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Don't Let Siphoning Spoil Your Pressure Canning Game: Tips for Regular and Cold Start Canning

Updated: May 10, 2023

Pressure canning is a great way to preserve food, but it's not without its challenges. Siphoning is one of the most common problems that can occur during pressure canning. Siphoning is when the liquid inside the jar leaks out, leaving the food partially filled and potentially unsafe for consumption.

Siphoning can happen during both regular and cold start canning. Regular pressure canning involves placing food into hot jars, while water bath canning involves packing food into jars and covering them with cold water. Raw packing refers to putting cold food into cold jars and then canning, In all cases, siphoning can occur due to a sudden temperature change during the canning process.

So, what can you do if you experience siphoning during pressure canning? First, let the jars cool completely before handling them. This will allow the food to settle and help the jars to seal properly. Then, check the seals on the jars. If they're still intact, you can store the jars as usual. If they've been compromised, you'll need to refrigerate the jars and use them up quickly.

But the best way to deal with siphoning is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some tips for avoiding siphoning in both regular and cold start canning:

  • Preheat your canner with hot water before adding the jars for regular pressure canning. For cold start canning, slowly bring the jars and water up to temperature together.

  • Be sure to de-bubble the jars before putting the lids on. Air will rise to the top during canning.

  • Make sure to leave proper head space in your jars. This allows for expansion during canning.

  • Use a canning rack to keep the jars off the bottom of the canner, and to allow for even water circulation around the jars.

  • Avoid overcrowding the canner, as too many jars can make it harder to regulate the temperature and increase the likelihood of siphoning.

By following these tips, you should be able to prevent siphoning during pressure canning, whether you're doing regular or cold start canning. Remember to let the jars cool completely before handling them, check the seals, and refrigerate if necessary. Happy canning!

Food that leaked from a jar
Food siphoned from a jar

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