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I pressure canned 33 litres of applesauce at 5 lbs for 10 minutes but didn't know the timer doesn't start until the weight begins jiggling. Is this necessary for Apple sauce?

What's difficult about this is the weight would eventually jiggle ( a lot!! Several times a second) on some bathes but not others. The temp was set the same - max. I dropped it as suggested to 9 once I put the weight on but didn't hear the click of the burner register the drop so it possibly remained on full.

There was also a fair bit of steam escaping the gasket seal from start to finish.

I'm past the 24 hour mark now and would be sad to throw it away.

Because of the High temp and eventual high pressure ( say half way thru) are they safe to eat

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  • What recipe were you following? What size jars? 1 litre or half-litre jars makes a big difference in timing.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 24, 2023 at 14:05
  • I loosely used a recipe because I found they varied and I needed more water because my pot has tendency to burn on the bottom - just cooked, reduced, hand blended apples with water in 1 litre jars
    – Flala7
    Sep 25, 2023 at 2:59
  • I only filled the canner 1-3 inches. Is the pressure, steam, and partially covered boiling with the 10 mins venting and 10 mins processing time combined enough
    – Flala7
    Sep 25, 2023 at 18:38

2 Answers 2

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According to https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/applesauce.html

Pressure canning applesauce requires 5 minutes at pressure for pints (half-litres) and 10 minutes at pressure for quarts (litres)

It can also be canned in a boiling water bath for 15/20 minutes (half-litre/litre)

If the weight of a pressure canner is not rocking or jiggling, the pressure canner is not at pressure. There's also a 10-minute venting period to remove trapped air in the canner specified at https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_press_canners.html#gsc.tab=0 before placing the weight on.

IF you actually vented before placing the weight (which seems less than likely if you didn't know to wait until the weight was rocking to start timing) you might have gotten to the 20 minute boiling water processing time. If not, you may have had trapped air in the canner which would lower the temperature, and your processing time would be too short anyway, unless it was half-litre jars.

Incidentally, for a product like applesauce that has been long-boiled before canning, my personal choice is to take the published times as merely a lower limit. More processing time won't damage the product, the way it will something like pickles that can be overcooked. I've already put hours of time into making the sauce, I'll give it an extra 5 or 10 minutes just to make sure when processing.

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  • Thank you. I'll explore the link. I let it vent for the full 10 minutes before adding the weight then processed the 1 litres for another 10 mins.
    – Flala7
    Sep 25, 2023 at 3:03
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It sounds like your pressure canning is incomplete. I would not depend on it to stay shelf stable without processing it correctly. However, you can run the batch of applesauce again with no harm. Also, you can water bath can it if that is simpler for you. I use a steam bath canner and love the simplicity.

https://www.healthycanning.com/canning-applesauce

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  • Have you had this, or something similar happen before and reprocessed with no ill effects? It was underprocessed a week ago and while apples are acidic, mine is 3-3.5 ph, botulism is under its favorable conditions now and only pressure canning at 15 psi for 30 minutes is capable of destroying it. This article states after destroying the botulism the bacterial waste is still dangerous, and unfortunately I cannot find any other literature covering this scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1307 If botulism has formed the only way to eliminate it from what I've read is an auto clave
    – Flala7
    Sep 26, 2023 at 8:16
  • Reprocessing works if you do it immediately. Most canning instructions include the last step as something like, allow jars to cool on the counter and recheck for seal in 24 hours. Reprocess immediately if any seals failed. —- If your jars have been sitting for a week and were not properly processed, I’d recommend throwing them out, or consider consuming immediately if they’ve been refrigerated during that time.
    – MTManCH
    Sep 26, 2023 at 11:14
  • I didn’t answer your follow-up directly. Yes, I’ve reprocessed immediately with no ill effects. No, I’ve not had your situation, exactly.
    – MTManCH
    Sep 26, 2023 at 11:15

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