Great Score at the Flea Market!!
I scored big time today! This afternoon my husband and I went to the local flea market where I found something I needed…….another pressure cooker. Guess how much I paid? A mere $2! It works wonderfully. Bought it from a lady who was afraid of it. A hot water bath canner is fine for jams or jellies, but for pickles, pickled beets, or any other vegetables, including spaghetti sauce you need a pressure cooker.
Now, I know they are scary and making an awful hissing noise but they are a “must have” when canning anything other than jam/jelly. I follow a pretty clear formula when canning:
1. Put the jars on the canner pedestal in the pressure cooker.
2. Pour boiling water into the canner. You do not have to cover the tops of jars as you do in a water bath canner.
3. Put on lid with out the top finial and turn on the fire/element.
4. When the steam has come out of the top for about 5 minutes, put the finial on and process pints for 20 minutes or quart jars for 25 minutes.
5. Turn off the fire and LEAVE IT ALONE UNTIL IT IS COOL!
6. Once the pot has cooled completely, release the latch or lock and use a canning lifter to take out the jars. The will probably still be warm so sit each jar on a towel on the counter until the next day.
So, there you have it. Pressure Cookers 101. If you purchase a new one you will have some kind of instructions, or you can look online.
If you can vegetables or pickle anything, please use a pressure cooker! Botulism is a terrible thing! As always: When in doubt, throw it out!
A couple of comments to make here…out of concern. You do have a good basic step list. However…there are so many variables when ensuring a safe food product. I’d like to add a bit more information for your readers. I am trained and certified to process foods and teach it as well.
Old pressure canners can have bad rubber seals causing a leak that never allows the canner to get to pressure. Botulism is even begun to die until the temperature reaches 240 to 250 degrees (F). That is at least 10 to 15 pounds of pressure. Does the canner you use have a gauge and are you positive it is accurate? Older canners, and gauges stored upside down (lid upturned), are most of the time inaccurate. What you are canning also makes a difference. If one is pressure canning straight tomatoes (with added acid…as tomatoes are no longer considered to have enough acid to be safe), 5 pounds of pressure for 15 to 20 minutes is perfectly safe. If one has added green beans, meat or corn to make a sauce of those tomatoes, or if one is simply canning a vegetable or meat, the process should be at 10 to 15 pounds for 75 minutes for pints and 90 to quarts to ensure the microorganism are not living. These are just a few variable examples.
Another thing to be concerned about is using old recipes….before the chemistry and microorganisms in food where fully understood…. Believe it or not that would be in the 1980s!
I often hear that Grandma used that recipe and learned it from her Grandma and noone ever died. Really? How many of today’s modern autopsies where done on people back then? People did often die of foodborn toxins, they just didn’t recognize it as such. How many older or weak people just died? Due to a bit of help from canned green beans perhaps?
I love your statement, “When in doubt, throw it out!” I say that too! 🙂
As for being afraid of a pressure canner. I run into that a lot too! I always tell people that as long as their canner is sound and in good condition, and they follow the specific instructions for operating their canner, and as long as they aren’t CANNING NAPALM they aren’t in danger of an explosion.
Just a few thoughts. 🙂
Got me a brand new pressure canner a few weeks ago VK – so happy with it. I meant to tell you then and I totally forget. After I read your comments, I didn’t use that one at all! Thanks for the great advice over a year ago! 🙂
I have a Wolfgang Puck Electric Pressure Cooker, it’s one of my favorite things in the kitchen, Kelli. I even use it for boiling eggs. Put eggs on a steamer rack, a cup of water in the cooker, and pressure for 5 minutes. And it’s a wonderful rice cooker, here’s a link -http://missvickie.com/howto/grains/foolproofrice.html
I’m such a fan of my electric pressure cooker, you just set it and forget it. You don’t have to worry about it exploding ;o) I use it several times a week, and always cook veggies in it.
Take 4 cans of regular or french style green beans, drain 3 of them, leave the liquid on one can, add some bacon drippings and chopped onion and pressure for 5 minutes. SO good! I could go on forever but you get the idea.
An electric one? That sounds wonderful – why have I never seen that?!?! I’m going to use your recipe for boiling eggs Jan……..love it! And next week at the farmer’s market I’m going to pick up some green beans – see about using them in mine!
Well worth the money. You can get them on the cheap on eBay. My girlfriend got a refurbished one, works just great. You can get 5 quart, or 7 quart if you want a bigger one. Here’s a link for what’s current –
If you get one and need a bit of help understanding how it works, just let me know. They have presets, but you can easily change settings, just a little learning curve. But oh, so wonderful. You don’t heat up your kitchen with the stove and you don’t have to worry about it exploding. My son has a Cuisinart, but the Wolfgang is better! Mine is red, my girlfriend’s is lime green. Well worth spending some of your mad money on. Pinkie swear it is ;o)
Lime green? Ha! Going over to look now! Thanks!
My grand father was a big flea market junkie and he gave me a rather large pressure canner, I have been wanting to try it out but havent, I admit I have been a little scared. Now I have a glass top stove, Im not sure I could use it on. I may have to drag out the old coleman camping stove if that is the case. Thank you for your input. I would love to start canning!
Hi Angela – I would not recommend using that canner on a glass top stove at all! You can do the colemand camping stove outside and honestly – if it’s going to be hot anyway, may as well keep all that heat outside! Thanks for dropping by! Kelli