I successfully canned one batch of roasted red pepper pasta sauce but had to step away from the kitchen for a half hour. When I came back the sauce was still warm so I heated it a bit more while I boiled my next set of jars. Everything looked good going into the water bath canner, but when I started to pull them out sauce started bubbling out of the jars. Did I somehow ruin the sauce by letting it cool then reheat? Can I somehow save it and re-can or should I bag and freeze it. Thanks all.
A few questions to consider:
- Were you following a recipe that used an additional acid (like citric acid or lemon juice) in addition to tomatoes and peppers?
- Does your recipe include significant amounts of garlic or onion?
- Does your recipe specifically call for water bath canning?
- How many years old is your recipe?
The reason I ask these questions is that most modern-day tomatoes grown for conventional stores do not have the PH levels that our grandmother's tomatoes did, making most canning recipes for tomato sauces unsafe for traditional water-bath canning methods, unless you are adding an acid like lemon juice or citric acid.
Likewise, large amounts of garlic or onion will also affect the PH in a way that makes them less safe for water bath canning.
I tend to agree that your bubbling is likely from over-filling the jars.
To be absolutely sure and on the safe side, boil the sauce from those jars again - bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-12 mins., then can again, leaving approx. 3/4" minimum of headspace at the top of your jars.
I wouldn't recommend leaving the cans as-is that bubbled over, as it indicates the seal is broken or a strong, clean seal was not created in the first place.
Good luck with your canning adventures!