Two Canners Going

A friend tells me he sometimes has four canners going on his glasstop stove.  He either has a bigger stove than I have or he has smaller canners.

The larger canner on the left is my regular Presto 23 quart canner that I’ve been using for probably 8 or 10 years, always on a glasstop stove.  The smaller one in the back is an old Mirro canner dad found at a garage sale and got for me.  I’ve never used the old canner because it has the jiggler type pressure gauge vs. the dial gauge that I’m used to using.

But today I wanted to can beef stew.  I thought I was making 7 quarts, which is the max my Presto will hold.

Once I got the meat, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, broth and spices into the jars, I had 9 quarts of stew and 2 pints of broth.  Since stew has to cook for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure, if I did two batches in the same canner, by the time I wait for it to get up to pressure, then cook, then cool down and do the same thing with the second batch, I’d be in the kitchen all day.

So, I decided it was time to figure out how to work the old canner.  The gasket looks fairly new so I was pretty confident it would hold pressure and it did.   There’s something comforting about hearing the jiggling of the gauge.  That reminds me of my grandma’s canning days.  The dial gauge is quiet.  You never know anything’s going on in there.

Speaking of canning beef stew, remember my canned chicken experiment?  Last weekend I used some of the canned chicken to make chicken soup and the quality and texture of the chicken was excellent!  Tasted better than fresh cooked chicken because it had simmered in the spicy broth.  It was perfect and I’ll definitely be canning more chicken, as soon as I find it on sale.

For those of you who have told me  you never learned to can . . I was never taught to can.  I had never even boiled water before I got married.  I figured it out on my own.  It’s not hard.  It’s not scary!  You just have to be careful.  One book I recommend highly for canning is Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving.  There’s so much information in there.

I’ll admit that I love canning!  I love cooking of any kind.

Comments

  1. 1

    Cheryl L says

    Judy, do these canners have flat bottoms? I have a glass top stove, too and I also have a porcelain water bath canner (never used) that has a “ridged” bottom and it says not to use it on a glass top—-the directions say it will never get hot enough to boil AND it could crack the glass top. I was just wondering if you’ve had any experience w/that sort of thing. I’m getting ready to do some tomato soup and will use my All-Clad stock pot with a rack in the bottom. I’ll have to do several batches, so it would be nice to use the other canner, too. Just not sure if I should chance it.

  2. 3

    Trish says

    I have the canner with the pressure guage and I wish it was the jiggle kind. I have to constantly watch the guage and adjust the temperature of the stove. My friend has the jiggle kind. We just put the correct pressure ‘thingy’ on there and listed to it jiggle 🙂 You are right, it is a rather comforting sound. Followed by the pop of the jar lids when the seal up!!

  3. 5

    says

    Oh, I agree. Canning is very simple and so rewarding. I taught myself to do it some twenty years ago. Last year I did my first pressure canning–again, self taught. All you have to do is ready. Another book I like is “Putting Food By.” Lots of good safety stuff and the new edition is even better than the old. Pickling anything is a good place to start. It’s easy and you almost can’t mess it up. The one mistake I’ve made over the years is forgetting to wipe the rim clean before I put the lid on. Those jars will fail every time; and conversely, if I remember to do it, I rarely have a failure.

  4. 7

    carol c says

    i saw a canning set up by Ball at Sams today, but just thought of you Judy, and knew I would never try it.lol
    then stopped at a farmers mkt. bought fresh tomatoes and onions, strawberry butter and canned okra for dh who also bought home made jalepeno
    cornbread patties.

  5. 8

    says

    I wish ours were the jiggly top kind — I like being able to hear that it’s doing what it should, and not having to take it down to the extension office and get the gauge tested every year.

    A *great* way to get taught canning (and everything else) is to attend the Master Food Preserver program through your local extension office. I did it a few years back and learned more in that one week than I did in years of home ec classes.

  6. 9

    says

    I really enjoy reading your posts but I have to confess (and you’ll probably laugh) this sort of thing is so foreign to me out in Northern California. Though there are those here who are into canning and gardening, most of what you’ve probably heard about we ‘nuts and fruits’ is true. Those who are farmers are ‘organic’ and sell at farmers markets which is as close as yours truly gets to gardening. I respect what you do and am fascinated by your accounts of it!

    • 9.1

      Trish says

      Seems to me, Diane, that you can get your fruit and veggies year round, so the necessity for canning is less of a necessity! I sure wish we were able to get that fresh home grown stuff year round!!

  7. 10

    Chris says

    Thanks to your inspiration – I canned 14 pints of salsa! Hadn’t canned in 20+ years. Had a ton of fun doing it! Want to try some pickled beets and maybe sweet relish.

    thank you!

  8. 11

    says

    After reading this post, I’ve read my Ball Blue Book cover to cover again. Lots of notes taken with things to try. Can’t wait for all my shelves to be full and beautiful again. I’m working hard not to have any cans, only canned products on my shelves. 🙂

  9. 12

    Jennifer Collard says

    Lovely post! I hadn’t canned anything since my children left home, but my daughter planted hjer first garden this year and had tomatoes like crazy. So she asked me to help her learn to can them. I went right out and bought the book you mentioned and gave it to her. Together we put up 14 quarts and split the loot. There are more to come yet. Next year we plan to do a family garden and can together. It goes better when you have a companion to chat and work with.
    Even so, canning is worthwhile and fulfilling. I’m glad to be back to it.

  10. 13

    says

    I just bought another Ball Blue canning book this week. I had two, gave one to my DIL and can’t find the other one. I also got some more wide mouth jars, I think I gave a bunch to my DIL too! She was canning deer meat or something. I haven’t been into canning for a while, except for tomato juice. But my cucumbers haven’t exactly gone wild but I’ve gotten enough for three batches of pickles. I only planted them so I could have fresh cukes for my salad! I think I’m going to try doing whole tomatoes this year…love them in chili and veg. soup!

  11. 14

    says

    I think DIL also has my “jiggly top” canner! I do have a pressure guage one I haven’t used in forever…it was my mom’s.

  12. 15

    says

    I have that book! I love to can. No, it’s not hard and no, it’s not scary. I have never canned using a pressure canner yet, though. One day I will. Won’t likely be this summer, though. I started canning this summer after it’s been 20 years or so since I did any canning or freezing. I’m having a great time!