Reprocessing Unsealed Jars
- If a jar did not seal, and the recipe has hot pack canning instructions for the food, it can be reprocessed within 24 hours. If reusing the same jar, check the jar sealing surface for tiny nicks.
- When reprocessing, follow the hot pack instructions, including reheating the contents, using a clean hot jar, and a new lid. Remember to adjust the processing time according to your elevation.
- If there are no hot pack instructions, or it is pie filling, squash, or another dense item, then it is recommended to freeze or refrigerate that product, instead of reprocessing.
Freezing or Refrigerating Unsealed Jars
- If a jar did not seal during processing, the headspace in the unsealed jar should be increased to 1 ½ inches before freezing. The canning lid may be reused when freezing.
- Another option is to store the jar in the refrigerator and consume within several days.
National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia Extension
USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, National Center for Home Preservation
This article originally written by Julie Albrecht. Updated and reviewed by Carol Larvick in 2021.