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Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Posted by PlantsAndYarn 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 19, 12 at 7:14

This is my first year of canning. Since I am now hooked, my Ball Canning Discovery Kit (which can only process 3 jars at a time) isn't going to cut it for next year.

I would appreciate your suggestion/opinions on where & what kind of canning equipment would be good to purchase. I am not sure if I will just go with the BWB canning or pressure canning. Since, at this time, I am only concerned with doing tomatoes, I could just go with BWB. But then I think about doing other things, so maybe just go with a pressure canner.

Also, I read in another thread (which I can't find now) that someone had a canner that they could stack pints in. I really like that idea but have no clue as to what type/brand of equipment that would be.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I have the Presto 23 qt pressure canner. You can stack a second layer of pint jars. I find the 23 qt. pretty heavy, and although you can put more jars in when pressure canning, you can't while BWB. So, definitely take into consideration the weight of the canner in addition to the size. I have a hard time filling and emptying the water when I do BWB. I sometimes wish I bought a smaller model for that reason.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

All American is the only way to go in my opinion. Mine is the big one (32 pints or 19 quarts) but there are various sizes. The reasons I would use this over some of the less expensive are:

1) The jiggler has a pound setting and it will greatly regulate the pressure by simply jiggling more to release excess pressure. You'd have to work really hard to get pressure to a dangerous level as opposed to most.

2) There is no rubber seal - it seals metal on metal. One less thing to worry about, oil, store and replace.

The only cautions I have for you if you are new to canning is that the book doesn't explain the canning process as well as the Presto book for example but you can download a free copy of the presto book and read their directions first and then the All American instructions will be very clear (All American doesn't explain what "venting" means for example)

The other caution is if you buy a very large canner like mine, you have to have a stove that can handle the weight - it would break a glass cooktop because it's so heavy.

I hope you enjoy canning as much as I do!


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

PlantsAndYarn - it is a big jump from BWB to pressure canning with a much bigger learning curve so my first question is how much pressure canning would you be interested in doing and what types of things would you consider pressure canning?

The "how much" would determine which pressure canner to buy and the "what things" would help determine the size jars used and how big to get. How big is your family? What foods do you eat regularly? Do you garden or buy all your fresh produce?

The Presto 23 quart PC with the optional 3 piece weight set is the most commonly recommended. With it you can BWB 1 layer of pints or quarts. As a PC you can double stack pints only for pressure canning.

Most canning recipes are written sized for 1 layer of jars. You would have to double recipes to have enough jars for stacking.

There are bigger, deeper pressure canners made by All American but they are also much more expensive and the cost can only be justified by a great deal of heavy duty canning and experience.

For inexperienced, light duty canning an inexpensive, deep stock pot with a lid and some sort of rack in the bottom is all that is needed for BWB canning.

There is lots of reading here on all the factors to take into consideration first. Your stove type, glass top or no, the size of the burners, the weight issue Michele mentioned, the working space in the kitchen, and the types of foods you would grow/eat.

Give us more information about all the questions above ok?

Dave


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

One precaution regarding the recommendation for the Presto manual (or All-American). The canner manuals are almost never updated, so while they do provide operation instructions for the particular model, we don't recommend them for processing times or procedures. For that we recommend the link below.

Also, if you're new to canning winter is a great time to research and also get up to speed on the basics. Remember the NCHFP has a link to a self-paced free online canning course which can be found by scrolling down the homepage.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Home Page


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I have the Presto 23 qt. with the optional 3 piece weight set and I love it.

But Dave brings up very good points. I would not jump in head first unless you know there are things you want to pressure can that would justify getting a pressure canner. I personally love using mine as a water bath, it fits way more than any large stock pot I have. I do use it for everything.

Also, I had not even considered burner size being a factor when I purchased my new glass top stove. When my new stove showed up in mid July this year I had a mini panic attack when I saw the burner size with my Presto sitting on the floor near the stove. Luckily the Presto has a much smaller heat disc than the bottom of the pot and fit my 10" burner perfectly (too much overhang contact can crack your glass top).

I actually use my pc for canning tomatoes (not as a BWB), and that is part of the reason I got the PC to begin with. I know it is not necessary, but by Ball's admission, because of the shorter processing time it may be the better choice to produce a more nutritious and higher quality product. And to be honest when I first got into canning I was a little leery of simply boiling anything, pressurizing seemed way more likely to kill everything (yes I am a paranoid person by nature). I get it now and do BWB plenty of things, but I have found plenty of others to PC also. I don't regret my purchase at all, but then again I do grow a lot, shop at my local pick your own farm, cook tons, and really love doing it. So you have to ask yourself all the right questions.

Good luck
Kalindi


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Thanks for your replies. I have a small garden but do buy some things from the local farmer's market. Until this year I just put everything in the freezer. But having a small freezer & a bounty of tomatoes, I decided to finally learn the art of canning. The tomatoes were taking up the freezer and I still had beans, eggplant slices & pumpkin puree to put in there.

I like the idea of making up the spaghetti sauces & canning them, so that's why I thought of going with a pressure canner. The idea of doing the green beans & corn also crossed my mind.

At this point, I am thinking of just continuing with the BWB for my tomatoes. Since Dave pointed out that the PC has a higher learning curve, I am thinking I should get one style down before moving on to another. If I free up the freezer space by canning the tomatoes, I will have more room for the other goodies. Plus I can just make the sauces with the canned tomatoes when I need/want it.

I would mostly be doing pints, but I would also like to do some quarts. If I get another, larger pot & rack I could do more at the same time. Does the lid have to be tight fitting on the pot? I do have a large, old, canning kettle from my Grandmother that a rack would fit in, but the lid is no where near tight fitting. I am figuring that that kettle should just continue being used for soups & boiled dinners and I should just invest in a new pot.

Would there be any problem with buying lids/rings now and saving them for next year? The stores are starting to mark them down to clear them out. Thought I might get some at a discount price for next year's canning adventure.

Thanks, Rene


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

The lid doesn't have to be tight fitting for water bath canning. If you do buy a pressure canner, you can use it for water bath canning as well.

I have a ton of rings and lids that I will use next year. I've never had a problem with that. Curious if others have though.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

This is the best time of year to buy lids, jars, and rings - during the markdown/clearance sales. The lids are good for years as long as they aren't used of course.

Dave


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I think I have formed a "plan of attack" for next year.

#1 I will invest in a new pot. One that will be big enough to do some quarts in. The one I have now isn't tall enough to allow for the 1 inch of water to cover quarts, but will work for pints with my little discovery kit. Grandma's kettle will not be used for canning. It's pretty beat-up after approx. 50 yrs of use. The lid is not only "far from tight fitting", but falls into the pot if not placed properly on the pot,lol.

#2 For now I think I will stick with the BWB and just do my tomatoes. I know you can still do BWB in a PC, so if I find one for a good price, maybe I will buy one in case I want to venture further into canning. But then again, maybe not. One can never have too many kitchen goodies (in my opinion), so no biggie if I need to spend more money later on for a PC. It took me 2 yrs to get up the nerve to attempt BWB canning. So I will probably think about doing PC for 2 yrs, lol.

#3 Start checking prices & start stocking up on all the things I will need for next year. Also check out all the old jars in the basement. See how many are good; how many are wide or regular mouth. I know the ones with cracks or chips cannot be used. What about the old blue/green jars that I have? Can they still be used as long as they are not cracked or chipped & the lids/rings fit? Yes, I am a bit of a pack rat. Just can't see things that could be useful being tossed out. Besides, I liked the color & they make cool flower vases (to me).

Wow, can't wait for next year.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

The blue jars should be safe, but I'd think twice before using them because they are worth more than clear glass jars. you can get a box of clear glass jars at thrift stores for what one of those blue jars costs. Sometimes, anyway.

As for pressure canning, I don't see it as being a lot different than BWB canning. i actually find it easier because you don't have to watch the water level over jars on long boiling sessions. Though it does take longer because you have to ramp up steam and pressure and then let it fall off when done. There's less steam in the room from a pressure canner. Mine still has a gage on it, but it's not really that hard to regulate. It's intimidating at first because you think pressure, explosion, shrapnel, other bad things. But then you realize after you get into it that there are all kinds of safety features built in and it's not that bad.

Do be careful about buying used pressure canners, though. You don't know how they were treated or used. Or abused. Tolerances are everything and a warped lid won't work. Not to mention loose fittings and other things. Just something to think about.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I have hundreds of jars that belonged to my husband's grandmother. Over the years, twice I've had the bottom crack on one while it was in the PC. They aren't colored but they are very old.

You might consider selling your old colored jars and buying new jars with the money unless they hold sentimental value that is.

Craig's list is also a good place to look for jars. You'd be surprised how many people throw away jars and will just give them to you if they know you will use them. Also, don't discount old pickle/mayonaise jars for doing refrigerator pickles and I've used them for water bath too. I accidentally used one for PC and it made it through but I wouldn't take that risk - it was just a mistake. When someone gives you jars, you always get some of those and I threw them away for years.

When I empty a jar, I fill it with water and put it back on the shelf in the event there's ever an emergency and I need a source for water.

I agree with chrisb that pressure canning is just as easy. I was so intimidated my first run and I sat paralyzed watching the guage the ENTIRE time. That's the reason I suggested All American - I had two Presto canners and the pressure would fluctuate greatly if I didn't stay on top of it. All American has NEVER gone over 12 lbs when set to 10 because it has some self regulating built into the jiggler. I know exactly on my burner where I'm going to set the heat now and once I set it, I wouldn't leave the house certainly but I now feel confident leaving the kitchen and I can tell my the sound of the canner exactly what's going on with the pressure.

It's great to see someone excited like you are. I got my younger sister into canning this year. Invited her over to do some green beans and she was hooked and went and bought her first canner.

I saw my 90+ year old aunt at the family reunion week before last and I told her how much I'm canning and she grabbed both of my hands and so heartfelt she said "I'm so proud of you for that". It feels great to carry on the tradition and to know that we're eating non GMO, purely organic food.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I agree with selling off the old colored glass jars if your not attached sentimentally to them. For some reason they go for about $5 a jar plus shipping on Ebay and I think the larger the lot you have the more you can ask. Most people use them to decorate for weddings.

In my area at least I have had absolutely no luck with Craigslist or thrift shops for used jars. Everyone on Craigslist wants $1 or more per jar for used jars and I have yet to find ANY in a thrift shop. In previous years I assume Wal Mart had the lowest prices and paid the almost $10 per case for a dozen pints. This year I smartened up and I have shopped around and shopped around and compared local prices and found the lowest prices at a neighborhood grocery store, Redners (reg price for pints is $8.39/case sale price always $6.99) and just wait for them to go on sale.

Also, Ball puts out coupons, when they do I get my relatives to give me the coupons from their papers (and friends and whoever else I can talk into it). This summer I was able to get a bunch of cases at the sale price of $6.99 and use a $3 of if you buy 2 cases so $5.50 a case with lids included.

I am looking for deals right now on lids for next year and checking for closeouts on jars in other stores (Redners sells their canning supplies year round so no closeout sale).


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

After I take inventory, I will have to check out eBay for the colored jars. Years ago when I got them at an auction, they weren't selling for much. At that time only the really large ones were selling. I do have a couple of those, with the zinc lids. Those are not going anywhere. My husband does a lot of eBay so if they are worth selling it won't be much of a hassle for me.

Good point about being careful with a used PC. Although I am still a bit on the fence over what I will buy, I know that it will be new. I plan on doing a lot of canning next summer, so I might as well get new & wear it out myself.

For awhile it appeared that home canning was becoming a lost art. I am the only one around here, my age, that even thought about doing it. I am so glad I took the plunge. I really get a kick out of seeing my 10 pints sitting on the shelf with the wholesome, chemical/additive free fruit from my garden. My only regret is that I didn't start doing it earlier. It's nice to be in a place where people aren't telling you why bother when you can just go to the store.

I did use a coupon when I bought the pack of jars. I also have another coupon for buy 2 packs of lids, get 1 pack free. I did see online where that coupon could be printed out. So when I see a good closeout sale, I'll print that out & make a killing. Meijer's here in Ohio has decent prices on the canning stuff & that is where I got my stuff. I have been keeping an eye on the little section they have at the grocery store. I know when they get ready to close it out, they will go for cheap.

Thanks for your replies & suggestions.

Rene


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I here you on it being nice to find a place where others are canning and not thinking it is weird. All my friends (30 somethings) think I am crazy and ask why I bother. Then they spend tons of money shopping at Whole Foods.

I think it is making a comeback. My grandmother grew up on a farm and canned everything (my mother never learned), my husband's mother canned everything until she got too old to any more (wasn't able to teach me). I think there is a generation that got skipped, but there is also a resurgence of interest. It is absolutely great to have others to talk to though :)

Kalindi


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

" I think there is a generation that got skipped"

I think you're right. Here's something that interests me; My grandmother's generation showed their affluence by buying what they used to preserve.

When my grandmother first came to live with me five years ago, she was embarrassed that I did so much preserving. She was concerned it might make me look, shall we say, impecunious!

She came from a different world.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 20, 12 at 19:21

My mother and father did garden, but didn't "can" - I still remember when we got our first standalone freezer (yeah, I'm getting old). That was the answer for preserving back in the 1960's.

My grandparents always preserved food, and I was lucky enough to spend time with them (actually, I was free child labor during my summer vacations which were spent weeding, picking, canning, weeding, picking, canning and making soap).

None of the kids in the next generation down from me do any gardening (maybe one tomato plant in a bucket or something) or canning, so I think it did skip a generation.

They sure do like getting their Christmas goodie box from Auntie's pantry, though LOL.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

PlantsandYarn, I went to a Meijer today in Illinois and they had a "buy 2 cases, get the third free" deal on Ball jars. I'm new to canning this year too, and would advise to make sure your canning rack fits whatever pot you end up using. I already had a 21-quart stock pot, but had a devil of a time finding a rack to fit (they were a scoche too wide.) Finally found one at Sur La Table, but it's not the kind that has handles for easy lowering and lifting.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Hmm, I may need to run to Meijer's to check on their canning equipment/supplies. When looking at the supplies before, I noticed some nice canning kettles, but couldn't tell if the rack would fit b/c the kettles were sealed. May have to bust the seal to make sure it fits, lol.

My maternal Grandmother must have done canning b/c I have one of her old canning kettles. With 5 kids, it came in handy for large batches of soup, chili & boiled dinners. I only remember her freezing her produce. Grandma's specialty was jelly. It was the best. My kids called her their jelly grandma & they told everyone that Smucker's was good but their jelly grandma's was way better, lol. She always put extra jelly in my goodie box for my kids. When we got the box, the kids would sit around the table making toast with jelly until the loaf of bread was gone. Everyone, except 1 aunt, does gardening. Everything was put in the freezer. My Mom was the only one who did canning & she did open-kettle canning of tomatoes only. I never stuck around to help (spoiled brat,lol).

As a generation, I think we Baby Boomers were very spoiled. Although we enjoyed & benefited from the old ways (gardening, canning, baking etc.)we weren't necessarily encouraged to carry on with it. Our parents wanted an easier, better life for us. So they let us indulge ourselves in the pre-made, packaged foods, etc. This led to a large gap/lack of skills in our generation, which led to even larger gaps/lack of skills in the next generations. I still can't get over the way some kids eat. When I go to the store & see families with a ton of frozen, just add xyz foods in their carts, I realize it is no wonder we are becoming an obese nation. Most kids don't know how to cook anything that you can't put in a microwave. One son had a girlfriend who was amazed when he fried bacon in a pan. She never had it that way & thought the only way it could be cooked was in the microwave. Another son impressed his girlfriend & her family by making popcorn in a pan! Both daughters are excellent bakers. Their brownies are a big hit with everyone. People are shocked that they didn't come from a box. My third son is an excellent cook, but just can't seem to bake, lol. One time my son's friend stayed for lunch & was very impressed b/c he never had soup that didn't come from a can. We all laughed b/c it was what I called "Poor Man Soup" - just bouillon broth & store-bought noodles. My son told him this was nothing, you should be here when we have chicken soup with homemade noodles. As you can see I am doing my best to close some gaps & re-instill some lost skills. The kids were just as excited as I am over my 10 pints of canned tomatoes. I know that my oldest daughter will some day learn how to can for her family. She may have to buy all her produce b/c as hard as she may try she just can't get much to grow. But we are still working on that skill, so maybe some day her green-thumb will kick in.

I have a friend who always says "Why do all that work (gardening, freezing, canning) when you can just go to the store?" She doesn't want to hear how much I enjoy it or how much better the food is, but she sure shuts up when I tell her that I know she will be the first one to show up at my house when something horrific happens & the grocery stores are shut down.

So if we are odd-balls & weirdo's for what we do, then so be it. We are happy, healthier weirdo's and our ranks are growing! Gosh, maybe this is the start of a new political group? We could be the Green Thumb Party, lol.

Take Care all. Have a great, productive day.

Rene


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Green Thumb Party - LOVE it!


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I could make you sick with tales of good finds on canning jars from Craig's List, but I won't. It's hit and miss. But i never pay more than about 30 cents per jar except once when someone had a bunch of half gallon jars they wanted to get rid of. Said they had about 30 and ended up with about 90. I paid $1 each and thanked them. Lots of beautiful old jars in that batch. The best was about 1000 various sizes for about 10 cents per pint, 15 cents per quart and 25 per half. I filled a 8x12 bed truck with two levels of boxes. OK, so I did tell. sorry... :-)

I also run ads in the state ag publication and have OK luck sometimes. I'm learning to say No sometimes. Factor in fuel costs and decide. Sometimes it's just nice to get out and go, so it's not always about the purchase.

Most recently, someone has "jars" on Craig's List nearby. They weren't canning jars. And they had bottles with them. Surplus from a chemical plant. I bought the jars, not the bottles. Turns out what I thought was 1000 ended up being 1900 8-ounce jars that are about spice jar size. Had a box of lids for about half of them. Paid $200 for the lot. The lids alone are worth more than that, as I'm finding out while looking for more to fit.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

  • Posted by oretom Wilsonville, Or (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 21, 12 at 18:45

As a second year canner I have all the answers! LOL!

Some things need to be learned, not told. I bought a 23 quart Presto, converted it to weights and bought a 33 quart Granite Ware BWB.

There is me and the lady and all the recipes seem to be for 7 or eight pints. I found the 11 1/2 quart Granite Ware BWB ( had to get the new rack so the rack would close and drop but they sent it a no cost). Purchased at Fred Meyer/Kroger at end 'o season for $12, I got three.

I did pickles, relish, relish and pickles. Tomato sauce, dilly beans and apple butter. Ah, apple butter, the reason for the exercise, the season is just around the corner!

I have relish, pickles and relish today. Some apple butter but I use it for bribes.

My suggestions: buy a pot the right size for your household; only can what you will eat (the second year) and if tomatoes are $20 a 20 pound box (local prices here) you are paying almost $3 a pint for roma sauce. That was a shock. Last year was a better year and I paid $12 a box.

Walmart and Victorio strainers will be my demise!



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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Right now my household is small. Three people, 2 dogs, bunny & lizard. When our daughter leaves for college (next yr), we will be empty nesters. Our extended family is rather large.

I dream of all the veggies I could can, but think for now I will stick to doing my tomatoes. This year I grew Amish Paste, Whopper & Beefmaster tomatoes. They were all large, meaty fruits. If I increase the number of tomatoes I grow next year, hopefully, I won't have to buy any produce to can. We have a wonderful farmer's market here. So if I do have to purchase some, I can go there. We also have a large number of local farmer's stands that I can check out.

I am going to look for a pot that will be big enough to do some quarts. I have lots of good quart jars just waiting for lids/rings. I have a Kroger store here. Their little canning section seemed to be lids, rings, jars, spices, etc. Will have to look again, just in case I missed the canning pots.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Here's my list of canning stuff:

Heavy bottom stainless stock pot (I started with a 12 qt. and found a 16 qt. on sale)
BWB Pot - for quarts, it needs to be at least 9" deep, and a regular stock pot that deep is hard to find for a reasonable price.
Jar lifter
Canning funnel
Stainless ladle with a small pouring spout on it and a long handle
Obviously, jars, lids, rings, etc.
Citric acid
Calcium chloride (aka Pickle Crisp)
Good knives

Nice to have:
Food mill or Squeezo type mill
Jelly bag or chinois for straining juice for jelly
2 burner propane stove for canning outside

Gadgets I Didn't Need but Couldn't Resist:
A battery operated stirrer (yeah, I know - but it works great for long cooking sauces)
A maslin pan
Every canning book I can find that looks interesting :-)


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Thanks for letting me know that a pot needs to be at least 9" deep to do quarts. It saved me from having to measure the quart jars & "guesstimating" how tall the pot needs to be. I saw some nice, granite-ware type pots at the store. They were labeled canning pots, but I wasn't sure if they would be big enough. Will have to make sure I have a measuring tape when I go shopping, lol.

I do have a lot of the items on the list. I bought the Ball kit that had the jar lifter, funnel, air tool w/neat little notches for measuring headspace & lid/ring magnetic stick. Didn't need the funnel b/c I have several (I'm a sucker for kitchen gadgets, whether I use them or not,lol) but it came in the kit. Instead of citric acid, I just went with the bottled lemon juice. I already had some b/c I put up slices of eggplant in the freezer. You need to add 1/4 cup for every gallon of water that you blanch the slices in.
I am sure that I will be picking up some books too. Can't resist books. My daughter says we only need a card catalog to become a library, lol.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 23, 12 at 11:48

My Ball stainless BWB is 9" deep - I wish they would have made it about an inch deeper. Figure about 3/8"-1/2" for the bottom rack plus about 7" for the jar itself (some of mine are noticeably taller than others) with at least an inch of water to cover doesn't leave much space to keep the boiling water in the pot, not all over the stove LOL.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Agree that 12" deep is much better. Something in the 18-22 quart range stockpot. Stainless steel eliminates the rust problems that graniteware has and can also be used for cooking reactive foods such as tomatoes in.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: stockpots


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Well, I bought a pot for next year's canning!! It is a 20 qt, porcelain enamel on steel, that measures just over 10" high & the rack was included. I really liked the lid b/c it is a glass domed lid with a steel band around the edge. Hopefully this will do the trick. Looks to me like it will, but this is just my 1st year canning, lol. It came in several colors but I picked the nice, tomato red pot. Also picked up some boxes of lids & rings on sale & used my buy 2 get 1 free coupon.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Give it a trial run with a couple of quart jars of water. That way you'll know right away if it is deep enough so that the water won't be boiling over while you can still return it.

Dave


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Good idea Dave! I will do that today!


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Just finished my test and I am confident this pot will work well for next year. I have 3" of space between the top of quarts & the top of the pot. I had over 2" of water over the top of the jars. I did have a bit of water on the stove, but not much. I had the heat on full blast, lid on & was doing things in other parts of the house. When I went back in the kitchen, I vented the lid (slightly)but never lost the full boiling action. Glass lid makes it so easy to keep tabs on the boiling action. I read somewhere that it was okay to turn the heat down a bit to prevent over-boil, as long as you don't lose the full boil action (please correct me if that's wrong). So I played around with it, turning the heat down a hair when a tiny bit of water ran down the side of the pot & lid on all the way. Not once did I lose the hard boil! Husband came home for lunch, so I vented the lid slightly (knew he wouldn't watch for over-boil) & ran to the store. When I got back pot was still boiling. It boiled for about 50 min. I put the lid on all the way, then turned the heat off. After a couple of min I measured how much water was still over the jars & it was just under 2". Gee, this makes me want to run up to the farmers market to buy tomatoes to can!


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Who needs tomatoes during apple season ;-)

I am glad you found a pot that works for you. The right equipment makes everything so much easier. That is why I bought a whole new stove this year. Your way is WAY cheaper...


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Ya know, I was thinking of apples & apple pie filling yesterday. There is one stall at the farmer's market that sells all kinds of apples. It's great b/c they line up the boxes of apples from the most tart to the sweetest. They have several sizes of bags (each a different price)& you just pick the ones you want. I can always get a lot of apples in my bags, lol.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Where did you buy the pot/what manufacturer is it? I have 12-qt pot from BB&B, it's just not deep enough to do quarts w/o water all over the stove (and care to make sure it stays over tops of jars).

Wish we had apples - ours never blossomed, checked with 2 orchards nearby and they have so few they're not selling seconds for sauce - they're using them for cider. There's a 3rd one I can check...


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

She bought a 20 qt. not a 12 quart like you have. Big size difference but I do agree that I'm surprised that one only 10" deep is deep enough to do quarts without a lot of splash over.

Dave


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I got the pot at my local Meijer store. It isn't a brand name, label says "Dist. by Wholesale Merchandisers, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI". I looked at the Meijer website, but they don't show my pot. I paid $39.99 at the store.

The straight sides of the pot measures 10" from the bottom, then there is a raised edge, that is slightly larger than the body of the pot, that the lid fits into. It is a dome lid, as opposed to flat. Wonder if this makes a difference?

I forgot to take a tape measure to the store, but thought for sure the pot would be around 12" high. I was a bit surprised that it was only 10". But I have measured it several times & it is surely 10" high.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I know she bought a bigger pot than I have - I'm looking for a bigger one. Mine is only 8.5" (internal) to rim after putting the rack in. Still surprised that 10" didn't boil over after going for that long - I really have to keep an eye on mine if I'm doing quarts.

No Meijers around here though.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Aj - did you look at all the ones Walmart offers at the link above. Check eBay too. I got a set of 3 SS with lids (16-18-22) there a couple of years ago at an excellent price and they have several good sales going on right now.

Dave.

Here is a link that might be useful: eBay stockpots


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RE: how to find all your posts

You posted a request for info on how to track all your posts on GW. Don't want to hijack Tamara's thread, that would send this email to her, and since you don't have email open on your personal page I'm posting it here in the hopes you get it.

To access all your posts just type your user name in the search bar at the top of the page on any forum. It will pull up all your posts and replies from all of GW. Here is a current listing.

You can also use the 'clippings' save tool (green with the little scissors to the right of every post) to save them to your personal page but the number is limited to 150.

Dave


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

Thanks for the info Dave. I knew there had to be some way & I figured I was missing it. I was wondering about the clipping tool. After I wrote that I was playing with the search & wondered if I could use my screen name like that. Another site I belong to (for medical issues support)has tabs under your account 1 where you can see all discussions you started & also 1 where you can see all discussions you replied to. Really makes it easy. I should change my account so that members can see the email address.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

I have 2 dozen small (4 inch tall) Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars. I have spent countless hours trying to find lids and rings for these little beauties... any idea if lids and rings are still available? They seem to be smaller in diameter than regular lids. The bottom is 2 inches wide. These were my mother's.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

The regular quilter crystal jelly jars take regular mouth lids. You might have to measure them. There was a posted here that had some 63mm (I think) that worked with Canadian jars. I would call
Fillmore Container
2315 Norman Road
Lancaster PA 17601 - 5930
Fax: 717-509-3339
Toll-Free: 866-FILL-JAR ( 866-345-5527)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

good luck.


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RE: Suggestions/Opinions on Buying Canning Equipment

ssgtbam,
First, figure out exactly what size lids you need. The link below will help.

They sound like they may be the 63mm canning jars (regular mouth are 70mm). Lisapat posted here recently saying she had gotten a box of 63mm lids and rings as a donation with some other canning goods. If that's the size you need, might be worth sending her an email.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to measure jars and lids


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