Grit Blogs > Chasing Goats and Scratching Hogs

Why Canning Jars Break

In farm life, there is always something happening to keep you humble.

I'm not new to canning, but last week I experienced something that had never happened before. When I opened my water bath canner to remove seven jars of fabulous dill pickles...three jars were floating.

Floating jars? What does that mean?

Upon carefully removing the jars, I discovered I had a mess on my hands. For I had one...

 jar 1 


 jar 2
 and three jars....

 jar 3
whose bottoms all popped off while in the canner.

I just stared into the bowl. Broken jars, and wasted pickles. That's enough to make a farmgirl mad!

I asked around to my farmgirl friends who informed me there are many reasons that jars can break in the canner, but it is most often because a) a cooled off jar was put into a canner that was too hot, b) a hot jar was put into canning water that was too cold, or c) the jar was already cracked or weak when put into the canner.

Well, darn it. Live and learn. Farm life keeps you humble, for sure! I know they say there is no point in crying over spilled milk, but I do think shedding a tear over wasted pickles is probably acceptable. :)