oil in canned spaghetti sauce

vaherbmomAugust 3, 2012

HI all,

I do alot of canning every year but this year my son wanted to make the spaghetti sauce. I let him and then processed the sauce in a pressure canner. He later told me he put olive oil in the sauce--"alot". He did not put any vegetables, just some spices and wine.

Is this safe? I'd call the extension home economist but I know from experience they always say only to use current USDA recipes. I suppose we could just use the sauce up quickly as there were only 6 quarts.

thanks for any help

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wizardnm

I would freeze it. There's a reason for not canning non-approved recipes, your son needs to learn.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:25PM
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laceyvail

Absolutely use it immediately or freeze it. ONLY recipes approved for canning should be used. You cannot invent your own.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:52AM
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arkansas_girl

I agree with "freeze it"...I always freeze my extra sauce. Just freeze it in qualtities that you will use for a meal.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:29AM
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annie1992

I'll add my voice to the mix, I also say freeze it promptly. There are safety reasons why extension services will say use only approved recipes. Additionally, it's pretty much a given that you shouldn't add oil, butter, eggs or milk in home canned products.

There are exceptions, of course, like the National Center For Home Food Preservation's three bean salad and lemon curd, but those exceptions are few and far between.

That's not to say that your sauce is dangerous. I can't say that it's safe either. Only tested recipes can be declared safe to can or not, which is the real problem. So many things haven't been tested so you just don't know.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:15PM
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vaherbmom

Ack! Ok. I'll open all the jars and freeze it.

My son is a great cook but doesn't know much about canning.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:22PM
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centralcacyclist

Even with pressure canning, the oil is possibly unsafe? I haven't explored pressure canning though it's on do my list.

Eileen

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:34PM
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morz8

Even with pressure canning, oil included in but a very few tested approved recipes is considered unsafe, and not acceptable.

Of course, easy to add things when the jars are again opened to heat and serve, like milk/cream, dollop of butter, whatever our little hearts (and appetites) desire :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Good Place to Start - NCHFP Safe Canning

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:05PM
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chas045

Well, I admit that I am no expert on canning, but I am with barnmom in at least questioning the advise here. I hadn't recalled any statements about oil in canning so I briefly googled it. My cursory search DID find a 'question' about the ability of at least SOME lids to be guaranteed safely sealed with oil. I also saw a statement about not using water bath canning with oil, but we are involved with prressure canning in the current case.

And then I looked at the NCHFP listed above and immediately came upon the recipe for spaghetti sauce with meat. It used ground beef! The percent fat wasn't noted in this recipe but it is clear that fat is present. I can't imagine that one lipid is different from another (certainly at high pressure) for canning purposes.

Now again, I am not an expert but I would suggest that from the above, it would at least be worthwhile having a clear reason why my findings in at least the preceding paragraph would not allow oil use.

I am also concerned about the more general statement that ONLY approved recipies be used. If that means general principles of the recipies, then I certainly agree (oil or no oil would fit this criterion). However if all recipies must be tested or evaluated, I would wonder how this would be done except by determining a couple of things such as the pH or salt content or whatever. I don't assume that a new zuchini with special onions must undergo new testing by canning hundreds of jars and feeding them to rats or hopefully only measuring for botulism after five years or something. My guess is that recipies similar to others that have even moderately similar conditions are routinely approved simply by logic.

Would someone care to set me straight?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:16PM
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annie1992

chas, there are guidelines, such as NCHFP use for soup. The vegetable ingedients may change, but the proportions of vegetables to broth, etc., stay the same.

It's the same with pickles, you can use more cucumbers, less onions, etc., as long as the proportion of vegetables to brine and the acidity level of the brine doesn't change. Lemon or lime juice may be substituted for vinegar as they are higher in acidity, etc.

However, the addition of "lots" of oil to a recipe, an amount that cannot even be measured or guessed at is just not something I'm comfortable saying that it's safe to can. There are bean recipes that include bacon and ham, there are spaghetti and chili recipes that use ground beef, there are soup recipes that use chicken or beef, all are safe to can. However, the proportions are known, and in this case they are not.

I agree in part with "only tested recipes". They may be safe but some are not particularly tasty. Thye same basic scientific principals and proportions SHOULD produce a safe product. Can I absolutely guarantee it's safe? Of course I can't, you can only expect that from one that's tested.

Of course, I'm a rebel and a rabble rouser and regularly break all the canning "rules", or at least some of them. However, it's my choice and my risk to take, much like eating raw eggs in ice cream. I know the risk and choose to take it but I won't tell anyone else it's safe.

That said, about 25 people a year die from botulism from home canned products, a very small number given the number of people who eat home canned foods. More contract it through things like restaurant baked potatoes left sitting on a counter in aluminum foil too long, or carrot juice that was not properly stored. Still, there's a chance and so I won't tell anyone something is safe if I have qualms, which I definitely do in this case.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:37PM
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