PDA

View Full Version : Pressure cookers.....



paladin
10-05-2009, 05:22 PM
When I make jams and jellies, marmalade and canned veggies I use a water bath...normally boiling water for 10-15 minutes or so after I cover the jars and get the water boiling. After our last hurricane I lost about 250 pounds of meat in the freezer and lotsa veggies because I had stopped canning and relied on the freezer.
I am about to have a couple of pigs for lunch.....and the hams have been smoked, and the meat is ready to make sausage and bacon. I intend to can it. When sailing, I used a combination of salt and sugar to cure the bacon, then scrubbing it, smoking it after drying, slicing then partially cooking the bacon and stuffing it in qt jars with about an inch to spare, pouring some fat over it, then into the pressure cooker at about 12-13 pounds of pressure for 1 1/2 hours....sausage nearly exactly the same. Has anyone ever canned ham this way? I wanna try it.

PeterSibley
10-05-2009, 05:36 PM
I've never canned meat ,don't eat the stuff but I'm definitely looking for a small pressure cooker ,about 6 litre for use onboard .Brilliant for beans etc .

huisjen
10-05-2009, 05:46 PM
My pressure cooker has 10 and 15 pound options. I've never met one that can do 12-13 pounds. And 1 1/2 hours is a very long time. Should work. I've never tried it.

I got a very small pressure cooker (Hawkins 2 liter) a while back, but it's just too small to do much. Then I found a Mirro 4 quart at the dump which works great. The Mirro seems much more than twice as big as the Hawkins. Maybe the Hawkins has a total volume of 2 liters, while the Mirro has a capacity for a gallon of stuff, plus head space? I'd measure, but the Mirro is full of black beans at the moment.

Dan

paladin
10-05-2009, 06:39 PM
Donn...I'm going for energy conservation in a way. I caught fish and canned them, and the same with the beef......I made beef bacon which keeps very well, stew, short ribs, steaks and they all worked out.....
Pork is different critter. I am working on a freezer, and power using batteries (3 each 8D's with 14 each 95 watt solar panels keeping the batteries up...also I have the wind driven generator rated at 400 watts output with 12 volts which could keep a freezer going, but it would require a big freezer, and in the long run, canning seems the better option. This way I can make a quart of chili, spaghetti sauce, stew, or any other meal in a jar to just warm up and require no refrigeration to preserve. Leaves available energy to make bread and such.

Wayne Jeffers
10-05-2009, 09:50 PM
(I love my pressure canner.)

Iíve seen people can pork, though Iíve never done it myself. I have a Ball Blue Book of home canning (first one I found on my shelf; I have others somewhere) and it covers canning pork in a pressure canner.

For sausage, it says to season and make into patties. Cook until lightly browned. Pack hot sausage into hot jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Broth may be added; however, enough fat and juices for making its own broth will cook out of the sausage during processing. Process pints for 1 hour 15 minutes, quarts for 1 hour 30 minutes, at 10 pounds.

No mention of canning bacon in this book. I canít remember that Iíve ever seen bacon done up in home canning. Not saying it canít be done.

Old fashioned cookbooks (i.e., Pillsbury, circa 1950's) usually covered home canning. Those may be another source of how-to info.

Wayne

coelacanth2
10-05-2009, 10:46 PM
I've got a freezer full of stuff, but want to start caning - what is the best pressure cooker for doing so? thanks

Robert L.
10-05-2009, 11:23 PM
Joy of Cooking - Rombaur and Becker.

Canned everything plus Chipped Beef, Chitterlings, Caviar, Pickled Pork, Opossum, and of course all the fru-fru girly stuff too. This cookbook has been around forever (well since 1931 anyway.) My oldest is 1946, the one I use the most is a 1973 printing (stay away from the new versions.) Probably a couple thousand recipes, no fancy pictures but everything is explained.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
10-05-2009, 11:28 PM
From making Christmas puddings, I would say that an hour and a half is about as long as one should cook at pressure - two hours certainly maximum - as the water may be used up.

A pressure cooker is much the best way to make marmalade.

paladin
10-06-2009, 02:24 AM
I agree, Andrew.....I make as much marmalade as all other jams/jellies put together.
The problem with modern cookbooks is that they do not address canning, and rely on using other items in recipes that come out of a can or jar. I purchased flour when cruising, placed it in sealable plastic containers, and nuked it to make sure there were no weevil larvae or anything similar in it....seemed to work perfectly.
Around home fall was an annual ritual for canning almost everything, then boxes of jars went to the root cellar for safekeeping. The only thing that seemed to disapear for some strange reasons was grammas bread and butter pickles.

PeterSibley
10-06-2009, 03:57 AM
I agree, Andrew.....I make as much marmalade as all other jams/jellies put together.
The problem with modern cookbooks is that they do not address canning, and rely on using other items in recipes that come out of a can or jar. I purchased flour when cruising, placed it in sealable plastic containers, and nuked it to make sure there were no weevil larvae or anything similar in it....seemed to work perfectly.
Around home fall was an annual ritual for canning almost everything, then boxes of jars went to the root cellar for safekeeping. The only thing that seemed to disapear for some strange reasons was grammas bread and butter pickles.

Mormon friends of mine used to put 20 gms of solid CO2 ,dry ice ,in the bottom of a container then add the cereal of choice .As the CO2 vents it displaces air ,as the last CO2 vents the lid is fitted ( time to get the correct time ).It works well ,wevils need air .

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
10-06-2009, 04:09 AM
Chuck,

Interesting, the way you pour fat over the top sounds just like a confit, which, as I'm sure you know (I'm mentioning it for the benefit of others here) was a way to preserve food in the days before canning, but true canning will of course keep longer. But I like doing a confit just to preserve things longer in the fridge.

Most pressure cookers are aluminum, but I would go for stainless with a conductive disc of aluminum or copper on the bottom, if you can get one in the size that you desire, because then you can cook in it directly without either worries about aluminum nor it affecting the taste of something acidic cooked in it. But for one large enough for (a lot of) canning, I'm not sure they make one in stainless. I just looked online and some of the newer ones are hard anodized, that should be OK. Mine is only perhaps 5 quart, nice for just meals. To find one cheap in stainless, I found a nice old Revere one at the thrift store, it has the standard round bayonet-style (rotating) mount and (sliding) gasket between the pot and lid. I like a stainless one I saw at REI, it instead had an oval top with a recessed lip on the pot, you shove it in the pot loose and rotate it 90 degrees, then up, a simpler and more robust system, with a very simple gasket, you can make a replacement gasket in a snap. But I don't see it stocked right now.

Some of the new ones have an adjustable spring regulator instead of the gravity weight. On the plus side, no separate small part to lose, on the other hand, the gravity weights are bulletproof and gravity does not vary (much :)), I don't know about the springs in those regulators.

That's my 2 cents.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
10-06-2009, 04:22 AM
Sheesh, Chuck! With your technical abilities, you could probably whip up a generator, or a huge bank of LiFePO4 batteries from on-hand components. Build a UPS for your freezer, and don't mess with canning stuff.

PFFT! Child's play. Our man Chuck can just make himself up a batch of hydrogen (so much easier to pronounce than Lith...ferr...Po...wait...phos...what?...*oh crap*, forgot all my chem...) using electroalysis from that ol' windy turbine, (dense storage might be an issue, I think they might be still working on that), then I'm sure he can wangle a fuel cell, he knows folks with pocket protectors. :D

Popeye
10-06-2009, 07:39 AM
i sterilize mason jars in the microwave , with a little water in the bottom of each jar , gets damn hot and steamy , kind of a poor mans autoclave

scald the rings and lids , or use bleach and rinse well under hot and cold water

paladin
10-06-2009, 01:27 PM
Peter...that's how we preserved dry goods when at home and leaving/sailing....but dry ice isn't always available everywhere...It's also a good way to get rid of pests on the boat....seal up all the hatches with plastic wrap and tape...and lower several pounds of dry ice into the cabin.

htom
10-06-2009, 02:59 PM
"Putting Food By", by Plume, Hertzberg, and Vaughan (Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Putting-Food-Plume-Janet-Greene/dp/0452268990)) is probably the classic reference. If it's not in the 4th edition, look closely, there may be a reason they don't want you do what they did in the first, second, or third.

Wayne Jeffers
10-06-2009, 04:01 PM
. . . what is the best pressure cooker . . .

I favor the old ones from the 1950ís or so. The heavier dull, flat metal seems to come back down to atmospheric pressure at the end of cooking faster than the new lighter-weight shiny ones. (I have both and have used them in tandem.)

I like having one with a pressure gauge. Your local extension office will usually test them for you.

Parts availability is another consideration. Seals on the lids need replaced periodically. Good hardware stores will carry parts for most of the most popular old brands. National Pressure Cooker and Mirro are good. I think the current brand Presto is a descendant company to National.

I see there are several pressure cookers on ebay. I like the taller 22 quart models because if you want to can in pints, they can be double decked.

Wayne

George Ray
10-06-2009, 04:12 PM
Nice timing for this thread. I just picked up a flat of small BALL jars and basic implements to start trying canning of meats using my small pressure cooker. To be scaled up if it seems to work for us.

paladin
10-06-2009, 09:30 PM
I just ordered the "Ball Blue Book of Canning"....
My pressure cooker is a stainless steel one with flanged ears that if the pressure builds too high and the release doesn't work, the ears bend to release the pressure at around 18-20 pounds with the lid captive.

bobbys
10-06-2009, 09:47 PM
Good for you!!!.

I want to get a pressure cooker but it looks like something i would blow up and kill myself with!!.

I have found im not to be trusted with vapors and steam!

Paul Pless
10-06-2009, 09:55 PM
I want to get a pressure cooker but it looks like something i would blow up and kill myself with!!the best pressure cooker mishaps revolve around making toffee :D

coelacanth2
10-07-2009, 06:09 AM
I went online to Lehman's (the Amish goods store) and found some nice looking ones, but at about 250 each. What's a good price?

George Ray
10-07-2009, 06:36 AM
The books that have been recommended are "Putting Food by" and the "Ball Book?" not sure which is best Ball book but both have great reviews. "Putting By" seems to include more processes for preserving.

Ball Blue Book of Preserving
http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Blue-Book-of-Preserving/dp/0972753702/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254915229&sr=1-2

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Complete-Book-Home-Preserving/dp/0778801314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254915326&sr=1-1

Putting Food By
http://www.amazon.com/Putting-Food-Plume-Janet-Greene/dp/0452268990/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=IXL7LLZP34YQS&colid=1X2DWK00OS99C

Wayne Jeffers
10-07-2009, 08:21 AM
I went online to Lehman's (the Amish goods store) and found some nice looking ones, but at about 250 each. What's a good price?

If you want to buy new, the Presto (http://www.amazon.com/Presto-23-Quart-Aluminum-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0000BYCFU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1254920948&sr=8-1) is as good as any. $85

I see they also still make All-American (http://www.amazon.com/All-American-2-Quart-Pressure-Cooker-Canner/dp/B00004S88Z/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1254920948&sr=8-2) brand pressure canners. $200. I’ve used those, too. I see they’re still made of cast aluminum, rather than stamped like the newer Presto. It’s nice that they don’t have or need a separate rubber seal for the lid, but the lid locking system on the Presto and most others is much easier/more convenient to deal with.

Wayne