Steam Pressure Canning Overview
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:52:48 AM. Recipe ID 14541. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Steam pressure canning overview
Yield: 1 Servings
MMMMM-------------------STEAM PRESSURE CANNING------------------------
Steam pressure canning is the method used for home canning of low acid
foods, such as vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, and soup. Mixed
vegetable recipes that contain tomatoes are also considered low acid.
In steam pressure canning, you pack jars with hot or cold food and
place them on a rack in a pressure canner. Then you add water as the
manufacturer directs, seal the canner, and heat it. The steam created
is under pressure and reaches the superheated temperature of 240
degrees F, which is capable of killing the harmful byproducts of the
botulism bacteria. Most vegetables by be either cold or hot packed.
Remember too, that altitude can affect the pressure in your steam
pressure canner. Check the chart to find what adjustments may be
necessary at your altitude. If your pressure canner has a weighted
gauge, use 15 pounds pressure at all altitudes over 2,000 feet.
ALTITUDE IN FEET PROCESS AT PRESSURE OF 2,000 -
3,000; 11-1/2 pounds 3,000 - 4,000; 12 pounds
4,000 - 5,000; 12-1/2 pounds 5,000 - 6,000;
13 pounds 6,000 - 7,000; 13-1/2 pounds 7,000
~ 8,000; 14 pounds 8,000 - 9,000; 14-1/2 pounds 9,000 - 10,000; 15
A pressure canner is a large, heavy metal utensil that heats water
under pressure to create steam. The steam is hotter than boiling
water and can cook food to the 240 degree F needed to kill dangerous
botulism bacteria. Although the initial expense of a steam pressure
canner may seem high, it should last you through many, many years of
gardening and canning. In addition, it can be used for quick cooking
may other foods.
Steam pressure canners come in several sizes, ranging from 8 to 22
quarts in capacity and holding 4 to 7 one quart jars, or many more
pint jars of food. You may already have a pressure cooker, or
saucepan pressure cooker. You can use this for processing if it will
hold pint jars, if it has an accurate gauge, and if it will maintain
10 pounds of pressure. Add 20 minutes to the processing time given in
the recipe if using a regular pressure cooker, or saucepan pressure
cooker. Pressure canners and cookers differ slightly in construction;
one type has a dial gauge, another a weighted gauge. Always follow
the instructions that came with your particular canner to the letter.
Always check the gasket and locking mechanism and clean all parts as
the manufacturer directs.
TESTING THE DIAL GAUGE Dial gauges must be checked each canning
season. The home economist at your local Cooperative Extension
Service Office can tell you where and when you can have the dial
tested. If the dial varies more than 5 pounds per square inch either
way, get a new one. If the variation is less than 5 pounds, adjust
pressure using the chart below. Weighted gauges don't need to be
tested, but they must be kept clean.
If gauge reads low by 1 pound; Process at pressure of 11 pounds.
2 pounds; 12 pounds.
3 pounds; 13 pounds.
4 pounds; 14 pounds.
If gauge reads high by 1 pound; Process at pressure of 9 pounds.
2 pounds; 8 pounds.
3 pounds; 7 pounds.
4 pounds; 6 pounds.
Handle the dial gauges with care. NEVER rest the cover on the gauge
and never turn the cover upside down over a full pan with the gauge
attached, because moisture could enter the gauge and rust it.
MAINTAINING PROPER HEAT LEVELS: Big pressure canners may cover the
range burners completely. Set the pressure canner on the burner to be
sure there's enough air space to keep gas burners on or to prevent
the enamel of the range surface around the electric unit from growing
too hot. If a pressure canner seems too snug against a burner, lift
it up 1/4 to 1/2 inch on asbestos blocks or an extra gas burner ring,
so that heat and air can circulate. (Make sure the asbestos blocks or
extra gas burner ring does not itself cut down the air space of the
gas burner or block the heating of the electric unit.)
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