Hello Wanda, I have a pressure cooker but it did not come with a rack for the jars. Can I still use it for canning? How do I keep them from hitting each other and breaking?
Also, do I need a separate water bath canner or can I just do without the little thingie on top?
Thank you, Nita
I just put my jars in the canner but don't pack them in tight. But they can touch. It doesn't hurt them any. Some people worry that they will rattle around and break but in all my canning years I have never had that happen. I have a separate water bath canner for my fruits, jams, acidic stuff, etc. but you can use your pressure cooker to water bath. Just cover the jars with water and don't put the "thingie" on when you put the lid on.
Hi Wanda, I really enjoy your recipes. I am definitely going to try the ketchup. I have a question when you have time. I bought a bag of boneless chicken breasts that I thought were clean and good quality. I love canned meat so I canned seven quarts. One opened, which happens, but some of them just went bad inside the jars without popping the lid. I can't figure it out. I have never canned chicken before just deer. We always put the raw meat in the jars and processed them for over an hour. ( I did can the deer in the oven instead of on top of the stove). I found black something inside the jars and a hair in one. (not mine) I thoroughly sterilized everything. I used some older lids, but like I said they didn't pop. I don't get it. I'm in no position to waste meat. Any ideas?
"Stay Clear of Unsafe Canning Methods. Never open-kettle can or process jars of food in conventional ovens, microwave ovens, or dishwashers. These practices do not prevent all risks of spoilage." Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet. You can re-use rings but not the lids. Handling chicken requires that you use safe handling procedures. You must clean meat thoroughly with clean running water and you must make sure you clean up well after handling. Never touch anything with soiled hands. I leave my water running slow and set down the liquid disinfectant soap for quick clean up. Nita
Thanks for the email. In answer to your question, it sounds like you didn't process the meat long enough. According to my canning book, raw chicken is to be processed for 90 minutes for quarts at 10 pounds of pressure. Did you use a pressure canner or water bath? Even if jars seal, if the food is not processed long enough it will spoil. All meat must be cooked in a pressure canner to ensure the safety of the meat. I can't even imagine what the black stuff was or where the hair came from. Probably the processing plant where the meat was processed. Chicken is canned the same way venison is...raw packed with no liquid and a little salt if you want. When meat is pressured, it makes its own juice. I hope this helps and if not, let me know and I will check into it further for you. Take care, glad you enjoy the recipes, and thanks again for the email! Wanda
Actually I have two questions. #1 I was under the impression that vegetables like the ones in your cold slaw recipe had to be put in a pressure canner or does the vinegar take care of that. #2 have you ever seen a recipe for firethorn berry jelly? An old neighbor of my father in laws came to collect his firethorn berries and brought him back a jar of heaven as he called it. Then she moved away. I keep looking for this recipe every time I come across a new canning and jam making source.
In answer to the question on the cold slaw, yes, it is the vinegar that makes it so that the vegetables don't have to be pressure cooked. Otherwise, all vegetables are to be pressure cooked unless mixed with vinegar. I don't know why but that's how I was taught by my mother-in-law! And all the canning recipes back me up on it too.
As for the Fire Thorn Berry jelly, I have never heard of fire thorn berries but they must be a wild berry. I would treat them the same way I do my wild berries. Here is how to prepare juice for jellies: Wash and put fruit (crushed) in pan with water and cook for about ten minutes. Strain juice in dampened jelly bag or several layers of dampened cheesecloth. Let juice drip for several hours. Measure juice for recipes. I like to use pectin for my jellies because it is so much easier. For the fire thorn berries, I would buy a box of pectin and look under the recipes in the paper that comes with the pectin and find the berry that most closely resembles this berry. Then I would use that recipe! Jams and jellies are pretty easy to make and you can make any kind you want! If you don't want to go to all that trouble, just email me with information on what those wild berries are like and I could try to find a recipe for you! Are they like a currant or elderberry? Or are they more like a blackberry, boysenberry, dewberry, or youngberry? Or maybe a raspberry or loganberry? We have Oregon Grape that grows wild here and so when I make grape jelly using these berries, I use the jelly recipe for Concord Grape Jelly. Works great!! Hope that answers the question.
Would you give me more details on where you get your canning supplies?
I buy my canning lids from Gardenerís Kitchen. They donít have
a phone number or email but the mailing address is P.O. Box 322, Monument
Beach, MA 02553. They will
send a postcard with their prices listed on it and space to mark what you
want. They are real fast about getting the orders out too. I like having a
case of lids so that I donít have to worry about running out in the
middle of canning. They are comparable to the store and even though they
arenít a name brand, I have NEVER had any trouble with them.
Do you buy any used canning jars? Do you use distilled, softened or well water for canning?
Most of my canning jars are used. I either had them given to me by
Jay's mom or aunt or else I purchased them at yard sales. I have a
couple cases that I bought new but a friend of mine got me such a good
deal on them that I couldn't pass it up! I still have a case
unopened. I'm saving that for venison this fall!! I have used
mayonnaise jars but didn't have much luck with the quart mayo jars.
They kept breaking. They would work okay for my dill pickle recipe
that I sent you but if they had to be put straight into hot water
they would break. I have used pint mayo jars for my jam and they
work great. Any pint store food jars that my lids will fit I use!
I have found those at yard sales for free. I have close to 1,000
canning jars! It took me years to amass them but I sure am glad I
did! All the store food jars can be used that the rings and lids
will fit but they can't be pressured in the pressure canner or else they
will break. But they are good to use in the water bath kettle.
I have never heard of using special water for canning or for the jars.
We have a lot of minerals in our well water but I don't have a water
softener or anything. I just use straight well water! I
usually don't heat my jars for canning either. The only recipe that
I do that with is the canned cole slaw because I had such a hard time
getting it to seal. Otherwise I just wash my jars and put the food
in them! I don't buy water to use for my canning or any of my
recipes. I figure our well water is safer than anything I can buy!
I buy my salt at Costco in a five pound bag and it is just iodized salt.
It's what I use in all my canning. I try to can with the least
amount of special things that I can get away with! I buy my pickling
spice at the health food store in bulk and store it in jars.