I have started my garden this year and I am sure that I am going to get a bumper crop...(I am an optimist). I have "put up" salsa, tomato sauce, pickles, pickled green beans, jalepenos, and okra before, but I am curious about doing more fresh packs with less vinegar and salt.
Is there a good link to recipes for putting up carrots, green beans, corn, peas etc where it is like getting them at the store. Same thing goes for fruit. How can I "preserve" my berries with out making preserves?
I currently use a hot water bath to do my canning. I do not have a pressure cooker/canner system.
One more thing: why is it called canning when we are actually "jarring?" Thanks
So I have continued doing research whilst waiting for a response and it looks like i am going to have to purchase a pressure canner. I also see that All-american, while expensive, is well liked by most. Here is another thing I just came across: I have a glass top stove (not my choice, it came with the house) and actually it is just a cook top in the counter.
What if anything do I need to worry about with my glass cooktop and pressure canning? Am I better off doing it over the turkey fryer flame in the driveway?
We have a glass-top cooking surface, and I have a large All-American Canner. I just move it carefully across the glass top. I think a turkey fryer would give you better temp. control since it's gas powered. I hate pressure-canning on an electric stove.
I lacto-ferment a lot of veggies. More nutrition than pickling, and no vinegar taste. I can some berries just in their juice + water, sometimes with a tad of sugar. Mostly I use those in scones/cupcakes, although if sweetened they make a nice topping for pound cake and ice cream.
I've never used a presto canner. But as far as All American canners they are a lifetime purchase. I have two and access to two others. All 4 are around 40 years old. In resent years they haven't been used as hard as they were years ago they still are problem free.
I've canned on wood, gas, electric, an outside fireplace but not a glass top stove.
Maybe because I've done the most cooking on electric that I don't have any problems canning with it. Since most electric stoves have markings on the dial I find them much more repeatable than a gas stove. For instance once my canner comes up to 10 psi I 'll turn it down to just a tad over medium. it will then continue to rise to 11 psi which is where I want it. Then all I have to do is make very fine adjustment to keep it there. I'm talking about a degree or two movement on the control.
Okay. I have spent much of the day on the internet and have narrowed my choices down to a presto 23q and an all american 21.5q. What I can't find on either of these is what is included in the box. Do you get the different weights, the racks for the insides etc? What came in your pressure canning system?
Remember this was a long time ago. Mine doesn't have the weights. It has a valve and didn't need the weights. The rack for the bottom was included and a taller one had a rack to go between the layers of jars, but the 921 didn't. It had just the one rack.
I'd give All American .com a call. 800-251-8824 and ask.
Sam's Club shows these details
# Made of heavy cast aluminum
# Sturdy Bakelite handle
# Easy-to-read geared steam gauge
# Pressure regulator weight
# Smooth, easy-to-clean satin finish
# Easy on-off cover
# Exclusive metal-to-metal seal – no gaskets to crack, burn, clean or replace
# Positive action clamping wing nuts permit easy opening and closing
# Double thickness edges for additional protection on the points of heaviest wear
# Automatic overpressure release
# UL Listed
# 21 1/2 quart liquid capacity
# Includes two racks
# Holds 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars
I just went back and read through this thread.
It's called canning because you can put food up in tin cans just like you buy in the store.
I would also urge you to consider the 915 15.5 quart canner instead of the 921 21.5 quart canner. I've used both.
In the early 70's we sold a lot of stuff off and moved to Kentucky because that is where my fathers job had gone. It didn't work out and we came back to New York.
We needed to replace some of the stuff we sold. One of those Items was a canner because we had access to food but needed to preserve it. The only one that was available at the moment when we needed it was the 21 qt one, which my parents bought. We used it a little and then the local store got some of the 15 qt one in stock. Mom and Dad ended up buying one of those like the one they had sold. After that I'll bet that the big canner got one load for every fifty loads that when through the smaller one.
The 21 qt canner doesn't hold anymore quart jars than the 15qt one does but it is taller and heavier 17.75lb opposed to 14lb. The 4 lbs or so and 4 inches in height does make a difference in handling the canner. The All American is a heavy thing. The bigger one is also slower to heat up also.
One other thing to check out. I looked at a turkey fryer last fall. It had a recess to hold the pot and was too small for a canner. I'm also not sure how fine if any temperature control they have.
Good points to consider Doug. The reason I would consider the 21 rather than the 15 is because I do water bath process as well. (perhaps I should ask, can you pressure prossess everything? or just the non acid foods? point being, could I pressure process my pickles?) I have read that you can use the 21q to do water bath processing as well. I told my husband that I would get rid of my speckled water bath canner if I got a pressure canner that I could use for that as well.
My mom would get my speckled one to do low country boils.
I agree with Doug. Mine is the larger size, and it's heavy even without filled jars in it. Plus as he said, you can only do 1 layer of quart jars in it anyway. I sometimes do 2 layers of pint jars, but not often. I do use it as a water bath but since it's so very heavy when there's the required amount of water to cover the jars by 2 inches, I generally use my huge stockpot instead.
I long ago ditched my water bath canner (I think it got rusty) and use my pressure canner for everything. For fruits and pickles I do not use the pressure - just leave off the gasket and weight and use it as a water bath canner. I do use pressure for tomatoes, as there are so many low-acid varieties and it is much quicker. It seems if you pressure canned any fruit, it would turn mushy. Maybe not.
I agree that the pressure canner full is heavy, but it's not like one carts it around. Once it's on the stove, you're pretty much good to go. So I don't see that as an issue. Having only one canner is also one less large thing to store. That said, when I was canning more often (when our children were young), I did have and use both.
Mine is a Mirro-Matic. No clue what it cost, but back when I bought it (30 years ago) we were on a shoe-string budget so I'm guessing it was not one of the more expensive ones. Still in great shape and fully functional.
We pressure canned everything. Vegetable, fruit, tomatoes, meat. In most cases if you look at the processing times the total time for the pressure canner is shorter than a water bath. I think fruit mushiness is determined by type and syrup type as much as anything.
Weight was a factor when canning on a wood stove as one of the ways you control temperature is my moving the pot on the stove. I think I disliked the height more than the weight. I'm about 6' tall and with the taller canner when I'm picking hot jars high enough to get them out of the canner they are definitely eye level. That's not a place I like holding a boiling hot jar. If I had a low burner set up just for canning I don't think it would matter.