What foods MUST be pressure canned

goatster(7bGa)April 27, 2008

I am in the market to buy a pressure cooker and I do have a garden and intend to can. Each year the garden grows larger and instead of giving away all the fruits of my labor away I want to can it for our own use. I also hunt and and want to put my venison in jars. Had a friend do this and thought what an awesome way to preserve it. Especially after having a freezer go out on my!!!! Yes I am very new so ALL suggestions are welcome. I read the many threads on buy a canner and I think I am settled on the Presto.

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Presure 'cooker'.. NO, not used for pressure CANNING. Pressure canners are what is used for home canning of low acid foods. Pressure cookers are just for that task. Things like tomatoes with added citric acid or lemon juice are fine, canned in a water bath. Most jellies and vinegar based pickles are also high acid so they don't need presure canning. With some foods like meats, and low acid vegetables, presure canning is necessary. Very dense things like orange squash and pumpkins cannot be pressure canned,due to the higher desnity, so these must be frozen instead. If the recipe calls for a pressure canner, thats oviously what is needed.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:26AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree - crucial difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner so make certain you are clear on that point. ;)

Must be PC:
dairy products
all vegetables

Tomatoes (being a fruit) can be BWB if acid is added as Ken said. But recipes using tomatoes in combination with other vegetables require pressure canning.

Get yourself a copy of the Ball Blue Book ($7.95) whereever canning supplies are sold and explore the National Center for Home Food Preservation website linked below for all sorts of info on safety, how-tos, and recipes that are approved.

Enjoy home canning, safely. ;)


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Using a Pressure Canner

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:12PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

As mentioned above, high-acid foods or foods to which acid has been added (i.e. jams, fruits, tomatoes with citric acid, pickles) are fine for water bath.

Low-acid vegetables (corn, beans, winter squash - in chunks, etc.) are pressure canned.

Meats and seafoods are pressure canned.

I'm not sure how dairy got on the list. It isn't recommended for canning period.

In addition to the sources mentioned, the USDA Guide (which is now being updated for a new edition) is also online at no cost.


Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:42PM
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hilltopviews(z7 SE)

I find when setting up to do any type canning, two pressure canner are best. You can have one ready to go when the first one is removed from the heat and the pressure is allowed to decrease. You can do twice as much in about the same amount of time when using two pressure canner.
However, my late MIL and I did large amounts of vegetables for the vegetable gardens were large and everything seemed to be ready to harvest at about the same time.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:06PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Dairy and oils are out.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:21PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah they are out but NCHFP still lists dairy as "pressure canned required" because USDA will allow PC of some limited dairy products IF they are first acidified to pH of 4.6 or less. (Course who would want them then? ;)

That may be one of the things deleted when the latest USDA revision comes out.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:35PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

OK, I finally found the reference, but I think it's a syntax problem. No standard canning resource I know of, including the USDA, provides any recommended times or procedures for pressure canning of low-acid dairy products.

Milk is indeed included on the list of low-acid foods. But there are lots of low-acid products which are not approved for pressure canning for a variety of reasons - for example Ken's reference to puréed squash - and AFAIK, dairy products are among them.

Like you, I hope the next edition is corrected. The current wording is definitely misleading.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:39PM
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Thanks EVERYONE for your help. I have spent hours on the internet getting more information on canning. I just need to go ahead and buy the canner and jump in. I appreciate all your help.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

bump for salvage - common question

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 7:19PM
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ANY low acid food.

ALL Meat, Fish Poultry and seafood (some as long as 2 hours at 120 PSI)

ANYTHING with any dairy product (Milk, cream, eggs, cheese) Pickled eggs excepted due to high acid pickling brine they are in.

Tomatoes depends on the tomato and the additions. High acid tomatoes (you'd have to test your tomatoes) Those with vinegar or citrus juice or citric acid added are fine water bath. If you put low acid vegetables in tomato juice, sauce or add meat, cheese, a lot low acid things, such as making a good Italian sauce, then it needs a pressure caner, 90 PSI for 90 minutes.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 2:45PM
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