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Recanning Tomato Sauce?

I have made a mistake in canning home made tomato sauce and would appreciate it if someone can tell me if I can correct this or if it would be safer to throw it all away?

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I made plain sauce and canned most of in in pint jars. However it is many years since I have done this sort of thing, and did not process it properly. Can I open and re-boil the sauce and add the lemon juice and salt I should have put into each jar?

Then using new lids and processing it in the proper way with the longer processing time required? I only did it for 20 min. and also the jars were NOT covered with water as they should have been. I used to can lots of different fruit and even salmon, but I have never done tomatoes before. We had a great tomato crop this year so I did try, but I only had a large pot. It was not deep enough, but I plan to buy a new canning pot tomorrow so I can do it the right way. Also I will check out methods before I try to do any more home canning; I do not want to make any one ill with improperly prepared home preserving. Thanking you in advance.

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Anonymous
October 25, 20150 found this helpful

It's hard to know if the sauce is still good when you weren't clear on what you did. Processing pints of tomato sauce/juice for 20 minutes is fine. Not adding salt and/or lemon juice is OK too--I rarely add them when I can mine. Not covering the jars with water probably won't matter (since tomatoes are high acid); even in my canning pot, sometimes my taller jars aren't covered with water. My grandmother and mom occasionally had the same problem with taller jars, and none of us have ever had a problem with tomato juice going bad. As long as the juice was boiling when put into the jars, the jars were processed in water that had a full rolling boil the entire time, and the jars had sealed properly, they should be fine.

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A problem might arise if you added other items to the sauce, like onions, green peppers, etc, which would increase the processing time. But you stated that you made plain tomato sauce, so I'm assuming that you meant tomatoes only. Personally, I've made some tomato juice that was thicker than my usual home canned sauce, so if the sauce isn't exceptionally thick, I think it would be OK.

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