Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do I need a canner to can???

Excellent question.

My strawberry jam video features a WW2, Montgomery Ward, doubles-as-a-bomb-shelter canner. I recently inherited this from my Grandmother who literally canned her food for the winter (it took a lot to feed 10 kids!). She was given this canner by her sister in 1953 who had picked it up at a yard sale some years before.

While this antique is fun to use and handy for all types of canning (veggies and other low-acid foods require a pressure canner like this, but more on that later), a big "C" canner is not required for processing things like jams, chutneys, and whole fruits.

You will need a large stock pot--large enough to fit your jars with approximately 3 inches to spare. I would suggest using half-pint (8 oz.) jars in a stock pot. This will allow you to fill your pot with water at least one inch over your jars and bring it to a rapid boil without overflowing the pot.

Another consideration....the canning rack. Jars need to be lifted up off the bottom of the pot so that water can completely surround the jars. If you buy a canning kit, the pot usually comes with a rack to lift the jars off the bottom. If you are using a stock pot, you can make your own rack. Simply take several canning rings and twist tie them together. Then your jars can rest on them while processing.

Jars and canning utensils can be found at places like Target (so I've been told). I purchased my utensil set at Fred Meyer's for around $9. Jars range from $7-$10 per dozen (including lids and rings) depending on size.

***NOTE: New lids must be used each time you process a jar. Never reuse lids. Jars and rings may be reused if in good condition (i.e. no cracks, chips, or rust).

3 comments:

Gretchen said...

I just inherited a pressure cooker from my grammy. Do you think that will work?

julie jam said...

Although it seems like a pressure cooker should be interchangeable with pressure canner, it cannot be substituted for the canner. I will have to look up the reasoning, but I just remember that this question was a big deal in my canning class and the answer was NO!!

Admin said...

Pressure Canner is a great way to lower your food bill and feed your family, because of that pressure canner is use in the home were extensively. Pressure canner is needed if you want to can low-acid foods such as red meats, sea food, poultry, milk, and all fresh vegetables with the exception of most tomatoes and you definitely need a pressure canner for anything containing any meat. Home canning of meats is even recommended, even with a pressure canner. So, i have some info and products about pressure canner, pressure canning, pressure canner cooker and more that i could be able to share with you if you have it :D

Cheers,
Pressure Canner

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