We did a batch of canning the other day. We take our beans and blanch them then let them cool off. We take our mason jars and boil them as well as our lids. We take the jars out of the boiling water, add our beans, and then fill the jar with boiling water (leaving head room at the top). We then take the full and closed jars and put them in the pressure canner for 25 min with the top shaking/rocking. Then let them sit in the canner for probably another 30ish min until the pressure is gone and we then let them sit on the counter until they cool completely (hours later).

Here is the question. We did multiple batches that night and it got so late that our last batch we decided to wait until morning to pressure can them. So they sat on the counter for maybe 12 hours max before they were put into the pressure canner the next morning. The lids were on tight and they seemed to be sealed. The only variation from our normal canning procedure was waiting 12 hours before putting them in the pressure canner. Are these still safe to eat? We are concerned that by waiting bacteria could have grown and that it wont be killed from the pressure canning. If these were yours, would you throw them out? Or keep them?

1 Answer 1


Two problems - 12 hours sitting out at prime growth temperatures (not refrigerated 12 hours nor kept above 140° F for 12 hours) in anaerobic condtitons (sealed jars) and putting jars of room-temperature beans (rather than hot-packed beans) in the pressure canner. What you should have done would have been to either not process them at all and hold them refrigerated, or put the blanched beans in the refrigerator, dumping them out of the jars first (since you had jarred them.) Then you could re-pack them with boiling water in the morning and process them.

Both of those will offer the potential for bad things happening. Hot packing is very important since thermal gradients inside the jar can prevent the heating of all the stuff being canned, and is a common error when folks opt to re-process stuff that did not seal - which can be done, but needs to be done by dumping it into a pot and reheating it before repacking it and reprocessing it, not just tossing the unsealed jars back in the canner to have another go.

Toss them. They might not make you sick, but then again, they might.

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