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What Does It Mean When A Jar Lid Pops? #1 Best Answer

Jar lid pop is that moment when you open a tightly closed jar, and it produces a high sound. The sound is neither too sharp nor annoying but soothing to the ears. The sound is most commonly associated with or recognized in champagne bottle opening, which sees many people celebrate.

Nevertheless, it’s also present when opening many other food items where a jar is tightly closed. While the “pop” sound is unique and likable, its presence has more meaning than just a soothing sound that entertains people.

What Does It Mean When A Jar Lid Pops?

If a jar lid pops, it could mean different things, which will prove that the food or consumable liquid inside is safe. A pop means the lid was tightly sealed and couldn’t have allowed air inside. The pop sound also indicates that the content inside hasn’t been exposed to any potential microorganisms. As some of the foods in these cans are carbonated, and the only way to prove this preservation measure worked is by hearing the pop sound. In general, the pop sound means the food inside has been well preserved.

What Does It Mean When A Jar Lid Pops?
What Does It Mean When A Jar Lid Pops?

What Types of Food Can I Hear a Jar Lid Pop When Opening?

Not all canned foods or consumables will have a pop sound. However, there are those that I always expect to hear this sound after opening, and if I miss it, then something must be wrong. That cross-cuts among both beverages and other solid food items, as you may find below:

1. Canned Fruits

The fruit content inside a can usually is carbonated. As such, to know that the quality of the fruit content is healthy, I always expect the pop sound.

2. Sodas and Juice

While the sound may differ for each, it is there. That’s because the drinks are pressured for carbonation. If I miss the sound, it’s an outright conclusion for me that the drink has gone flat or bad and could have health risks.

We have come to expect our juices and soda bottles to pop when opened. The absence of a pop could indicate juice has gone flat or gone bad.
We have come to expect our juices and soda bottles to pop when opened. The absence of a pop could indicate juice has gone flat or gone bad.

3. Canned Meat

Meat is another canned content that produces the pop sound, indicating proper sealing. Sometimes, the pop will happen even before opening, which should be no cause for alarm.

Why Must a Canned Food Jar Lid Pop?

The popping on most jar lids results from the release of pressure inside when the lid is opened. Remember, most of these foods have additives for preservation.

Jars popping when opened results from the release of air pressure in the jar.
Jars popping when opened results from the release of air pressure in the jar.

For the preservation process to show positive results, the process requires low pressure inside the jar. This phenomenon gives that pop sound that we all love when opening a preserved food jar lid. 

If you miss hearing the pop sound, then it means there is an opening letting in the air, or the jar content wasn’t well preserved in the first place.

That would mean there are higher chances the food content may have gone bad and isn’t fit for consumption. The best option at that point is to throw it away.

If the jar doesn't pop when you open it, it means that it wasn't properly sealed and the food was not protected from microorganisms that cause food spoilage. It is best to throw them out.
If the jar doesn’t pop when you open it, it means that it wasn’t properly sealed and the food was not protected from microorganisms that cause food spoilage. It is best to throw them out.

Why Won’t My Jar Lid Pop When Opening?

I’m always careful to ensure I hear the popping sound of preserved foods and specifically the canned ones, no matter how fast or soft they may sound. That’s because I know it means healthier food content in the jar.

When I fail to hear it, then there is a problem. Here are a few reasons I associate with the absence of lid pop when opening my canned food.

1. Loose lid

The lid isn’t well-sealed if there is no pop sound after opening a preserved food jar. The lack of pop shows the pressure inside the jar balances with the pressure outside and indicates improper jar sealing. Again, that could mean microorganisms that lead to spoiled food might have slipped into the jar.

Jars will only properly close if the lids fit properly and if there is no damage to the jars that will allow air to come in. If jar is damaged or lid is does not fit, food will not be properly preserved.
Jars will only properly close if the lids fit properly and if there is no damage to the jars that will allow air to come in. If jar is damaged or lid is does not fit, food will not be properly preserved.

2. No preservation in the first place

Sometimes it is the case that right from the manufacturing, a mistake is made, and the jar content wasn’t well preserved.

That would mean the pop sound will not be present when opening the lid. In this case, the food has stayed for quite some time without proper preservation and hence is not fit for consumption.

3. Jar not full

When the jar isn’t filled with food content, the chances are that there is too much air left inside. Too much air in the jar would mean enough oxygen for bacteria to thrive. That would eventually spoil the food.

Why is My Jar Lid Not Sealing Properly?

There are multiple reasons why you may be trying to seal a jar, but it’s still not properly closing. While this happens, I always know it’s one of the following problems.

1. Old Lid

The first things I check when the sealing doesn’t work are the trends on the top and the jar. Old lids and jars always have their trends wear out.

2. Barrier

If the trends are okay, then I check the presence of any object stuck on either the jar or the lid preventing it from sealing correctly.

3. Overfilling

 If the jar is filled to the brim and the headspace is not enough, then you can be sure the jar won’t seal properly, and thus don’t expect any pop sound.

4. Ring Problems

The ring or trend problem may be occasioned by rusting or damage through rust or bend.

5. Cracks

If the lid or the jar mouth is cracked, then the cap will not properly seal, which would mean air will get in, and pressure inside will balance with the pressure outside. So, expect no pop sound.

Frequently Asked Questions to What Does It Mean When A Jar Lid Pops?

Why Did the Jar Lid Not Pop When Opening It?

There could be several reasons. First, probably the jar wasn’t well-sealed, and secondly, it’s possible the preservatives to the food inside weren’t correctly done.

What Do I Do If the Jar Lid Doesn’t Pop?

At this moment, there is very little you can do. The most likely choice will be to check if the content is good if it hasn’t been stored for long. Otherwise, just throw it away.

Should I Be Scared My Jar Lid Pops After Opening?

This is expected and it proves the jar is sealed correctly and the food content is well preserved.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.