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Jan 5, 2010 07:48 AM

cracked jars - new preserves

I made a batch of cranberry salsa and when I ladled the hot preserves into the hot jars, I heard a cracking noise while filling the jars but processed the jars anyways in a hot-water bath. The jars in the oven at 375'F. Were the jars too hot? Was the salsa to hot? I usually use a water bath to sterilize the jars but have sterilized jars in the oven before.

Can I salvage the salsa? How? Reheat the salsa and use new jars?


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  1. "Shootin" from the hip here...If the jars were 375* ~~~ the Salsa at most could have only been 212* ~~~ The 'cooler' salsa hitting the hotter jars caused the breakage/cracking....

    Advise you toss not try to salvage the salsa!!!

    Suggest, in the future you use the hot water bath method for sterilizing your jars! HTH

    1. TOSS, nothing like shards of micro glass to ruin a digestive system.

      2 Replies
      1. re: normalheightsfoodie

        Thanks All for the responses. I've decided to toss the two jars that cracked - it's only a bag of cranberries and an onion with spices, really. And, like you said "normalheightsfoodie Jan 05, 2010
        TOSS, nothing like shards of micro glass to ruin a digestive system."

      2. In my limited experience, I've sterilized the jars in the oven around 225F, with non-jar-cracking success. According to my sources, this should be enough to sterilize the jars (after a soapy wash and rinse), and works well with my limited stovetop space.

        1. All the jars broke? I suspect that the problem was not so much the hot jars but the cold surface on which the jars were resting. When you pulled the jars out of the oven and put them on a cool surface like your countertop you stressed them--most jars made for canning can take that much thermal shock, but then you added the hot salsa. I think it was just too much expansion and cooling in too short a time. The only time I've had a jar break on me, was placing tomatoes hot from the canner onto the counter without a board or towels. It was a huge mess.

          I wouldn't give it away as a gift for sure, but I might eat it, if it's just cracked. You definitely need to reprocess if you keep it.

          Keep in mind that if your processing time is 10 minutes or longer, you do not need to sterilize the jars ahead of filling. They should be clean of course, and kept in warm water to ease the chance of thermal shock.