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Old 06-09-2012, 12:31 PM
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Default Yet another canning question ... thanks inadvance!



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A few weeks ago my wife and I got a 23-Qt. Presto Pressure Canner ... had great success canning green beans and they are safely put away in the pantry.

Today my nieghbor brought over a huge bag of green beans out of his garden for us .... I cleaned and cut them. We have the first seven jars in the canner and have maybe enough beans for two maybe three more quart jars.

Is it ok to just can two or three jars in a seven jar canner?

Next question .... while we have these seven jars in the canner ... it sounded like a jar broke ...., do we stop the process or just clean up the mess when they are done?

Last question ... the jars were new Ball jars and lids ... what would make one explode or brake in the canner?

Thanks!
Old 06-09-2012, 12:52 PM
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Congrats on the new canner! It's fun, isn't it? I just did my first 2 batches a couple of weeks ago.

Yes. You can process fewer than 7 jars.

I would finish the process. It's a lot of work for a maybe. I swore during my first batch a jar broke. I heard a "thunk" and smelled the cooked green beans. I waited just the same. What was done was done. When I opened the canner, I was shocked to find all the jars intact. You might be surprised too.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:05 PM
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Congrats on the new canner! It's fun, isn't it? I just did my first 2 batches a couple of weeks ago.

Yes. You can process fewer than 7 jars.

I would finish the process. It's a lot of work for a maybe. I swore during my first batch a jar broke. I heard a "thunk" and smelled the cooked green beans. I waited just the same. What was done was done. When I opened the canner, I was shocked to find all the jars intact. You might be surprised too.
Thanks ... I hope you are right ... wife not sure if she want to do just two more .... might cook them up with our BBQ chicken we are having for supper and if any are left feed them to the dogs or goats ...

Thought I would take my nieghbor 3 of the canned jars, so he will keep givening us free food. My wife says he called a little while ago and says he has several dozen quart jars we can have if we are willing to clean them ...
Old 06-09-2012, 01:10 PM
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Let me know if I am.

Congratulations on the extra jars and the free food source too.
Old 06-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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Congrats on the new canner, if I have less than a full load I just add empties so none can tip over.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:42 PM
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Congrats on the new canner, if I have less than a full load I just add empties so none can tip over.
Without tops?
Old 06-09-2012, 02:08 PM
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Default Opened the canner and this is what I found

When I openned the canner I found that the top had blown off one of the jars ... the green beans were still inside and there was no mess.

My wife said that when she was putting the rings on one of the jars the ring would spin off so she got another ring off an unused jar and put it on ....

Don't know if the one were the lid blow off is the same jar, but I am assuming it is ... I think maybe the jar is defective and we will move it to the cabnet with the glasses in it and use it to drink Ice Tea out of. Is there another reason this could have happened.

Also two of the tops have creases in them .... the last patch of jars did this same thing ... but the seal seems fine .... what causes this and are they ok?

Thanks
Old 06-09-2012, 02:11 PM
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Default Wife had another question ...

In two of the jars from the older canning jobs (last month) ... my wife says it looks like the water in the jar is just below the tops of the green beans .... she was woundering why and if they will be ok for the preps or should we use those with dinner soon?

Again thanks .... and yes we are real new to canning!
Old 06-09-2012, 03:57 PM
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Water below the tops of the beans is fine. As for the blown lid, I bought some cheap (wally-world) brand and had the same thing happen. Bad threads. I dont buy the cheapies any more.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:51 PM
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Without tops?
Yes, no tops. My method is I add water to the mark they recommend then load up with whatever size jars I'm using for that batch. I've already filled the jars 2/3 with water so they don't float. Turn on the heat and let them simmer away, this keeps them clean and hot until I fill them and I just leave any empty jars inside.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:54 PM
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Don't know if the one were the lid blow off is the same jar, but I am assuming it is ... I think maybe the jar is defective and we will move it to the cabnet with the glasses in it and use it to drink Ice Tea out of. Is there another reason this could have happened.

Also two of the tops have creases in them .... the last patch of jars did this same thing ... but the seal seems fine .... what causes this and are they ok?

Thanks
Another reason the lids can blow off is that they were way too tight and could not let the pressure out during the processing.

The fact that you have two creased lids is a strong indication that they too were too tight, but still allowed the pressure to escape. The lids are supposed to be finger tight and no more to allow the pressure to escape. They will seal just fine when cooling.

Because of the other batch also having creased lids, its a great indication that you tend to over tighten them. Try not tightening the rings so much.

Canning is addicting.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:25 PM
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Thanks so much .... this group is GREAT!
Old 06-09-2012, 09:46 PM
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I had a problem last year with some of the lids creasing. After I took them out of the canner and had them on the towel, I used a regular spoon and pressed down on the crease to flatten them out. I don't know if that helped or not. Those sealed alright, but I put them in the cupboard to be used instead of storing them with all of the other jars.

How do you know how hard to tighten the lids down?

I've tried tightening them down finger tight, but some of the time juices escaped from the jars - into the water in the canner. That made me worry that the jars wouldn't seal properly because the rims (which were wiped down before the lids were put on) weren't 'clean' anymore. But they did seal properly.

As far as not having enough jars of green beans to fill the canner - when that happened to me, I found fresh carrots in the fridge and some potatoes I had on hand and used them to fill enough jars to fill the canner. It's good to know that jars of water can fill the empty spaces though .
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by IdahoGard'ner View Post
I had a problem last year with some of the lids creasing. After I took them out of the canner and had them on the towel, I used a regular spoon and pressed down on the crease to flatten them out. I don't know if that helped or not. Those sealed alright, but I put them in the cupboard to be used instead of storing them with all of the other jars.

How do you know how hard to tighten the lids down?

I've tried tightening them down finger tight, but some of the time juices escaped from the jars - into the water in the canner. That made me worry that the jars wouldn't seal properly because the rims (which were wiped down before the lids were put on) weren't 'clean' anymore. But they did seal properly.

As far as not having enough jars of green beans to fill the canner - when that happened to me, I found fresh carrots in the fridge and some potatoes I had on hand and used them to fill enough jars to fill the canner. It's good to know that jars of water can fill the empty spaces though .
Wow. To get a vacuum seal later, for the lid to suck down tight later...something needs to leave the jar while canning.

The whole point of canning is to allow the air to escape. If the air cannot escape (and often some juice)...your lids start bulging and jars breaking. Did you notice any of this happening?

You need to go back to the book and read a whole lot about canning before you poison yourself. Take canning seriously. You can kill someone if you can something wrong.
Old 06-10-2012, 09:51 AM
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How do you know how hard to tighten the lids down?
The common term used here is to make them "finger tight". That means that if you are using a lot of strength including your arms, they are too tight. If your lids are kinked when finished processing, they are too tight. Next time make them a bit looser, until the kinking stops. If they are a little less tight than you are comfortable with, you're good to go. After a while you'll know how tight is just right.

The rings job is to keep the lid snug and from blowing off during processing, not to seal the jar. The lids job is to let the gases out and seal via the vacuum created while cooling. The one inch air spaces job is to keep the contents from leaking out during processing, and create a proper vacuum chamber to keep the lid sealed.

So the actual sealing of the jars happens near the end, not when the rings are screwed on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IdahoGard'ner View Post
I've tried tightening them down finger tight, but some of the time juices escaped from the jars - into the water in the canner. That made me worry that the jars wouldn't seal properly because the rims (which were wiped down before the lids were put on) weren't 'clean' anymore. But they did seal properly.
While pressure canning the contents of the jars boil, and those gases have to escape the jars via the lid not being too tight. You will smell the food while processing. All this is normal and to be expected.

If juices are escaping the jars while processing, then the jars are too full. There should be one inch of airspace at the top of the jars to prevent this. Also, the airspace helps create a strong vacuum seal when cooled. Smaller air space means not as strong of a vacuum for the seal.

Be sure to let the jars cool down for ten minutes with the lid on but the weight removed, after the pressure has come to zero by itself. This prevents the contents from boiling out.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:58 AM
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Mr Mark, you are way nicer than I am, great post.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:42 PM
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Mr. Mark .... great information ... that is just the answer I was looking for! Thanks!
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