There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to pick, prepare, and can something and open the canner to find broken jars and wasted food. Here are the top 12 reasons your jar might break inside the canner.
- Using old jars. Antique canning jars are attractive but perhaps not the best choice for a product that is very labor intensive to prepare.
- Nicks or small cracks in the jar. Always check for small nicks or hairline cracks before filling jars.
- Not releasing trapped air bubbles inside the jar.
- Using metal utensils to release trapped air—this can cause scratches or weak spots inside the jar.
- Overfilled jars.
- Fluctuating pressure inside a pressure canner. Watch the gauge or listen to the “jiggle” of the weight to maintain a constant pressure.
- Reducing pressure too quickly. Resist the impulse to run cold water over the pressure canner after the processing time is up. That is a quick and easy way to destroy all your hard work.
- Placing hot jars into a canner of cold water.
- Forgetting to add water to the pressure canner.
- Forgetting to put the rack into the bottom of the canner. Jars bouncing around during processing are at a high risk of breaking.
- Setting your hot, already processed jars into a draft to cool.
- Screwing the bands onto the jars too tightly. Remember, finger-tight only.
Following canning directions carefully will help you avoid jar breakage.