Which Water Bath Canner to Keep?

housemouseMay 17, 2007

Hi all. Newbie House Mouse again. A sweet friend gave me two old water bath canners that she picked up somewhere. I'm trying to decide which to keep as a canner and which to use as a chicken-scalder (home butchering).

One canner is stainless steel, mirro, 12" across x 10" deep.

The other one is enameled, 13" across x 8-1/2" deep.

Between the two of them, there were 3 racks - two have the jar separators - which, btw, do those work with the pints? Shouldn't I be able to fit more pints than quarts in one batch? The two with the separators are rusted REALLY bad - do you think that will come off pretty good with an SOS pad, or will it be an ongoing problem from now on? Also, will those folding handles fold down on top of the jars while it's processing? Should I even bother to keep the rack with no jar separators? I'm wondering if I could fit two levels of pints in the deeper canner if I used two racks - would that work or just too tall?

I've never butchered chickens before, so I'm not sure if I'm going to want the extra depth more or the extra width. Or just shell out some cash and get a new really big one at walmart tomorrow (this chicken thing will be ongoing from here on out - a few chickens here and there all year round).

Also, I've got a HUMONGOUS all american pressure canner, and I'm thinking I can use that as a water bath canner if I leave the steam valve open. Is that correct? If so, do I even need a separate water bath canner? I'm thinking it would be nice to have a smaller one on hand.

Thanks for any input or suggestions!!

House Mouse

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

If it were me.........
I'd keep the deeper one for canning. Yes, you can stack pints. Yes, those handles will fold down between the jars.
The racks without dividers are more useful sometimes. I like the dividers for quarts and wide mouth pints, but they still allow tipping of narrower jars. If you use a flat divider, you can just fill up any empty space with empty jars and that keeps your full ones upright.

Yes, you can use your pressure canner as a waterbath, it's just bulky. You can use any old stock pot as a waterbath too as long as you have something in the bottom to raise the jars a bit and enough height to cover the jars by and inch or two.

Hope that helps!

Nice friend!! You'll have to send some jam or something back her(?) way!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 6:39PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I would definitely keep the taller one for BWB. Are you sure it is stainless or is it aluminum ? Stick a magnet on it, if it sticks, it is stainless, if not, it is aluminum.
The racks just rust and keep on rusting. It is not a problem other than visual.
Yes,you can use the pressure canner as a water bath, just do not tighten the lid, only set it on top, and leave off the counter weight.
If you stack jars, you need to put a rack between layers to allow for proper heat circulation. You can use a flat rack, like from the pressure canner in the bottom of the BWB canner for more space, and so the small jars won't fall through. Normally pints don't fall through, but I have had half pints fall through. You can even use a folded up towel in the bottom if you want instead of a rack in the BWB canner .

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:53AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Some stainless is magnetic to a certain point, but a magnet would be more atracted to regular steel. I would never use a rusty rack. As to the 10 inches deep, that will probably not give you enough depth for processing quarts.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 6:50PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I don't see what harm would come from using a rusty rack. They don't come in contact with the food, just the outside of the jars which are sealed. Nothing can get inside the jars. Just my opinion.
Quart jars are approx. 7 inches high with the ring on, so adding 1-2 inches for water over the tops, you have just enough room for them to boil with a 10 inch high pot. The 8 1/2 inch high one would not be tall enough.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 11:06PM
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how in the world would you keep the rack from rusting... I've had three ... I do not leave them in the water after processing and they still rust... I put paper towels in the bottom of the pot (to keep them from staining and absorb any residual moisture) and they still rust.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 3:22PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My original rusty rack severely stained my canners inside and even the lid. I have a stainless steel wire rack now and its been great to use, and has lasted through a 100+ cannings with no signs of any rusting. Some time ago, the lids I used were painted white and would come out of the canner a light brown color due to the rusty water. What makes the racks rust faster is the use of the small amount of vinegar in the boiling water, to reduce white calcium buildup. Kitchen Krafts offers a stainless steel rack, and thats where I got mine.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 6:55PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Forgot the link to the racks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Krafts.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 6:58PM
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I don't think either is deep enough for chicken scalding. Tom

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:47PM
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