Archive for Canning/Freezing

How to Can and Freeze Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is so good. Today I helped my daughter, Jill, make applesauce using Golden Delicious apples.  The Golden Delicious make a thick, sweet, golden applesauce.  They are  good for canning or freezing and take very little sugar.  Golden Delicious are my favorite all-purpose apple and are available in mid to late September.  They are also good for eating raw, baking, cooking, apple-butter and cider.

We cut the apples in half and take the seeds out before slicing the half in slices.  Do not peel.

We cook the slices in a large kettle on medium heat on the stove.  Add a cup of water to the kettle of apples to help keep them from scorching.  You must stir frequently.

Cook until the apples are soft.

Remove from heat and either squeeze them through a Victoria strainer or a sieve like this to remove the pulp from the skins.

Add sugar to taste and spoon the hot sauce into clean canning jars filling to the lower ridge on the lip of the jar.

Add lids (heated in water) and rings.

Pressure quarts 5 minutes on 5 pounds pressure.

After 12 hours of cooling, remove the rings and store in a cool, dark room.

For detailed information on “how to can” see my blog “How to Use Your Pressure Canner”.

To freeze: put cooled sauce in freezer boxes and freeze.

Other suggestions or tips:

  • If you like a tart applesauce (my favorite) use Transparent Apples  (older variety of green apples) which are available at orchards in late July.  A tart sauce takes a little more sugar but I love the flavor.

  • Jill said she prefers to can the  sweet apple sauce and freeze the tart.
  • My mother likes to peel her apples before cooking and then blend the cooked apples in the blender for really smooth applesauce.
  • A Victoria Strainer is a neat canning gadget to use on apples and tomatoes (for juice).  It very neatly separates the pulp for the skins.

  • I feed the apple peels to my chickens. They love them.

How To Use Your Pressure Canner

These are general directions for using your pressure canner.  The amount of pressure and length of canning time will vary with each vegetable, fruit, or meat.

In a small pan bring the jar lids to a boil before you put them on the jars and tighten firmly.

Put 2 quarts of water in the pressure canner. I add 1 tsp. cream of tarter to the water to keep the aluminum inside of the canner shiny and clean looking.

Carefully set the jars into the canner.

Put on the lid and turn the temperature on high. After steam starts coming through the vent on top of the canner, set the weight on top of the vent hole.

After several minutes the canner vent will close and the temperature gauge will start to rise. It takes about 1 minute to raise the gauge 1 pound of pressure.   Adjust your temperature to keep it at the correct pounds of pressure. I always set my timer. Do not walk away from your canner unless you take your timer with you so that you have that constant reminder.  Your canner is very safe to use and I have never had any accidents or close calls. But if you leave it and forget about it and the gauge goes into the black warning zone you might end up with a hole in your ceiling.

When my gauge reaches the desired amount of pounds I can usually turn the burner back to medium high and it will hold  consistent pressure.  A pound or two over is no deal I do not like to be under.

When the timer rings, turn your burner off and let the canner sit on the burner until the gauge reaches 0.  It is very important that you DO NOT OPEN the canner before the gauge reaches 0. The canner is under pressure and you could have serious scald burns and broken jars if you do.  When it is 0,  you  can safely open the canner and remove the jars.

I set the jars on a towel on the counter to cool.

Within a few minutes you will hear the “popping” of the lids as they seal. This is music to the ears! The center of the lids will actually pop downward. If one has a bubble and isn’t firmly down within 15 minutes, it has not sealed.  You may open the jar and immediately can it again using an new lid or you can put it in the refrigerator to use within the next several days.   This evening I had one that acted like it wasn’t going to seal-all the others had so I turned it upside down for a few seconds and it sealed. I got lucky!  Sometimes it will seal and sometimes it won’t. You have to do this within the first 10-15 minutes while the jars are still very hot.

I let the jars cool overnight and then I remove the rings. The lids will stay sealed and put the jars in my pantry to store.

A very helpful hint…these are words to the wise!!!!

  • Always, always clean up your pots and pans immediately. They clean up easy while they are hot but if you let them sit and cool, you will have a difficult mess on your hands.

If you have a jar that does not seal for some reason, you can either recan it or eat it.  When you press your finger on the center of the lid and it buckles-has a bubble in it- you will know it did not seal.  There can be several reasons for this: the jar was underfilled, overfilled, the lid not tighten properly, food on the lip of the jar or the lip of the jar has a rough edge. And sometimes you just don’t know!

There, I showed you how to do it!  Now it is your turn and you can do it  too.

For information on planting and growing snaps visit the “gardening” section on my web page http://www.hffinc.com/Beans.htm

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Pressure Gauge Style

Presto Pressure Cooker-Canner

National Presto Industries Inc
This is like the one I use.

  • Preserve vegetables, fruits, meats and fish wit confidence in Presto pressure canners.
  • Easy to read dial gauge ensures accurate pressure control.
  • Air vent/cover lock allows pressure to build only when the cover is closed properly.
  • Also double as water bath canners for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and salsas.

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Jingle Style

Mirro 16Qt Aluminum Pressure Cooker Canner

T-Fal WearEver

  • Quick even heating.
  • Rust proof and dishwasher safe.
  • Polished heavy gauge aluminum construction.

How to Can Salsa

I have a recipe I really like for salsa. It is easy to make and tasty to eat.

These ingredients are flexible and can be adjusted to suit your taste.

  • 15-20 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 c. or 4 large onions, chopped
  • 2 c. or 3 green peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 c. or 8 Jalapeno peppers, chopped (4 without seeds and 4 with seeds) and/or 6 cayene peppers, chopped (may use 1/2 tsp. dried peppers). The amount of peppers you use will determine how “hot” it is. I personally like a mild and only use one kind of the hot peppers.
  • 1/2 c. Parsley flakes
  • 6 T. Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Vinegar
  • 3 T. Basil
  • 3 T. Salt
  • 2 T. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 T. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 3 tsp. Celery Seeds
  • 1 c. or 2 cans Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp. Oregano

Cook salsa until all ingredients are soft. Mix 5 T. cornstarch to a little water and add to hot salsa to thicken.

Fill pint jars with hot salsa and pressure can 5 pounds pressure for 10 minutes or hot water bath for 22 mins.

Yield:  16 pints

Note:  to pressure can use the same instructions in my blog “How to Can Tomato Juice”.

How to Can and Freeze Peaches

Georgia is known for it’s peaches but the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia can also grow some awesome fruit.

I have fallen in love with “Blazing Star”, a yellow peach from Turkey Knob Growers who are a part of  Bowman’s Orchard in Timberville, VA.  They were so sweet, juicy and as the saying goes “gorgeous as a peach!” They were so juicy I had to lean forward over the sink to eat one or I would have been wearing the juice on my front side!  They also hold well while you are peeling and very importantly they are “cling-free”, which means the seed or pit  is easy to pop out.  They also have very little fuzz.  They have several “Star” peaches and Blushing Star is their white peach.

I used to like Red Haven, a  good older variety, but they have fallen out of my good graces as they have a tendency to cling tightly to the pit, making them very difficult and frustrating to  process.

You want your peaches to be soft but not mushy to process. If they are hard let them set for a day or so. When you give a little, gentle squeeze they should feel soft.

There are two ways to remove the skins.  My favorite way is to sit in my chair and peel.  It takes me about 40 seconds with a sharp paring knife to cut the peach in half along the natural groove of the peach, pop the pit out  and peel both halves.  I peel in a circular motion around the half.

Another way to remove the skins is to drop the peach in boiling water for approximately 1 minute.

Remove the peach with a slotted spoon and drop into  a container of ice water. The skins will slip off.   Then cut the peach in half and pop out the pit.  (By the way, I would have peeled 2 peaches by the time this is done plus I was sitting and not standing on my feet!!!)

You can can peaches in halves, quarters, slices or chunks. I like to do some each way. The chunks I use to make peach cobbler or pie.  An easy way to put the halves in a jar (wide mouth jars work best) is to use a fork.  Drop the peach face down and layer additional peaches face down on top.

Fill the jars with a medium sugar brine. I simply use hot tap water-no sugar. The peaches are so sweet and with Gene being pre-diabetic we use almost no sugar. Fill to the lip at the neck of the jar. Do not overfill.

To make a medium sugar brine mix 2 cups sugar with 4 c. water. Fill the jars with brine.  Another option is to put 1/2 c. per quart and fill with warm water.

Boil the lids in water for a few minutes and set on top of filled jars.

Add the ring and tighten securely.

Put 2 quarts of water and 1 tsp. cream of tarter in the pressure cooker. The cream of tarter keeps the inside of the canner looking shining.

Set the jar into the pressure canner.

Put the lid on the canner and when you see steam coming out of the vent hole on top put on the weight. The gauge will soon start to rise and you want 5 pounds of pressure for 8 minutes.

I always set the timer so I do not forget about the canner. You do not want to leave the canner. Choose another project to do in the kitchen so you are close by.  If you do walk away-even for a few seconds, take your timer with you so you have the reminder of the canner on the stove. The canner  is very safe to use but if you forget about it and the gauge goes into the black danger zone you could end up with a hole in your kitchen ceiling!

Once the allotted time is up, turn off the stove and let the gauge come down to zero. When the sound of air escaping from the vent has quit it is safe to open the canner and remove the jars. I set them on a towel on the counter to cool. Within a few minutes you will hear the delightful popping of the lids as they seal.

Let the jars cool overnight and then remove the rings. The jars will stay sealed and store in a cool, dark room.   In a warm, well-lit room the peaches have a tendency to darken over time.

To freeze peaches…..

Simply peel, pit and slice peaches into freezer containers.  Sprinkle a little sugar over the layers of peaches  and freeze. (Note: I do not use any sugar).

Peach Jam

I use the peaches that are bruised or extra soft for jam.   I use the recipe on the “pectin” box. I prefer freezer jam but they have recipes for jam, jelly, freezer and canned.  I made the sugar-free this year.

Questions:  (These are in response to questions asked from my blog post).

  1. Why does the pit (seed) not want to pop out of my peach?   If peaches are not quite ripe this can be a problem. But usually it is the variety of peach. I always make sure I buy “cling-free” peaches. I am not sure why any orchard would raise and sell peaches that aren’t “cling-free” but they do.  Red Haven is a good example of a peach that can go either way.  They are a very good flavored peach. I love them. But sometimes they are “cling-free” and sometimes they are not.  When the pit will not release you mutilate the peach trying to free it. I refuse to buy them.

For additional canning questions, look at my blog post called “Frequently Asked Canning Questions”.

Frequently Asked Canning Questions

This blog posting will be continually updated as I receive questions.  If you have a question you may comment at the end of the blog or email me at hffinc@i-c.net.  I also welcome additional comments or answers.

1.  If a can does not seal is it safe to eat?

  • Absolutely.  You will know within half an hour if it does not seal.  Simply put it in the refrigerator and eat within 4 or 5 days.  It would have the same self life as any opened can of vegetables.

2.  Can I “re-can” a jar that does not seal?

  • You sure can.  Open the jar and make sure the rim is clean. Use a new lid and process the same as the first time.

3.  Can I turn the canner off and come back later to finish canning?

  • No.  You must finish the process all at one time.  The pressure needs to be held at a certain level for a prescribed number of minutes.

4.  After canning what if my jar of peaches or snaps has lost some of the water?

  • Sometimes this happens and you don’t know why. As long as the jar has sealed they are safe.

5.  How do I know if the jar has sealed?

  • The lid will pop inward and when you press your finger on the lid it is firm.  If the center is bubbled up and there is a give in the lid it has not sealed.

6.  Do I leave the rings on the jar after they have sealed?

  • No. After the jars have cooled, remove the rings and use them again. The jars will stay sealed.

7.  Can I prepare the vegetable such as tomato juice or snaps and put in the refrigerator until the following day?

  • Yes.  There is no reason you can’t do that.  However on vegetables the sooner they are canned the fresher and better they are. Always do sweet corn immediately.

8.  Can I help a jar seal?

  • Sometimes if you catch it soon enough.  Occasionally I have one that doesn’t seal and I turn the jar upside down for a few seconds. It will then seal. This has to be done will the jar is still very hot. Once they have cooled it does not work.

9. Why does a jar break in the pressure canner?

  • I don’t know-I had a quart of peaches break yesterday.  The jar could have a small crack or weak spot in it. Do not each the vegetables or fruit from the broken jar as they could have glass in them.  The rest of the jars are fine.
  • Always use canning jars. Glass mayonnaise jars, etc are not safe for canning, the glass is too thin.

10. Can I reuse my lids?

  • No. Never. You may reuse the rings.

11. Do I need to boil the water first that I pour into the jars of snaps, peaches, etc.?

  • I have not found that it is necessary. Tap water is much easier to work with.

12.  Why does liquid leak from the jar when I am taking it from the canner or right afterwards and what do I do?

  • Do nothing. Do not try to tighten the ring as it makes it worse.
  • It seems to happen when I open my canner a little too quick and the inside pressure has not equalized completely with the outside air pressure. (I could be wrong).
  • Usually the jars will seal anyways but sometimes if too much leaks out they don’t.
  • Be sure to let the gauge come completely back to zero and the sound of air escaping from the vent has ceased before opening the canner. I try to wait a few more minutes-can let it set for 5-10-before opening the canner.
  •  Sometimes it happens if you don’t have the ring screwed on tight enough. Sometimes they will seal and sometimes they will not.

13. Can I put a half full jar in the canner?

  • No. It will not seal.

14.  What happens if my pressure gauge does not work?

  • If the gauge does not work your canner is not safe to use.  If it is building pressure you will have NO IDEA what pressure the canner is at and you could have an explosion.  This is an extremely unsafe situation.
  • If the gauge is not working because the canner has not sealed you are not pressure sealing your jars. The gauge has to work or else you need to hot water bath your produce which takes longer.

How to Can Tomatoes and Juice

Today I will share with you how to can tomato juice. Canning whole tomatoes is at the bottom of this post.

First of all I just have to show you a few pictures of my Better Boy tomato plants. They are really doing well this year and we are enjoying fresh tomato sandwiches.  I finally got enough to start canning.

Choose vine-ripe tomatoes, wash, core, and remove any bad or damaged spots.

Cut into wedges and put into a big pot to cook.

Then I take my hands and squeeze some of the tomatoes to make some juice in the pot.  I usually add about 1 cup of water so the tomatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch.

Cook the tomatoes until they are fall-apart soft and juicy.  Stir frequently.

It will take 15-20 minutes, depending on your size of pot.

I have a very simple sieve which I use to extract the juice from the skin and seeds. I do not have a juicer.

It sets perfectly into my old enamel dishpan -they probably aren’t even available any more!!!  I have one of the large white plastic Tupperware bowl but it is not big enough.

Dip the hot tomatoes into the sieve.  Fill about 2/3 full.  You do not want to  overfill or when you spin the wooden stick around the tomatoes come out the top of the sieve.

I was trying to take pictures during the process and I had to do everything with my left hand in order to snap the picture with my right so if I look a little awkward that is why.  There was no way to snap the camera with my left hand!!!

Center the wooden rod in the center of your hand and roll it around the edges of the sieve until all  the juice is extracted and the skins and seeds are left.  It is easy to do and you will soon get the hang of it. It only takes a few seconds to do.

When I am done I have a bowl full of juice ready to can.

I like to pour the juice into a large 4-cup measuring bowl to pour into the canning jars.

After the jars are filled to the lower rim at the neck of the jar I add 1 tsp. salt per quart.

In a small pan bring the jar lids to a boil before you put them on the jars and tighten firmly.

Put 2 quarts of water in the pressure canner. I add 1 tsp. cream of tarter to the water to keep the aluminum inside of the canner shiny and clean looking.

Carefully set the jars into the canner. Today I had 6 quarts and 1 pint. I put them all together as it really will not make any difference. Quarts and pints are both done the same amount of time. I was a little bit short on juice so I added an inch or so of water to several of my quarts of juice. You will never be able to tell I cheated!!!

Put on the lid and turn the temperature on high. After steam starts coming through the vent on top of the canner, set the weight on top of the vent hole.

After several minutes the canner vent will close and the temperature gauge will start to rise. It takes about 1 minute to raise the gauge 1 pound of pressure.  For tomatoes you want the gauge to go to 5 pounds.  Adjust your temperature to keep it at 5 pounds of pressure for 5 minutes. I set my timer. Do not walk away from your canner unless you take your timer with you so that you have that constant reminder.  Your canner is very safe to use and I have never had any accidents or close calls. But if you leave it and forget about it and the gauge goes into the black warning zone you might end up with a hole in your ceiling.

When my gauge reaches the desired amount of pounds I can usually turn the burner back to medium high and it will hold  consistent pressure.  A pound or two over is no deal I do not like to be under.

When the timer rings, turn your burner off and let the canner sit on the burner until the gauge reaches 0.  It is very important that you DO NOT OPEN the canner before the gauge reaches 0. The canner is under pressure and you could have serious scald burns and broken jars if you do.  When it is 0,  you  can safely open the canner and remove the jars.

I set the jars on a towel on the counter to cool.

Within a few minutes you will hear the “popping” of the lids as they seal. This is music to the ears! The center of the lids will actually pop downward. If one has a bubble and isn’t firmly down within 15 minutes, it has not sealed.  You may open the jar and immediately can it again using an new lid or you can put it in the refrigerator to use within the next several days.   This evening I had one that acted like it wasn’t going to seal-all the others had so I turned it upside down for a few seconds and it sealed. I got lucky!  Sometimes it will seal and sometimes it won’t. You have to do this within the first 10-15 minutes while the jars are still very hot.

I let the jars cool overnight and then I remove the rings. The lids will stay sealed and put the jars in my pantry to store.

Several very helpful hints…these are words to the wise!!!!

  • Watch your pot of tomatoes when they are cooking so they do not boil over or scorch (burn) to the bottom of your pan. You will learn your lesson very quickly the hard way if you don’t. It is not an easy mess to clean up!
  • Always, always clean up your pots and pans immediately. They clean up easy while they are hot but if you let them sit and cool, you will have a difficult mess on your hands. Tomato juice is hard to clean.

Note: If you do not have a tunnel sieve like I used, you can use a strainer, bowl and spoon. Sometimes I use this if I don’t have very many to do rather than get out my sieve.

If you want you may hot water bath your juice.  Cover the jars with boiling water for 15 minutes.

Canning Whole or Quartered Tomatoes

Choose vine ripe tomatoes and rinse in water to remove any dirt.

Put a large pot of water on the stove and fill about 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil.  Drop the whole, unpeeled tomatoes into the hot water for about 1 minute. Depending on the size of your pan you can do maybe 10-12 at a time. Gently remove tomatoes and drop into ice-cold water for a few minutes. The peels will crack. Take your knife and core the top of the tomato and the skins will slip off.

Stuff the whole or quartered tomato into quart or pint size jars. I press the tomatoes in, filling the jar.  By pressing the tomatoes into the jars they make their own juice and you don’t need to add any water. If necessary, you may add some water to finish filling the jar. Add 1 tsp. salt per quart or 1/2 tsp. per pint.

Pressure can quarts at 5 lbs. pressure for 10 minutes using the same method as used for juice. Pints, I do 8 minutes.

How to Freeze Limas and Butterbeans

We love limas. My favorite is the Fordhook variety but I like to pick them young.  There is no comparison to homegrown limas and limas found in the grocery store. I have tried numerous times to buy them, even buying the Fordhook  variety, but they are very mealy.  Some things I like to can and some freeze. Limas I like to freeze. They have much better favor.

After they are picked I find a nice place to sit and shell.

Shelling limas is not hard, just give the bean a twist and it pops open. With your thumb nudge the beans out of the pod.

I washed the shelled beans twice to remove any dirt.

Now they are ready to freeze.

I have a special pan I blanch my beans in.

Fill the pan about half full of  water. When the water comes to a boil add some limas to the top part (sieve section).

Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Lift the sieve section out of the pan and dump the beans into a pan to tap water to cool for several minutes. Then I dump them into ice water to finish cooling. The reason I put them in tap water first is simply to cool them some and help save on the amount of ice needed.

After they are cool I spoon them into freezer boxes or bags.

I write the date on the top and put them in the freezer.

How to Freeze Sweet Corn

Today I froze 22 pints of sweet corn. So here is another “how-to”!

Sweet corn is the one thing Gene helps me with.  He usually pulls it and helps me shuck. Once we get it to the house he disappears fast! But that is ok. I figure at this point I am half done!  Here we are in action….Sweet corn is ready to pick when the tassel on the end of the ear is dark brown and the ear drops slightly away from the stalk.

Practice makes perfect and you will soon master the art. As you are learning you can pull the shuck (leaves) covering the ear back just enough to see. But remember you are opening the ear for bugs and worms.

After the corn is pulled, we find a spot in the shade and shuck the ears.

Then we toss  the shucks over the fence to the curious cows to eat. They love it and it doesn’t take them long to figure out that they are getting a special treat.

They always say “run to the house” with the corn. The point of this statement is that you want to do sweet corn as fast as you can to retain optimum flavor and freshness.

I wash the corn under running water at the laundry sink, rubbing each ear to remove the remaining silk and trim off any wormy spots. I stack the corn on trays and it is ready to begin the last step of the process. When I get to this point I figure I am half done.

Freezing sweet corn is easy and does not require many utensils. I use a sharp knife, tongs for removing the corn from the hot water, a large spoon for filling my freezer boxes and a corn cutter.

I put corn into a pot of boiling water and bring it back to a boil for about 1 minute.  My pot holds 10-15 ears, depending on the size of the ears.

I remove the corn with the tongs and put into a dishpan of water in the sink.

After cooling in this water a few minutes, I transfer the ears to the other side of the sink into ice water.  The reason I use tap water is simply to cool the corn some before putting into the ice water. It helps to save the ice.

After the corn has cooled several minutes I put it on a tray and it is ready to cut off the cob.

My large roasting pan is perfect for my corn cutter. I quickly run the corn over the blade, removing the corn from the cob.  This handy tool makes cutting corn sooooooooooooo easy!

You can set the blade to “cream” the corn, cut it off  “whole” kernel or my preference a mix of the two.

Then I spoon it into freezer boxes or freezer ziplock bags. I write the year on the top of the lids and it is ready for the freezer.

Today I picked  three 5-gallon buckets of  corn and it yielded 22 pints plus we had corn on the cob for supper.

If you prefer you can freeze the ears whole after it is blanched and cooled. I do not like to do this as it takes up unnecessary space in the freezer.

The cobs I toss into a 5-gallon bucket and take back to the garden where I will till them back into the soil, returning nutrients  and natural humus back to the soil.

As you can see the bucket is sitting on a chair to make it an easier height. I also put a towels over the chair and table as it makes clean up so much easier. Corn does splatter and it is sticky. One helpful hint for those of you who do not wash dirty dishes immediately. Do your dishes as soon as you are done or you will have twice the work on your hands.

*****

We sell corn cutters in our store -Hertzler Farm and Feed.  You may order a cutter by calling Hertzlers at 804-598-4021

Wood is $9.99 (plus shipping)

Stainless Steel is $12.99 (plus shipping) -This is my favorite and you can put it in the dishwasher.

*****

For more information on planting and growing corn check out my website Corn.htm

How to Can Snaps – Green Beans

The other day someone asked me again… how do you can? Is it hard? What equipment do I have to have? What vegetables do I can versus freeze?

Canning is very satisfying. It makes me feel like the Proverbs woman…”She gets up while it is still dark and provides food for her family…” (Proverbs 31:15a). The end result is food… quality, good food is put away and preserved for eating during the winter months and I did it!!!

I like to can snaps, tomatoes, peaches, jelly, pickles, tomato juice, meat (chicken and turkey) and applesauce. I prefer to freeze peas, okra, corn, broccoli, berries, edamame (soys), and limas.

I decided to picture document the process so even the novice can understand.

There are two kinds of pressure canners. One uses a gauge (my favorite) and the other jingles.  I will show you both.  Both are easy and safe to use.  You do not need to be afraid of a pressure canner.  If you follow directions, they are very safe. The one thing you DO NOT want to do is walk away from your canner and forget it or you may end up with a hole in your ceiling.  Always set a timer and if you need to leave the kitchen for a few minutes, take the timer with you. Even you go to the office to check fb-take the timer. It will remind you that you need to check your canner every few minutes.  It is too easy to let time slip away or to forget.

My main canner uses a gauge. It has a gauge with the pounds of pressure and you adjust the temperature to keep the gauge at the setting you need.  The kind that jingles has a weight with difference holes for the pounds of pressure.  When the pressure in the canner gets to the desired pressure, it jingles, releasing some pressure from the canner to keep it at the proper setting.

First, pick your beans. It is best to do it early in the morning before the sun is hot. The beans will be fresher, crisper, and of better quality. Then find yourself a cool place to sit and break the stem end and bottom pointed end off your beans. If there are any bug spots take a knife and remove them. Snap them into 2-3 pieces or you may leave them whole.

Wash them at least twice. I put water in the sink and briskly stir them around. You want your water to be clean when you are done.

Take your finger and feel the top edge of the jar.  It should be smooth.  Make sure there are not rough spots or chips on the glass. If it is, the jar will not seal properly.

I fill clean jars with beans.  You can heat the beans first but they are harder to work with and the only thing you gain is a few more beans in the jar.

You do not want to overfill the jar. The bottom lip at the neck of the jar is your fill line.

Add 1 tsp. of salt per quart (1/2 tsp. per pint) and fill to the bottom lip with boiling water. Do not overfill or the jars will not seal.

Heat the lids in boiling water and put on top of the jar, making sure the top of the jar is clean and free of any salt or food.

Add the ring and tighten.

Put 2 quarts of water in the pressure canner.

Add 1 tsp. cream of tarter to the water. This keeps the aluminium inside of the canner looking bright instead of dull and off color.

Set the jars into the canner.  My canner holds 7 quarts or 10 pints.

Put on the lid.

As you can see my yellow canner dates me to the early 70’s when yellow stoves and refrigerators were popular!  It is now an antique!!!

Heat on high until you see steam coming out of the vent hole of the lid.

Put the weight on the vent hole.

Heat on high until the gauge reaches the desired pounds of pressure.  It takes approx. 1 minute to go up one pound of pressure.  For a quart of snaps,  you want 10 lbs. for 25 minutes.  Start timing when it reaches 10 lbs. I lower my heat to medium-high and that keeps the guage at 10 lbs.

After 25 minutes turn off the heat.  When the gauge drops back to zero, take a potholder and remove the weight from the vent.  Open the lid and remove the jars.  I put them on a towel on the counter to cool.

I have a small pressure cooker that jingles that I use for pints.

I had 1 extra pint of beans  so I used this canner for it.  It will hold 4 pints total.

Since I only had 1 pint I set it in the middle and put the lid on. I put 1 pint of water and 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter in this canner.

When it started to release steam out of the center value I put the weight on the vent at 10 lbs. pressure.

Pints are processed at 10 lbs. pressure for 20 minutes.

There is a little vent hole on the lid that seals automatically and then when the proper pressure is achieved the value jingles. I turn the heat to medium-high. You want it to jingle several times a minute. Not constantly and not never.

When 20 minutes is up, turn off the heat and let the canner cool.  After  15-20 minutes take a potholder and gently lift the weight off the value. If steam starts to come out, wait  a little longer until the pressure is totally gone.  Open the canner and remove the jars. I set them on a towel to cool.

Within minutes you will hear the lids “pop” as they seal. This is good and music to the ears!  The center of the lid will go go down slightly. Let cool on the counter overnight.   Remove the rings-the jars will stay sealed and put away in your basement or pantry.

If you have a jar that does not seal for some reason, you can either recan it or eat it.  When you press your finger on the center of the lid and it buckles-has a bubble in it- you will know it did not seal.  There can be several reasons for this: the jar was underfilled, overfilled, the lid not tighten properly, food on the lip of the jar or the lip of the jar has a rough edge. And sometimes you just don’t know!

There, I showed you how to do it!  Now it is your turn and you can do it  too.

For information on planting and growing snaps visit the “gardening” section on my web page http://www.hffinc.com/Beans.htm

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Note: I do sell pressure canners. Call me for pricing at 804-598-4021 or email hffinc@i-c.net

Prices listed below are for the 2012 season only.

*****

Pressure Gauge Style

Presto Pressure Cooker-Canner

National Presto Industries Inc
23 qt. ( $139.95) and 16 qt. ($128.95)  size available.

  • Preserve vegetables, fruits, meats and fish wit confidence in Presto pressure canners.
  • Easy to read dial gauge ensures accurate pressure control.
  • Air vent/cover lock allows pressure to build only when the cover is closed properly.
  • Also double as water bath canners for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and salsas.

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Jingle Style

Mirro 16Qt Aluminum Pressure Cooker Canner

T-Fal WearEver
 ($109.95)

  • Quick even heating.
  • Rust proof and dishwasher safe.
  • Polished heavy gauge aluminum construction.
*****
T-Fal WearEver
Two sizes available:

  • ($119.95) 22 qt size will hold 30 1/2 pint, 16 reg pint, 14 wide mouth, and 5 quart jars.
  • ($79.95) 8 qt size will hold 4 pints

  • Exclusive threaded escape valve, impossible to misplace.
  • Adjustable pressure – 5, 10 or 15 lbs.
  • Lower cooking time.
  • Fully detailed instruction manual provided.
  • Does not open while there is pressure inside.
  • UL approved.

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