These are jars of Roast Tomato soup that I pressure canned yesterday. Or as I like to write PrEsSuRe canned, because I get a little antsy waiting for the steam to vent and pressure to build and THEN start timing it.
That’s not what this is about. See the paper towel in the photo? These jars did not siphon when I removed them to cool (siphoning happens when the liquid inside bubbles up and out the lids, it’s normal, the lids usually still seal). They looked perfectly clean, ready for the pantry.
When storing jars of preserved foods it’s a very good idea to remove the rings after the jars have cooled and you’ve made sure they sealed. It’s also important to wipe the jars down, paying particular attention to the threads where the rings screw on and the lid. My jars appeared perfectly clean, but that damp paper towel doesn’t lie.
Once you’ve washed the jars down, rinse off the rings and dry well for separate storage, they rust easily, so find a dry place or container for them. When storing jars, don’t stack them. Aside from washing jars and rings, the main reason for removing the ring is to leave the lid free to loosen or pop off IF there should be bacterial growth, and hence spoilage and pressure build up, inside the jars, this occasionally happens (when there is mold growth throw the contents of the jar out).
Don’t do this. Especially with pressure canned, LOW ACID foods. Low acid canned and sealed foods are a prime breeding ground for botulism spores. If pressure canned foods look or smell off, dump contents into a garbage, not compost, jar and all.
Store CLEAN jars and rings in a cool dry place. I use an old china cabinet in the garage and place a few nifty moisture absorbing packets inside.
Recently I cleaned out that china cabinet and found a few jars with mold on the OUTSIDE, lids still tightly sealed. I washed the jars down again, the contents appear perfectly fine. When I open these jars I will check for spoilage, if there isn’t any I might still take an added measure of safety by dumping the contents into a pot and bringing it to a boil for 5 minutes, though this can’t be done with everything, it’s fine with salsas, chutneys and water bath canned tomatoes, then store them in the fridge and use up in a few days. Heating food to boiling for 5 minutes or more will kill off any bacteria, and is a great way to add some peace of mind.
I’m learning to avoid the glut of preserved foods lingering in my pantry and china cabinet the new canning season always finds me scrambling to use up or give away (best way to tackle it!). I now take measure of what we really use and make just enough, taking into account holiday parties and gift giving. I want to start fresh every year and know that we haven’t wasted our food and my time. My goal for next canning season is to begin with nothing in reserve at all.