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.