radmama
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Canning tomato sauce

I just canned my first batch of tomato sauce and when I pulled the jars out of the water bath, they bubbled tomato sauce out (just a little) and it ran down the jar. I was very sad, but then later went to check them and they seem to be sealed.

Does anyone know how to check for sure if they are sealed? I have read that pushing on the middle is not a good test.

Does anyone know why they did that?

Also, any suggestions on another choice for lowering the pH besides lemon juice? It has a lot of additives in it!

Thanks!

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Kisal
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It might have happened as a result of overfilling the jars. Did you use a pressure canner, or a water bath?
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LindsayArthurRTR
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your sauce bubbled out of the jars because they were still too hot when you pulled them out.
For next time...

Follow appropriate headspace (like kisal said)

If you waterbath canned them, when your cooking time is up, turn the heat off remove the canner lid an wait for 5 minutes. Then remove them from the canner. This helps the contents in th jars relax a bit slower that if you just take them out while the water is still boiling rapidly.

If you pressure canned them, make sure that you allow the pressure in the pot to come back to normal pressure with the pressure guage STILL ON. You can't rush it :() when pressure has normalized and steam no longer pours from the vent, take the lid off of the pressure canner and let the contents sit in the water uncovered for 5 minutes, then remove them.

when they cool completely take off the rings and don't put them back on. If you can invert the jar with the processed lid on it then you should be ok. just make sure the dome part of the lid is fully flat. If it pops back up when you press it, you should try to reprocess it with another lid. I wouldn't store them with the bands on them. They "should" be ok, just watch for signs of spoilage. Mold, lost seal, domed seals. Any signs of spoilage toss it. :()

An alternative to bottled lemon juice (BLECK) is to use real lemon juice from lemons. You can also use citric acid powder. If red wine vinegar is labled as 5% acid you can use that too! (white vinegar is 5%)
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garden5
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Good info, LA. I, myself, being everly over-cautious, would re-process the cans with new lids. Depending on how many jars you have done, that may or may not be practical.

If you do decide to store them, make sure you mark them so you know to give them extra-through inspection when you go to use some.
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radmama
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Thank you all so much!! Now I just have to decide what to do.

Oh, and just so you know... I measured the headspace, and it was correct, give or take a tiny bit (1/2"), and it was a water bath. I did NOT let it cool down first before taking the jars out, as I'm not sure anyone has ever taught me to do that. I will definitely do that next time.

Thanks again... what a great group I have found!

garden5
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Glad we could help :). Do let us know what you decide.
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jal_ut
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How to tell if the jar is sealed: You can visually inspect the lids. You can see if they are down. Once the jar has cooled it doesn't hurt to touch the lid. You and just tap on the lids with a finger and hear the seal. Try it with a sealed and one that is not sealed (a spare jar that hasn't been sealed).
You will hear the difference.

Once the jars are sealed we let them sit for 24 hours then take the bands off and wash and dry the jars, label the jars by writing on the lids with a marker, then store them.

That little bit of juice that dribbles out of the jar after removal from the cooker doesn't usually stop the jar from sealing.
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radmama
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Ok, that "seals" it! :roll: I washed them, then tested them again by tapping, turning them upside down and shaking them a little, and even trying to pry the lid off a little with my finger. They are definitely sealed.

Next time, though, I will let them cool for 5 minutes before removing them!

Thank you, everyone!

garden5
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Sounds great! Enjoy the sauce.
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