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Wondering why certain things can't be pressure canned

Posted by diane5770 BC, Canada (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 20:31

Hi All,
I just started pressure canning and I'm loving it. But now I have a ton of questions. I'll start with the first one. Why can't I can pasta with meat sauce? Chef Boyadree does it. Chunky Soup has noodles. What makes how they do things different then when we do it? How about soups with rice?
My husband works in the woods and I would like to can as many of his meals as possible. I know he'll be to tired after 14-16 hour days to start cooking noodles, rice etc.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Wondering why certain things can't be pressure canned

There are 2 safety issues with home pressure canned foods - pH and density. The problem with noodles, pasta, rice, etc. is they are thickeners, they change (increase) the density of the food in the jars. Increased density requires higher pressures, greater temperatures and increased processing times. How much time and pressure increase is unknown but the implication is that it would be so much that the end product would be inedible or at least undesirable.

Commercial canning equipment is very different from the good old home pressure canner. They run at much higher pressures and temps than we can achieve at home. In some cases as much as 50-100 degrees higher.

Plus the commercially canned foods are often irradiated first and have additives and stabilizers added to maintain the pH of the food during shelf storage. We don't add those items when home canning nor have irradiation equipment.

Home pressure canning will never be able to duplicate commercial canning so we have to live with some restrictions they don't have. Using such thickeners is one of them.

So when possible we learn ways to work around them. For example, you can make up small bags of pre-cooked rice or noodles and freeze them and include them with the canned food to be added at preparation time. That way you have the safety and the convenience.

Another alternative is to make the chicken noodle/rice soup and freeze it rather than canning it.

Hope this helps.


RE: Wondering why certain things can't be pressure canned

Dave has given you good advice about the safety aspects of canning, also think about what 90 minutes (time for a quart jar of meat based product) of processing would do to noodles or rice. If frozen additions are not an option, how about dehydrated? My family spends 5-6 wks definitely OFF the grid each summer (West Chilcotin, BC) and I have discovered that dehydrating is a great way to go (besides canning my own meat down here). Rice and noodles can be cooked and then dried-homemade minute rice. I would suggest that you look at Bernardin's website or the National Center for Home Food Preservation here in the States for canning recipes. Also, check your altitude, could make a difference in processing times for pressure canning.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP

RE: Wondering why certain things can't be pressure canned

Thank you Dave for your quick reply. That makes total sense. :D
I guess this is a good thing. My husband will be cutting waaaaay down on his starch since he doesn't cook. lol
Been pressure canning for the past 4 days straight and am very pleased with what I've produced. And we've been testing it to make sure it's edible.

RE: Wondering why certain things can't be pressure canned

There's no reason why your husband couldn't throw some minute rice or thin pasta into the soup and let it cook as the soup warms up.

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