why do I have clear liquid in the bottom of my tomato jars when done canning?
Oneida County New York
It is fairly common with tomatoes to have them "floating" leaving a clear liguid at the bottom of the jar. If the liquid is an inch or less then you are good, if the liquid is greater than an inch then there are methods to help reduce this. Floating tomatoes can happen for several reasons:
1)Over processing, be sure to followed tested, approved recipes and the stated processing times.
2) Improper jar packing, hot packs will result in a higher quality product when it is an option and better packing than cold packs. Tomatoes will float when jars are not packed properly and judging packing can be difficult with tomatoes.
I would not be worried if the liquid space at the bottom is an inch or less. If the space is consistently about an inch for multiple batches then the jars may be packed a little tighter. Always be sure to use approved tested recipes such as those from USDA, National Center for Home Food Preservation, Ball Blue Book, and you local Extension office.