Canning 101: Air Bubbles in Finished Products

October 19, 2011(updated on October 3, 2018)

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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135 thoughts on "Canning 101: Air Bubbles in Finished Products"

  • In the past I have had lots of trouble with apples and applesauce siphoning. Today I did applesauce and had no problems at all. Your post tells me why. My apples were hot the entire time, they went right from boiling to food mill and into a pan of hot sauce. In the past I am pretty sure I let the applesauce cool a bit. Never will I do that again.

      1. Me three! Thanks for the reassurance – even us ‘old hands’ at canning get concerned from time to time!

      2. I wish I had read this before I tossed the apple pie filling- still have the sauce though…………….

  • I consciously know that these kinds of bubbles are fine, they always freak me out a bit. Thanks for reassuring me!

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I am always freaking out about canning, as it seems the slightest stray from the rules will murder my guests.

  • Thank you so much for sharing – I made my apple butter on Tuesday and canned it on Wednesday. I had read on someone’s apple butter recipe that I should re-heat the apple butter to a light boil to kill any bacteria, so I did. Now I understand that having the apple butter hot was also helpful in other ways.

    Thank you for clearing up my concern about the tiny air bubbles – I really appreciate it!

  • I wonder about a different type of bubbles I’ve had. The jar (quart-sized) was sealed well with minimal siphoning, and I had those little bubbles like in your picture, but then also at the bottom of the jar, the applesauce was sort of like a slurry – that’s the best word I can come up with – where the bubbles weren’t moving, but if I tilted the jar, the part at the bottom moved much easier than the sauce above it.

    When I opened those jars, months later, they smelled and tasted fine, so we ate them, so they must have been okay, but it was very odd.

    1. Like it separates? Liquidy on the bottom, applesauce-y on the top? Mine does that, too, almost always when I add a secondary fruit like strawberries or cranberries (or both!). I give the jar a good shake before opening and it blends back in.

      BTW, love this site. Can’t believe I just found it a few weeks ago! I really enjoy reading about others’ experience with food preservation, as it is a passion of mine also.

    2. I made apple butter today using the recipe out of the Ball Blue book page30. I have the same thing happen. No bubbles on the bottom for about 1/2 an inch them bubbles all the way to the top. I know that the butter cooled to much while putting into the jars, it was not hot.
      I called Ball and spoke with a lady there and since I was 2 hours past when i canned, she said not to redo it but to put it into the icebox and eat in 3 weeks. I don’t think that we can or should eat 11 jars of apple butter in that amount of time. She also said that if the apples were “dry” when I started it could cause the bubbles and they were I cut them and put into the icebox over night. I said well them that’s the problem and it was safe to eat but she said no. I think because if we get sick then they are not the reason why. So what does anyone else think? I hope this helps others. I am keeping it, I think its going to be fine. I am so glad I found this site. Thank you.

  • Oh my, I would of never thought to make pear sauce. Applesauce yes, but pear sauce would have never crossed my mind. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been canning a few years, but I still feel new to it. It’s good to get this kind of reassurance about what I’m doing.

  • Thanks for this, I just did quarts and quarts of applesauce and while I believe we are all a bit too concerned about food safety & perfection it is nice to know they are fine.

  • Since I’m new to canning, this is such a worry for me. I made applesauce two weeks ago and I did have bubbles throughout. It seems like everything that I make that isn’t a jam or jelly siphons – sometimes really bad. I work on getting the bubbles out before and I measure headspace carefully, but it still happens. Frustrating! I’m hoping I’ll get better as time goes by, my applesauce is yummy!

  • Even in tomato sauce? Then why all the rage to get out bubbles with a stick before processing? Say: I get out the bubbles, process it correctly but my tomatoes have small bubbles. No prob???

    1. Air bubbles are an issue during processing, as they can lead to that dreaded siphoning during and after processing. This post addresses just those tiny bubbles that remain after you’ve done all you could do to remove the air bubbles before processing. It is still important to do your best to remove pre-processing bubbles. But it does also go for tomatoes. If you did your best to remove the air bubbles before processing, but a few still remain after the jars are cooled and sealed, don’t worry about them.

  • I love when you do these basic answers to canning questions things. Now I have a dumb question: my husband canned a bunch of tomatoes a couple of months ago (and thanks for the info about it being ok if it separates!), and stored the jars in our basement. Which then flooded. It’s dry now, but in the interim the jars have molded around the lids. Toss, or ok to clean off and use? He says toss but I don’t want to waste them if they are safe to eat. Thank you for your help – you are a godsend to novice canners (and all canners!).

    1. As long as the seals are still strong, the lids aren’t bulging and there’s no sign of mold on the inside of the jars, you can wash them with a diluted bleach solution and put them back on the shelves for use. If you go that route, keep a close eye on the jars to ensure that they don’t develop signs of spoilage. If the lids bulge, the seals break or the contents of the jars begin to look suspect, do not use them.

  • Thank you so much — I’ve been wondering about those bubbles — my peaches seem to get them, but the seal is good. I actually did a batch this last weekend and NO siphoning. Yay! Haven’t had any problems with my applesauce. Never thought of pear sauce, but that might be worth a try. Thanks again.

  • Perfect timing of this post. I was out rearranging my “pantry” of preserves in our garage when I noticed my salsa stash having bubbles/air pockets in it. It freaked me out but after reading this post, I am relieved that it’s normal and I have to throw anything out. Thanks Marisa!

  • I was wondering if I was going to get someone sick with that salsa I gifted to my parents… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Fantastic post, Marisa.

  • Fantastic! I made apple butter Monday night (yay Linda Ziedrich!) and in fact noticed some bubbles, though (shockingly for me) didn’t worry about it. It’s funny you brought it up re apples too, because this is the first time in my short canning career that I’ve noticed it!

  • I had this conversation with a new canner just the other day, so very topical post. They too were worried about the post-processing bubbles, but I assured them it wasn’t a big problem.

    The siphoning issue is why I like making sauces and butters in my slow cooker so much – everything put into the jars is hot from the cooker, and then goes right into the canner for processing. I’ve not had any siphoning problems with that method.

    -the redhead-

  • This is the answer I needed to put my nerves to rest over the many jars of applesauce I canned this fall. I really enjoy your blog and have had a lot of fun trying your recipes. Thanks for making home canning so accessible to beginners!

  • So timely! My sweet neighbor gave me free reign in picking from his pear trees. I’ve done pear butter, pear quarters in lite syrup, chopped pears to freeze for pies later and have frozen some chopped pears that I plan to use for preserves when I have more time. Will they make a good product after thawing?
    These pears are the hard keifer? pears, but most have been allowed to ripen in the kitchen before I’ve used them. Still, the skins are not pretty and I have elected to peel them all. I hope that isn’t a problem? I’ve still got half a copy paper box full of pears that I need to use ASAP before they go bad! Ahhhhh!

  • Thank you for this post! Like others, I am new to canning and worried about killing everyone I know with botulism. In the past I would just stick the jar in the fridge assuming I did it wrong. Now I have some guidelines so all that time canning the food is not a waste.

  • Thanks for the reassurance about bubbles. Just made a batch of Spiced Apple Butter from Laura Krissoff’s “Canning for a New Generation” for an upcoming school bake sale and was concerned about a few tiny bubbles, imagining the whole school closed for Botulism Week. (This is a great recipe for fledgling canners with advice like: “Slow cooker + immersion blender = perfect apple butter, sane and happy apple butter maker.” Will also add that my juicer made swift work of processing the cored, unpeeled apples.)

  • I found your site while googling this topic! Made applesauce for the first time this afternoon and had some bubbles after processing. I though, “Oh no!” because it would have left me scrambling to refrigerate and use up 7 pints. But they sealed well and we’ll be making more this weekend!

  • Thank you for posts like this! I’m a new canner this year, and I’m always freaking out about things like bubbles in my tomatoes (even though I used a spatula to get them out). Please continue posts like these, new canners are grateful!

  • Good heavens, what wonderful timing. I just canned apple butter for the first time and struggled for a while to try to push the bubbles out. I didn’t succeed so your post is very reassuring.

    I followed a suggestion I found in the Fedco catalog. I did the whole thing in the oven, starting with putting whole apples directly in the oven, then putting them through the food mill after a couple hours and putting the puree back in the oven. It was much easier than cutting, coring and peeling them first. It’s yummy too.

  • This is a very welcome post for me too – thank you! And thanks for the advice for rescuing my too-thick cherry preserves a few weeks ago. I ended up rebatching them, and it went well. Heated the preserves gradually with the addition of a cup of honey and the water you suggested; brought them up to a boil, let them cook for a while, and they set up just fine, and to a much better consistency. Lesson learned – next time I’ll know to be a little more patient!

  • I can lots of apples into applesauce, and have a time saving suggestion. Neither peel nor core the apples. I wash them carefully and halve the apple next to the stem. Next, I yank off the woody part that would make the sauce bitter. Trim off any livestock and mold, but ignore soft bruises and quarter them. Toss the quarters into apple cider/apple juice/ or strained off juices from previous batches of applesauce. Boil in liquid to cover until all is mushy, about 1/2 hour. Dump pot into a colander set in a larger bowl. When cool enough to handle, spoon the drained sauce into the food mill but ideally the KitchenAid power strainer. Reuse the strained off juice in the bowl for the next batch, adding fresh water to cover.
    Using the cheap strainer attachment to the grinder allows me to get all the good stuff out of the core and skin with much less effort with lovely sauce coming out the strainer and woody bits, cellulostic seed casings, seeds and skin coming out separately at the other end into your compost bowl. Kids with recent toilet training seem to find this endlessly interesting. Ahem.
    When canning applesauce, put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per quart into the jar before filling it. This reduces the pH slightly improving safety at next to no cost , adding no preceptable flavor. I don’t add anything else to my applesauce because you can always add something later, but can’t take anything out. So Sunday, I went out and gathered 168 pounds of windfall apples for 50 cents per pound. I’ll probably finish up with about 5 pounds of apples per quart of sauce. (I have dehydrated about 30 pounds already into apple slices, canned 12 quarts of apple pie filling and will freeze some.) Hope this message reduces some effort by fellow apple harvesters!

  • I am just starting to can, and I thought I was doing everything. My salsa jars popped (sealed) not long after their 20 minute bath in boiling water. My recipe was specific about the lemon juice and not to add too much non acid or low acid ingredients. I left a 1/4 inch head as told, but forgot to get the bubbles out. Is this a problem?

  • I also made applesauce and apple butter for the first time two days ago and noticed bubbles. I used tongs to lift the jars but found it to be pretty dangerous so I bought jar lifter tongs yesterday. They came with a head guage and a bubble remover that it said to use around the inside of the jar and wondered if it was important to get them out. I noticed they also had a canning book and it said was important to remove the bubbles (but didn’t say why). All my jars of apple butter have small bubbles so I thought I was going to have to remove, reheat, re-sterilize, re-can, re-bath them all. So…your post was very timely in saving me a LOT of time, effort and worry. THANK YOU!

  • Hi. Great post. Last evening I canned quartered peaches. I cooked them in a simple syrup prior to filling in quart jars. Pushed them down into the jar as best I could, added more syrup and then bubbled. After processing them for the required amount of time (35 minutes) I have noticed some rather large empty spaces between the bubbles. I am alittle concerned but all of the seals are tightly shut. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    1. I should also add that I noticed that there is space at the bottom of the jar with just liquid and the peaches have pushed up with no liquid covering them at the top. I had the right amount of liquid after I pushed out the bubbles. Should I open, put more liquid and reprocess? Thanks for the help. New at canning peaches.

      1. Nope, leave them alone! It sounds like they just needed to be bubbled a little bit more. The trapped air pushed the liquid out.

  • Just wondering – this is probably going to sound like I’m repeating everything that’s been asked, but I just recently canned my pear sauce and unlike the last time I did it, the liquid is separating and there are bubbles in quite a few of the jars. They seem to all have sealed, although I think I may have filled them a bit too high cause they have that very dull thud to them when tapped. Other than that seals look good, but when I tip them the bubbles sort of fuzz around and move. Is this ok? Or do I need to ditch them?
    I also think I may have let it cool a bit more than I did last time.

  • I canned applesauce this fall. I just opened my first jar and it has mold on the top. I opened several others and the same. I had two that didnot have mold. I am not eating these because I am not sure. What caused this? I did water baths for the correct amount of time. did I not wipe the lid edges enough? Please help. I spent a lot of time doing this and want to make corrections for next year.

    1. Did you process those jars in a water bath canner for the appropriate amount of time? And did them see to be tightly sealed when you opened them? It sounds like the either the water bath didn’t kill all the bacteria in the jars or that the seals failed sometime during storage. Make sure to use new (and recently purchased) lids and to process for the correct amount of time. Beyond that, I truly don’t know what to tell you.

  • I made green tomato mincemeat a few months ago and forgot to bubble. There are actually air pockets in the mincemeat. The seals are good and the mincemeat smells fine and looks fine. It does look a little dry on the top compared to other batches I’ve made. Do you think it is ok to eat?
    Love you site; so many interesting things to make. Got your book for Christmas and already made Meyer lemon marmalade. Delicious.

    1. As long as the seals are good and you followed proper processing instructions, it should be fine. However, if you have any doubt about it, it is also important to follow those instincts and not eat anything that makes you truly uncomfortable.

  • Thank you!!! I just canned some grapefruit (there was a huge sale at the grocery store!) and, despite my best efforts, I seemed to have left a few bubbles in the jars. I’m very new to canning and was panicking!

    Looking forward to exploring your site!

  • I have a question. Last Sept I made for the first time Cherry Pie Filling. I used clear jel per the canning instrucitons. I had some tiny air bubbles when canned, but everything was OK. My last 2 jars have had the liquid seperate from the cherries/clearjel. I’m not sure what has caused this. I’ve searched and haven’t come up with anything. The jars were OK in Feb the last time I made a cherry pie, it’s just recently that liquid seperated. Any ideas?

  • I recently canned some salsa (not chunky, but smooth as my husband prefers). I processed them as directed, and they all sealed. However, there is the presence of tiny bubbles. I’m hoping that when I open one it will be good, but I’ll keep an eye out for “active” bubbles.

  • hi this is my first time cainning.i made Apple butter . but I did not boil my jars. I just wash them i did boil the lids i didn’t use a canner either i just put lids on them.they sealed but when i open a jar somethin white was on top of the apple butter.what is It.Is it no good? please help ..

  • I am busy canning peaches from our tree and doing slices, butter and preserves. I came running to the computer in a panic because the peach butter jars are full of little bubbles – in fact, they look JUST like your jar of applesauce. It’s comforting to know it’s okay, especially after I was so careful to try to eliminate them before canning! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I canned tomatoes,raw packed, in pint jars yesterday, & got out the air bubbles before putting on the lids to place in the canner..when they were finished processing & pulled them out of the water bath canner & let them set to cool for 12 hrs. I noticed that the jars on the outside were sticky & noticed as I was wiping them off that there were air bubbles in the jars & some of the water had siphoned out of the jars..all the jars sealed..any reason as to why this happened?..Also, I had canned sauerkraut & the same thing happened with the sauerkraut as some of the liquid siphoned out of the jars but all jars sealed..

  • I have a question, I canned peaches for the first time and when I took them out of the pressure cooker there were white bubbles all in the jar, looked like foam. what did I do wrong, is this a problem?

    1. Well, peaches do not need to be canned in a pressure canner, so that might be part of the problem. Chances are that the increased pressure and heat forced a great deal of air out of the peach flesh, which resulted in bubbles. As long as the seals are good, they are fine.

  • 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?

    1. 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.

  • 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?

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

  • 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.

    1. 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.

  • I inevitably get tiny air bubbles in any type of strawberry jam I make! I hate it! It doesn’t look appealing for my customers. I also have strawberry jams that look perfect minus the little bubbles when I put it in the jar but after it processes the fruit floats to the top and leaves only the liquid at the bottom. It sets fine but looks terrible. Any advice?

    1. The air bubbles are hard to avoid, but the layering effect you’re getting is happening because you’re not cooking the fruit long enough and mashing it enough to work out the air during cooking. A good crushing with a potato masher during cooking will help rid the fruit of those air bubbles.

  • I recently made strawberry lemon marmalade dated 8 – 16 all 6 of my jelly jars sealed about 15 minutes after being pulled out of the canner. I went down to my pantry and noticed there are small bubbles throughout the jelly they are not moving around. Is my jelly ok to give as gifts and eat or should I throw that out I followed all directions to a tee. Any advice on the matter would be great for I am new to canning

    1. Like I said in this blog post, the only bubbles that matter at the ones that are moving and active. If your product has some air bubbles shot throughout the product that are stationary and static, the product is perfectly safe.

  • Thank you for this post. I am new to canning. I spent many hours yesterday slow cooking peaches using your vanilla peach butter recipe and then MANY of the small hours of this morning worrying about the air bubbles that appeared during processing… Cheers, Blythe

  • I am making apple sauce. When I boil Jonathan apples a white foam appears on top. After boiling, I washed the apples to remove the foam. Then I put the cooked apples through my Foley mill and the apple sauce had white foam mixed with it. I cannot remove the white foam for it is mixed with the apple sauce. Is this white foam bad for the sauce? I have never encountered this white foam before with Granny Smith or Red Delicious apples. Is this foam a spray they put on the apples trees? What can I do about this white foam, or should I just can it with the foam? Please help.

    1. I just canned apples in a light syrup and all had white foam almost like soap bubbles. I never seen this before. I don’t know if they are ok either. Have you found a reason yet?

  • I’m new at canning and have tried apple pie filling and peaches – in both cases my fruit sits on top of at least an inch from the bottom of the jar after processing. All the fruit is at the top of the jar – what am I doing wrong? The jars seal correctly just not very pretty.

    1. It’s just a normal part of canning fruit. Sometimes, cooking the fruit a little longer will help avoid that float, but it’s just something that happens sometimes!

  • We recently canned applesauce and 3 weeks later Im noticing the caps are under pressure and when i opened one the applesauce boiled out of it. Do you know the cause of this and is our applesauce no good(its only 3 weeks old)?

    1. Your applesauce is fermenting. It’s not good any more and should be tossed. It’s hard to say what the problem was but either the contents were not sterile or the jars never sealed correctly in the first place. To get a good seal and good preservation you need boiling hot product, clean jars, brand new dome lids that have been heated in a bowl of hot water, rings that are only fingertip tight (not clamped down as tight as possible) and finally the filled, lidded jars need the correct amount of time in a boiling water bath for the jar size you are using.

  • I canned pickle beets today. It’s my first time. I did everything it said to .I put a knife in it to get air bbbles out. Cooked it . And when I got the jars out it show little foamy air bubbles in it . Is it still good or do I need to redo it.

  • ok, same thing here bubbles. So I understand from the other answers you gave there is not a reason to worry. But here is my question. Since all my apple slices are floating on top and the syrup is on the bottom is it ok to lightly shake the jars and mix the apples and syrup up a bit? I am afraid that my apple slices will get dry since all the liquid is at the bottom of my jars.

  • Is the air bubble problem the same when u can homemade cooked salsa? I have air bubbles in some of them but not all and also the salsa is separeting, I think I putted to much liquid in it .

    1. The same air bubble troubleshooting applies to salsa. If your salsa is separating, it’s because the tomatoes were heated, cooled, and heated again.

  • Thank you for your information. I was worried about bubbles in my pear sauce so i of course Googled it and your site popped up. Worried no more. Thanks for being there!!

  • Ditto to Sandy D. i have not canned in 30 yrs and am now happily back in the country w/ my own trees. Adjusted head space , re-bathed and still have some bubbles so happy to be reassured and also what to look for .

  • Just did 2 big batches of pearsauce a couple weeks apart. Did all I could to remove air before processing in the water bath both times. All are quarts and I processed 20 min both times. Left 1/4 inch headspace on first batch, and 1/2 inch on the 2nd batch. BOTH batches have these big air pockets after processing – not tiny little bubbles like you talk about in this post, but bigger blobs and long sideways cracks, like crevasses, so to speak (wish I could show a pic) All my seals are good. I read thru all the other comments, and am I correct in thinking that these bigger air pockets are ok as long as they’re not moving on their own (without me turning the jar over)? Thank you!

  • I canned applesauce in jars in October 2019 and at that time I tried to make sure that there were no bubbles in the jars. Now March 2020 I noticed that there are bubbles and the sauce has expanded in the jars. Is this okay to eat?

    1. Applesauce is a product that often expands in the canner and loves to develop air bubbles during processing. If the seals are still good and the bubbles aren’t moving actively, chances are good that the sauce is fine.

  • Hi hope you can help. It’s my first week of canning. I am getting better lids and jars but at the moment I’m seeing around 50% fail. All I am doing is raw packed chicken. I have covered all safety tips
    Push chicken down leave one inch to inch and a quarter space
    Wipe rim with vinegar
    Vent for 10 mins
    Keep at right pressure for right time
    Don’t cool down too fast
    Finger tip tight
    All I can think of is if I’m slightly putting in too little or too much. I expect complete meals would be easier but with dice chicken maybe I’m not quite putting enough in at times.
    I’ve read different recipes that say one inch , inch and quarter and inch and a half.
    Do you know if it’s better to ere on the side of an inch rather than going over an inch and a quarter?
    So is slightly more better than slightly too little? I’m not sure how sensitive the fine line is?

    1. Here’s where I think you’re going wrong. You need to tighten the rings more tightly for a pressure canner than you do for water bath canning. The intense heat and pressure of the canner and loosen the rings and I bet that’s what’s leading to your seal failures.

  • I just finished making Bread and butter pickles, I use a steam bath to process them. I have one jar that has about a 1/8 inch of foam along the top is the side. The jar is properly sealed are they safe to eat?

    1. Hmm. I’d probably wait to see if the foam subsides after 24 hours or so. If it does, I wouldn’t worry about it. If it remains or gets increasingly foamy, I’d discard.

  • I am new at canning… well a total novice. I forgot to de-bubble my jelly. I looked at the jars. The jelly is clear. I do not see any bubbles at all. I did a water bath can and I am going to trust it that it is ok based on your message to your audience.

    1. You are fine. Removing bubbles is more important when you’re canning pickles or whole fruit. Jellies hardly ever need to be bubbled because by their nature, they’re not going to trap many bubbles in the first place.

  • I never have troubling with siphoning. My problem is the mold. Maybe when I put the applesauce in the hot
    jars, the applesauce has cooled some. Could that be my problem? Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

    1. Are you doing a water bath process on the applesauce? If not, that’s why the jars are getting moldy. It’s no longer thought to be acceptable to simply fill and seal.

  • Yesterday I did a batch of dill pickles….put them in clean jars …pored over boiling liquid….sealed with sterilized lids…..cooked in a water bath for about 15 minutes.
    They sealed/snapped…..This morning there are bubbles on top….some appear to be moving…..I put them in the now but are they safe to eat or do I need to throw them out?
    Thank you……

    1. I would be very surprised if your pickles were fermenting after that water bath process. Leave the jars alone for 24 hours. Then look at them. Are the bubbles moving like its carbonated? Are the lids starting to bulge? If not, they are probably fine.

  • I canned applesauce and did it to the T following the Ball book. I left 1/2 in headspace, (measured it with the tool) removed air bubbles, wiped the rims clean, etc.
    After 24 hours cooling time, I checked the seals, they looked fine and I put them in the pantry. A few days later, I noticed there was no headspace in the jars. The jars are sealed, the sauce looks a normal color, but it appears to have expanded and there is no headspace. Nothing oozed out of the jars though.
    I was about to throw away the sauce, thinking with no headspace something went wrong and it may be unsafe.
    Is it safe to eat – if the jars are sealed – if there is NO headspace in the jar? Please advise, I’m afraid to eat the sauce.

  • I processed peaches twice trying to remove air bubbles . Still a small amount at the top . Is this ok ? Donโ€™t want to get anyone sick

    1. Air bubbles don’t make people sick unless they are actively moving on their own after the jar has been untouched for at least an hour. Your peaches are fine, though they might have a slightly softer texture given that you processed them twice.

  • Thank you. I don’t usually have this problem. My grandsons and I have started picking apples, making applesauce (I make the applesauce by myself as they are almost 3 and 5.) and then together we make applesauce muffins. I was hoping the air bubbles would not prevent this batch from making muffins together.

    1. You can absolutely use the applesauce in your muffins. Applesauce is notorious for retaining air bubbles.

  • Hi there, I just canned chicken and rice soup and when I turned the jars sideways with the lid pointing down big air bubbles came to the lid and the food was literally hitting the lid back and forth, as if I was shaking the jar back and forth but I was holding the jar still. The lids are sealed good but worried that this may cause botulism? with air build up that much that it caused the food to move inside the jar when I tipped it, I’m concerned that I should just open them up and put them in the fridge? So strange.

    Have you heard of this? What are your thoughts? Thank you!

    1. Huh. I’m a little confused. The food was moving around violently when the jar was still? Or was it just continuing to slosh in response to your movement. Could you elaborate?

  • My daughter canned apple pie filling on Tuesday. Today is Saturday and I can see bubbles – not tiny, but not huge either, throughout the sides of the jars. There is no headspace left. I’m concerned that the sticky pie filling may give the appearance that the jar is sealed, when it really isn’t. I don’t see the bubbles moving. Is the pie filling safe? The lids do not move up or down in the center – so it appears they are sealed…..

    1. That it totally normal with apple pie filling. It expands to fill every inch of the jar and loves to trap air bubbles. As long as the seals are good, it is fine.

  • What if there are bubbles that move freely in the liquid of separated applesauce? My sauce was properly processed, but separated and there ate some bubbles in the thick sauce and also in the lquid.

    1. Applesauce separates because it was heated, cooled, and heated again. Even if you did your processing properly, it’s normal for there to be a few bubbles. Are the bubbles moving independently when the jars has been undisturbed for awhile? That’s the sign of fermentation. But if there are just bubbles in the sauce, that’s normal.

  • I jarred pinto beans with fried bacon 3 days ago. When I shake the jar or turn it over a few times it has large air bubbles inside. I did process for 1 1/2 hours in pressure canner. There are no bubbles when they are on the counter. What do I do?

    1. The only time you need to worry about the bubbles is if they are moving independently when the jar has been sitting still for some time. If the bubbles are only moving when you are shaking the jar, you don’t need to worry.

  • Can they be recanned if there are active bubbles? I just canned for the first time ever and two have active bubbles and two don’t. Can the active bubble jars be recanned?

    1. How long has it been since you canned the product? And are the bubbles moving on their own after the jars have been undisturbed for a period of several hours? Because if it’s only been a short time since you took the jars out of the canner, there’s very little chance that the food could have fermented/spoiled to the point of getting bubbles.

  • Wow THANK YOU!! I thought I was going to have to toss all my cherry jam that took me 3/4 day to can ughhh Iโ€™m so frightened of making someone seriously Iโ€™ll ๐Ÿซฃ

  • Hello!
    So I have canned some salsa and I did remove air bubbles before water-bathing them. But after they have sat undisturbed for a few days, when I lift the jars and turn them on their sides there are tiny bubbles that move and even bubble to the surface. When left stationary they did not move. Is this a problem?

    1. Those bubbles are fine. The bubbles you need to be concerned about are ones that are moving as if the product is carbonated. If they’re only moving because you’re tipping the jar, the are fine.

  • Hello , please help ! I canned sweet potatoes about a week ago. Today, I decided to just go take a look and noticed I have active bubbles in my jars . This is my first time canning , is this normal ?

    1. That is not normal. Did you use a pressure canner? Sweet potatoes can only safely be canned under pressure as they are a low acid food. I would suggest you throw them out.

  • First time canner here . I was worried about my apple sauce – it was morr thick and chunjy when canned- but it had small air bubbles for awhile now the bottomes are more slurry and if I tilt it the air bubbles will merge.. but lids are firm , popped one it was difficult but inside looked fine and smelt fine it was as if all thebjuice went to the bottom of the jar instead and once mixed was back to normal… thoughts or opinions on how to help/prevent ? Do I trust the rest of the jars (made quite a few pints !)

    1. What you’re describing is within normal applesauce behavior. The juice and pulp will sometimes separate if you cooked the applesauce, then cooled it, and reheated it.

  • Thank you for your help. After I filled the jars with apple sauce I stirred them a bit with the handle of a boiled, wooden spoon. I had air bubbles coming out of the filled, lidded jars shortly after I placed them in boiling water.
    I hope this is ok. I will boil the jars the appropriate time and maybe a bit more.

    1. As long as the bubbles remain still and motionless when the jar is resting and undisturbed, they are fine. Once the jars are sealed, air bubbles are only an issue if they are moving independently when the jar is at rest.

  • I recently canned apple jelly and most of my jars have lots and lots of tiny air bubbles.
    Iโ€™ve read that this is safe for apple butter, but what about apple jelly.
    The apples were fresh & cleaned organic Fuji apples.
    I did add Ball Fruit-Fresh to the apples to keep them from browning.
    Thank you for your help!

    1. That is normal. As long as the bubbles aren’t moving independently while the jar is at rest, you should be just fine. Once jars are sealed, air bubbles are only an issue if they are active and moving.