Updated: Mar 16
Its a canning “re-do”
So what happens after you have processed your food for the proper amount of time and you have noticed after it cools that it did not seal?. Is it wasted?
At this point you have a couple of options and NO it is not wasted! 🙂. It's all good and you have a decision.
#1. you can put it in the refrigerator and just eat it, not keeping it long term.
#2. You can reprocess it.
Initially It should have cooled on its own and it is at that point that you realize it has not sealed... You will need to open the jar and pour contents into a pot and reheat. Then place back in clean jars making sure that there are no chips on the rim or a bad lid.
You MUST process REHEATED contents for the same amount of time as initially required. Then let cool and recheck to make sure it is sealed.
Reprocessing it will not hurt the quality, but it will cook it down more. So you need to determine if what you want to re-can will be too mushy if cooked longer.. For instance, applesauce is not going to matter if it gets cooked more, but you may not want to cook potatoes again causing them to become too mushy.
I know it seems easier to just process for a short amount of time and call it good since it was done the first time, but this is not how it works and is not safe. Always be on the safe side when it comes to preserving your food.
In this case I had 3 quarts of stew that did not seal the first time. I know that it was my fault because I filled the jar to full causing the inside to seep out during processing... As the inside temperature rises and causes the contents to bubble out, it can leave residue on the lid causing it not to seal properly, especially if it is an oily broth.