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first attempt at canning

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/15/2012, 2:58 am

here is our beef stew...



here is our chicken soup....the one to the left has most of its contents at the bottom of the jar....the middle one and the one on the right shows the contents floating..... is this how they look after pressure canning them??...do they look ok?..... What a Face



thanks
hugs
rose


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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  happycamper on 9/15/2012, 5:27 am

Rose, They look FANTASTIC! I did 7 quarts of beef stew today also, quite a coincidence. It is one of my standard pantry items along with chicken stock and canned chicken. Lets see if I can answer your questions.
"... first question.....is it normal for some of the contents to either float or sink after processing"--->for soups Yes due to the different densities of the ingredients.
".....why did i end up with a lot more soup/stew then what the recipe stated?...."--->I have NEVER had a a soup/stew recipe make exactly 7 quarts so I always know that when I start we will have it for dinner (like tonight with a fresh garden salad) or for lunch the next day. Better than being short on the last quart is how I look at it.
"......is it safe to sub different veggies in the recipe then what it calls for? ...."--->Here is where you may get different answers from different people. If you stick with approved canning recipes you will be safe in your canning. That being stated, I do add Italian green beans, peas or other items that are approved for canning on the USDA website. There are actually items that are not approved for canning like Zucchini so you may want to stick to approved recipes.
"can we pressure can same size jars for the same amount of time but they have different contents in them?"--->I do IF the items have the same or similar processing times. A good example is raw packed chicken and pints of stew are 1hr 15 min processing times or jars of green beans with jars of spaghetti sauce (quarts) are my common items used when sharing space in the canner. If you over process foods in the jars you may get a lower quality product (mushy veggies for example). Part of the Master Preservers/FFE course at OSU included volunteer hours to teach and answer questions through the extension offices and other sites (in 2009). I think WSU still has the same service if you ever need a quick answer. Great Job! Very Happy


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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  cheyannarach on 9/15/2012, 2:16 pm

YUM! Those soups looks awesome Rose! You're making my mouth water!

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/15/2012, 4:22 pm

thanks happycamper Very Happy .....when making the soup and stew i was wondering if i could put in .....lets say peas instead of.... lets say celery....i know you can pressure can peas.....i just wanst able to find the answer to switching veggies in a approved recipe like whats in the Ball canning book.....

in my head i was thinking it shouldnt matter if we switch it around a little as long as its an approved veggie to can...but since we are so new to canning and a bit scared What a Face .....i need to make sure that we are ok in what we are canning study ....before we go all crazy with idea's of meals.... Shocked .....

cause i think we like this canning of ready made healthy meals that cost far less then buying cans at the store.....plus it was pretty easy to do and we now have 14 ready made makings of a meal for my family plus we ate off of it last night for dinner and we have left overs still for more meals that we are going to share with my mom and sister..... :drunken: and we have the makings to can split pea soup and ham hock navy beans :drunken:

what we did was wash, cut and meausre all the fixings the day before.....put them in zip lock bags in the frig......we did that for the chicken soup, beef stew and what we are canning next the split pea soup and ham navy beans.....so we prepped for four canning sessions the day before and was able then to do two sets of canning yesterday leaving us with two sessons either today or tomorrow..... bounce

thanks again happycamper & cheyannarach for the happy comments sunny

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rose

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  cheyannarach on 9/15/2012, 4:31 pm

I have to say I am a little jealous, I need to get with the program and can me some soups, I love soup!

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  rowena___. on 9/15/2012, 5:49 pm

regarding changing ingredients: when pressure canning, this is acceptable. you process the jars at the time and pressure required at your elevation for the ingredient in the recipe that has the longest processing time. if there is any meat in the jars--ANY meat--then you process for the time required for meats. if there is no meat, then choose the time and pressure at your elevation required for the vegetable that takes the longest processing.

regarding floating/sinking foods: this is partly due to the native density of the food items but also a function of the size of the pieces, and the amount of cooking the foods have had before processing. cooking breaks the cell walls and allows the air inside to escape, making the item effectively more dense than it was before. this is why many recipes will have you cook some ingredients first, then add more ingredients--this process helps equalize the effective densities of the various foods.

regarding processing of jars that have different contents: same as for the jars that have substituted contents--you must process according to whatever ingredient IN THE CANNER requires the most time and pressure. thus, even if only one jar has meat in it, you must process according to the time and pressure required for that jar at your elevation.

note that longer processing of ingredients that don't require it will not affect their safety, but it will affect their final texture and flavor. whether or not the final result is acceptable is something only you can decide after having tried the processed foods.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  yolos on 9/16/2012, 11:50 pm

This will be my first attempt at canning. I am trying to can tomatoes. I was following a recipe in the Ball canning book for stewed tomatoes. But I decided only to put in the tomatoes and nothing else. The recipe calls for pressure canning and not a hot water bath. I assume that is because of all the other ingredients that the recipe calls for. But because I am only stewing tomatoes and nothing else, I would assume it is okay to follow the directions for plain tomatoes and only do the hot water bath. Am I correct in assuming this.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/17/2012, 2:31 am

we canned some more today....

split pea soup and navy beans with ham hock...from the Ball blue book.....

few more questions:

......is it ok that the split pea soup is very thick in the jars after processing them?

also two of the jars didnt seal What a Face ....i didnt wait 24hrs to see if they would seal...just waited for them to cool down and i could tell by the loss of contents in one of them and both of the top's of the jar's were not pushed down.....so hubby ate one tonight for dinner and the other one is in the frig to be eaten soon...

.....do i need to worry about the other jars that did seal in that batch?.....

......how common is it to have jars fail in sealing?.....

this is our second time pressure canning and now im all nervous again pale

thanks
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rose......

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  rowena___. on 9/17/2012, 10:59 am

@yolos wrote:This will be my first attempt at canning. I am trying to can tomatoes. I was following a recipe in the Ball canning book for stewed tomatoes. But I decided only to put in the tomatoes and nothing else. The recipe calls for pressure canning and not a hot water bath. I assume that is because of all the other ingredients that the recipe calls for. But because I am only stewing tomatoes and nothing else, I would assume it is okay to follow the directions for plain tomatoes and only do the hot water bath. Am I correct in assuming this.

probably. Smile to be safe, you should process for the longest time required for tomatoes at your elevation.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  rowena___. on 9/17/2012, 11:04 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:

......is it ok that the split pea soup is very thick in the jars after processing them?

how thick is "very"? the heat has to be able to penetrate the center of the jar, and the center of all ingredients, to the point that it reaches 240ºF. otherwise, it is not considered safe by USDA standards. it MIGHT still be safe if it doesn't reach that point--but there is no way to be certain. botulism toxin is like carbon monoxide--it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. the only way to know you've been exposed to it is by getting sick from it. Smile

also two of the jars didnt seal What a Face ....i didnt wait 24hrs to see if they would seal...just waited for them to cool down and i could tell by the loss of contents in one of them and both of the top's of the jar's were not pushed down.....so hubby ate one tonight for dinner and the other one is in the frig to be eaten soon...

.....do i need to worry about the other jars that did seal in that batch?.....

probably not. if you are certain the processing was correct, then they are probably safe.

......how common is it to have jars fail in sealing?.....

common enough that it is part of the judging criteria in state fairs. Smile

this is our second time pressure canning and now im all nervous again pale

DON'T BE NERVOUS! you can do this. there is a steep but short learning curve. after that it is all downhill. Smile

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/17/2012, 12:42 pm

thank you rowena for the response Very Happy

the split pea soup was not thick going into the jar....it was like reg soup.....it turned thick.......like a soft solid after the processing....my husband had to use a spoon to scoop out the soup and he needed to add water to it like you do to store bought cream soup....... Shocked

the second batch of jars of navy bean/ham hock also had two jars that didnt seal..... Embarassed

with both of these batches yesterday......contents was lost during processing.....contents was in the canner and on the jars.....the jars were icky with grime.....

the first batches we canned a couple days ago (beef stew & chicken soup) all the jars sealed fine....didnt lose any contents....the jars and pressure canner came out clean.....

i followd the directions of the canning instructions......vented steam for ten min....started the processing time when the weight started rocking....didnt open up the canner until the pressure was down and the little latch thing went down....

hugs
rose






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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/17/2012, 12:56 pm

OK, I've worked up the nerve to try this canning thing probably this weekend, maybe sooner. A coworker just gave me a box of jars and most of them are pint and half pint sizes.

Questions: My 10 qt Fagor holds 4 qts or 8 pints.
How do I put in 8 pints? Do they stack?
Can I use the half pint jars in it? How many?
What's in between the stacks?

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Canning question

Post  imtethered on 9/17/2012, 1:50 pm

Yes you can stack the jars.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  happycamper on 9/18/2012, 3:27 pm

FamilyGardening, Pea soup will thicken after processing, this is normal and nothing to worry about.
Canning failures do occur, there are several things that can cause this to happen.
1. failure to wipe the rims of the jars after filling
2. not leaving enough headspace in the jar after filling
3. not removing air bubbles from the jar before adding the lid
4. not warming the lids correctly to allow the rubber ring to soften
5. a chip on the rim of a jar
I am sure there are more but this is a quick list of the more common things. Remember, canning failures happen to even those that have been canning for 30 years. You are doing a great service to you and your family by preserving nutritious, fresh home cooked meals for your family.
CapeCoddess, Be sure and add a second rack/canning rack on top of your first layer of pints in the canner before placing in your second row of pints in. While I have heard of people not using a second rack and off-setting (straddling) the jars between the first and second rows I have always used a second rack for jar stability.


Last edited by happycamper on 9/18/2012, 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added jar stability comment)

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  yolos on 9/18/2012, 4:15 pm

My pressure canner did not come with any rack (I don't think). Do you have to use a rack if you are just using one layer.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  happycamper on 9/18/2012, 5:15 pm

Yes. You need to keep the jars elevated from the bottom of the canner. I have put a layer of jar rings in the bottom of a pan in the past to keep the jars elevated when I can using the water bath method. I have never done this for the pressure canner however. Ace hardware sells the racks for pressure canners for under $10.00. Almost every canning supply place that sells parts has them also. There are places online you could check like: www.pressurecooker-canner.com

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/18/2012, 5:17 pm

Thanks, HC. I just happen to have a 2nd rack. I think I read on this forum that we could use a towel between the 2 layers, is that right?

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  happycamper on 9/18/2012, 6:22 pm

I have read online about people using a towel before also but I have never tried it. I have used a pizza pan (with many holes in it) and a stainless steel steamer rack before and both worked just fine. Very Happy

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  yolos on 9/18/2012, 7:18 pm

Thanks HC. When I got home from work I looked in the new canner and there was a rack on the bottom of the canner. So I hope I am ready to go.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  FamilyGardening on 9/19/2012, 1:06 am

thanks for the encouragement happycamper! sunny
this week we are going to can up or home grown plums :drunken:
we are going to make preserves and we want to can them whole with a light syrup....

anyone can whole plums before?.....im thinking about cutting them in half and taking out the pit....do you think they will get to soggy like that?

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  rowena___. on 9/19/2012, 10:12 am

plums: definitely half them or cut them in pieces--you need to remove the pit. Smile to help them keep their shape and color use at least a light syrup (1 part sugar to 2 parts water). you can use a medium or heavy syrup if you prefer.

canning racks: it doesn't matter what you use, so long as the jars are not in direct contact with the bottom of the pot. if i am using tall jars or processing more pots than i have racks for, i'll just set the jars on a towel in the bottom of the pot (i crocheted some to fit--hahaha--i'm a dork. but i think thicker is a little better, and a granny circle is much like a rack).

double layers: i agree with happycamper--the layers should be separated from each other, and the second layer should have support rather than just being perched on top of the other jars. ideally what you are looking for is free movement of water or steam under pressure, as the case may be, around the entire jar including the top and bottom. a little pizza rack (which is what i use for the second layer), and offsetting the jars so they are not stacked directly on top of each other, gives plenty of movement and support.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/23/2012, 8:00 pm

OK, I did it! I pressure canned. AND pressure cooked oatmeal & lentil soup! cheers All in the same day! Jiminy crickets, what have you folks done to me. Wink

Not too sure I can eat what I canned tho. I made no-cook cranberry sauce - fresh cranberries, peel-on orange, pears, stevia - run thru the grinder.

I pressure canned 3 pints of it, no syrup other than what was made thru the grinding process. Two can lids popped and one didn't. I have a couple of questions please:

1) Is it OK to pressure can uncooked food? Since I couldn't find any pressure canning recipes like this anywhere study , was 10 min on hi a good guess for timing.

2) Can I put the unpopped jar in the fridge tonite or do I have to leave it until tomorrow?

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  rowena___. on 9/23/2012, 8:21 pm

did you use a tested recipe?

you can indeed home can some things uncooked, but unless you follow tested recommendations, there is no way for anybody to state for certain that your foods are safe. even with chutneys and relishes, cranberries get a heavy dose of vinegar and sugar to aid preservation.

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/23/2012, 8:29 pm

By tested do you mean have we eaten it before? Yes. But I don't know if anyone has ever canned it. I couldn't find that info anywhere.

If there's no info on it, you're thinking it's not safe, right? In which case I should refrigerate the whole batch and ciao down?

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Re: first attempt at canning

Post  happycamper on 9/24/2012, 12:01 am

CapeCoddess, here are a few websites with safe canning recipes that you can browse if you like.
Pickyourown.org
http://www.pickyourown.org/cranberryesauce.htm
USDA
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can2_fruit.html
Both sites have cranberry canning information, yummy. Happy Canning!

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