View Full Version : Pressure canning issue

08-20-2015, 08:57 PM
I have done a fair amount of canning, but now I am lost. I just pressure canned 7 quarts of ham & pintos for 90 minutes at 11psi and about half of the lids and rings have a very distinct black coloration on them. The black on the lids wash off with a little scrubbing but the rings are a PITA and they just don't come "clean". I always add a splash of white vinegar and am wondering if that is the culprit as maybe I added too much vinegar. Anyone else have blackened lids and rings when they pressure can? Not all the jars were affected, but all had new rings and lids. All 7 jars sealed too.

08-20-2015, 10:42 PM
Kess -

I've never had that happen so don't have a quick answer for you. Some thoughts --

Is this the first time canning at your new place? Possibly different water quality or mineral composition/concentration.
Can you get any view to the inside of the lids? I'm concerned if they're discolored on the food side.

08-20-2015, 11:06 PM
Doesn't sound like anything I've ever seen either.

08-21-2015, 08:09 AM
Good morning,
I canned at the old place and altho I use distilled water INSIDE my jars, the water in the pressure canner was tap water as usual. I have 3 more jars to can this morning and we'll see what happens. As far as I can tell the blackened lids are on just on the outside BUT the rings were blackened on the inside of the ring too. Maybe temps too high? Too much vinegar? Hmmm.

08-21-2015, 08:33 AM
Kess, I came across this in a canning foum. This was as close as I could find to your problem. So if the black spots are on the outside your food should be safe according to this as they are referring to the inside. I also wonder if the new BPA seals have anything to do with it.

"When I opened my jar there were black spots on the inside of the lid. Is my food safe to eat?
Yes, your food should be safe to eat so long as the black spots on the lid are the only indicator of something wrong. These spots are caused by natural compounds in some foods, the deposit is harmless. Unfortunately, there is nothing that will prevent these spots in future canning."

08-21-2015, 08:40 AM
If it is a film and wipes off, it may be the vinegar, minerals in the water, and the aluminum of the canner reacting. I have not had it happen in a canner, but I have had it happen in aluminum pots and pans.

Take a clean white rag and wipe the inside of the canner. Is it black as well?

08-21-2015, 09:19 AM
None of my business, I don't can, but grandmother did. Here is something that may help. Try a different pot. What the article does not say, is certain things & Aluminum will turn black. Maybe that is the issue or some combination thereof.


Target stainless pressure cooker sample (http://www.target.com/p/presto-6-qt-stainless-steel-pressure-cooker/-/A-659986?ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=659986&ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=pla_kitchen+shopping&adgroup=sc_kitchen_top+performers&LID=26pgs&KID=f83c8547-83f4-4aba-9d5b-196cb90057ae&kpid=659986&gclid=CKvgxYCwuscCFQGUaQod0IUC5g)

08-21-2015, 10:57 AM
I would say it is deposits from your water. Typically, aluminum will not turn black, even when it oxidizes. It turns more white/grey-ish. Not black.

If it wipes off and the lids sealed, I wouldn't worry about it. But watch the jars. If they lose their seal, discard the batch.

08-21-2015, 02:20 PM
Well, I just finished canning 3 quarts of pintos & ham and 4 quarts of potatoes. All perfect, no problem. Since I used a lower flame while canning these, I can only assume that maybe my temperature was too high on the last batch or I brought the temperature up too fast. I changed nothing other than bringing the temperature up a bit slower and canning at a lower flame which made my "jiggler" barely jiggle altho the dial read 10psi instead of 11psi. By-the-way, I'm near sea level here in Florida.

Thanks for the remarks and suggestions....I will keep an eye on my canning a little closer now. Going to can some GN beans & ham maybe tomorrow or Sunday.

Betty Buckshot
08-22-2015, 10:30 AM
I've had lids & rings turn black too. Can't remember what I was canning, but it very well might have been ham/beans too. Although it looks bad & does kinda ruin the rings, I didn't worry about it. I don't know the reason but very likely as everyone said a combo of minerals in the water @ high pressure for a long time. I was at about 3500 ft so canned at 15 lbs for 90 min.

08-22-2015, 02:22 PM
I just took 7 quarts of GN Beans & Ham out of the Pressure Canner and some jar lids & rings had black on them. I liken the blackness to "soot" but it isn't. I brought the temps up slow and that didn't change anything. I did notice that I lost about a quarter inch of liquid in each jar and the jars were somewhat oily no doubt from the ham I had added. All 7 sealed w/o issue. Almost has to be a chemical reaction from the ham or beans and the steam I think. Maybe next time I will use distilled water in the canner and see if that changes anything. I haven't noticed a "blackened" issue on the lids or rings of other canned foods, just ham & beans. Maybe it's the stuff in the bean that causes farts causing the problem....lol

Have some ham left over and undecided what to can with it....hmmmm

- - - Updated - - -

Betty Buckshot
08-23-2015, 11:19 PM
Dode said to soak the beans (pinto, etc...) for 36 hrs changing the water 3 times to get rid of the gas.

The best way I found to keep from losing liquid from the jars was to cool down very slowly. Take the pressure gauge off, let it sit 10 more min, turn the canner lid, but don't lift it, let it sit, offset it a little & wait another 10 or so... just let them cool down a bunch before you ever remove the canner lid, then let them sit in the canner w/o the lid a few min before you take them out. Just really slow cooling time, but of course I'm at higher altitude & pressure than you

08-28-2015, 03:54 PM
I canned black beans and ham and Baby Lima's and ham with no issues. I did can some Russet potatoes and opened a jar the other day, added a bit of butter, some salt and garlic powder and they were delicious. I will be canning more potatoes for sure. Russets are high in starch, but they came out just fine. I probably will be canning a few quarts of either red or yellow potatoes as they are lower in starch. Next Russets I can I will cube much smaller and make a potato soup, well almost a soup. Need to can some more pickled hot dogs too. Wish I could get a bushel of 'mators cheap!

Now if I could only can chocolate ice cream........