Can I improvise a rack for a pressure cooker?

msazadiAugust 5, 2006

Sorry for duplicating what I just posted in the Cooking Forum.. but I need help. (I'm off to Indiana - to Canny Camp - Tuesday and need to get this stuff done before hand.)

I am all set to make salsa and use Dick's pressure cooker which IS good for canning,,,,and ack! no rack. He says he never remembers using it (and no I don't think Dick did canning in his first marriage...) so if he ever had one, he doesn't now. More importantly, I DON'T.

Short of schleping round to stores today to see if any of our smaller hardware stores have a replacement, is there anything I can substitute?? I wil also call around to my workmate who has a pressure cooker but most of my peers are off the shelf people, and non-cooks.

Maureen

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

A nice big cloth pot holder will act just fine as a pad at the bottom of the canner/cooker. Essentially you just need to get the glass jars up off the bottom so they don't touch the metal bottom. This can cause heat shock for the jars. A cloth pot holder can help to raise them up, and will not burn due to the heat of boiling water. Another option is to line a single layer of jar rings on the bottom with the threaded ends face down. This will give the jars enough seperation too.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 1:22PM
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msazadi

Bless you! this seems like a much better idea than ours (and a CF poster BeverlyAl) of using aluminum foil. ;-)

Maureen

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 1:55PM
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nefer(8aTx)

A cake cooling rack will work just fine as well as the above, if you have one.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 1:56PM
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msazadi

We've scoured our kitchen for something else that will fit inside the pot but so far the hot pad (need to go buy some since I only have mits) or a layer of marbles seem to be the most likely suggestions. Maureen

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 2:44PM
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jimrbto(Sunset Z11 CA)

A folded dish towel will work just fine as long as it is at least two layers thick. If you have to- use more than one towel.
Jim

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 3:37PM
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corin99(7b Triangle NC)

I had the same problem. I couldn't find a rack in the stores that fit well. I tried a towel, but it tended to move around. Also tried using the metal jar bands, but the surface was unstable. What worked really well was buying some hardware cloth and cutting it to size. I then used it on top of the jar bands to give a nice, stable surface.

Hardeware cloth is basically heavy duty screening and is available at places like Home Depot or Ace. It cuts fairly easily, though it would be best to use a heavy duty scissors or tin snips.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 3:50PM
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shirleywny5(5)

Tie several canning rings together. Makes for a perfect rack.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 4:02PM
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msazadi

Finito on my end...and thanks for all the advice.


Sadly, after a bunch of experimentation, we realized that there is no way we can get pint jars into Dick's pc for canning. I think those original racks were abut 1/4" high and nothing we could fit in was shallow enough to allow for the height of the jars. Not being a jam\-er yet, we gave up on the idea for today, and I'll buy a larger canner in the future. A few calls round here told us that places who had them are sold out. 

My freezer has 5 containers of salsa and 5 of tomato sauce. Now I only have the peaches to deal with. ;\-) Maureen
    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 5:15PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Using a pressure canner or cooker is usually meant for low acid foods. If you doing a berry jam it doesn't need a pressure canning. The same holds true for most pickles which contain vinegar. With a acidic foods, a big tall boiling water pot would be the best choice. I would have thought that a towel or pot hold would give you a very thing barrier for seperating the jars from the bottom of the pot. Heck, even a couple of old wire coat hangers bent up would work for this, as you only need a little water to get under the jars.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 2:10PM
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annie1992

Ah, Maureen, I'm sorry I didn't find this sooner. You could have added the extra vinegar and just canned those in your biggest soup pot. Sigh.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 9:55AM
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