basic steps for steam pressure canning b

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PRESSURE CANNING CONTINUED

10. Put the rack in the canner and pour in the boiling water as the manufacturer directs.

11. Carefully lower the filled and sealed jars into the canner, arranging them on the rack so steam can flow around the jars.

12. Put on the cover, gauge, and lock according to the manufacturers directions.

13. Heat the canner, following the manufacturer's directions for the steam flow and the time to exhaust the canner. Put on the control or close the vent.

14. When the canner reaches the required pressure (usually 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for higher altitudes, if needed), start timing for the exact length of time given in each recipe. DO NOT start timing until the correct pressure is reached. Keep pressure constant for entire processing time.

15. When the processing time is up, remove the canner from the heating element to the range top and let it stand until the pressure is reduced to zero. (On a gas range, you can just turn the burner off and leave the canner sit on the burner rack.) Don't try to hurry this step; it's very important for the pressure to go down slowly. A canner with a weighted gauge may take up to 45 minutes; nudge the control with a pencil and, if you don't see any steam, it means the pressure is at zero. A dial gauge will show the pressure is at zero when the jars are ready to be removed. But once the pressure is down, wait 2 minutes more because there will still be a little residual pressure too small to register on the dial.

16. Remove the weight control if you have that type of canner, open the vent, and unlock the cover. Open by lifting the cover away from you so the steam will come out on the far side, or according to the manufacturer's directions. Let stand 10 minutes for the jars to cool further, this will lessen the chance of a stray draft causing the jars to break as you lift them from the canner.

17. Using long handled tongs or a special jar lifter, carefully lift out the jars (KEEP THEM STRAIGHT UPRIGHT, DO NOT TIP AT ALL) and put them several inches apart on a folded towel or rack in an out of the way, draft free place. Don't tighten the screw bands on the jars after processing.

18. Let the jars cool undisturbed for 24 hours. As they cool, you will hear a light pinging sound as the jars seal. Don't cover the jars while they cool, they need the airspace around them in order to cool evenly.

19. When the jars are completely cooled, check the seals. The lids should be slightly depressed and, when the jar is tipped slightly, there should be no leakage. If the center of the lid can be pushed down and springs back up, the canning process didn't work. Either store the food in the refrigerator and use immediately, or pour the food into another clean, hot jar, seal with a new lid, put a screw band on, and reprocess.

20. Wipe the jars with a clean, damp cloth, then label clearly with contents, date, hot or cold pack method, seasoning or any other pertinent information, and batch (if more than one canner load is done in one day).

21. Remove the screw bands. If they are left on, they may rust in place. To remove stuck screw bands, wring out a cloth in hot water, then wrap around the band for a minute or 2 to help loosen it. Clean and dry the screw bands and store them in a sealed plastic bag in a dry place until needed for another batch.

22. Store the jars in a cool, dark, dry place where they will not freeze. You can put the jars in the boxes they came in to protect them from light.

23. Before using canned food, check for signs of spoilage. If you notice bulging lids, broken seals, leakage, spurting liquid, mold, off odor, or food that looks slimy, discard the food where humans and animals can't get to it. You can salvage the jars. Wash them thoroughly, rinse, and then boil for 15 minutes.

24. If you've followed directions, and if your pressure canner is in good working order, home canned foods should be safe. If you desire, as an extra precaution, before using them, heat home canned foods to boiling, cover, and boil 15 to 20 minutes. If the food foams, smells bad; or shows other signs of spoilage, get rid of it.

Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 ~~~ # VbReader V1⅖ #Cat (kat') n. Small, four legged, fur bearing extortionist.

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