The Importance Of Removing Air Bubbles From Home-Canned Food

Home canning is a fun hobby to some and a way to save money and extend the life of home grown foods for others. Whatever the reason people gravitate to canning, it's something that requires you learn some methods and terms up front before you begin to ensure a safe and successful canning session. A term that's at the top of the list to learn? Headspace.

"Headspace is the space at the top of the jar between the underside of the lid, and the top of the food or liquid in the jar," according to Healthy Canning. The amount of headspace needed is something that varies depending on the item you're canning like jam or pickles and the method used (water bath canning or pressure canning), per Food Preserving

When it comes to minding headspace, you also need to think about air bubbles in your jar. It's inevitable that there will be some air bubbles in your jars when canning any food at home, but what are those air bubbles? And what's the best way to remove them?

Don't compromise your seal

As noted by Taste of Home, the bubbles are nothing more than trapped air and failing to remove them before putting your lids on can add to your headspace, which can cause your jars to seal improperly. Maintaining the correct headspace is important because an improper seal can allow the growth of bacteria that can result in foodborne illnesses, according to RusticWise. Removing bubbles is fairly simple: They're removed with a wood or plastic tool, sometimes called a debubbler, as Sunset Hosta Farm reports.

Although the idea of doing anything that could make yourself or loved ones sick can feel overwhelming, implementing the proper practice of removing the air bubbles will result in less spoilage or other negative issues. Besides the possibility of illness, leaving bubbles can force liquid out of jars during processing. Food in Jars explains that if the air bubbles get trapped in the middle of the jar, they could escape during processing and can end up pushing some of your liquid out. 

Home canning is a worthwhile labor of love and that in itself is reason enough to adhere to the rules and set yourself up for success.