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Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Posted by ellen_inmo 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 21, 12 at 21:58

Good evening everyone! If I decide to can broth, I wont be doing it till winter time, but I like to think about things plenty early. Learn, read, research, etc.

Im getting very comfortable with the pressure canner I was once afraid of. Though I continue to have the same liquid loss problems that everyone else here has, I dont consider it a "problem" anymore, as everyone insists the product in the jars is safe.

Is canning a meat broth something that requires a bit more experience? Something the pros maybe wouldnt recommend until a bit more experienced? My vision is to can approximately 30 pints of broth to go with the various recipes I use throught the year.

I certainly appreciate your advice, suggestions and streight up honesty!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Nothing difficult about doing broth. Overnight in the fridge is an easy way to get the fat to congeal so it is easy to skim off. No reason I know of not to do it.

However, not all of us here have siphoning problems, what you call liquid loss. It is a problem that can and should be eliminated. Even if that means several practice runs with jars of colored water to accomplish it. True the food is safe but it has a shorter shelf life, discolors, and is wasteful as the discolor food is tossed. So I would sure encourage you to identify what is causing the siphoning and work hard to eliminate that problem before under taking more canning.

Siphoning with fatty broths has the additional problem of greasy seals as the siphoning coats the jar rims. Greasy seals are weak seals and prone to bacterial growth over time.

On the other hand is your liquid loss in jars is due to liquid absorbtion rather than siphoning then that is usually an over packing with solids issue and that too can be eliminated.

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

I dont know Dave. :-( I have had better success by putting less product in the jars, but the liquid loss is still there. I, simply, just have less product in the jars. In every batch, I have about 2 jars that will not lose liquid, the others do. I am on an electric stove. It is next to impossible to get my PSI below 13 or 14. I've tried both "suggestions" Ive read on here of letting it run at a higher PSI, and also adjusting the heat down throughout processing. Both has the same result. Believe me, Ive read just about every post on this forum about this problem. It seems most are just "living with it". Ugh.

Not sure what else to do Dave. Other than buying a new stove. Which, the microwave just blew up today. Not a freestanding microwave, an above range microwave that costs twice as much. I do believe we are done with Maytag. This happens once a year. I dont use the microwave that often. Use the timer on it more than anything.

Thanks for the warning about the broth fat problem. I knew you'd point out the things I should be cautious of. I do want to make broth. But if Im nervous about it, I will make room in the freezer.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

And, its time that I do the colored water project. Are there instructions somewhere? And while Im asking, it is safe to use food coloring for canning? While I havent searched this one yet, I thought Id just ask it here. Ive seen no recipes which list food coloring. For whatever reason a person may want it.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

We certainly don't mean to convey the impression that "most are just living with it" as it isn't something that should be ignored. It is usually only an issue with those new to pressure canning, those that haven't yet leaned how to control their heat source or try to rush the process.

But to help you first have to clarify exactly what foods you are having the issue with. In some case it is absorbed liquids and in other cases it is siphoning. But in both cases there are solutions.

The colored water testing doesn't require any instructions. It is just a matter of using 3-4 jars filled with green or red colored water and learning to control your heat adjustments until you can run several loads with no color stain getting out into the water in the canner. It is't related to using food coloring in canned foods.

And what does PSI have to do with pressure canning? I don't follow you there at all.

I can on an electric stove and have for decades with no siphoning. Many do. The issue with electric stoves is impatience - trying to run it up to pressure too fast rather than gradually and then learning to make minute (tiny) adjustments in the heat and then giving it time to adjust since electric is so slow to respond vs. gas.

Asorbtion loss of liquid as I said above is a jar filling issue.

Have you read through all the Causes of Loss Liquid at NCHFP info?

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Yes I've read it all over and over again. Early on, I had first canned potatoes, per instructions Ball Blue Book. I chose potatoes because I had a whole lot of them. I'd pressure can them, and did so several days in a row and that is how I practiced pressure canning. I did open many of the jars and use the potatoes that same evening for a
meal. This was my practice. I had also done the trials with just water. I had not heard of doing this with colored water until one day lady week when you commented on someone's post about doing so. I think it is brilliant. My liquid loss has demimished rapidly since I first started practicing with the potatoes. I now lose, at the most, about one inch of liquid. Whereas before it was like half the jar. I've seen others here commenting that the liquid loss does not affect the product at the top of the jar above the liquid line. That it may darken the product, but does not deem the entire jar of contents I edible or unsafe. Thus far I have canned, in quarts, and Ball instructions only, for carrots, green beans, potatoes, and spaghetti sauce. All other canning I have done has been water bath canning. My jars that are in the storage down stairs have no more than one inch of liquid loss. I do not overly pack the jars. I always remove air bubbles. I always follow precise head space. I start my heat at a medium heat setting. I gradually lower heat about 7 times until it gets to a low-medium setting. My pressure has never been below 13. I am at less than 1000 altitude. I use a Presto 23 quart pressure canner that was tested at my Extension office. I just bought it this year and had never pressure canned before.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Did I misunderstand what "pressure" is? I assumed the pressure was measured in PSI? Dave, I've learned so much from you. What a saint you are. I wish I had returned to Gardenweb two months ago before I began all this.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

PSI is pound-force per square inch. So 15 psi in a canner is 15 pounds of pressure or stress applied to one square inch.

Carol


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

I guess I assumed all pressure was measured in PSI? A bit of confusion here.

Dave and Carol, I have yet to attempt pressure canning starting at a much lower heat. I start at medium and work my way down, once pressure starts at 10. Timer goes on for processing time. Burner starts getting turned down very slightly. What if I were to start out at even lower temperature? Would it take twice as long to get up to pressure?

It seems my problem more is in packing the jars. But if some jars lose no liquid and some do in each canner load, what causes that? Believe me, I want desperately to do this correctly.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Yes I know what PSI means. It just isn't a term normally associated with pressure canning. So when you say It is next to impossible to get my PSI below 13 or 14. you mean you can't get the gauge to read lower then 13 or 14 lbs. and that means you are adjusting the stove by the gauge, not weights.

All the info here about how gauges are so inaccurate is totally true and is the main reason why we so strongly recommend buying the 3 piece weight set for the Presto and ignoring the gauge. When your gauge reads 13-14 lbs. it could be off by 2-4 lbs. And even if it is nail-on accurate trying to adjust a burner to peg that gauge right on 11 lbs. is impossible and risks under-processing. If someone simply MUST use a gauge for some reason it is far better to just let it read 13 or 14 rather then to try to peg 11 lbs.

I gradually lower heat about 7 times until it gets to a low-medium setting.

That is far too many adjustments and would indicate that you are using too high a heat setting to begin with. If the water in the canner is already good and hot (book says (180) when the jars go in and the lid goes on then it takes very little additional time and heat for it to get up to pressure.

Using a common electric stove dial scale of 1-10, if one begins to heat the water in the canner at say 10 well before the jars are ready to go in, when they are ready to go in the burner can be turned down to 8 and put the jars in and the lid on. Once it has vented for 10 mins turn it down to 6 and let it come up to pressure and run for a couple of minutes. It will usually be fine right there but if absolutely necessary slowly turn it down to 5 and then leave it alone regardless of what the gauge says. If you had the 3 piece weight set the 10 lbs weight will set up a slow steady rocking motion just as it should.

Cold packed foods and starchy foods like beans and potatoes will absorb water from the jars while processing. To compensate you use hot pack and you put less solids and more liquid in the jars to begin with. Once you get the proportions just right the food will still be covered with liquid when finished.

Bands/rings - Over-tightening bands will cause siphoning as the air has to be hard-forced out under the lids and takes some liquid with it. And jar that comes out of the canner with the band still tight was screwed on too tight to begin with. If bands are too loose then you get boil over of the liquid in the jar. So getting the bands on correctly is crucial. 5 fingers equally spread around on top of the jar band, not from the side as that gets them too tight, and screwed until good resistance is met does the trick.

Hope all this helps.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Loss of liquid chart


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

I have only processed two batches with a pressure canner, but I picked up on something here that is probably pretty common. I have had siphoning from one jar each time, that I can tell. I also have an electric stove and an overhead microwave. Since I went with the "delux" micro/convection in the large size, I have marginal overhead room above the stove. I think my problem might be inverting the jars when putting them in or removing them from the canner. I am going to try to pay extra close attention to this and see if that does it. I was just thinking that it might be pretty common.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Okay Dave you've defined several things here that may certainly help me out. The weighted gauge, why doesn't this come with the canner? A person like me who has no idea they need one till after the fact. The only way I can get one is ordering online. My gauge shows 14 or 15 pounds of pressure when the rocking motion starts. It is indeed a gentle rocking. But I always assumed something was wrong because the gauge is reading 15. Should I be ignoring the gauge?! I specifically ordered this canner because I wanted the gauge. Can you explain how the three piece weight helps? And, again, why it doesn't come with the canner?

Hot pack...I definitely learned this lesson the very first time I canned potatoes. The Ball book has instructions for both cold and hot packing. Why would it even have instructions for the cold packing in the first place?

I certainly didn't mean to be a smart aleck about the PSI thing. Honestly I thought I had the wrong term. Maybe now I know that I'm going by the wrong indicator. The rocking of the weight is what counts then? I certainly have no problem getting that baby to rock. Definitely no under processing going on here.

When I say I adjust it about 7 times. This doesn't mean I initially start out at a real high heat. It just means I barely turn it down. No turning down by the stove settings going lower, just teensy tiny movements of the burner dial. I've never started at a burner setting higher than a 7. Which on my stove is one setting above medium.

Darn it, now I need more produce so I can practice! Ha! Just kidding Dave! I will absolutely do the colored water lesson next. ;-)

I guess there is hope for me getting this right yet, eh? The weight has been ordered...

Do you ever tire if hearing how much people appreciate you????


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

When I bought my first Presto canner in the 1970's it had the same setup as today - a gauge and a 15-pound regulator. To can at the specified pressure, I had to check the gauge. But in the back of the manual, listed with other parts and accessories, was the three-piece 5-10-15 pound regulator. I ordered one immediately.

For some reason Presto has never particularly publicized the part's availability, and in fact if you call Presto, many of their helpline employees won't even know what you're talking about.

I would guess Presto doesn't include it because they have a particular pricepoint they want to meet and including a three-part weight would mean additional cost. While the three-part weight is convenient it's not essential and Presto, I'm sure, sells plenty of canners without providing it. But why they don't at least let buyers know it's available, as they used to, is beyond me.

The three-piece weight plus gauge emulates the setup on the All-American canner, which comes with the gauge and its own three-piece weight. I used to have a small Mirro canner which had the same arrangement.

A weight is machined precisely to operate (in this case rock) at a specific pressure. A weight never changes and can't be altered, while a gauge can be jostled and suddenly be off a pound or two. So a weight is always more accurate and consistent.

That doesn't mean a gauge is irrelevant. It does make a nice backup. With a gauge you can monitor and know how close you are to achieving pressure or when pressure is going too high. So it's handy but not essential.

Carol


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

So sorry to hear your MW failed. But since you don't use it much, I recommend you get a good range hood/fan and you'll have more room for the tall PC, plus better ventilation. The fans in the OTR MWs are pretty useless (is yours even vented to outside? That will help too). Good luck.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

There are hundreds of discussions here, many of them within the past month, about which canner to buy and why, the problems with gauges, the fact that they need to be tested annually and are often inaccurate right out of the box, the safety advantages of using weights and ignoring gauges, the part number to order (Part 50332) for the Presto, etc. that I just assumed with all the reading you have done here you'd already have all that information. Sorry about that but it's difficult to keep straight who we have explained all this to. Just search 'Presto' or 'gauge' or '50332' to read many of them.

Hot pack...I definitely learned this lesson the very first time I canned potatoes. The Ball book has instructions for both cold and hot packing. Why would it even have instructions for the cold packing in the first place?

Where in the book did you find instructions for "cold" pack for potatoes? Far as I know potatoes are hot pack only and always have been. If you canned some potatoes using raw (cold) pack then they are under processed.

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

You're right on the potatoes Dave. Glad you spotted that.

To respond to the OP, sometimes you have the option of hot or raw pack, though processing times may differ. Often the NCHFP will indicate which method delivers optimal results. And sometimes it's a personal preference. For example peaches can be BWB either hot or raw. Some members prefer raw, others prefer hot.

Carol


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

sue_ct - you are right that tipping the jars as you remove them is contributing to the problem and it also cause weak seals. I sure hope you aren't actually "inverting" them. :)

Straight up, out, and over is the goal. No tipping allowed. So you may need to find a way to slide the canner over where it has more room above it or consider a separate burner for canning.

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

My Ball book has cold pack instructions for potatoes. As far as the 3 piece weight, I've read many discussions about canners but I did not realize my type canner was included in the discussion. Because I further read about the problem with liquid loss, I was concentrating on my packing method and not overdoing it. It's very easy to get overwhelmed. A whole lot of information. And a very bad Internet connection at home. I wish I could just hop in the computer at any time but I can not. I'm limited to my phone and that's not the easiest thing to do while working on other things.

Again, reading so many posts about people saying and being told that the contents in a jar that are not covered with liquid are safe, I guess I was confident with that. Meanwhile my liquid loss was improving. Significantly.

I only recently started participating on Gardenweb, as I've said. I bought my pressure canner two months prior. I've also said that I wished I had been here before buying it and for countless other reasons.

As a reader in this forum, it's very difficult to decipher if one persons issue/discussion pertains to your own personal situation or not. There are a lot of variables involved, start to finish, from product selection, prep work, altitudes, equipment, etc. A person just wants to know for sure.

I mentioned that I learned the very first time I pressure canned potatoes about the cold packing. I only had done 3 quarts. I also mentioned that before the day was up, I opened the quarts and we ate them. They were still warm. Did this every day for a week. That's a whole lot of potatoes in one week to eat.....


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

OK, I just checked the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and the two most recent editions of the Ball Blue Book and all three specify hot pack for potatoes. I have a 1996 Kerr book which also specifies hot pack.

So I guess the question is which edition of Ball are you referring to?

Carol


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

I have the 100th edition Ball Blue Book, 2010. It's the same book in all the stores around here. After first cold packing, and the liquid loss problem began, I immediately referred to first the phamplets given to me by my Extension Office (which was both copies of the Missouri Extension and the National Center Home Food Preservation). When you go to that website, every page you see had been put together in a pamphlet. I didn't even get online for research until about a month ago when we, supposedly, got a new ISP, broadband Internet here for the first time. Was on dial up prior to that (I know, I know Dial up???!!). Since then, this new service only works about 1/100th of the time. Company is back logged on service calls for home repair. Dial up is gone. I'm left in the Internet "dark" once again. I can only get online on my phone. All my resources prior where my books.

After the initial cold pack potatoes lesson, I then did hot packing on day #2 of my pressure canning endeavor. And every day I attempted different things via troubleshooting in my books and phamplets. No potatoes I canned that week were kept for storage. I improved the water loss problem, and began with carrots. At the very most, I lose an inch of water. In each batch, at least two jars don't lose any water at all. Most times it's barely 1/4 inch of loss. That's certainly an improvement of 1/2 the jar!!

I also do not pack my jars nearly as full ad I did when I began. I just pressure canned 30 quarts of green beans last week. After blanching, I filled the jars to within one inch with the blanched beans before any boiling water was added. After a few minutes (no more than about 4 minutes) the beans would "settle" giving the illusion that I have more room for more beans. This is where I made my mistake with the potatoes and carrots. I did not add more beans. Even though it appeared I had room for about a 1/2 cup more. I finished my prep, processed them, and at the most would lose about 1/2 inch. The potatoes and carrots had lost about an inch.

I see this as an improvement????


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

It's very easy to get overwhelmed. A whole lot of information.

That is quite true. Which is why it is so important not to jump in at the deep end, to master one thing at a time rather than taking on several different things at the same time, and to avoid letting enthusiasm be the guide.

A good example of enthusiasm contributing to subsequent confusion is spending the time canning small amounts of something that is going to be opened and eaten immediately. It not only wastes your time and energy but misleads you into misplaced confidence in what you are doing and then creates panic and confusion when you discover it wasn't correct.

The internet connection I can't help with but given those problems it is all the more important to stick with current editions of trusted books only and to very carefully read those instructions.

Like Carol, I already knew the answer but I too checked all the BBB in my collection back to the 60's and cold pack of potatoes has never been approved. So I can only assuming some misunderstanding on your part or that you found that info some place else, perhaps in one of the many other books you have listed?

I'm sorry we apparently didn't catch your earlier references to cold packing potatoes. I checked back thru all your posts here trying to find out how it got overlooked since it is an important issue, but I couldn't find it. But at least your know now for future reference that raw pack isn't approved.

I can understand that it can be difficult sorting it all out but it is also impossible to keep track of who we have told what to. We try to keep post titles accurate and discussions on track so they remain relevant to the topic but that too is difficult. So it pays, as time allows, to read extensively here, use very specific, narrow search terms like siphoning, Presto, gauge, weights, potatoes, etc. and avoid broad terms like "canning potatoes" that will get you 1100 posts on canning with 200 discussions on potatoes mixed in, and if all else fails email one of us. Many do.

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Correction. I filled my jars with beans. No water added yet. After about 4 minutes, the time it was taking me to fill all the jars, I would notice the first few jars appeared to have settled. My mistake with the potatoes and carrots was I would then add MORE to the jars, thinking I had more space. I stopped doing that with the beans. Still a water loss happening, but since I have less product in them, less product is above the water line.

Following me?

When I get home, I will take a picture of the instructions in the Ball book. In case some don't believe me! Was this a misprint? Since then, any pressure canned instructions that have two options of cold OR hot pack, I do hot pack.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Dave, I was also confused about the cold/hot pack of potatoes in that book. Because afterwards I read online about not cold packing them. You must've posted this the same time as me.

I will take that picture and post it on here, if I'm able to, using my phone. Haven't tried doing that yet. In fact, while I'm at it, I'll take a picture of the worse water loss in my pressure canned vegetables. If you guys tell me to dump them I will cry like a baby all the way to my compost pile. :-(


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RE: doesn't answer the question

I have the 100th edition Ball Blue Book, 2010. It's the same book in all the stores around here. After first cold packing, and the liquid loss problem began, I immediately referred to first the phamplets given to me by my Extension Office (which was both copies of the Missouri Extension and the National Center Home Food Preservation).

But that still doesn't answer the question. The Ball Blue Book 100th anniversary edition does not say anything about cold packing. It says hot packing only. Page 68 in that edition.

So where did this cold pack info come from? Are you saying it is in the NCHFP or the Missouri Extension pamphlets? Yes, we know that every page there is available in pamphlets but if one of them says that then we need to contact them and get it fixed. Normally neither of them even use the term "cold Pack" as the alternative to hot pack is called "raw pack".

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

I will also be very specific about information when posting. It must be a pain to try and help people that you are not sure will listen to or comprehend what you are saying. Believe me, I am listening!!!

I just need to be more specific with every detail. And that I certainly will.

Do you guys get paid by someone to do this?! If not, you deserve to.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

That appears to be the regional term. Being at work, and not in front of my books, my mind automatically refers to the term I've heard my entire life of "cold packing". When I communicate with people here, they say "cold" which means raw. As a side note, I do not listen to one single persons advice, suggestions, methods, whatsoever for any canning issues. I've heard family brawls break out over it. Boy is it ever a touchy subject in reference of what was done 20(+) years ago. I talk about canning all the time with people. They love to hear of a "young 'n" getting involved.

I will indeed try and post that information I read about raw packing the potatoes. First I must finish work.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Ellen, I have two presto canners...a small one (harvest gold) from 1978 and my new 23 quart canner, purchased last year. If you have a local Ace Hardware, it is likely they have the weights in stock. Just about any old-fashioned, all-purpose hardware store I've been in carries the weight set (seems like it was about $12-15) and replacement gaskets and other parts. You won't find them at Lowes or Home Depot, but definitely try your hardware stores. TSC (Tractor Supply) may have them too.

Jill


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Well crap. I'm looking at my book now. I had had an older Ball book and given it away to a friend when purchasing this one several weeks ago. I have no idea how old it was, had a blue cover, and I had it for many many years. Reading it, dreaming of doing it, but never learned until these past two years. I contacted this friend a couple weeks ago and told him to toss that book due to what I've learned about disregarding published material 5 years or older. I highly doubt that old book would have said raw packing if you are telling me that publications going back to the 60's have said to hot pack only. I'm clearly confusing my experimental potatoes with the carrots, which I began doing during that same week. I know I did the potatoes once raw pack. It was the first thing I did! I'm confusing something here, I deeply apologize!

So much has happened since I first began. So much information and then I was advised to disregard half the sources I started off with. Why are there not stricter guidelines for published material about canning? I just don't understand that at all. You'd think an author or publisher would be concerned with law suits, civil suits, etc.

I will be double checking absolutely every word I put on here to ensure correct communication. I see now how incredibly important that is, and should be.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

I just found my mistake. My notes dated 7/31:
Carrots....Hot Pack only. BBB says Raw or Hot but raw pack lost half jar liquid. Hot pack only 1 inch loss.

And I had put an x over the Raw Pack instructions in my Ball book.

It was the carrots I meant this whole time! I deeply apologize.


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

No problem. As long as you got it straightened out. For future reference raw pack will always absorb more of the liquid in the jars than hot pack will. One reason when hot pack is preferred for most things. Although it is possible to balance them out raw pack with many less carrots and much more liquid in the jars.

Dave


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Thanks Dave. If I were to have canned potatoes again (or carrots or anything else) I would have my book right in front of me. I don't go by memory. Every single batch every single time every single day I make a checklist next to the open book. One thing I've learned about turning late 30's is that I get forgetful! No matter how sharp I once was, no matter that I once could walk into a grocery store with 10 things in mind and actually remember all 10 things, no matter that I once walked into a bathroom and actually remembered to use the bathroom.......

I think of my own business and trying to advise my customers on precision care for their plants. I can troubleshoot anything and everything. It all is stored in memory that cannot be erased from my mind. If they miss one little teensy tiny step, one little teensy tiny error or misjudgement or incorrect communication, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. I know exactly what they are doing wrong, know exactly why, know exactly what to expect from their error. My confidence in what I do I can sense that from you in what you do. So very few people have this type of interest or passion. When I meet such people, I admire them immensly. Very glad to have met you Dave!


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

Here's the NCHFP list of recommended online resources and government print sources.

I do agree with Dave. I think you're being very conscientious, which is great, but the learning curve with pressure canning can be very steep. For your first canning season or two it might be better to develop expertise with a small select group of core products. Once you feel confident with those, add on some more.

You might also delay working with some foods available all year round to the winter and focus in the summer on the foods available only then. Also, clearly green beans are easier to process than potatoes or dried beans. Some veggies are just less tricky.

There's nothing wrong with raw pack. If NCHFP or other reliable sources offer it as an option, it's perfectly safe to do and may be quicker and more convenient.

So if you want to raw pack carrots or green beans, go right ahead. Personally I wouldn't hot pack either of those.

When I find the contents of a jar settles before applying the lid, if it's anything with a tendency to swell (starchy foods particularly), once I've removed air bubbles, if I add anything it's more liquid, not more food.

Try not to overdo it. Take a deep breath, calm down and slow down. It will pay off. Sometimes I think canning offers life-lessons, not just food preservation ones.

And don't worry about cold-pack. I grew up hearing that term all the time. Raw-pack was new to me until a few years ago.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Recommended Resources


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

You guys have got me so figured out! Never before have I embarked a learning endeavor where it's so important to have the correct resources. What could be more important than that? I'm not a person who can, normally, be slowed down, but boy the fear of doing this incorrectly just rattles me. The beginning of the season my goal was to try every recipe, every method, in every book I had in search of the perfect flavor, perfect taste, perfect texture, etc. I had assumed ALL recipes were safe, that it was the person themselves screwing up. I was buying up every book I could, especially because I was incapable of conviently getting online. I started buying books last summer, spent my entire winter reading, taking notes. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't spend two hours reading, planning, thinking......

Now just because I'm putting myself out there doesn't mean I'm making more mistakes than others! I just want myself to be understood exactly and precisely where I'm screwing up. I don't want to waste anyone's time with this assistance you all graciously give to everyone here!

I don't mind a little "waste" while I'm learning. I anticipate it taking me several attempts. Which explains the extra large garden, unwillingness to throw out what's been given to me, and why I have purchased produce. I'm
not foolish, just a bit too head strong. :-)

There is a 38 year old woman with 4 children, a greenhouse business and personal gardener for hire, coming from a small town along the Mississippi River, who thanks you all so much...


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

As long as you understand up front that that approach is likely going to lead you into making more mistakes, more confusion, and more frustration then go for it. There is much good to be said for the carpe diem approach to life. Especially while you are still young enough to cope with it and before life and old age teach us that slowing down often gets more done. *smile*

But it also never hurts to re-read the story of the Tortoise and the Hare and recall who exactly won that race and why. If nothing else your kids will love the story.

Dave ~ taking off his philosopher's cap for the week

Here is a link that might be useful: Aesop's Fables - The Tortoise and the Hare


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RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

One of the critical things about canning is learning our limits.

Many old-timers would agree with me that you're never too old to make mistakes. I have learned that trying to do too many things at once or trying to keep on canning when I'm over-tired entails more risk than I can live with.

I'm an experienced canner, but I know well I can make mistakes just like anyone else, and when it's pressure-canning low-acid foods I try to make sure I'm not putting myself in a position where I may lapse and forget a critical process.

One time I finished my last batch of spaghetti sauce with meat about 2 a.m. and I swore never again. It was just plain stupid.

Keep in mind that botulism, for example, is undetectable by sight or smell. That jar will be perfectly sealed and look just lovely sitting there on the shelf.

Since you're still experiencing siphoning (and most of us never see it or not more than the rare jar) there are still issues to resolve with your product, your technique and perhaps your stove. I'm wondering, for instance, if your burners are the type that cycle on-and-off.

We can't convince you to can less and slow down, but we can urge you to give it serious consideration.

Carol


 o
RE: Should a newbie attempt canning broth?

One easy way to check the stove would be to use the big burner on the back of the stove. Might just be a bad switch that won't control the heat on the front burner. And you wouldn't necessarily need to check it with a pressure canner.


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