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Country Discussion Topics
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What brand pressure canner?
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mouseinthewall    Posted 02-21-2002 at 13:39:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I want to start canning vegetables (been canning fruit in a water-bath) and need to get a pressure canner. I want to do this on a wood stove but all the instructions for safe practices say I need to carefully regulate the pressure (read: heat). I know there must be some of you who do this on a wood stove, not on a gas stove; what are your experiences? Do I get one with a weighted gauge? Can I get one with a dial gauge or won't that work? thanks for your help


Tom A    Posted 02-22-2002 at 06:17:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I was scared of pressure canning because of family story of my aunt being severely burned when hers blew up many years ago.

We finally broke down several years ago and bought a pressure canner from Lehman's. It is built like a tank--very thick aluminum and frankly weighs a lot. It has *both* a pressure gauge to keep an eye on the pressure and a weighted mechanism to regulate the pressure (plus an emergency release in case something goes wrong). Having both kinds of mechanisms makes me feel a lot safer about this thing.

We've put up a lot of veggies with it now, and I would recommend it to anyone, despite the fairly high price. Added plus is that there's no gaskets to wear out--it has well-machined surfaces that you just rub a little Wesson oil on to make a good seal. Finally, it's made in the U.S.A., which I think is another plus.

The *only* thing I wish I'd done differently was to buy the larger one so we could can 1/2 gallon jars, too.

I'll post the link to Lehman's site below.

Good luck,
Tom


Forgot to say-PCC-AL    Posted 02-21-2002 at 18:20:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mouse, I forgot to mention what you probably already know. The main quality of a wood stove is that it cooks at a lower heat. The entire stove top is heated as opposed to electric, gas, etc. that heat in a confined area. Of course, you control heat by moving the pot away from the hottest area of the stove.
This is not convenient when canning. If you just insist on canning with a wood stove, O.K., but it is a heck of a lot easier with propane.
Just my opinion. Good luck.


PCC-AL    Posted 02-21-2002 at 17:52:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Mouse,
I have finally returned home for good on the farm. I have been canning for the last several years after a long dry spell in between. Anyway, I like to can mostly tomatoes and mixes with tomatoes. Relish, Salsa, etc.
I first started out with an old canner owned by my wife's family many years ago. It works great, but you need to get familar with it. It has a pressure guage that doesn't work well and leaks a lot of steam. Great safety device. We canned several years with it on a propane fish cooker.
My wife bought me a Mirror canner with a weighted guage last Christmas.(I bought her a diamond ring). Anyway, the weighted guage is the safe way to go in my opinion. Hard to overheat. The canner comes with a book that details different canning for many foods. I recommend it. Good luck.


C. R. Savukas    Posted 09-03-2008 at 17:50:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have an old Mirror 22 qt. pressure cooker, however, it has no instruction manual. If you still have yours would you consider sharing some of the pertinent info.

Thanks,
charlie


Donna    Posted 02-21-2002 at 17:40:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
That is the one thing I have not yet been brave enough to do on my woodstove, the heat is not easy
to control with the pressure cooker being on a woody, to hot and you can burst your jars or worse, to cool and you ruin your food, and you can not be moving your cooker around from one hot spot to a coorer spot~I leave that to my electric range, I have no problem with a water bath on my woody, but I want do a preasure cooker on my woody, Sorry, I am not that brave, You might do it and not any trouble at all.
Donna


Hal/WA    Posted 02-21-2002 at 14:20:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
It is possible to pressure can with a woodstove. The stoves we had when I was a kid were much hotter right over the fire box, so if it was too hot there, you just moved things over to above the oven. I would suggest a pressure cooker with a steam pressure gauge for canning so you can see what you need to do to get the pressure (and temperature) where you want it. You have to get the temperature high enough to properly sterilize the food, yet not so hot that the pressure cooker explodes. You don't want to go there, for sure.

On the other hand, we do most of our canning in the hottest part of the summer, when the garden is producing. I doubt that you would be too popular with your family if you heat up your already hot house with a wood stove going full blast in the middle of summer!

Some of the old time farms had summer kitchens with cooking facilities away from the house. You might consider a wood stove in a second building for this purpose or another, more easily regulated stove. I have not tried it, but maybe a side burner on a gas barbeque would work. At any rate, pressure cooking is the only practical way to go. Good luck.


mouseinthewall    Posted 02-22-2002 at 09:32:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks- I am building a summer kitchen for just this purpose- so, yes, I will be canning in a building away from the regular house- I wanted to put a wood stove in to reduce my use of fossil fuels-(they're so darned expensive and if the U.S. ramps up this war we're in, we might be rationed anyway) I have 89 acres of hardwoods so I have a ready fuel supply if I go to wood. I guess I need to be careful about the efficiency of the stove and eveness of the heat it produces.


IHank    Posted 02-22-2002 at 10:00:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Mouse in the wall- It sounds like you got all the pieces to the puzzle now. Next thing would be to start using your wood stove frequently, keeping in mind that our ancestors learned how to by doing. Do so with the notion that you're building expertise to use it under different conditions, for varying tasks, and in different weather seasons.

Pressure cookers with the weight that controls the steam pressure are almost idiot proof. If there is a pressure guage too you're past wondering if things are working like they're supposed to.

Good luck and cook safe, IHank


Dwayne W PA    Posted 02-22-2002 at 06:51:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi folks,check in alot but don`t post much, just wanted to say what Hal/WA said about the side burner on a gas grill,wife has used our`s when she had alot going (for hot bath though not pressure)but be very,very careful,not really thinking bout it,she went out & set it on the first time,went back in the kitchen,heard a crash,weight musta had the grill just teetering enough ta keep it there till she left,then it fliped!(nice mess) would`nt want ta see someone get hurt or scalded,she still uses it when needed but puts a 2x4 prop under the burner side to keep the weight from tipping it,


Ivey    Posted 02-21-2002 at 13:57:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello, I would get the kind with weighted gauge, more dependable long term. No moving parts, etc. Good luck! :)


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