Canning Mistakes... guidance requested

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by DawnSuiter, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had another batch fail.. and so I obviously am getting something wrong.... I have an idea of where I could've gone wrong but what I want to know is CAN I PROCESS ONLY A COUPLE JARS IN MY CANNER??? OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE FULL???
    it would be nice to just fill up a couple jars at a time and process them, until I get this system figured out... less waste if there are failures.
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Yes, you can do just a couple of jars at a time. What are you canning and what is going wrong?
  3. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Katy, THANK You for a response.

    1st try - sweet potatoes from my garden.. pressure canned, but a GOOD portion of the syrup came out during canning... now the jars are between 3/4 and 1/2 full of syrup but are still sealed.
    2nd try - baked beans early this week... everything was going well I thought until I pulled them out the next morning and most if not all the liquid was gone again!!! And now just 3 or so days later, they are popping and so are no good [​IMG]

    1st try I may have not gotten the head space correct and I didn't remove air bubbles.. well I didn't see any so I didn't see the point
    2nd try... I did the headspace right I'm sure, and tried to remove air bubbles...

    then I got the Ball Blue Book from the library, and it says I should be pre-heating my lids to soften the stuff around the rim and that I should start my "10 minute count" as soon as the steam starts escaping.. where my cooker book says I shoudl wait until it's a steady stream of steam... big difference in the timing there... 10-15 minutes or so really..

    so maybe I cooked the last batch of beans too long? and I didn't heat the lids prior...

    sooooo... I don't want to keep wasting food, and I figured I could try smaller batches of just 3 or so jars each until I figure out what I'm doing wrong.
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Are you pressure canning or water bath canning? In water bath canning it's important to make sure that the water always covers the jars and is at least 1 - 2 inches over the top of them. Sometimes water boils off snd the level gets too low. With any method of canning, the lid quality can make a big difference too. They are guaranteed for one use. If you reuse them, it's a gamble. What were you canning, what method did you use, and how long did you process?
  5. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Water bath canning has gone well, yummy pickles [​IMG]

    Now I'm pressure canning. I have all new stuff, new lids everytime (not rings though.. I am reusing those in excellent condition).

    I canned by the books, Utah Canning Guide & my cooker's book, 65 minutes for the sweet potatoes & baked beans

    but maybe I let the steam vent too long???? See my previous post on that
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Removing all the air bubbles is important so that you can have as much liquid starting out as you're supposed to. Always stick a knife or something down in the jars at several spots so that the air bubbles will escape.

    Keeping the flats/lids in very hot water until you put them on the jars is also important. Take them out of the hot water and put them on one at a time as you tightened the rings down. Don't let them cool down at all before you put them on. Make sure you wipe the tops of the jars well where the lid sets. Any little thing can keep it from sealing.

    Does your pressure canner not have a gauge to tell you the pressure? With my canner you put the weight on and start building the pressure when the steam is escaping in a steady stream. Then when it gets to the proper pressure reading is when you start timing.
  7. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well... I have a pressure weighted canner, so no guage.

    Book says to wait until steady stream of steam escapes, then count 10 minutes.. then add rocker (weighted) and when it begins to rock gently, start the cooking timer.

    Today I'm going to try a couple of jars of white potatoes...
    Tomorrow a couple of jars of black beans.. using a bean soup recipe that is practically identical to my black beans recipe.

    This time:
    I will heat the lids in water
    MAKE SURE I have gotten all the air bubbles
    TRIPLE check the headspace
    And start the 10 minutes once steam begins to escape instead of waiting for the steady stream.. as it says in the Ball Blue Book I have here
    Then add the rocker, wait for it to begin rocking and count my cooking time
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:So this is a canner and not just a pressure cooker? If you don't have a gauge how do you know how much pressure you're canning under? Different items should be canned at different pressures for different time lengths. I looked at what a book I've got says and it says to do baked beans (pint jars) for 80 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.
  9. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is your guage.
    Katy gave you very good advice, always stick a knife down the jar for the air bubbles, you cannot always see them.
    The lids need to be kept hot until you put them on the jars, it softens the rubber band around the edges and makes a better seal.
    Also when you said you took the jars out the next day, maybe I read that wrong but they need to be taken out as soon as they are done. If you shutting the water off and letting the jars cool down in the water then you are not going to get a good seal.
  10. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I have the whole "kit" for canning, including the headspace measurer and if you flip it around your supposed to use it for bubble removal too.
    No.. with the sweet potatoes, I waiting a couple hours and removed them
    But then either the Complete Guide to Home Canning or the Ball Blue Book said to wait until the pressure was completely gone, and if that meant leaving them overnight that would be fine so that is what I did.. when I opened them a few hours later it was still hot & steamy in there. Overnight for me means 5 or so hours.. thats all we sleep around here.

    Katy.. the guage has weighted rings you can remove or add. No added weight = 5lbs.. 1 weight = 10 lbs ... both weights = 15lbs... when the rocker is moving then it is the correct pressure.

    It is a Presto Pressure Canner from Walmart.. I can only can pints... but can hot water bath quarts.

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