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First pressure pings. Observations.

Posted by ocwormgirl 9b (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 4, 12 at 2:38

I only started BWB canning this year and have wanted to start pressure canning to expand my skill set. Pressure canning has always made me very nervous.

I remember my mother pressure cooking a few things when I was young. I recall a kitchen steamy and loud as the jiggler rocked vigerously.

Well I gritted my teeth and today was the day. I pressure canned some corn as it was on sale so I figured at worst the loss was small. I decided to raw pack as the processing time was more than enough to cook the corn. I shucked and pulled silks on 20 ears of corn. Since corn tends to get mushy when canned I thought hmmmmmm, I have pickle crisp. Why not? So as I cut the kernal from the cob I dropped them into a gallon of cold water mixed with 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of pickle crisp and let it soak while I prepped the jars and got the water in the pressure canner on the stove. I boiled some filtered water in a kettle to use to fill the jars with liquid.

I filled the jars with corn leaving 1" headspace and then added a short teaspoon of salt and covered with boiling water. Topped with a hot lid from a sauce pan and applied the rings finger tight. 10 lovely pints went into the canner. On with the lid and turned up the heat. Once I heard the water boiling I timed 10 minutes and put on the weight.

The pressure climbed slowly and as it neared 11 pounds (15 pound jiggler and pressure gage, 23 quart Presto canner) slowly lessened the flame. The gage slowly went to 12 pounds but not higher and I adjusted a tiny bit down and it stayed between 11-11.5 pounds for the entire 55 minute processing time without further adjustments.

I was surprised how little steam and heat there was compared to my BWB. Even more surprising was the sound of the boil. I was expecting to hear a rolling boil but it sounded more like a constantly grumbling stomach. AND to maitain the pressure the stove was adjusted to only a medium low setting!

Once the processing time was up I turned off the heat and let the pressure drop naturally. That took much longer than bringing the canner up to temp. Once the pressure was 0 I took off the jiggler and timed 10 minutes and then took off the top. The corn and liquid was still boiling so I left the lid ajar for another 10 minutes and then off for an additional 10 minutes before lifting out the jars.

All 10 jars seem to have sealed beautifully. The corn is a good color (started with white corn) and there was no apparent loss of liquid.

Why was I so scared?

If you are thinking of pressure canning DO IT!

Read the directions 4-5 times and again between steps if you have any doubts.
Prep food and have ALL necessary equipment ready.
Safety first! Don't cut corners or try to rush.

I plan on opening a jar of the corn in about a week and will report back on the texture.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: First pressure pings. Observations.

Once I heard the water boiling I timed 10 minutes and put on the weight.

Once the pressure was 0 I took off the jiggler and timed 10 minutes and then took off the top. The corn and liquid was still boiling so I left the lid ajar for another 10 minutes

Good job but those two observations jumped out at me.

It isn't "listen for boiling" the instruction is to let the canner actively vent steam for 10 mins. before putting on the weight. The sound of boiling doesn't mean it has exhausted all the air from inside yet and that is the goal.

And when the pressure returns to zero, remove the weight, wait 10 mins. then remove the lid. Do not leave jars sitting inside a closed or even partially closed canner as the lids will seal and release, seal and release and suck in outside contaminated air in the process. If contents are actively boiling let them sit for 10 in the open canner until they settle down. That way the lids seal and remain sealed.

Consider investing in the weight set for your Presto so you don't have to have your gauge checked every year. Weights are more accurate than gauges.


RE: First pressure pings. Observations.

Thanks for the input Dave. I appreciate it.

I did this at night because it was cooler. The vent steamed for several minutes before I could hear the water boiling. I figured it was safer to wait to start timing when I was sure the water was boiling. In the future can I start timing when I have s steady stream of steam?

I should have been more clear on the ajar. The lid was 1/3 off and I could see about 2 inches of open space. I was surprised and a little nervous when I saw how hard the jar contents were boiling. Seriously it was a rolling boil inside the jars. After the second 10 minutes there was only slight boiling so the lid was removed completely and timed for 10 minutes. Is this amount of boiling normal when removing the lid? I wish the recipies would warn a person about that. I watched a few YouTube videos but found them unreliable and sometimes downright scary so don't plan to follow directions I find there. I see you post here a lot, thank you, you are an asset. If you say off with the lid even though the jars are boiling hard I believe you. I feel pretty good about my seals as the corn continued to boil a little even after removed to the counter. Boiling in the jar means pressure inside the jar and air/steam venting out yes? If so my jars definately did not suck. LOL

I have ordered the weight set it is in the mail. But, the corn was on sale this week. That an I am female so find it difficult to wait. ;-)


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