Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weck canning jars - important step that I missed...

Remember all those cherries that I washed, pitted, and canned way back in June?  All 18 lbs?  I was so proud to use my new Weck jars.
On this cool, crisp morning, I decided to treat myself to a few cherries in yogurt.  So I opened up a jar...but it wasn't sealed.  I reached for another, snapped off the clips, and IT wasn't sealed.   Panicking, I went to Weck's website and read this:

"Jar after cooling down
A vacuum now prevails in the jar. The normal pressure of the surrounding air outside the jar presses the lid down on the jar, thus firmly sealing it. The spring clamps required during the canning process are now unnecessary and should definitely be removed after the jars have cooled down."

So, the clips should "definitely be removed after the jars have cooled down".  

That's interesting.  I left the clips on.  I wonder why they need to be removed?  The website goes on to say:

"Why is it absolutely necessary to remove the spring clamps after the processed jars have cooled down?
After processing, the spring action of the clamps is replaced by the natural force exerted on the vacuum inside the jar from the pressure of the air outside the jar. If you were to leave the spring clamps on the jar, you would not, by trying to lift off the lid, be able to test whether the jar was properly processed and sealed or not. This simple, but extremely important seal-test ( the "lid-lifting" test) cannot be performed when using jars with a thread type, a wire-bail type of closure or any other mechanical sealing devices."

I'm pretty sure that I read their website when I first purchased the jars.  I don't remember seeing any of this information.  Maybe it's been recently added?  Or maybe I just missed it.

Later today, I removed all of the clips and checked the jars.  Fortunately, I only lost 4 jars of cherries and none of the more recently canned beans or apple pie filling. 

 Note to self (and other Weck users!): Remove the clips when jars are cool and check the seals.


Terra said...

Oh Jackie, how disappointing and yet how great that ALMOST all of your canning work was successful. You are good to tell us about this critical step. The photo makes your canned fruit shine like a work of art.

Jackie said...

Thank you, Terra, for you kind comment. I really appreciate it :)

Anonymous said...

Good point about removing the clips and checking the seals. Of course if readers heed your advice and check the seals right after the jars cool, an unsealed jar can be stored in the refrigerator for immediate use.

I've seen some high statistics like 25-33% quoted for failure with the Weck jars, but in my first season of canning salsa, jam and chutney with Weck jars -- canning at all for that matter -- I've not seen a high failure rate at all. I love them! - Angela

meemsnyc said...

Oh wow, that is a crucial step! Thank goodness you only lost 4 jars. Thanks for the great tip!

Daphne said...

Oh no. I hate when my jars don't seal. It hasn't happened in quite some time, but if you test at least you can put them in the fridge and eat them up soon.