First Attempt at Pressure Canning


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My 2 doz. x 16 oz Ball Mason canning jars arrived on Saturday, to complement the high-domed 10l pressure vessel I recently bought.

Anyway, I made a medium-sized batch of home-grown (apart from the oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper) vegetarian pasta sauce, with tomatoes, peppers, onions, courgettes (zucchini), garlic, basil and oregano.
Had it for dinner, really enjoyed it, then filled 3 of the jars with what remained, let it steam for some time and then pressure canned it for 20 mins @ 15psi.
All went smoothly; the seals seem excellent, the produce looks undamaged.
Many thanks to Durgan for his patient advice. (I'm sure I'll need more!)
 
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For preserving all vegetables and fruits, it is impossible to improve on Pressure Canning. The pressure canner is my extra arm. I as just counting my liter jars for 2017. There are 192 liters in sixteen boxes of 12 each. I still have concord grapes, apples, pears, and possibly elderberries to can when they come into season.
 
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My 2 doz. x 16 oz Ball Mason canning jars arrived on Saturday, to complement the high-domed 10l pressure vessel I recently bought.

Anyway, I made a medium-sized batch of home-grown (apart from the oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper) vegetarian pasta sauce, with tomatoes, peppers, onions, courgettes (zucchini), garlic, basil and oregano.
Had it for dinner, really enjoyed it, then filled 3 of the jars with what remained, let it steam for some time and then pressure canned it for 20 mins @ 15psi.
All went smoothly; the seals seem excellent, the produce looks undamaged.
Many thanks to Durgan for his patient advice. (I'm sure I'll need more!)
Best thing I ever learned from my mom. Pressure canning is a must do when one has excess produce. I have two 22 1/2 quart cookers and many times both are in use.
 
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Best thing I ever learned from my mom. Pressure canning is a must do when one has excess produce. I have two 22 1/2 quart cookers and many times both are in use.
Pictures please of all and sundry.
 
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Pictures please of all and sundry.
You want pictures of my pressure canners? How about my food mills? Food processor? Puree/meat grinder? How about case upon case of canning jars too?Dehydrator? Ask and you shall receive.
 
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You want pictures of my pressure canners? How about my food mills? Food processor? Puree/meat grinder? How about case upon case of canning jars too?Dehydrator? Ask and you shall receive.
I would love all.
 
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@headfullofbees

pressure canned it for 20 mins @ 15psi.

Sorry for my ignorance. Do you have to buy something else to can this @15psi? I thought you boiled the things and can or jar them.
 
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@headfullofbees

pressure canned it for 20 mins @ 15psi.

Sorry for my ignorance. Do you have to buy something else to can this @15psi? I thought you boiled the things and can or jar them.
I'm a novice, so would be grateful if either Chuck or Durgan would correct me where I'm wrong:
The idea is to use pressure to both expel air using special cans with two part lids, and to raise the boiling point of water in the pressure vessel, to kill all pathogens, and to hugely lengthen the life of preserved food.
Often the pressure vessel is huge, almost 5 UK gals. into which these jars are put.
Different pressures and canning times can be used for different produce in order to make sure it's safe, but I have taken Durgan's advice on using a default 15 mins for liquid only produce, but raising this if there are still solids involved.
The larger pressure vessels tend to have a pressure valve, whereby applied heat can be adjusted to raise or lower the pressure, but, because I want to keep it simple, I bought a pressure vessel which has a chimney, onto which a pressure release valve, which lets off pressure above 15psi, and which again should raise the temp enough to kill all pathogens.
Perhaps in years to come, if and when I become more adept at pressure canning, I may wish to move up to larger, more expensive equipment, but it all has to be imported from North America, and I'd probably be cheaper arranging a visit to the US or Canada when the time comes, such is the expense.
 
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If canned material is subjected to 240F for a few minutes all human harmful material is made harmless. This is achieved practically by using a pressure canner which operates at 15 PSI for a selected time. The industry and university pundits have unnecessarily complicated the procedure to the detriment of the public at large. For example, Pressure canning on the home front is almost unheard of in the UK.

Safe pressure canning is almost effortless. I literally do some type or canning almost daily in season.

Pressure cooking also has advantages and only practice makes perfection.

My preserving operation is 15 PSI for 15 minutes operating on a homogeneous mixture in slurry/juice form. Trying to keep canned goods fresh in appearance is a waste of time. I strive for nutritious food for long term storage at room temperature and am SUCCESSFUL.
 
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I would love all.
This is all of my food preservation stuff that I can think of.
The first picture is of my two pressure canners. The one on the left is a Presto and the other is a Mirro. They both have pros and cons. The Presto is faster to reach pressure. It is more precise. You have to watch it to make sure it doesn't build up more pressure than you want. It can't blow up but it can make what you are canning turn to mush. The Mirro is a much heavier unit. It is very simple and fool proof. It comes with a weight that is set for 5,10 and 15 lbs. Say you want to can a bunch of dried pinto beans. Just put your jars of beans into the unit, lock down the lid and wait until a steady stream of steam comes out of the hole where the weight is to be placed. When the unit is ready place the weight on the lid and wait for the weight to start jiggiling. When it does start to jiggle that means it has reached 15 lbs of pressure. Look at your clock and set it for 80 minutes later. Come back in 80 minutes and turn off the heat. No muss, no fuss with the Mirro. For canning only I prefer the Mirro but many folks like to cook things in their pressure cooker and the Presto wins hands down on that
The second picture is of my food mills. For small amounts, say under 10 lbs, I will use, depending on what it is, one of the two on the left. For a lot, say 75 lbs of tomatoes the mill on the far right. One bad thing about it is that you should reprocess the skins of the tomatoes two more times to get all of the meat from the skins. It only takes a couple of minutes.. The only time I ever use the small holed plate is when my grand daughter comes and wants fresh baby food for her brood.
Picture three is of my blancher, hot water bath canner and the old trusty food processor. I only use the blancher for stuff I am going to freeze such as brocolli, cauliflower and all types of greens. I only use the water bath canner for small amounts. Most of the time I use the Mirro pressure canner but with only boiling water and no pressure. And the food processor. When preparing something like saurkraut, chow chow or anything finely chopped or shredded its a big time saver.
The fourth picture is of my dehydrator and puree/meat grinder. I like to dehydrate my peaches and pears and sometimes even tomatoes. The meat grinder/puree maker is also a huge time saver. I kill numerous deer and hogs during the year and that machine makes short work out of making sausage or making hamburger meat. Throw in 20 lbs of peeled pitted peaches and almost instant puree which is terrific in homemade icecream.
The last picture is just a few things I grabbed from the pantry. There is some mayacabo beans, some tomato sauce, some hot salsa, some homemade cranberry sauce, a jar of green beans, some carrots and a jar of dill pickles.
All in all canning is very easy and safe. Folks have heard of canning nightmares where the canner blew up and of getting botulism poisoning. I suppose it is possible if one were canning and suddenly went brain dead. There is an easily found book named Putting Food By. It details everything you need to know about canning and a host of other things as well.
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Pretty neat. I have similar.

I only use liter jars. Dehydrate to vacuum packed powder but don't use it much. I use many grains in a gruel, and soy every day usually as tempeh. My juices are consumed daily and for fresh I use spouted lentils daily mixed with the juice. Lentils are cheap and always sprout in about 48 hours. My meat consumption is almost nil. Fresh off season vegetables are potatoes, garlic, onions in root cellar. And of course for the two months of Summer use all the fresh fruits and vegetables available. For all practical purposes seldom purchase commercial prepared food. Even with my small garden I have much excess.
 
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Pretty neat. I have similar.

I only use liter jars. Dehydrate to vacuum packed powder but don't use it much. I use many grains in a gruel, and soy every day usually as tempeh. My juices are consumed daily and for fresh I use spouted lentils daily mixed with the juice. Lentils are cheap and always sprout in about 48 hours. My meat consumption is almost nil. Fresh off season vegetables are potatoes, garlic, onions in root cellar. And of course for the two months of Summer use all the fresh fruits and vegetables available. For all practical purposes seldom purchase commercial prepared food. Even with my small garden I have much excess.
Here we only have 1/2 pints, pints, quarts and gallon jars. I use the 1/2 pints only on things that I will consume completely at one or two settings. Stuff like hot salsa, I normally takes me 2 days to finish 1/2 pint of that. If I used pints it would spoil before I finished it off. I can very little juices, maybe some wild grapes once in awhile.
 
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So, Chuck and Durgan, how much more do you agree on than disagree about?
I'd bet if you met you'd be good friends!
I'm sure it'd be mutually beneficial if you put your difficult start behind you, and Ian, how about Chuck and Durgan's (alphabetical order) preserving forum?
 
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I have been bouncing around various forums for years and have arrived at some conclusions. Very few people preserve in any serious way. I live in probably the best growing area in Canada and most of the field produce goes to waste. Over the season every type of plant food is available at a low price and almost nobody preserves.

Chuck is the only person I have met on forums that do pressure canning.

I believe gardening is fast becoming a lost art. There are large properties in my sub division and almost no gardens. The commercial prepared food is too attractive. People have sufficient money so economics play no part in what food they use. A lot of it is questionable IMO.
 
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So, Chuck and Durgan, how much more do you agree on than disagree about?
I'd bet if you met you'd be good friends!
I'm sure it'd be mutually beneficial if you put your difficult start behind you, and Ian, how about Chuck and Durgan's (alphabetical order) preserving forum?
I don't think we disagree on anything about preserving food. As far as I can tell he is strictly a juice and gruel man. No solids of any kind. Solid foods are much more "tempermental" and must be accorded more attention to detail and some of the detail is only learned through trial and error. For instance dried beans. Directions state 10 lbs pressure for 40 minutes. This is fine if you like your limas hard and crunchy. Myself I like mine soft but not mushy so I don't follow the directions. I over cook @ 10 lbs for 80 minutes instead. I never change the pressure though. Most if not all vegs. require 10 lbs except for tomatoes. If 15 lbs is used I can guarantee a bad product. All this not following directions aside one must NEVER under pressurize nor lower the cooking time. I would presume that most gardeners would like to can tomatoes and if so you do not need nor want a pressure canner. Any large soup pot will work fine as long as it has a wire rack in the bottom. The same goes for any pickled product such as peppers or anything with a liquid base of vinegar. All in all though, if one just follows directions carefully the entire process will soon become second nature to you.
Some products from the garden are just not good for pressure canning such as brocolli, cauliflower and brussle sprouts. They should be blanched and frozen. Cucumbers pickled. Of all the vegs only 1 that I can think of can be utilized by pressure canning, hot water bath and freezing and that one is Okra. Anyway, for any of you interested in canning or just preserving food, get the book called Putting Food By. It will tell you anything you might wish to know.
 
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Slurry/Juice 15 PSI for 15 minutes is my mantra for all vegetable products for preservation. But the product is boiled and made into a slurry prior to the preserving part. Simple and straightforward.

My perception when any vegetable product is subjected to high heat it turns to mush very quickly. S o why fool around simply mush it from step one.

Died beans are cooked for a long time and hour or so in the pressure cooker. I don't believe such a product can be over cooked, In fact, I suspect most people undercook beans, unless they bake all day like Gram did.

I steam cook, never let my product touch the water in the pressure cooker. I use a colander with the arms knocked off. This prevents bubbling and the safety exhaust never gets clogged.

To preserve the gasket, I never use the lid as a normal pot to prevent overheating the gasket. Also each time I put the lid on for pressure cooking, vegetable oil is applied to the gasket surface. A gasket lasts for years with these caveats applied.
 
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About vegs turning to mush. I hate mushy vegs and pressure cooking, for instance green beans, too long or under too much pressure and they become something that is not good. They loose their texture, become limp and flat. You must know how long and how much pressure They should only be cooked @ 10lbs for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts. Under pressure or under time and you risk possible food poisoning. You must follow directions. You cannot just guess. Correctly pressurized and timed cooking will provide perfect vegs every time.
I don't cook meals in my pressure canner. I use the stove for that. I have found that on, for instance beef stew, when cooked on the stove and leftovers are pressure canned, that it is not near as good as it is just frozen in an airtight container.
@ Durgan is correct about the gasket. When I use my canner for, say making pickles or tomato sauce, I remove the gasket and put the lid on as usual and water bath can as per direction. When pressure canning always oil the gasket or you will be buying a new gasket fairly soon. For all of you who are thinking about canning your own food, you MUST know what the directions are. GET THE BOOK and all is answered. You cannot just guess or listen to any Tom, Dick or Harry. You must know.
 

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