All American Canner 915

Asked August 11, 2017, 8:27 AM EDT

In canning beef stew, steam was good 10 mins, put on weight at 10lbs, temp read 240 on the gage but weight didn't jiggle for 45 minutes and then only for the next 6 minutes, I waited out the timer and each jar (qts) popped. Are the jars ok or do you suggest re-starting the whole process? Thank you

Lenawee County Michigan

1 Response

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, a weighted gauge will either jiggle or rock gently to show that it is maintaining pressure. Here is the link to the article:

What does your canning book for your canner say for how you determine if that model is up to temperature? Is is supposed to jiggle or just rock gently back and forth?

Just because the jars "popped", this is not an indication that the canned food is safe. It just means that the vacuum has been created.
The whole canning process of venting the canner for ten minutes, through the canning time, through the natural cooling down time of the canner after processing has occurred is necessary for the sterilization of the food product to kill food borne pathogens such as Clostridium Botulinium.. These procedures cannot be rushed.
It depends upon if your canner instructions told you to allow for the gentle rocking back and forth of the weight or the jiggling of the weight to determine if the canner was up to pressure,whether you need to reprocess.
If your instructions told you that there needed to be a jiggling taking place to demonstrate that the canner was up to pressure, and since yours did not during the time you allowed, you should re-process the beef stew.
If the instructions told you that the weight needed to be gently rocking back and forth to demonstrate that the canner was up to pressure AND YOU PROCESSED FOR THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF TIME, then you do not need to reprocess.
Another alternative would be to freeze those jars and use them fairly soon (within the next three months.)