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Another Canning Question - 1/2 filled jars

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Post  glasgrl on 8/16/2010, 9:35 pm

I canned for the first time today! Bread & butter pickles from the Ball canning book. Everything went pretty well (except for having to run out the last minute when I realized that my largest pot was no where near large enough).

The recipe was supposed to make 7 pint jars. Mine filled 6 1/2. I didn't have a smaller jar prepared, so I filled the last pint jar 1/2 full. I don't know if this was proper or not. It did "pop" along with the others when I removed it from the water bath. I'm supposed to wait about a month for the flavors to mix before tasting these pickles.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

-Michelle
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Post  camprn on 8/16/2010, 9:43 pm

Generally I do not run 1/2 full jars through the water bath. I think you run a risk of breakage if the jars are not full and you process. I thnk there is also an issue of not enough time processing to drive all the extra air out of the jar. I would put this one in the fridge.
I would use a 1/2 pint jar or I would pour brine over what was in the jar to the proper head space and process or cover the cukes with brine and put it in the fridge.
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Post  glasgrl on 8/16/2010, 9:56 pm

Thank you! I think I will put this one in the fridge. In the future, maybe I'll heat a smaller jar along with the other ones in case this happens again.

-Michelle
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Post  camprn on 8/16/2010, 10:12 pm

I think you did well. Congratulations on you first canned pickles!! yahoo
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Post  glasgrl on 8/16/2010, 10:18 pm

Thanks! Banana bread tomorrow, but that's not canned. Very Happy

-Michelle
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Post  ander217 on 8/17/2010, 10:57 am

I agree with everything Camprn said, including congratulations on your first canning!!!

(I'm usually glad when there is a little leftover from canning to go into the 'fridge to enjoy right away. I'm stingy about opening my jars until the dead of winter when nothing fresh is available, and it's nice to be able sample before then.)
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Post  Chopper on 8/17/2010, 12:45 pm

Me too ander. There seems little point in using canned produce until the fresh is no longer available.
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Post  LaFee on 8/17/2010, 5:35 pm

When I have a partial jar, I don't heat process it-- then I put it in the fridge to eat first.
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Post  glasgrl on 8/17/2010, 5:42 pm

@LaFee wrote:When I have a partial jar, I don't heat process it-- then I put it in the fridge to eat first.

That's a good idea. I was just leary of them going bad before I could eat them because the recipe said to let them set and steep for a month. They probably would have been fine unprocessed, though.

-Michelle
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Post  LaFee on 8/17/2010, 6:18 pm

If your jars were clean and the brine/vinegar was good and hot, you should have no more risk of your homemade pickles going bad than you would of having an open jar of storebought pickles goinlg bad...it could happen, but probably not.
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Post  glasgrl on 8/17/2010, 6:24 pm

That reminds me of another question: are storebought pickles processed in any way? Mine last forever in the refrigerator after opening. So long that it's scary. Shocked

-Michelle
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Post  LaFee on 8/17/2010, 7:09 pm

I believe that they're hotpacked just like at home (probably pressure-packed because of time constraints) - but pickles are cured in vinegar -- which is still one the best anti-cootie treatments for food.

Think of cold-pack pickles and Korean kimchee -- they're not cooked-- just layered into crocks with vinegar...and they last plenty long enough to provide a great supply of Vitamin C through a very long winter...without any kind of formal processing at all.
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Post  glasgrl on 8/17/2010, 9:22 pm

Good point.

Food cooties!

tongue

-Michelle
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Post  scotch827 on 8/19/2010, 4:42 pm

It’s never recommended to process and store partially filled jars. You need to maintain the correct head space for the jars to seal properly . The National Center for Home Food Preservation calls for a ½” for pickles . http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/

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