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When I opened my canner after the allotted time, I became aware that water had evaporated and the lids were not immersed in the water -as when I started. Most likely evaporation the cans sealed almost immediately. Is my tomatoe sauce safe?

  • National center for food preservation says you're in trouble: nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html I've ignored their rather stringent advice in the past without killing myself, but only you can make the call. – Wayfaring Stranger Aug 31 '17 at 20:33
  • Please edit Most likely evaporation the cans sealed almost immediately. It's unclear what you're saying here. Maybe two sentences were intended? – Jan Doggen Sep 1 '17 at 10:07
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If the water was boiling the whole time, you are fine.

There is research-supported (finally) evidence that "Steam canning" is actually just as effective as boiling water bath canning, if done properly. Unfortunately, the folks that have been insisting that you must have everything submerged are rather slow to change recommendations based on the research, after decades of claiming that they didn't recommend it since there was no research. It makes me wonder what in heck their actual agenda is.

In any case, if your boiling water bath was boiling the whole time, the portion of the jars that was "steam-processed" would have been steam processed properly, so you're good.

Note that while the research was aimed at the "steam canner" pots, a partially full boiling water bath in a normal pot is exactly the same above waterline when the lid is on.

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