Thank You GardenWeb Canners!

mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)March 14, 2013

Today I successfully canned my first batch of homemade chicken stock with my new pressure canner. Pressure canning has intimidated me for years, but I finally bit the bullet and bought a canner last week.

I have spent the last week poring over all the old threads about pressure canning. Thank you so much for such a treasure trove of information! I went into my first pressure canning experience feeling completely confident.

I'm really excited about the possibilities in front of me with regards to home canning. This coming weekend I'll be trying a baked bean recipe from the ball blue book. Maybe next week I'll tackle a soup. I'm just thrilled. I don't post often, but I read almost daily, and I wanted to make sure I sent a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have contributed to the pressure canning threads over the years. So much great information- and so much encouragement. Thank you for making my first pressure canning adventure a piece of cake!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Welcome to the wonder world of pressure canning!! :) be sure to check out all the PC info at NCHFP too.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:20PM
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bcskye

Wonderful!!! Now you'll drive yourself crazy wondering what to pressure can next.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:00PM
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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

Oh yes, Dave. NCHFP has been like a Bible to me- the directions that came with my canner (Mirro) were less than stellar. I've taken their home study course before, but at the time, didn't pay much attention to the pressure canning bit.

BCskye, I'm hoping to try and drive my DH crazy with all the canning. ;) He saw the chicken stock today and his eyes got huge, and I could see the wheels turning.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:12PM
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mrswaz(Z5A NE WI)

Well, nothing like a buzzkill. :(

The directions for my 22 qt Mirro say to use 2 1/2 quarts of water for cannning. 3 quarts if your canner is not full. Yesterday I canned a batch of Boston Baked Beans (delicious btw). I had 7 full quarts, but put 3 quarts of water in the canner to be on the safe side.

I ran out of water with 20 minutes yet to go in the canning process.

Some of the jars then subsequently siphoned off, and of course there were sealing problems there. After reading around, I decided there were only two options- either freeze the beans or re-process. So I emptied the jars into a large pot to bring them back to a simmer and started over, this time using 3 INCHES of water in the canner.

I did re-process, but I strongly suspect it was probably not worth the trouble. I have one jar that didn't seal, so we'll be consuming that one later this week and see if we actually have baked beans or baked bean mush.

My pot doesn't appear to be warped, but I was really angry with Mirro yesterday and their sub-par directions. I went through the manual again last night, and nowhere does it talk about adding more water for longer processing times. I already had the stove temp down as far as I could get it without having the knocking stop.

The extra 2 1/2 hours last night to can those silly beans sure took the wind out of my sails. I hope that's my only hiccup.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 6:47PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah the manuals aren't noted for great instructions - regardless of the brand. The Presto includes one extra word in the instructions on amount of water - "minimum". If you catch it then you know you can always add more.

But another point to consider - how much was your weight jiggling? Mirros require are 3-5 times per min. at pressure so if it was quite a bit more than that then you lost a fair amount that way.

But don't get discouraged. There is a learning curve but it will all fall into place. meanwhile keep good notes for future reference.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 7:49PM
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