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Canning 201: The Pressure Canner

If used following the manufacturer’s safety rules, pressure canners can be both safe and economical. Pressure canning is for preserving foods with low acid contents, and has been used for decades. All canners should have a removable rack to place jars on to allow the water to circulate around the jars, an automatic vent/cover lock, a steam vent and a safety vent. They may also have a weighted gauge, for indicating and regulating pressure or dial gauge for indicating the pressure. They are generally deep enough for one layer of quart jars or two layers of pint jars or smaller, although there is a model available that will hold two layers of quart jars.

Why Pressure Canning?

Canning your own food gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The guesswork is taken out of pressure canning when the guidelines for operating a pressure canner are followed exactly; scientifically tested and approved recipes are followed; and high quality equipment, supplies, and foods are used. Low acid foods require processing at much higher temperatures than can be achieved in water bath canning. Using a pressure canner to kill harmful bacteria, such as botulism, ensures the safety of your preserved foods. Foods like dairy products, red meats, seafood, poultry, and fresh vegetables (except for those varieties of high-acid tomatoes), are low acid foods; this means they have a pH (acidity) level of 4.6 or higher. These foods need to be processed at 240 to 250 degrees F for a specific amount of time in order to kill the harmful bacteria that may be present in your foods. Water boils at 212 degrees F and will not get any hotter, so this makes water bath processing out of the question. To reach and sustain these temperatures, you must process using steam under pressure. (Note: steam canners can’t reach the required temperatures for low acid foods either, so should only be used with water bath canning recipes.) Pressure canners put under 10 to 15 pounds of pressure can reach the right temperatures and will help you provide safe, home-canned, low-acid foods for your family.

If your pressure canner has a dial gauge, the accuracy of your gauge needs to be checked each year before you start canning. Some University Extension Service offices will check your gauge. Or check with your canner’s manufacturer to see if they will check your gauge for you. Weighted gauges will not require checking, as they are always accurate.

Steps for Successful Pressure Canning:

(Read through before you begin.)

  1. Center canner over the burner. When you have enough jars filled and ready, place the rack and 2 to 3 inches of water in the canner. For hot packed foods you can bring water to 180 degrees F. ahead, being careful not to boil water or heat it long enough for the depth to decrease.
  2. Place filled jars with lids and rings fitted snuggly on rack in canner, using a jar-lifting tool. Lift around the neck of the jar below the lid and ring securing it snuggly before lifting. Keep jars upright at all times; tilting can cause food to seep into the sealing area of the lid.
  3. Securely fasten canner lid. Leave the petcock open or the weight off the vent port.
  4. Turn up heat to highest temperature. Bring to a boil and continue heating on high until steam flows freely in a funnel-shape from petcock or vent port. While maintaining the high heat, let the steam flow continually for 10 minutes.
  5. After venting the canner, place the weighted gauge on the vent port, or close the petcock. It will take 3 to 5 minutes to pressurize.
  6. For canners with dial gauges start timing the process when the gauge reaches the right pressure reading. For canners without dial gauges, start timing when the weighted gauge starts rocking or wiggling.
  7. Heat needs to be regulated to maintain constantly at, or slightly higher, than the proper pressure. There are two types of weighted gauges; one should rock 2 to 3 times per minute, the other will rock slowly throughout the process – check manufacturers directions for your pressure canner. *If at any time the pressure goes below the recommended amount, you will need to raise the pressure to the correct amount, then start timing the process again, from the beginning for the whole time required. This is very important for the safety of your food.
  8. When the processing time is over, turn off the heat and let the canner cool naturally. (While it is cooling it is also releasing pressure.) Don’t force the cooling process; this may cause food to spoil. Cooling the canner under cool running water or opening the petcock before the canner is fully depressurized are ways of forcing the cooling process. These may cause loss of liquid from jars and seal failure. Also, forced cooling may warp the lid of your canner.
  9. When fully depressurized, remove the weight from vent port or open the petcock. Wait two minutes, for your safety, before opening the lid. Lift lid with the underside facing away from you. This will keep the steam from blowing into your face and burning your face.
  10. Using a jar lifter, take the jars out one at a time, carefully, so that they do not tilt. Set them on a towel or cooling rack with an inch between them so that they do not hit against one another. Avoid placing jars on cold surfaces or in drafty places to cool.
  11. Sit undisturbed 12 to 24 hours. Don’t tighten the rings or push the center of the lids while they are cooling; wait until they are completely cooled.
  12. Remove rings. Any unsealed jars should be placed in the refrigerator and used first.
  13. Wash jars and lids to remove any residue. Label jars and store in cool dry place out of direct sunlight.
  14. Wash and dry completely canner, lid, gasket and any parts that are made to be removed.

There are many reasons for following these instructions, and it’s not just because we’re being obsessive about safety to the exclusion of common sense. For example, it’s very important that you allow your pressure canner to vent at full force for 10 minutes BEFORE putting the pressure regulator over the vent hole. When you vent the canner, you are forcing air not only out of the canner, but out of the jars as well. If you do not push the air out of the jars, proper pressure will not be maintained, and you will not get the temperatures you need to kill the Clostridium botulinum spores. Each step of the process has the same reasoning behind it. Skimping on any area of the canning process is setting yourself up for possible illness (and death) from spoiled food.

Canning is an excellent way to preserve your harvest. Using the proper procedures will ensure that you have healthy food for your family no matter what happens.

______________________________________________________

Cook Food Using Only The Sun!

© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News

36 comments

  1. Home canning in use for decades – yep. I’m 76 years young and I have many memories of mom using her canner to store foods from our garden during WWII when so many items were rationed or unavailable and money was very tight. She had the weighted version and I believe that type should be favored as there is mechanical devise [dial] to fail. Figs, pears; veggies of all kinds were canned. I’d recommend this procedure in a heartbeat.
    For folks too young to remember WWII – very nearly everything was rationed tires, gasoline, sugar etc. [It was not uncommon to see vehicles on the road with all the rubber worn off exposing the ‘cord’ construction of the tires.] Everyone had ‘ration cards’ and could only buy so much of an item during the month. Canning is part of what is called ‘survival’ – plus it is a very satisfying activity. Learn how to do it.

  2. Can you give a list of foods that must be processed using a pressure canner? Also a list of those vegetables that can be processed using a water-bath canner. I am new at the canning subject but want to put up most of my garden for the hard times ahead.

    • Started canning four years ago and love it. I know what goes into the food that I can. Canned goods are essentially good for years and years. Best conditions to keep them in are a basement in darkened rooms. A University tested canned goods (in the jars) just about 100 years old and it was found that , although the food items had changed in the jar, it was still edible. As far as what you need to can in the pressure canner, just get a Blue Book. It will let you know. I am 67 years old and remember Mom canning in the 50’s. All have to remember, the basement was the grocery store of the day. In the past most people never bought vegetables, meal,s fruits, etc. at the store, they canned their own. When I started canning I went on e-bay and looked for any canning books, Kerr, Janes, and the Blue Book older than the 40’s. These books give much more information about items you are able to can that the new Blue Book does not include. Old recipes for meals, meats, etc. Also once you get into it, canning is so easy, and it is such a wonderful feeling to go into your basement and see, lots of Brunswick Stew, Hungarian Goulash, Sloppy Joes, Graveys, Spagetti Sause, Chicken Soup, Chicken Broth, Trukey Broth, Beef Broth, Ham Broth, Potatoes, carrots, pickels, beets, and pickled beets, Corned beef, Turkey, chicken, country spare ribs, vesison stew, beef stew, and on and on. Oh, can’t forget canned tomatoes, jellys, jams, etc.
      Main thing I do is read and re-read directions every time no matter how often I can.
      I eventually got two water bath canners, and two pressure canners and used them all. I also got six 16 quart stainless steel pots, you will need them.
      Enjoy your journey, it is nice to be as independent as you can be and not be held hostage to the food prices, if you have a garden.
      Last spring I bought a 50 lb bag of sugar at Cash-in-Carry for about $9.00. At the end of summer it was $27.00, but we have to remember there is no inflation. Wonder were those in Government shop. Lucky for me I purchased over the past four years at the older prices, and now just replace items as we use them.
      Being independent as you can be is wonderful, and knowing that you are not held hostage to the Gov.
      We have to remember that any grocery store, no matter how large, only has three days of food on the shelves if there was a panic. Also most American familes are nine meals away from starvation.
      Oh do not forget the Dried meals in a jar. Sometimes called Gifts in a Jar. We did about thirty quarts of them. Just need to add water and cook them, sometimes you have to soak the beans for a while, then add other ingrediants and cook it.
      Take care and enjoy,
      Popcorn590

      • Where can you get recipes for the dried meals in a jar? That sounds like a very good idea! Thanks!

      • Popcorn590 – 100 year old canned food? Sounds better than packaged dried foods. Understand that glass will survive but how long will lids normally survive? 40 – 50 years ago I grew up with a 1/2 acre garden and remember mom pressure and hot water canning for several summer days. 2 year old canned food didn’t look as good but did still tasted fine.
        Understanding that basement or root cellar are best storage locations but when you don’t have capability of either what are other options beside filling up your closet? What would happen in attic with hot and cold (not freezing) temperatures? Difficult to store a years worth of food in the Houston area without having a spare bedroom to use as a grocery. Wondering what the shelf life is for cans and survival packages when perfect storage is not possible.

        • I personnally had some pressure canned deer meat that was 15 years old, when openned out of curiosity, it was fine. Dredged in flour, salt and pepper and made into a soup. Had I not openned it then I assume it would still be good as long as the seal held. I had taken this jar with me on military moves from texas, to florida, to Calif, and 4 years in hawaii, back to missouri, and then colorado. I killed that deer in 1984, and ate the last drop of him in 1999. Temperatures were not carefully maintained, and zero care was taken to preserve it. However, when openned it was the same as the day I packed it. Remember, all the old salts can attest, C-rations were still good in the 1970’s. I had chicken that was canned in 1943. It was 17 years older than I was…. still good after 35 years. So canned stuff will last one heck of a long time, even longer if cared for. 100 years? Doesnt surprize me, as long as t he seal is good and the top not bulging, it really doesnt matter what the food looks like, if you are hungry.

          • Cool! I’ve eaten deer meat that I canned 5 or 6 years ago and it’s perfectly fine. Long as it makes that sucking sound when you pry open the lid you are good to go ;-)

  3. Great Article, but I would like to make one comment. Some where along the road of life something got lost.
    We have right now, Meat, beans and everything we have canned and it was done without a pressure canner.
    Our parents and their parents canned with out a pressure canner.
    Yes it works and no one died from eating the food.
    We have jars of chicken, pork and venison canned in our basement and it was done in an open kettle. Cold packed, 1 tsp salt and processed for 3 hours. Oh, you do have to sterilize the jars and lids before you put anything in them. A pan on the stove with the jars turned upside down along with the lid in about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water and left to boil at a low setting for about 20 minutes. Cleanlyness can not be said enough! Also if you have a jar that doesn’t seal, and it will happen even with the best of preperations, put it in the frig and use soon.
    Don’t take me wrong, pressure canners are good but there was life before the pressure canner!

    • Yes, back in the day, boiling water canners were the only way (short of drying) that food could be preserved… A lot of food was preserved without harm, but a lot of people were sickened and some even died simply due to botulism poisioning. That’s when the method was largely replaced by using a pressure canner for low-acid foods. The pressure canning method produces safer canned foods.

      I use a pressure canner for everything (with the exception of high-acid tomatoes and high sugar content jams and jellies) that I preserve.

      I freeze and hold all meats at or below zero degrees Farenheit in a deep freeze. I only use a boiling water canner when putting up jam or jelly.

      It just makes no sense to court disaster within my own family by using outdated and unsafe canning methods.

  4. Amy I have been canning and dehydrating foods for several years and I really suggest BALL Blue Book Guide to home canning, freezing and dehydrating for a beginner. You can get these at many Hardware stores that sell canning supplies or books stores and even on E-bay also check out their website for recipes and how to videos http://www.freshpreserving.com

  5. Besides canning tomatoes and other veggies, I also make & can my own (special) spagetti sauce, chili, chicken & dumplings, etc. Using the pressure canner is wonderful. I’ve never had to worry about losing a jar due to the lid not sealing properly. My Mom did the hot water bath canning. Too much work for me. A friend taught me how to use the pressure canner, bringing hers over to my home and teaching me the proper use of it. I bought myself one, a few weeks later, back in 1984….been canning with it since then. Love it!!! You have to always check the seal ring before you begin. No cracks. My canner is 27 yrs old, and I still have the same seal ring.
    Those canned tomatoes (in the winter) are just the best!!!

  6. There is a place you can buy lids that you can use over and over. I have some but haven’t tried them yet. There webpage is: http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/Home.php

  7. Fruits and veggies are not the only things that can be ‘canned’. Cake, breads, and other items are also preserved in canning jars- delicious!

    • When you mention cake, bread, etc can be canned . . . do you mean vacuum canning or traditional pressure canning. Would you share the method / recipes oh how to do so? Thanks so much!!

  8. I am a huge fan of canning. I even bought the “Food Storage Secrets” DVD set hoping to get some great recipes. Looking at the advertisement and the cover photos, I was expecting to learn how to can those items not normally found in recipes everywhere. The series was good for those who have never canned, but I was disappointed in how basic and limited the information was that was provided.

    To those who made the DVDs, where can I find canning recipes for the items in your DVD photos? I know how to use a water bath canner and pressure canner (the presenters erroneously and repeatedly say “pressure cooker” instead of canner and that could be a dangerous mistake for those watching) and expected to learn to can a lot more in 3 DVDs. There just wasn’t much information. I could look online for free for everythng discussed (they even recommended that in the DVD). Please address more advanced canning recipes for convenience foods in your next article. I would love to buy a DVD on canning ketchup, chili, soups, home made meals, etc. If you would make that, I would buy it for sure!

  9. Several years ago I wanted to start canning so I ask a friend that have been doing it for years. She told me to fully cook everything and then pressure pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Be sure and clean and sterilize jars as directed. I have been doing it like this for about 4 years and it works great. Hope this helps you as much as it helped me. I love canning now and can anything I can get my hands on. I make soup and have even canned cornbread dressing. I was worried about the taste but it was very good when I opened the jar for the first time.

    • very interested in canning cornbread dressing. did you use chicken or turkey stock and did you bake the dressing in the oven then when fully cooked fill the jars? and how full did you fill your jars and for how long and under what pressure. thank you for any information you can pass along to me.

  10. Which is better and why – an aluminum or stainless steel pressure canner? If stainless steel is best, does anyone know a good place to purchase one?

  11. Anyone who has questions about any type of food preservation method should contact their local County Extension Office. The county I live in has a Master Food Preserver program which offers classes throughout the year and they will answer any and all inquiries about food safety and food preservation. They are a great resource.

  12. I remember local canneries would take on peoples crops and can for a fee. People we knew had lots of canned goods that were plainly stamped with what was inside. I can bet not only are none left, but if there was, they would not do this. Home canning intimidates me, except the water bath method, which my mother is familiar with and of course simple for jams, jellies, etc…I do plan to do this, and know no one who has ever used a pressure canner, so feel I need to find a class through an extension service first (not trusting myself to this without some training). I think it is so important for us all to get back to doing it pretty much all for ourselves, as we are in the midst of some enormous changes in our nation and need to be able to provide for ourselves, pressure canning needs to be learned and used more often by people like ourselves in order for us to survive tough times ahead.

  13. Picked up the Ball Blue book, and looks like it will give us all the information we need to get started.

  14. I grew up canning and I hated it. We had a football field size garden and three large orchards. People talk about bringing in a basket load. We backed the pickup to the back porch and still had to use wheelbarrows to bring in the rest.
    The neighbors were shrimpers and we traded fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters for produce. It all went into pot then into jars.
    We started in July when it was the hottest and went through until November. The single old window air conditioner couldn’t even keep up with the humidity and heat from the climate that time a year much less with huge pots boiling, pressure cooker jiggling and ovens heating jars and food alike. Sometimes we had to work in bathing suits to keep from overheating.
    I got amazingly good with a knife. Peeling, coring, paring, slicing and chopping. The ingredients would roll off my hands every few second like a machine. I could almost do it in my sleep.
    I hated it them but now I never feel richer than when I am stacking my vittles on the self and thinking about all the meal prepared from what seems like a lot less work then when I was a teenager.

    • You are delightful. From what you say, I can see that kitchen, and feel the heat. I know exactly what you mean, there was no way to escape the heat and steam. My grandmother did the canning, and it was good stuff, but I was so small I didnt think of it as anything but fun. But I remeber her all red faced and sweating in the oklahoma summer heat. Dont miss that portion of the ‘good old days’ either.

  15. Suzanne Chastain

    MelbaC is asking for trouble if she’s canning “everything”–including meats, dried beans, etc.–and pressuring for only 20 to 25 min. depending on the jar size. This is very dangerous. It might help if she read a book of instructions.

    I pressure can a lot, and have recently tried dried beans. They turned out very well–thanks to the Ball Blue Book. They were not listed in my canner manual. It’s always good to have several books to consult and cross-reference.

  16. at age 73 I have canned for many years. I have my orginial Ball canning book, cover price 35 Cents and my oldest daughters ball canner book used in 4-h 50 cents. BUT I am very carefull when using the recipes as many of todays tomatoes do not have the same acid content and most lemons today do not have as much acid as the older lemons. I use the old books for ideas but change the recipes with the thought that many need to be tweeked to be safe. I also recommend gettings books from your LOCAL ag. dept as they often have recipes using local produce. being a family of 2 we can’t use large jars of pickles etc. from the big box stores so I repackage them into small jars and repressure seal them.

  17. I bought my pressure canner in 1972. I didn’t know the difference and that year an older lady across the street gave me a recipe for fig jam and canned figs. I canned the figs from a fig tree taller than my house! GOOD!!!!!
    I put the canner away BUT took it out 10 years ago… A few weeks ago my nephew asked if I was preparing for a famine… I just grinned!

  18. I am in the process of buying a pressure cooker.
    Do you have any suggestions on which one to buy?
    Sounds like the weighted guage would be something I want.
    I want to use it for canning meat and vegies
    Thanks

    • I believe, from reading other posts, that there is a difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner.

  19. I have canned for a long time. I statred when i was a child about 72 years ago. I stopped for a short while to be a nurse after my children were in high school. I have recently, in past 5 years started back to canning. The more I hear and see in the news,the more I believe that yes, “hard times” could come to the USA. we have to be prepared for anything that may happen especially with the cost of gas causing our food prices to keep going up. I have been noticing that from one day to the next,prices seem to be going up higher.
    I am just going on and I am glad to know that others are planning. If you remember,Joseph was sent to Egypt to help save the people when the famine came. So with God’s directions,we will and we can weather the storms ahead.
    I to have A Blue Canning Book. I also have others that I have brought out of storage since my journey on the road to canning restarted for me. I hope to do some teaching of others on how to can for tomorrow the extra from the summer’s harvest. But always I will share when I can to anyone who needs food. God bless. Thanks and have a good season with lots of canning .

    • You are an awesome woman, Mamamary! Not only to put food by for yourself and family, but to share with others. I am so sick of people on these survival blogs who are ready to blow some hungry person away instead of feeding them. I realize we cannot feed the world, but we can feed a hungry neighbor or stranger (“I was hungry and you fed Me, a stranger and you took Me in”). We do what we can and let God do the rest. Thank you for your post!

  20. Been canning for well over 40 years- I am still extremely careful to sterilize jars, even if pressure canning- I have canned meats in water bath in the past, and prefer the ease and comfort of the pressure canner- Don’t be afraid of it- its super-easy! In fact, all you have to do is to remember to NEVER walk away from your canner when on the heat- until you are an old-hand at it, and even now, I still ask my son if he’s around, to watch it, like, if I have to go to the restroom, et al. (bring a good book, and glance up frequently from your rocker in front of the stove that you’re sitting in while you are pressurizing the canner!- if the gauge says 14-15 lbs, turn the heat down a tad, and if it says 10 or 9 lbs pressure, turn the heat up a bit. Keep the gauge in the required area, and you’re fine.) Your safety and security depend on your being vigilant. Also, I use a dial-gauge- so simple- easier than listening to a rattle-rattle- of the weighted ones, to try to determine if the heat should go up or down. Now I DO use a weighted-gauged pressure cooker for cooking things like venison or beans, but am not canning at the time. I also have been know to bleach my jars- I used to insist on washing them ALL by hand, so I could REALLY see how clean they appeared if I held one to the light from the window- and then bleaching them, then rinsing a few times, etc, but now, I usually wash them to ‘clean’ status by hand, then pop them in the DW with hot water, then, after filling the DW, open it and add a couple tablespoons bleach- dont hold me responsible for the plastics in your DW, please- its my personal preference, only, to bleach the jars. THEN, after the DW, I sterilize the jars in the canner… this way, I KNOW I have done all I can to protect us from unhealthy canning practices. Bleach breaks down in a couple hours, so to me, here in the country (no bleach-treated water here) using it is safe enough…In fact, I am absolutely certain, that with all the plastics we buy foods in that leach chemicals into our food, and the chemically-treated cardboards our foods are contained in, and all the systemic disease/pest killers our foods are fed, ( which we inevitably eat when we enjoy those perfect-appearing fruits) for high crop yields, that when I garden myself, and use organic means to grow them, then I can them, even if I bleach and triple rinse the jars, I am getting foods safer and better-tasting than about 90% of all the world. That puts me in a healthy, happy class of elite, but hard-working folk. I also make certain my foods are as clean as I can get them- Always wash your foods before starting to work on them, and again after handling them- with a few baths of water, if they are washable, and use super-clean practices with other foods, such as meats- make sure all utensils, pans, knives, and cutting boards, etc, are super-clean (I use bleach here, again) before starting canning the foods… Many gals tell me they hate standing at the sink for hours preparing their foods for canning- like fruits especially. I tell them, I open my cupboard doors under the sink, sit on my stool with my legs under the cupboard for comfort, and work away. And I am even disabled. Takes me longer than some, but – its worth the work. BTW, my extension agent told me years ago that for every LB the canner is over the recommended pressure, I could decrease the time of processing by a minute, but I do NOT do that. I will risk a little-overcooked foods for safety. I was also told that really thick, creamy or soupy foods are better NOT being canned, as the center of the foods are difficult to get the same heat to as the outer parts of the food…ie, make sure the food has liquid in it, enough that it sloshes when rocked or shaken. I believe we were talking about canning gravies at the time. She suggested I didn’t can them, or can them at a little bit more liquid than I prefer, and add a bit of thickener when I am reheating, as all home-canned low-acid foods are recommended to reheat to a boiling temp for a set time- I think its in my Ball Blue book- look it up- I think its 20 minutes, but don’t quote me on that- just look it up. -STILL better foods, even with all that heating, than store-bought! I am extremely careful, since I had heard a few times, of entire families that died of botulism from home-canned foods, when I was a young woman. If cleanliness matters to you, and you are the type to always wash your hands carefully with soap -not just with water, before eating, and if your kitchen is kept clean, then you will be safe to can your own foods, if you use the provided directions with your canner and Blue book. Thanks for the really great articles and forum…

  21. Patrick Edwards

    Where would I get a good pressure cooker with all of the bells and whisels? Will you point me in the right direction and tell me what brands and models are recommended?

    Thank you for andwering my question. I have never canned so I have no knowledge of the subject.

    Respectfully,
    Patrick Edwards
    [email protected]
    Tel. 502-899-1022

    • MississippiGirl

      Patrick, you can get a Presto model from Walmart.com. Here’s the link to the model that I have two of… http://www.walmart.com/ip/Presto-23-Qt-Pressure-Canner/2625289 It will hold 7 quarts, 20 pints, or 24 half-pints. I prefer a dial gauge like this one because it allows me to regulate my pressure precisely. It’s also very reasonably priced. If you can run across a used one, check it out carefully. Make sure there are no pits in the metal of the cooker that could be a weak spot that might not hold under pressure. If it has a dial gauge, take it to your extension agent to get it checked out and make sure it’s accurate. If the gauge is broken, you can buy a new one for around $15. I like the Presto brand because it’s the most common and parts are easy to come by. My local hardware store stocks the gaskets and gauges right here in town. Hope that helps you out!!

  22. Is anyone still using a Presto 406 Meat Master for canning?

  23. I recently canned spaghetti sauce cooked with hot sausage. My husband read manual on presto pressure cooker, informed me pressure to be 11, and fill canner with water to cover quart jars. Cooked for 70 minutes. Now, as I read, canner only requires 3 quarts of water. Will my sauce be safe done this way, or should I toss out ? Thank you.

  24. My wife bought me a Presto pressure canner and i have been watchin videos about canning a varitey of meats,fish and veggies. After cleanning your new unit, your jars cleaned, heating your lids, preparing your receipe. Your water is at the required depth, rims are cleaned, lids and rings on snug steam is coming thru the petcock. MUST I WAIT THE FULL 10 MINUTES before putting the weight on? if so what is the reasoning for this and what are the ramifications if i do not wait the full 10 minutes? and just start the timer after a steady stream of steam for a couple minutes.

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