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Old 08-30-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
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Question UPDATED with pics, which one do I choose? ~ Do I really need a pressure cooker?

I'm going to be just doing basics like tomato sauce, maybe jams down the road. Do I really need a pressure canner? It kind of scares me, and I hate having extra 'things' in the kitchen (already have a huge stockpot).

Also, any good resource websites you recommend for beginners?

ETA: I was going to get one in a trade, and these are the pics she sent me. If I get one, which looks safest? I'm loving the yellow.

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Old 08-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

i don't use a pressure cooker for my spagetti sauce. i cook the sauce, boil my lids, fill the jars and cap them, and then turn them upside down on a towel. the intense heat from the hot sauce and the already hot lids causes it to seal as it cools down. i've been doing sauce like that for years and very rarely have a jar go bad. usually it's cause of a bad seal. i have canned 85 jars this year and i only lost 2
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

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Originally Posted by chloecat View Post
i don't use a pressure cooker for my spagetti sauce. i cook the sauce, boil my lids, fill the jars and cap them, and then turn them upside down on a towel. the intense heat from the hot sauce and the already hot lids causes it to seal as it cools down. i've been doing sauce like that for years and very rarely have a jar go bad. usually it's cause of a bad seal. i have canned 85 jars this year and i only lost 2
What she said. Things high in acid or sugar (jelly, tomato products, etc) don't generally need pressure cooked.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

Pressure canners are needed for some types of fruits/veggies, but not tomatoes (though you can use it). A great guide that I use is www.pickyourown.org.

I too am scared by pressure cookers, but they're a lot safer than they used to be. My dh pressure cooks meals, and I make him do the canning portion (I prep, chop, fill jars, etc). I know it's not hard, but I'm a little intimidated.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

Not for tomato sauce. I've just used a big stock pot and bought a basket to lower the jars into the water. The ball blue book was a huge help to me.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/re.../dp/0972753702
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

TY for your comments!

A few more questions: I have jars and lids that I've used for freezing things in the past. Will I need new lids for canning? Do you need new lids each time you can something then? Will you know if it is sealed properly if the bump is flat on the lid (sorry, I'm really new at this ). So if it doesn't seal, do you just do it over again?
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

You should get new seals/lids each time you can, but you are ok to reuse the rings/collars multiple times.
I love http://www.bernardin.ca/
it has tons of recipes and tips. Hope you find it helpful!
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

The upside down trick will seal jars but it doesn't kill any bacteria in the jars. You really should process jars in boiling water for safety. Most of the time you'll be fine but why risk botulism for 10-20 minutes time savings? Here is a news article on the topic:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...lly.html?cat=5

Always use a recipe designed for canning. Check out the Ball website or get the Ball Blue Book. In general fruits, jams and pickles can be canned in a boiling water bath. Veggies need to be done in a pressure canner. Depending on the recipe tomatoes can be done either way. I use my pressure canner because I have it handy but there are recipes that are safe for boiling water.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:55 AM   #9
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

I just did my first 7 quarts all by myself, without my mama there to assist!!!! They all turned out perect, I want to take a picture of them! LOL

I don't own a pressure cooker, so once I got everything prepped, I put them in a huge pot with the basket in the bottom and once it started boiling I did them 40 minutes. They all sealed perfectly. The trick is the have super clean tops of your jars and boiled lids and bands. The more sterile the seal the better luck you will have at getting them to seal. And yes, the lids will pop down and will be flat. You will see a difference. I might take hours for them to seal and don't touch them! No testing the lids!!! Good luck
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:56 AM   #10
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Re: New to canning - Do I really need a pressure cooker?

I just did my first 7 quarts all by myself, without my mama there to assist!!!! They all turned out perect, I want to take a picture of them! LOL

I don't own a pressure cooker, so once I got everything prepped, I put them in a huge pot with the basket in the bottom and once it started boiling I did them 40 minutes. They all sealed perfectly. The trick is the have super clean tops of your jars and boiled lids and bands. The more sterile the seal the better luck you will have at getting them to seal. And yes, the lids will pop down and will be flat. You will see a difference. I might take hours for them to seal and don't touch them! No testing the lids!!! Good luck
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