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Basic question: 'canner load'

Posted by katkatf none (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 26, 11 at 8:17

I've searched this forum, but can't find this discussed. I also don't see this detail in my BBB or Ball Complete, so thought I'd ask...

I've been doing jam/jelly since 7th grade (remember sealing with wax and not canning!?!?!), and have done apple sauce and some salsa the last 2 years. I'm looking to expand my repertoire, and am setting up to do tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and more. I have a basic question re: what is a canner load? I've seen references to a "canner load of 7 quarts" and a "canner load of 9 pints." If I load 9 pints into my canner, the jars will touch; is this a problem? Or can I put in as many jars as will physically fit? Right now I'm focused on BWB, but once I've got more of this practice under my belt, I plan to borrow a friend's pressure canner and try some soups and stews. I know I'll have the same question; can I just put in as many jars as will fit or do they need some space between?

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions... :)

Kathy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

Just how many will fit. Of course, you don't want to cram them in tight, but just as long as they comfortly fit.If they just barely touch, that is OK.
Most canners will hold the amount listed in the directions.


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

Agree that the jars touching is 'normal' and no problems. Most of the recipes are based on what the average canner (Presto 23 quart) will hold and that is 7 quart jars. But obviously if you have a bigger or a smaller canner - some will only hold 4 quart jars and some will hold 20 quart jars - you adjust the recipe accordingly.

The important issue is that to qualify as a pressure canner it must hold a minimum of 4 quart jars.

Dave


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

I BWB in my stockpots, so for me a "load" is what fits. I use smaller pots if I have a smaller load, sometimes as little as four 1/2 pints.

I put in jars so the fit and don't have enough room to fall over. They move around in the canner so even if you space them out carefully, they won't be that way when you open it up. If you have a rack with holding spots, you can keep them apart, but with just a bottom rack, if there is room for them to crowd together and then have room for one to tip over, seems like that is just what they do.

I now always add jars with water (no lid) to fill any "empty" spaces if I don't have a full load.

Like Digdirt said, for PC you need a pot big enough to hold 4 quart jars - usually about 10 qt liquid capacity.


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

As for the PC, can I stack the jars? If so, do I need to add additional water?

Thanks!
Michele


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

I find the capacity also changes with the jars. For example, I may not be able to fit in as many wide-mouth jars as narrow-mouth or I may be able to stack Kerr pints, which are shorter, but not Ball pints.

It really depends on the canner and its design.

Carol


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

As for the PC, can I stack the jars? If so, do I need to add additional water?

This too is discussed on NCHFP. Stacking is fine as long as the canner will hold them and they are stacked properly using either a second rack or staggered so they aren't sitting right on top of each other.

The amount of water is determined by the size of the canner and the length of the processing time. The number of jars is not relevant.

Dave


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

Thanks, all. It looks like 9 pints fit comfortably if I use a rack without the little dividers. Here I gooooooo.........

Kathy


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RE: Basic question: 'canner load'

You PC should have come with the standard flat rack in it. That is what the jars sit on. Looks like a flat metal plate with holes in it. Please don't confuse the jar holder that one finds in a BWB with the pressure canner rack. Totally different things.

Dave


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