Got back into pressure canning

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bhambrewer

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 16, 2020
158
201
Birmingham, Alabama
I've been laying in supplies to get us through extended periods of logistical cockups. Part of that has been our old friends, rice and beans.

Dry beans are great shelf stable essentials, but they aren't so handy when you're hungry NOW. So I have been pressure canning a lot recently.

Recent batches: pork & wine stew, ham and mixed bean soup, chickpeas, black beans, and I have a 9 pipnt jar batch of "British style baked beans" currently in the canner.

There is a reassurance, especially with the way things are just now, to see loads of mason jars with ready to go meals, or with components to supplement a ready meal. We can pretty much dive in a hole and pull the hole in with us if necessary.

Pressure canning should be part of your emergency food preparations. Look at hurricanes and train derailments for why!
 
Learning to can is on my retirement project list along with aging charcuterie meats and fermented sausages
 
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Learning to can is on my retirement project list along with aging charcuterie meats and fermented sausages

boiling water bath canning and pressure canning are very different disciplines, but well worth practicing both. Watch loads of Youtube videos on pressure canning before you dive in.

Costs of pressure canning are higher, for example the Presto 23 qt pressure canner runs around $120 new on Amazon. You'll want a juggle weight for it, too - around $15? - because that vastly simplifies the process. But if you start with the things you eat a lot of first, you'll get a fast ROI.

Example - the British style baked beans I'm canning work out around 40c per pint jar (doing lots of rounding up and allowances for paying for the gas or electric to run the canner). One can of Heinz Baked Beans from the store? Around $2.50....
 
boiling water bath canning and pressure canning are very different disciplines, but well worth practicing both. Watch loads of Youtube videos on pressure canning before you dive in.

Costs of pressure canning are higher, for example the Presto 23 qt pressure canner runs around $120 new on Amazon. You'll want a juggle weight for it, too - around $15? - because that vastly simplifies the process. But if you start with the things you eat a lot of first, you'll get a fast ROI.

Example - the British style baked beans I'm canning work out around 40c per pint jar (doing lots of rounding up and allowances for paying for the gas or electric to run the canner). One can of Heinz Baked Beans from the store? Around $2.50....
What are the pros and cons of each method?
 
I never really understood pressure canning. My family has done the boiling water bath canning for ages. Boil the canned Mason jars, take them out of the pot, and wait for the lids to "pop". Cheap as hell, and we are all still alive.
 
Not meaning to take over your thread B bhambrewer
What are the pros and cons of each method?

I never really understood pressure canning. My family has done the boiling water bath canning for ages. Boil the canned Mason jars, take them out of the pot, and wait for the lids to "pop". Cheap as hell, and we are all still alive.
Start here

Low acid foods including meat, pulses (dry beans), green beans, corn, peas, etc. are not safely canned in a water bath. Pressure is required for safety from the dreaded botulism toxin developing.

Cons for both methods is limited shelf live. 1-2 years maximum. If you don't use the products it is a waste of everything which commonly happens in my home. With the kids gone, we don't warrant much preserving.
 
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boiling water bath canning and pressure canning are very different disciplines, but well worth practicing both. Watch loads of Youtube videos on pressure canning before you dive in.

Costs of pressure canning are higher, for example the Presto 23 qt pressure canner runs around $120 new on Amazon. You'll want a juggle weight for it, too - around $15? - because that vastly simplifies the process. But if you start with the things you eat a lot of first, you'll get a fast ROI.

Example - the British style baked beans I'm canning work out around 40c per pint jar (doing lots of rounding up and allowances for paying for the gas or electric to run the canner). One can of Heinz Baked Beans from the store? Around $2.50....
I know nothing about this, but interested. Is a pressure canner like you listed any different than using a instapot pressure cooker?
 
Not meaning to take over your thread B bhambrewer



Start here

Low acid foods including meat, pulses (dry beans), green beans, corn, peas, etc. are not safely canned in a water bath. Pressure is required for safety from the dreaded botulism toxin developing.

Cons for both methods is limited shelf live. 1-2 years maximum. If you don't use the products it is a waste of everything which commonly happens in my home. With the kids gone, we don't warrant much preserving.
100%
 
Wife used to waterbath everything being as her grandma had a pressure canner blow full of chicken all over the kitchen... shortly before she had company show up. But bought an All American pressure cooker so now she's not concerned... saves quite a bit of time

Ryan
 
I know nothing about this, but interested. Is a pressure canner like you listed any different than using a instapot pressure cooker?
Yes, pressure canner operate at different pressures than your instapot. However, presto makes an electric pressure canner which functions very similar to an instapot.


I've never used an electric one, but have read good things. I have a presto 16qt pressure canner and have done lots of meat in it. Works very well and nice to have cooked meat shelf stable and ready for dinner. Helps keep the freezer open as well.
 
Oops to clarify on pressure canning.
It is not the pressure that safely cans.
It is the elevated temperature (well over 212°) possible with the pressure that safely cans.

I know nothing about this, but interested. Is a pressure canner like you listed any different than using a instapot pressure cooker?
AFAIK none of the instapot models are labeled for pressure canning.

Wife used to waterbath everything being as her grandma had a pressure canner blow full of chicken all over the kitchen... shortly before she had company show up. But bought an All American pressure cooker so now she's not concerned... saves quite a bit of time

Ryan
My mother had the pressure relief disc on her old pressure cooker fail during a cook.
Pretty much deposited the entire contents on the kitchen ceiling.
 
I have pressure canned salmon, beans, pasta sauce, some pork and beef in the past 25 years, only some jam recently, I don't expect to live forever. A good pressure canner will supply you with food that will last almost indefinitely and be a means to save food that you can have confidence in it's shelf life. Get a quality unit, my personal tool is a All American 21qt pressure/canner/cooker, it will last a couple of lifetimes if properly cared for. Water bath canning might last a year, different ballgame. If you grow/harvest/kill some of your own food and are young enough to make the investment worthwhile it's well worth taking the time to do it right and safely. RAY

DSCN1952.JPG
 
I have pressure canned salmon, beans, pasta sauce, some pork and beef in the past 25 years, only some jam recently, I don't expect to live forever. A good pressure canner will supply you with food that will last almost indefinitely and be a means to save food that you can have confidence in it's shelf life. Get a quality unit, my personal tool is a All American 21qt pressure/canner/cooker, it will last a couple of lifetimes if properly cared for. Water bath canning might last a year, different ballgame. If you grow/harvest/kill some of your own food and are young enough to make the investment worthwhile it's well worth taking the time to do it right and safely. RAY

View attachment 660519
They make one heck of a canner! Plan on passing mine down to grandkids I don't even have yet!

Ryan
 
We water bathed canned vegies to get us through the winter. That's all we needed. Never canned beef. Grandad always kept a couple of calves, and hogs nice and warm ready for the processor, and then the freezer.
 
Lots of good discussion on here.

Canning food and food safety is a very large subject which I can only address in a very shallow way here and would encourage everyone to do their own research.

BOILING WATER BATH PROCESSING
is suitable for what the USDA defines as "high acid foods". Examples would be jam, jelly, pie filling, pickles, relishes. The official dividing line is pH 4.6. Because of breeding practices, tomatoes are now right on that dividing line and while they can be processed in a water bath, reliable recipes include adding commercial lemon juice or citric acid to the jar.


PRESSURE CANNING
Recommended for "low acid food" such as meat, vegetables, beans. The issue here is safety. A small number of people each year die from botulism poisoning. A lot of those are down to unsafe canning practices. I know everyone's granny has water bath canned chicken and veg, but I don't. It's not safe.


But as I said.... please do your own research :)
 
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You can water bath can anything, even meats, but the bath time is extended a long time. It's like 3 hours for meats. I can meats like deer, pork and chicken. I can leg quarters. It is useful for easy quick meats. No thawing it out and just warm it in the meal quick and fajitas is one of them.

I got the All American 915 and would love to have the 921, but it won't fit on the stove with the microwave over the stove. I'd have to can outside or in the garage. But doing 20 pints at once is pretty damn useful compared to 10 pints at a time.
 
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I got the All American 915 and would love to have the 921, but it won't fit on the stove with the microwave over the stove. I'd have to can outside or in the garage. But doing 20 pints at once is pretty damn useful compared to 10 pints at a time.
I do all my canning outdoors.
When we lived in Seattle, our range was an old smooth top that took a long time to boil the water bath. I picked up an Outdoor Cooker (now Camp Chef) 2 burner stove and the 30k BTU flamethrower reheats the water really quick.
I also boil my bagels outside.
 
You can water bath can anything, even meats, but the bath time is extended a long time. It's like 3 hours for meats. I can meats like deer, pork and chicken. I can leg quarters. It is useful for easy quick meats. No thawing it out and just warm it in the meal quick and fajitas is one of them.

I will repeat the USDA guidelines: water bath canning is not suitable for canning low acid foods such as meat or beans. Low acid is defined as higher than pH 4.6

As a personal choice I follow those guidelines and pressure can all low acid foods, and I even add lemon juice or food grade citric acid to tomatoes because they are on the ambiguous dividing line between low and high acid foods, and I want to take no chances with my family's health.

Are the USDA guidelines overkill? Possibly. Pressure canning results in a 12 log reduction in bacteria. What does that mean? In 1 trillion jars of (e.g.) pressure canned beans, one jar *may* contain one c. botulinum spore. This is beyond belt and braces level of safe, this is belt, braces, suspenders, rope, duct tape, and staples level of safety.


This is why I encourage everyone to do their own research. I have chosen the methods that are safest, even though the safety level is way over the top considering the relatively short period of time between me canning something and it being eaten.


Just adding, I love how civil the conversations on here are. It feels like a beacon of civility, politeness, and constructive dialogue, unlike (un)social media which is lots of baboons screaming and flinging poo at each other. Cheers, y'all!
 
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