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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to all the very inspirational posts on the "Home Canning: How To" Sticky, I went out and bought a pressure canner today. My mother-in-law is here with us this week, and she's gonna teach me how to use it tomorrow. I'm gonna start out by cooking a big pot of soup, and work on getting it canned. My mother, daddy, and grandma used to can stuff all summer, but by the time I was in high school, they had pretty much stopped, due to my mom's cancer. So, I never learned how to do it. And honestly, I've been a little scared to try it, since I didn't really know how to do it. I'm more of a "watch & learn" type person, so just reading directions doesn't always get it in my head. But, I'm really excited about learning! So, y'all wish me luck! And I'll take any advice I can get :)
 

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Hey good luck, you'll do great. For me it was just a matter of doing it and then all the questions started, some of those answers were extremely hard to find. Don't hesitate to ask, we're all eager to help!
 

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Good luck and enjoy! I agree it's addictive once you get started. I've not done any pressure canning, only water bath, but my hubs is fortunate enough to have a set of grandparents. They're giving me their old pressure canner. Can't wait!
 

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My only advice is to keep the soup cooker seperate from the canner. Not an issue in the short term but over time it can really affect your canner.

At least that has been my experience over the last 30 years or so since my Great Grandmother taught me how. We still use her canner from 60 years ago, just have to switch out the gasket every decade or so. We have gone through several of the cookers due to acidity of the soups etc. that we cook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, I'm fixing to post pics if I can figure out how to do it. So far, so good. I cooked my pot of soup this morning, my mother-in-law told me what all to do with the jars and canner. I sat in the kitchen and watched it the whole time. Just now turned the stove off and took the canner off the burner. Now just waiting on the cooling process. So far, I will say that it's all gone a lot easier than I expected :)

Oh, Cool Hand, I did cook my soup in a separate pot.

I bought the canner at Wal-Mart...about $70 after taxes. I didn't really have a selection to choose from.....small town....and that's the only one that Wal-Mart had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Final product

Here's a pic of my finished product. 7 quarts of vegetable beef soup! I am so excited about this! :) I will never be able to thank y'all enough for this wonderful forum! Always so much encouragement and answers....thank you!

My next attempt will be to can up some pints of ground beef. Any advice on that? Based on the reading I've done, it's best to brown it first, cause I don't want it turning out the texture of meatloaf. So, I'll cook it, pack it in the jars, cover it with hot water and some canning salt, pressure cook it at 10lbs of pressure for 75 minutes. Is all that right?
 

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I have a question that I can't find an answer to. The very first thing I pressure canned was 3 quart jars of split pea and ham soup...did it about 2 months ago. I could not find anything anywhere on how long to cook it with the ham in it so I did 75 minutes at 10 lbs. I did not fill the jars up either....they are about 2-3 inches from the top. The ham has alot of fat on it. So, is this going to be good to eat? I am worried about it because of the time, the fat, and the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got another question. I just checked all my lids...they're all sealed. I turned all the jars upside down and then back rightside up. I saw a few tiny air bubbles in every one of them when I turned them rightside up again. My mother-in-law is the one who put the lids on, and I'm pretty sure she didn't do anything to get rid of air bubbles. My dad looked at them and he said he didn't think it would hurt anything. What's everyone's opinion on this?
 

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I have a question that I can't find an answer to. The very first thing I pressure canned was 3 quart jars of split pea and ham soup...did it about 2 months ago. I could not find anything anywhere on how long to cook it with the ham in it so I did 75 minutes at 10 lbs. I did not fill the jars up either....they are about 2-3 inches from the top. The ham has alot of fat on it. So, is this going to be good to eat? I am worried about it because of the time, the fat, and the air.
They are probably fine, especially if the jars are still holding a vacuum. Quarts should be canned for 90 minutes, but I know a family that routinely cans quarts at 60 minutes. The fact is that if the food looks and smells good, they are likely perfectly safe. If you still don't feel good about it, just cook to a boil for 10-15 minutes right before eating it. Then it is absolutely safe to eat under nearly any circumstance. The airspace and fat don't matter at all.


Got another question. I just checked all my lids...they're all sealed. I turned all the jars upside down and then back rightside up. I saw a few tiny air bubbles in every one of them when I turned them rightside up again. My mother-in-law is the one who put the lids on, and I'm pretty sure she didn't do anything to get rid of air bubbles. My dad looked at them and he said he didn't think it would hurt anything. What's everyone's opinion on this?
Those air bubbles aren't what they appear to be since there is a vacuum inside the jars. They are actually air under a vacuum and would completely vanish if you popped the lid, so don't worry about them at all.
 
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