Ontario tomatoes are now in season which means the start of the busiest of the canning season for me. Most years I will put up 10 hampers (6¼ bushels) sometimes a bit more. I usually start canning the easier sauces first when the tomatoes are smaller followed by whole and stewed tomatoes then finishing up with salsas, chili sauces and those products where tomatoes need to be peeled. A couple of days ago I was working on my second hamper of tomatoes. I decided to do half of them as roasted tomato basil sauce.
This particular night I had run the canner with a load of Italian tomato sauce and tomato stock. The canner performed beautifully. I brought the roasted tomato sauce in from the grill, ran it through the strainer, seasoned then reheated and jarred the bottles. The canner again ran without a problem. The only sign of a problem was when the canner depressurized and I opened the canner to find sauce all over the canner. Every single jar had leaked which is an indication of a pressure problem. Each jar had leaked a good inch of sauce (green arrow). It was after midnight and my only choice was to reprocess to salvage what sauce was left. I used the Tattler lids without a problem.
This year I'm experimenting with new spins on my family favourite roasted tomato sauce. I've changed my technique a little too in that I slow roast all the vegetables then run them through the food strainer to remove seeds and skins rather than using just the stick blender resulting in a velvety smooth base sauce that can then be further seasoned to give different results. I added four varieties of garden fresh basils to this sauce so this ended up being a gorgeous sauce despite the problems.
I think sometimes readers get the impression on this blog that things don't go wrong but they do. While it is uncommon for me to have cannning problems they can and do happen. It is the experience and knowledge to know what to do when this type of problem happens. In this case even though the jars would have sealed and they did by the time I opened them I was not comfortable leaving them with that much space in the jar even though some would have left them. In my mind the only option was to clean out the canner, bring the sauce to a boil again, rejar and reprocess. The second run was quite successful as pictured.
I'm still not sure what happened to cause this. In over 30 years of canning this is the first time I've experienced it. I can't blame it on the lids because 3 styles were used so the only thing I can blame it on is a pressure problem but even then I don't think so. I know it isn't a gasket problem because I'm pressure canning in an All American canner. The problem is still a mystery as as long as it doesn't repeat itself I will be a happy canner :)