is this a bad thing? Pressure canning corn question

kterlep(5/6)August 14, 2007

Hi - I just canned some quarts of corn following the BBB recipe...

when I put the cans IN the canner, there was boiling water covering the corn. When I pulled the cans OUT of the canner, the liquid was only 1/2 - 3/4 of the jar.

Did I mess up?

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

It happens sometimes. Some of your liquid boiled out.
As long as all your jars sealed, you're fine. Use the ones with the least liquid first as the corn that isn't covered will start to turn color faster. It's still OK to eat, just unattractive! If you have jars that don't seal, you need to refrigerate within 24 hours and eat soon! Or freeze the contents.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 7:05PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

It is common if you let your pressure get too high or if you let the steam pressure off too quickly. I know 10 lbs. can be hard to maintain - takes some finess with the stove knob. ;)

But letting the pressure fall off naturally by adjusting the heat source rather than using the pressure release valve to reduce pressure keeps the liquid in the jars rather than forcing it out into the cooker.

Pressure canning is kinda like walking a tightrope sometimes. ;)


    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 10:11PM
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I don't know why you put that much water in your canner. In a pressure canner you only use about 1/4 to 3/8 inch in the bottom.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 6:23AM
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I was talking about the liquid in the jars.

But the directions I have seen say 2-3 inches - is that not correct?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:30AM
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When canning corn you fill the jar with corn and add boiling water with a little headspace. If the pressure was a little high, might explane some loss. However, the problem probably was the corn was over ripe and it absorbed some of the liquid. When I cann corn by itself or with tomatoes, It comes out just like I put it in.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 12:24PM
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The corn looks like it expanded - so that may be the case. It has been dry the past few weeks here...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 1:31PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

My pressure canner uses 2-3 inches in the bottom too. I've never seen one using less.

I don't can corn as I don't like the "overcooked" flavor, so I'm not much help.

I have the freezer space and prefer it that way. Just a personal preference.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 1:40PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

My pressure canner also calls for at least "3 inches minimum" and I have never seen one that called for any less either. 1/4 to 3/8" of water isn't much especially for corn that takes 1 hour and 25 minutes at 10 pounds. Seems like you'd be cooking in a dry pot.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:30PM
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By hot packing the corn you can eliminate much of the problem of losing liquid. I use the same liquid I heat the corn in to fill the jars. I put corn loosely in the jars only to the first bend in the shoulder and fill with liquid.
I mark a spot on the stove knob so I know where the correct jiggles are. I have been using the same mark for years. Sometimes it's 4, sometimes 6 or 8 jiggles. I call it a quiet steady jiggle.
The more you adjust the flame the more liquid you will lose. By the time you get the correct jiggles, your time is up. Relax

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Something is wrong with a canner loosing water. I can process three or more batches of 19 pints without adding anymore water. The water that I put in stays there.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 5:46AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

If the water boils out too quickly, it could be due to too much heat (makes sense?) while in the pressure canner. I do know that after it starts to vent steam, the heat must be regulated to keep its steam to a very low amount. If its jetting out fast, it may be too hot and thats when the water inside gets lost.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 11:34AM
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bluejean(z6 OH)

Unless I am incredibly wrong: She is talking about the water in the jars escaping- not the water in the canner.

Kterlep- When it happened to me I was told to not worry as it happens. But I think digdirt suggested you use the lowest first- that's a good idea as the exposed corn will probably brown.

on a side note- have you tried freezing corn? My mom and I freeze corn every year. It is so much easier than canning. It only gets cooked for 4-5 minutes so you don't have to worry about it tasting over cooked- ours taste just like when it was fresh on the cob. We use a vaccum sealer (a comercial one- but any you can find at walmart will work) It makes the packaging very small. I store mine in a plastic shoe box in the freezer, come december when it is cold and summer is practically forgotten we will open a package nuke it for a few minutes and yummy fresh tasting corn. You should try it!

good luck with your canning adventures!

bluejean in ohio

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 2:24PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You're right bluejean - the original question was about water boiling out of the jars, NOT out of the pressure cooker itself. ;) The thread got a bit side tracked with the post that only 1/4 inch of water was needed in the canner itself - I think that may have caught some of us off-guard.

I have spent some hours now searching on the web and in my Ball book plus the old Kerr book I have and some other books on preserving produce. Every single source I've been able to find recommends 2-3 inches of water as a minimum requirement (prior to putting the jars in) regardless of the brand or size of the pressure cooker. But maybe other brands have different requirements.

Like you, I much prefer to freeze corn but have had the liquid forced out of jars of stewed tomatoes and green beans when I haven't monitored the pressure as closely as I should have. Does no real harm as long as the jar seals but I can see how it could be worrisome to some relatively new to the process.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 3:55PM
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