Pressure canning question - half of jar contents boils away... too much pressure? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread


Well, trying to be cheap I bought a large "regular" pressure cooker/canner which only holds pints and uses weight "wobbler" but no pressure gauge. Made chicken soup, filled leaving 1" head space, once pressure up then cooked 30 minutes - rushed cool down by putting in sink and running cold water - when I opened canner found half the contents of each jar had leaked out of jars and rings were very loose. I had made sure each ring was finger tight when putting them in.

Has anyone had this happen? I think, after re-reading instructions, I should have only kept the "wobbler" rocking gently instead of vigorously... probably.... I don't want to waste any more of my hard work (and chicken butchered today...sigh). Any help will be appreciated.

-- Kristi (, July 18, 1999


Did the lids seal? If they didn't, you probably didn't make absolutely sure that the rim of the jar was wiped clean after filling and before placing the lid on.

Why did you rush cool down? The cool down process is important in gradually reducing pressure and may be your problem. I NEVER open my canner untill the pressure is zilch.

-- marsh (, July 18, 1999.


I did make sure the rims were clean and as soon as I took them out I heard the clink of the lids sealing down. I rushed the cool down because it was getting late and I have 4 more batches to can. This next one I have going is just barely wobbling (I can hear boiling inside) and I will not rush cool down. Thank you for the input and moral support (at this crazy hour of the night to be canning!). Sigh.... :)

-- Kristi (, July 18, 1999.

Well, it worked..... should be done by about 1:30 am..... yikes!

-- Kristi (, July 18, 1999.

Its the quick changes in pressure that sucks the fluid out of the cans. Also, if you allow the pressure to go up and down while canning it will do the same thing. If you can at 10# and it gets up to 12# on you, be concerned about maintaining it at 12# and not taking it back down to 10#


-- Taz (, July 18, 1999.


Thank you! It is nice to know for sure - I started to speed up the cooldown at around 1:30 am and could hear all sorts of turbulence inside so stopped. Thank you for the answer. It is SOOOO much more disappointing when you lose 5 jars of food which you grew, butchered, cooked, etcetera. By the way I couldn't find this info in the Ball Blue Book or the booklet which came with the canner. Thanks for this forum.

-- Kristi (, July 18, 1999.

If you cool your canner down by putting in cold water or opening the steam cock on a gauge type you will suck the fluid out of the jars and even though they may still look sealed or even have the top button go down they will not keep and/or will spoil later as bacteria grows. On a dial canner you can GENTLY let off pressure and get away with it but why take a chance on your familys' health?

-- MUTTI (windance, July 18, 1999.

I just turn off the burner when the finish time is reached. And leave the canner alone till the pressure goes down all by itself. Then I open it and wait awhile untill I remove the jars. Fast fluctuations in the temp or pressure will drain your jars.

-- Army Girl (, July 18, 1999.

The only way I would consider rushing the cool down period is to take the canner off the burner and on a rack up off the counter; then a small oscellating(sp?) fan at least 3-4 feet away will cool the canner so the pressure will drop to zero faster so you can take off the weight thingy and open the canner. NEVER take the weight off before the pressure is zero on a dial guage canner... I guess if it is just a weight with no dial guage, you would have to wait until it is absolutely still.....then test by rocking the weight JUST A LITTLE. Good luck. BTW, I was disappointed in the latest edition of the Ball Blue Book...not really much good info.

-- jeanne (, July 18, 1999.

Kristi: Why don't you just open the jars and reprocess the contents...known as a "re-do" - I've had plenty!!

-- jeanne (, July 18, 1999.


Good for you! You did alot of work and you've learned alot. Your first batch is not wasted - you can either eat it or recan it, as mentioned above. Keep up the good work.

-- Jill (, July 18, 1999.

Jars are great because they can be re-used with only a new lid, but I have taught my mother how to can with tin cans instead with an All-American pressure canner. Their manual said that you should not rush cool down for jars, but you are able to do this with tin cans. Of course, you have to hand wash them and also have a sealer, but I ordered a full set from these folks and they were very helpful:

She has to cook all of her own food due to allergies, so if Y2K is a 10, she's a goner. I'm trying to make sure that she can make it at least 3 months on her own steam. We'll see, but I'm hoping for the best.

-- nothere nothere (, July 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ