Canning 101: Air Bubbles in Finished Products

air bubbly applesauce

This time of year, people are canning apple and pear sauce. Makes sense, being that it’s fall and all. It’s a particularly satisfying product to preserve because so many families have these sauces in their regular mealtime rotation, so they give you the feeling that you’re truly replacing the grocery store with your own work. It’s a pretty nice sensation.

The only issue with these fruit sauces is that they are far more viscous than the jams of summer. As you pour them into the jars, no matter how diligent you are at removing the air bubbles, it’s inevitable that a few will slip by. This can sometimes lead to a bit of product loss as the jars cool and seal (though I’ve heard that if you keep the applesauce hot the entire time, from cooking to food milling to jarring up, it won’t do it). It can also result in the presence of tiny little air bubbles distributed throughout your finished product.

If you look closely at the picture above, you’ll see that the applesauce I canned recently has a scattering of tiny bubbles. These remaining bubbles are no big deal. The jar was processed for the proper amount of time and has a firm seal. It is just fine.

The only time you need to be concerned about the presence of tiny bubbles in your product is when they are active, start moving or fizzy up to the top of the jar when you open it. If that occurs, your product may be fermenting or contaminated. But if the bubbles are inactive, they are totally benign.


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75 Responses to Canning 101: Air Bubbles in Finished Products

  1. 51
    April says:

    I just canned apple chunks in a light syrup. My pints all turned out fine.
    However my quart jars seemed to turn out questionable. All of the fruit is on the top now and there are some air pockets and tiny bubbles in it. I thought I got all the air bubbles out! Is this safe to keep on the shelf or should I put it in the fridge and use soon?

    • 51.1
      Marisa says:

      As long as you followed the proper processing time and the seals are good, the quart jars are fine.

    • 51.2
      Jennifer says:

      I recently canned pears, and I followed all of the proper processing procedures. However, I noticed tiny bubbles in the jars. I opened one to check it, and they had completely gone bad. They looked fine, but the we’re all fizzy, and mushy. I would definitely test a jar.

  2. 52
    Ashley says:

    I just made three pints of Blueberry Jam using your recipe. I just pulled the jars from the canner and there are large air pockets in all of the jars! This has never happened before. They have all sealed, making those beloved ping noises. Has this ever happened to your before when making jam?

  3. 53
    Shawn Tampauskas says:

    I have bubbleing happening in jars as i am pulling them out of the cooker. It looks like they are cooking

  4. 54
    Gloria says:

    I have air bubbles in most of the jars, however one jar had moving action when I turned it upside down. Next day no action, should I discard just that jar, or what action should I take.

    • 54.1
      Marisa says:

      If you move the jar, then of course the bubbles are going to move. Air bubbles are only a concern if they are moving on their own while the jar sits completely still for many hours.

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