me somehow LOL. I also had to learned to not screw the jars too tight so air can escape.
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