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Boiling bath vs Pressure canner?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Adios Pantalones, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    That is one serious looking canning machine. Hope you can lift it! So your first effort was with tomatoes.
    Did you hot or cold pack? Did you loose any fluid from your jars. Thanks

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  2. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    You'll enjoy the 921, it's a solid piece of equipment and the best part is there is no rubber seal to go bad. We've been considering buying another one since we do so much canning.

    We can everything from Tuna, Ground Beef, and soups to tomatoes, and green beans in it.

    We have a big water bath canner for high acid fruits. We're about to start Peach processing here today (15 - 25 pound boxes of peaches)
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Hot pack (I thawed tomatoes that I stewed/froze last week), citric acid, there was evidence that some liquid leaked out into the bath but not much (didn't notice a level change). I like watching the tomatoes still boiling in the jar when I remove them from the bath.

    Also did some habanero/carrot hot sauce last night.
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    So for soups/stews/prepared spag sauce- do I pressure cook for the longest time required for any ingredient? For instance- if I had chili with meat, do I just use the recommended time for the meat?
  5. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Yes! especially with meat. You can find good canning recipies on line if you don't have a book. There is a website called www.pickyourown.org/ that has some good stuff.
    Also, leave the jars in the canner for a lot longer than with a BWB; all that boiling gets agitated when you take the lid off and move the jars, and it can cause water leakage that can ruin the seal, and the sudden change in temperature can cause breakage. I always let my canner sit undisturbed for a good 10-15 minutes after the pressure drops the vent down.
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  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Anytime using meat is 90min. I dont like to do soups and things like that because it will over cook what you dont want cooked. Do meat by its self and most of the things that would go into the soup would either be canned by its self or shelve stable.
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  7. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    oh we have the same stove. Came with the house. It's 13 years or so old. Hate it. And had to buy a $80 flat bottom water bath canner to work on it.
  8. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    When I got my new glass cooktop, I was REALLY peeved off to find that canning was not recommended. After a year of fooling around with a so called electric pressure canner(it was just a pressure cooker, and not that accurate to boot), I got fed up and bought a Presto sixteen quart. I figured since I was not canning for the whole family anymore (although you'd never know it they way they like to take my home canned goods home with them), I could get by with smaller batches, and if the damn thing broke, well, good riddance to bad rubbish, and I would just eat the cost and buy a coil type again. So far, it has been 5 years with no problems. I never do more than two batches in a day, and I always let the burner get cold in between. Don't know it that helps, but so far so good.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    One batch of tomatoes, one batch of spag. sauce (7 quarts at a time). I like doing the spaghetti sauce- I get to use other garden stuff (peppers/garlic) and it boils down so much that it saves a lot of space.
    [​IMG]
    save$ and smokinj like this.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    We are pretty burn out on it now but still keep doing around 25 gallons of tomatoes week. We run a 30qt sauce pan and bust 25 gallons down to 21qts. I have two good size dehyrators that can hold about 8 gallons and reduce it down to one quart. Now it really comes down to jar management. I built a pantry this spring with lots of shelves and we are over loaded down. (Guess the closets will be next)
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  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Smokin- by later next summer you'll be itching to replenish your stocks. I'm motivated to get serious about my garden now- previously a lot of stuff went unpicked or unused because I had limited storage ability.
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  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Your right....Last year was my first year. Now I know a few more things. 1# and foremost cut back on tomatoes in 2013. . Its been a good year here but wasited a well pump doing it.
  13. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    How many quart jars of tomato do you actually usein a year? I've frozen/canned so much this year, I'm wondering if I'll use it all before next years tomato crop starts producing,
  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    What I read says that properly canned stuff will stay fine for several years, but use before 3 years or so for best quality.That's good kuzz then you can judge/measure what you use and just make up the difference. It would be nice to stagger years with more tomatoes (the biggie), vs. hot peppers, carrots etc- in off years I'd just plant enough to have some fresh for the season.

    I had 4 beefsteak plants, and 2 romas. That picture is about 50# of maters before processing, plus we probably ate another 25#+ in recipes etc. during the season, and I have a few on plants to pick still. That's 15#+ per plant! Holy moley.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Shes been trying to inventory everthing but something always comes up in the middle of it. My best guess would be 175 qut jars, and another 3 gallons of dehyrated powder. (This is just tomotos only)
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    That's the inventory of what you have, not what you use- right? What do you use in a year? The 3 gallons dehydrated powder alone is a LOT of tomatoes.

    man, even I'm getting put off by my own avatar
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You are right! Lots of it could go into the next 3 years, so we will adjust to that come Feb. Really looks like more focus on corn and beans next year. I let all my sweet corn go to seed so that is something I will not need to buy in 2013. (Way to hot for corn this year even watering)
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  18. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Had a friend visiting for two weeks. Was really excited at the idea of making spaghetti sauce - we used onions, celery, peppers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, all cooked separately and added near the end; sage, parsley, oregano, basil and parsley added early on in the reducing stages. Began cutting cores, scalding and peeling at 4 PM....filled my jelly pot...about 5 gallons....took a break for spaghetti with sauce (of course...smelled out of this world) for dinner, kept simmering until almost midnight, when it was thick enough to add other ingredients, simmer briefly, can and then start waterbath...ended up with five quarts. At about this point my friend starting figuring out cost per jar, including time to purchase, start, transplant, prep garden, plant, tend (weed), harvest, prepare....and decided $8.00 jars of gourmet sauce were a bargain.....BUT- I have 40 varieties, and not a drop of pesticide or herbicide or man made fertilizer goes in my garden...plus I enjoy gardening and looking at a healthy garden...so for me it's worth it.
    Had lots of beans I had headed and toed earlier in the day (5 gallons) so used the water bath to steam them by the gallon at the end of the tomato canning....left them over the steam about 5 minutes because of the volume...went way faster than my normal steaming, had all the beans done in half an hour. Froze them in gallon bags, we'll see how that works. I think it'll be fine.
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  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I can (Should say she can) bust down 20 gallons a day. Thats already pick and setting at the sink. I do all the dehyrating she does all the canning its work out well. I have 75lbs of potatoes to do saturday.
  20. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    There's lots of ways to cut the bulk of the cost out. Plus- gardening is a hobby on top of being productive. Counting labor costs into something that I WANT to do doesn't make sense in my case. I also don't count my labor into my wood pile cost, or I might start buying it. I could be a poor guy with a TON of time on my hands if I paid others to do it all :)

    If you get serious, you can start your own seeds cheaply, and split costs with someone else. Who uses a whole packet of tomato seeds (well, maybe SmokinJ, from the sound of it!). I want to start a sharing this here where I start these couple things, someone else starts some other plants, and we trade.
    I don't have much prep of the garden- I don't till. Pull any weeds, plant, dump compost and shredded leaves on there.
    I don't do much weeding at all- the mulch suppresses weeds really well.
    After being established- I didn't water once a week- the mulch keeps moisture in (and reduces blossom end rot)- of course I'm not in super full sun, and we had reasonable rainfall.
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  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Your cost just like firewood the better you are and the higher voulme will bring your cost down. I had an ad of craglist for awhile looking for free jars. I got over 300 that way. My crops are all non- hybreed, so my seed cost will be next to nothing in 2013. The scronger always comes out in me. Another thing we do is look for great deals on meat, pork loins under 1.99 should under 1.00 beef under 2.99 and chicken well under 1.00. We can that and make quick homemade meals just add alttle GARDEN! ;)


    Oh and I have 5 and a half 30 foot rowes or 165 feet of tomotos.
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  22. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Rideau- unless you WANT to count the costs of that labor in so that you can brag about your expensive tastes and habits later :)

    Smokin- wow. That's a LOT. Sounds like you really nailed down a system
  23. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    We do start all our plants from seed. Both our homes are disaster areas from January to planting time. By March I'm praying for the end of deep freezes so I can get my early vegetables in. We were eating baby spinach in late April, peas the beginning of June, tomatoes the beginning of July this year...actually the very first were mid to late June, summer squash in mid June.
    Started gardening with a friend because my woods have grown in so I have almost full shade...well, lots of shade and the 30 foot tulip tree I let grow in a corner of my garden doesn't help...so we're in blazing sun, deep soil, lots of wind. This dry summer was a killer. I've almost talked my friend out of tilling...have an area we don't till at all....mulch everything...but it was so windy and dry this year that we were very dry and had to do lots of watering....very windy, so some mulch got blown around....especially in the new area, always weeds despite mulch, easy to keep down if one keeps after it. ..(weeds because of wind and proximity to hourse pasture)< Because we are gardening together got more ambitious, added about 50 feet to the garden...now about 150 x 35 feet....we're growing summer and winter squash, borage, nasturtium, pole, bush, filet and lima beans, snap, podded and snow peas, 40 varieties of tomatoes, spinach (8 varieties), chinese vegetables, red and white cabbage (which we cut early so we get a second harvest of four or more smaller heads), kohlrabi, broccoli, egyptian walking onions, sage, rhubarb, carrots, beets, many varieties of lettuce, radicchio, mustard, kale, parsley, basil, lavendar, lettuce, turnips, parsnips, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, red&white&green&purple cauliflower -anyone who hasn't tried the purple cauliflower should, as it is bug free and drop dead gorgeous and tastes better than the white- , 11 varieties of potatoes, celeriac, leek, onion, garlic, cukes and three varieties of sweet peppers.

    My seeds keep a long time...that's why I have 40 varieties of tomatoes...add a few each year. Oldest tomato seed I used this year was 2002. Have dozens of pea and bean varieties, 8 spinach, many squash, tomato and carrot...part of what makes the gardening fun and rewarding....was just mentioning my friend's comment about cost....

    Maybe we should try a seed exchange.....do you keep much seed from your plants? Easy with peas and beans. May try growing one heirloom variety of each vegetable at my place each year in order to propagate the seeds, if I can get the heart to cut enough trees to get enough sun.
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  24. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Wow man- you're ambitious.How do you store seeds- just dry area, or in the freezer?

    My garden is only about 30' x 15', and there's just 2 of us eating from it. I've found that the more I mulch with leaves/compost without tilling, the easier it is to pull the weeds that do grow because the soil is so rich the roots don't hold at all. The only downside to it is that the soil is super loose and plants need good support to stand well. A small price to pay :)
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  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Dont really just making hay when the sun shines! I will re-adjust next year but we are figureing on a 3 year rotation on inventory. (Kinda like firewood) :)

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