Jun 27, 2011
No helmet required!
Today was the day to test drive the new All-American pressure canner! Ridiculous what excites some of us, isn't it?
Don't ever ask me for a recipe for salsa, since I don't use one, it just depends on what I have! This brings me to one of the best reasons to pressure can - you can use those "homemade style" recipes since pressure canning will ensure the salsa is safe. With steam canning you have to use certain amounts of tomatoes, not too many peppers in ratio to them, and have to add lots of acidity. With pressure canning, you would just use the processing time equal to the most time required for the lowest acid ingredient, such as peppers.
I apologize in advance for the fact that my video doesn't show the entire process. Being a beginner with pressure canning, I was worried about reading manuals, timing, and making sure I was doing everything "right". Maybe I can do a better "how-to" video some day when I try meats, since by then I won't be stressing every step. These are more of a "first impression" collection of clips :), basically a "what to expect" for newbies to pressure canning.
Note, I did not wear a helmet :) - actually there is no reason to be scared using this thing, there are several safety stops in function on this canner, and the most likely bad thing to happen would not be an explosion, but rather steam burns from not paying attention or not waiting long enough for the canner to depressurize before opening when you are finished.
A note for anyone considering buying one of these and unsure of what size to buy-
Check out the photo below, and note how much room there still is...
For those of you who frequently buy veggies or fruits in bulk, like by the bushel or crate and process them all on the same day, you will need the larger size. For most people with a normal size garden, I think you would be fine with the 915. The 915 is what you see above, and there are 6 pints of salsa in there with room for several more. You can also stack pints. It will hold 7 quart jars for the larger loads like tomato sauce. Of special note is that this is exactly 1/2" wider than the large burner on my cooktop - if you have a ceramic glass, coil or any other regular electric style stove, you won't be able to safely use the larger size, this is the one you want. If you need the larger size you will have to have a gas range or be doing it outside on a propane burner. For people that process throughout the season as I do, one batch of pickles one week, a batch of sauce as tomatoes pile up, etc this 915 will do the job wonderfully! I was scared that I ordered too small a unit until I actually used it, I found if I would have ordered the larger I would have had to return it, as it would have been too big for my glass cooktop. For those of you who can 50 quarts of peaches when they come in season, however - you may need the biggie!
All in all - this thing is a breeze! Easy to read gauges, awesome manual, heats up in just minutes as there is only a few inches of water to deal with, the lid security is amazing, made in the USA, and I saved the best part for last...
No more "sterilizing" jars! That's right - you just wash your jars normally and set them someplace clean to fill, but you don't have to heat up a huge pot of water to boil the jars since the long hot pressure will safely sterilize your jars while canning! You will still want to do your lids, however, since those sealing strips need to be softened.