Frequently Asked Canning Questions

This blog posting will be continually updated as I receive questions.  If you have a question you may comment at the end of the blog or email me at  I also welcome additional comments or answers.

1.  If a can does not seal is it safe to eat?

  • Absolutely.  You will know within half an hour if it does not seal.  Simply put it in the refrigerator and eat within 4 or 5 days.  It would have the same self life as any opened can of vegetables.

2.  Can I “re-can” a jar that does not seal?

  • You sure can.  Open the jar and make sure the rim is clean. Use a new lid and process the same as the first time.

3.  Can I turn the canner off and come back later to finish canning?

  • No.  You must finish the process all at one time.  The pressure needs to be held at a certain level for a prescribed number of minutes.

4.  After canning what if my jar of peaches or snaps has lost some of the water?

  • Sometimes this happens and you don’t know why. As long as the jar has sealed they are safe.

5.  How do I know if the jar has sealed?

  • The lid will pop inward and when you press your finger on the lid it is firm.  If the center is bubbled up and there is a give in the lid it has not sealed.

6.  Do I leave the rings on the jar after they have sealed?

  • No. After the jars have cooled, remove the rings and use them again. The jars will stay sealed.

7.  Can I prepare the vegetable such as tomato juice or snaps and put in the refrigerator until the following day?

  • Yes.  There is no reason you can’t do that.  However on vegetables the sooner they are canned the fresher and better they are. Always do sweet corn immediately.

8.  Can I help a jar seal?

  • Sometimes if you catch it soon enough.  Occasionally I have one that doesn’t seal and I turn the jar upside down for a few seconds. It will then seal. This has to be done will the jar is still very hot. Once they have cooled it does not work.

9. Why does a jar break in the pressure canner?

  • I don’t know-I had a quart of peaches break yesterday.  The jar could have a small crack or weak spot in it. Do not each the vegetables or fruit from the broken jar as they could have glass in them.  The rest of the jars are fine.
  • Always use canning jars. Glass mayonnaise jars, etc are not safe for canning, the glass is too thin.

10. Can I reuse my lids?

  • No. Never. You may reuse the rings.

11. Do I need to boil the water first that I pour into the jars of snaps, peaches, etc.?

  • I have not found that it is necessary. Tap water is much easier to work with.

12.  Why does liquid leak from the jar when I am taking it from the canner or right afterwards and what do I do?

  • Do nothing. Do not try to tighten the ring as it makes it worse.
  • It seems to happen when I open my canner a little too quick and the inside pressure has not equalized completely with the outside air pressure. (I could be wrong).
  • Usually the jars will seal anyways but sometimes if too much leaks out they don’t.
  • Be sure to let the gauge come completely back to zero and the sound of air escaping from the vent has ceased before opening the canner. I try to wait a few more minutes-can let it set for 5-10-before opening the canner.
  •  Sometimes it happens if you don’t have the ring screwed on tight enough. Sometimes they will seal and sometimes they will not.

13. Can I put a half full jar in the canner?

  • No. It will not seal.

14.  What happens if my pressure gauge does not work?

  • If the gauge does not work your canner is not safe to use.  If it is building pressure you will have NO IDEA what pressure the canner is at and you could have an explosion.  This is an extremely unsafe situation.
  • If the gauge is not working because the canner has not sealed you are not pressure sealing your jars. The gauge has to work or else you need to hot water bath your produce which takes longer.


  1. Christy Said:

    Pat I have a question about canning. I have some fresh green beans that i am canning but we also cooked a crockpot full for dinner. My question is can i can just the broth off the beans, like a vegetable stock kind of? The broth tastes amazing and i dont want it to go to waste.

    • Pat Said:

      Sure. I see no problem with that. Good luck. Pat

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