How Long to Pressure Can Spaghetti Sauce Quarts?

Pressure canning is a popular method for preserving various foods, including spaghetti sauce. By using a pressure canner, you can ensure that your spaghetti sauce is safely stored for an extended period without compromising its quality and flavor. In this article, we will guide you through the process of pressure canning spaghetti sauce in quarts, including the recommended processing time.

Why Pressure Canning?

Pressure canning is essential when it comes to low-acid foods like spaghetti sauce. Unlike high-acid foods that can be safely water bath canned, low-acid foods require higher temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum. By using a pressure canner, you can reach these high temperatures and eliminate the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Ingredients and Equipment

Before you begin pressure canning your spaghetti sauce, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment:

  • Ingredients:
    • Tomatoes
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Bell peppers
    • Mushrooms
    • Olive oil
    • Sugar
    • Salt
    • Dried herbs (such as oregano, basil, and thyme)

  • Equipment:
    • Canning jars (quart size)
      • Note: Ensure that your jars are in good condition, without any cracks or chips.

    • Pressure canner
      • Note: Check that your pressure canner is in proper working condition, with a functioning pressure gauge and seals.

    • Funnel
    • Ladle
    • Jar lifter

Pressure Canning Process

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment ready, it’s time to start pressure canning your spaghetti sauce. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your Sauce

Begin by preparing your spaghetti sauce. Chop the tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms according to your desired consistency.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the vegetables until they are soft. Add in sugar, salt, and dried herbs to taste. Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes until it thickens.

Step 2: Sterilize Your Jars

To ensure the safety of your canned spaghetti sauce, it’s crucial to sterilize your jars properly. Wash them with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

Place them in a large pot filled with water and bring it to a boil. Let the jars boil for 10 minutes to sterilize them.

Step 3: Fill Your Jars

Carefully remove the sterilized jars from the boiling water using a jar lifter. Place a funnel on top of each jar and ladle the hot spaghetti sauce into each one, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any sauce residue.

Step 4: Seal Your Jars

After filling the jars, it’s time to seal them properly. Place the lids on top of each jar and screw on the bands until they are fingertip-tight. Make sure not to overtighten them as air needs to escape during processing.

Step 5: Process in a Pressure Canner

Now, it’s time to process your spaghetti sauce-filled jars in a pressure canner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific canner model regarding water levels and pressure settings.

  • For spaghetti sauce in quart-sized jars, process at 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes if using a dial gauge canner or at 10 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes if using a weighted gauge canner.

Ensure that you maintain a consistent pressure throughout the entire processing time by adjusting heat accordingly.

Step 6: Allow Jars to Cool

After processing, turn off the heat and let the pressure canner cool down naturally. Do not force-cool or open the canner until it has depressurized completely. This may take some time depending on your canner model.

Step 7: Check for Seals

Once depressurized, carefully remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter and place them on a towel-lined countertop. Allow them to cool completely. As they cool, you should hear a “ping” sound indicating that each jar has sealed properly.

In Conclusion

Canning your own spaghetti sauce allows you to enjoy the flavors of summer all year round. By following the pressure canning process outlined above, you can safely store your homemade spaghetti sauce in quart-sized jars.

Remember to always follow proper canning guidelines and adjust processing times based on your altitude. With a little effort, you’ll have delicious spaghetti sauce ready whenever you need it!