Home > Ask Our Experts > How Do I Ensure Jars are Sealed Properly?

How Do I Ensure Jars are Sealed Properly?

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 25 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Jam Jar Sterilised Jar Jar Seal Rubber

Q.

I have just bottled some pears and apples in the glass jars with glass tops and rubber rings (my first time I might add) in an electric steriliser machine, how do I know if they have sealed properly, they are still warm and the fruit seems to be towards the top of the jars?

(Mrs Maureen Hill, 16 September 2008)

A.

It is important to sterilise jars, so that bacteria doesn’t have a chance to form on the surface of the jam, causing it to go mouldy. By sterilising the jars beforehand you should avoid this.

One method you can try is checking the seals on the top of the jar by turning them upside down. Obviously, if there are any leaks, they’ll become apparent quite fast! This should let you know whether the jam jars have sealed themselves properly. Hot air expands and rises – this is most likely why all the fruit sits at the top of the jar shortly after being bottled. But as the hot air inside the jar cools, the air contracts and draws in the lid and seal, effectively creating a vacuum. During cooling you’ll probably notice that the fruit begins to settle as the liquid cools.

The vacuum created by the cooling air firmly closes the lid down. A vacuum means that no air can escape and no air can get in. And as the jar has been sterilised, there is no bacteria that can grow within this airtight space. Jars with metal lids have a small ‘button’ that is drawn inwards as the vacuum is created – a useful visual aid to show that the jar has sealed. If this button has popped, the jam jar either has a leak or the jar has been opened. You’ll often see supermarket jams with these pop buttons.

But with glass-lidded jars with rubber seals, of course there’s not a visual ‘thumbs up’ that everything has sealed properly. So in this case, as aforementioned, the best thing to do is very simple. By turning the jar upside down you’ll not only check for leaks, but this is also a great way to store your bottled fruit. By creating a vacuum at the bottom of the jar when stored upside down, there is a much better chance that there will be no gaps or leaks for air to get in. Obviously, this means that no mould will form on the surface of the preserved apples and pears and is a sort of “two pronged attack” on ensuring that the jars are sealed properly.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Pamy - Your Question:
Why had some of my jard with pears in is frothing

Our Response:
This can happen if you do not fill the jam to the top of the jar, when filling. The fact there is a gap between the jam and the lid means the food has room to breathe and therefore expand when the jam cools. It is not a problem if the jam is eaten relatively soon. However, the extra gap does mean the jam may mould if stored for too long.
FruitExpert - 26-Sep-17 @ 12:13 PM
Why had some of my jard with pears in is frothing
Pamy - 25-Sep-17 @ 7:13 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • ian
    Re: Growing Avocados
    I have a much loved, potted avocado tree that needs an indoor home because I’m moving away. It’s 5-years old and 8 feet tall. Any suggestions?
    23 August 2019
  • Dawni
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Just eaten a piece of delicious Winberry tart lovenly made by my sister Kay from Maesteg. I haven't tasted Winberries in…
    15 August 2019
  • Dawni
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Just had a piece of delicious winberry tart lovingly made by my sister Kay from Maesteg.Itsthe fMAirst time I've had…
    15 August 2019
  • Diane
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Still surprises me how many people haven’t heard of the winberry it seems to be a valley thing I think, I’m lucky enough…
    13 August 2019
  • Jackie
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    I live in Blaengarw, in the Garw Valley. They are everywhere here.
    10 August 2019
  • Katsouna
    Re: Plum Trees
    We have a Victoria Plum which is 15 to 20 years old, 2 years ago we had a brilliant crop, last year we had just a few and this year we have a lot of very…
    4 August 2019
  • Noel Baba
    Re: Growing Gooseberries
    Trying to grow gooseberries here in Turkey.like a previous post we have very hot summers sometimes 38 degrees,and more I bring plants back…
    27 July 2019
  • ECO1
    Re: When to Harvest Fruit
    Hi , I like to joining with yours for plucking fruits. Have any vacancies about this season ?
    27 July 2019
  • Yum
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Bought some pies at Bury Mkt today Also saw fresh berries to buy too What a treat????
    26 July 2019
  • Mammagino
    Re: Why do we not hear about Winberries?
    Hello, I'm originally from Rhymney and as a child I would be up the mountains picking Winberries. I want to take my son…
    22 July 2019