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Question regarding canning headspace

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Question regarding canning headspace

Post  philct on 8/20/2013, 6:11 pm


Hi folks.. So I attempted canning this year for the first time. This is a picture of a quart size jar of San Marzano tomatoes I canned just to get the process down. I measured 1/2 in headspace before processing, but after cooling this is what I ended up with. Just looking, what would others do? Do I use now, or should I be ok to hang onto them?
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Re: Question regarding canning headspace

Post  camprn on 8/20/2013, 6:37 pm

Hey Phil, that looks good. Did you use a recipe in the Ball Blue book? On page 11 there is a graphic showing how to use the threads and jar landmarks for measuring headspace. If you process the jars the appropriate amount of time and the jar lid pinged and sealed your are all good.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. What type of processing did you use?

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Re: Question regarding canning headspace

Post  philct on 8/20/2013, 7:33 pm

Heated the jar in the water I boiled to process (I did not boil the jar for 10 minutes as the recipe I used said the processing will kill everything inside and out)

Boiled the lids for 10 minutes

Boiled a pot of water, tomatoes for 1 minute then ice bath to remove skins

Packed jars with tomatoes, added 2 tablespoons lemon juice (quart jar) and some of the water boiled to skin tomato leaving 1/2 in headspace

sealed the jars and processed in boiling water for 55 minutes (said 50 but I left them another 5) the water was almost 2 inches higher than jar though by the end it was barely covering the jar.

removed, wiped clean, and left on counter for 24 hours to cool

lid was concave, removed screw lock and was able to lift jar by lid. wiped clean replaced screw top

so my issues are, 1. should I have boiled for 10 minutes and 2. did I not pack and put enough liquid in by the fact that there is 1 1/2 in headspace now. so should I use or attempt to shelf and see what happens.
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Re: Question regarding canning headspace

Post  camprn on 8/20/2013, 7:46 pm

@philct wrote:Heated the jar in the water I boiled to process (I did not boil the jar for 10 minutes as the recipe I used said the processing will kill everything inside and out)

Boiled the lids for 10 minutes

Boiled a pot of water, tomatoes for 1 minute then ice bath to remove skins

Packed jars with tomatoes, added 2 tablespoons lemon juice (quart jar) and some of the water boiled to skin tomato leaving 1/2 in headspace

sealed the jars and processed in boiling water for 55 minutes (said 50 but I left them another 5) the water was almost 2 inches higher than jar though by the end it was barely covering the jar.

removed, wiped clean, and left on counter for 24 hours to cool

lid was concave, removed screw lock and was able to lift jar by lid. wiped clean replaced screw top

so my issues are, 1. should I have boiled for 10 minutes
If they are new jars I just heat them in the water, if previously used jars I boil them, but not usually for ten minutes.

@philct wrote:and 2. did I not pack and put enough liquid in by the fact that there is 1 1/2 in headspace now. so should I use or attempt to shelf and see what happens.
You really have to cram as many tomatoes into the jar as you can and make sure you run a knife or a chopstick around inside to remove any air bubbles. The head space you now have is perfectly fine if you had proper head space at the beginning and the jar is sealed. It can go on the shelf.

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Re: Question regarding canning headspace

Post  philct on 8/20/2013, 7:57 pm

Yeah I see that now. I think that's about 20 or so san marzano and now that it's processed I see I could have shoved another 4-5 easy in there.
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Re: Question regarding canning headspace

Post  camprn on 8/20/2013, 8:02 pm

@philct wrote:Yeah I see that now. I think that's about 20 or so san marzano and now that it's processed I see I could have shoved another 4-5 easy in there.
Yup, sometimes it makes sense to halve or 1/4 them, you can fit more in the jar. The only reason I ever can tomatoes whole is for taking to the fair exhibition.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Question regarding canning headspace

Post  Turan on 8/20/2013, 10:58 pm

Tomatoes have a certain amount of air within their flesh.  As it is cooked the air comes out and adds to the head space.  If you precook your tomatoes totally you eliminate that, but why add another step?  Looks like a fine moment of summer caught in a jar to enjoy in winter.

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