Loosing liquid from my quart during the canning process

Asked August 7, 2018, 5:17 PM EDT

I'm loosing liquid from my jars during canning. I think I'm doing everything correctly. Are there specific reasons why this would happen? Also, 2 of my jars broke while canning peaches. This is the first time it has ever happened and I've been canning for many years. The bottom broke out. What should I do to ensure that doesn't happen again?

Washington County Oregon food safety home food preservation

3 Responses

Thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.

Home canned peaches are quite a treat. I'm sure it was very disappointing to lose several jars this way.

When liquid is leaking out of the jars, it is called siphoning. Typically, this is caused by overfilling the jars. Check the measurement for 1/2" headspace with a ruler - and try to get down to eye-level with the liquid with the jar on a flat, level surface. Are your jars level in your canner? If they are not level, the liquid can reach the rim of the jar and begin siphoning. Researchers recently discovered that siphoning can begin when we take out the jars from the canner and tip them so the excess liquid drains off the top of the jars. Instead, keep them level, then use a dry towel to "sop up" the warm liquid.

Jars that break on the bottom may have had metal utensils used to take out food over the past years. The scraping inside the jar may have caused some tiny scratches or scoring that allows the bottom of the jar to separate during processing or when the jars are lifted out of the canner. Sometimes a dropped jar, that doesn't break, has a weakness that later breaks the jar during processing. Jars that are not designed for home canning (thicker wall, tempered glass are needed), won't last as long, either. You can check the temperature of the canner's water - it should be 140 degree F or raw pack and 180 degrees F for hot pack items. Observing these temperature guidelines can reduce the risk of breakage.

Thank you for your quick response Glenda. Your answers were very helpful.

You are welcome. Enjoy the rest of the preserving season. It is always an exciting time of the year!