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Old 05-08-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
CVORNurse
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Default Canners -16 qt vs 23 qt

I need a new canner. My old one belonged to my mom. I have had it 20 yrs and the gasket and pressure jigger< > have been lost over the years of my not using it. I could get replacements, but the serial number on the bottom is so scratched and worn from being used as a soup/chili pot that I cannot make them out anymore. I had hoped to be able to afford one of the metal on metal ones this year, but I will not be able to.
Wally world has 2 different sizes of Presto canner on the website, 16 qt and 23 qt. According to the info, both will hold 7 quart jars. It says the 16 qt will hold 10 pints. The 23 will hold 20 pints according to a question answered on the website. I don't understand how you can get 20 pints but still only 7 qts unless it comes with a rack so you can double stack the pints. Does anyone know? My tomatoes are beginning to bloom, and my semi runner green beans are sending out runners, so it will not be long until I will be needing the canner, I hope!!!



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Old 05-09-2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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I have the 16qt right now, but in the past I had the other one. The big one does indeed rely on you stacking jars to get all the amounts of jars in it.
However, given the weight difference and the extra time to heat up the larger canner, I found that the smaller one is the best for home use.



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Old 05-09-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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I have the 16qt right now, but in the past I had the other one. The big one does indeed rely on you stacking jars to get all the amounts of jars in it.
However, given the weight difference and the extra time to heat up the larger canner, I found that the smaller one is the best for home use.
Thank you, this is the kind of input I needed to make up my mind for sure. I believe I will go for the 16 qt and use the difference to buy some more jars.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #4
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you're welcome! Good choice, and don't forget to pick up lids with those jars!

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Old 05-10-2009, 04:35 AM   #5
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you're welcome! Good choice, and don't forget to pick up lids with those jars!
I really need to inventory my existing jars. Found some at the thrift store, and my MIL has given me a bunch of hers. Pints, quarts, even some old mayo jars, which I know you aren't supposed to use, but.... I have used them for tomatoes in the past with no problem. I would not try to can with them, but really have no problem with water bath.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
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Do you have a Ball Blue Book? I am a big proponent of not using anything but regular canning jars, since mayo jars are thinner and the lids may not seat properly. I did an experiment with a friend who did that...she did have a lot more spoilage as she upped the number of jars she canned (water bath).
I asked the Extension lady about it and she said the reason that canning rules had gotten more precise was that the environment had changed...water, soil, fertilizers all combined to make old fashioned canning less safe. When it came down to it, I just figured better safe than sorry. I save my old majo jars too, but use them for things like refridgerator pickles, pickled eggs, dried herbs.

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Old 05-10-2009, 04:12 PM   #7
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Do you have a Ball Blue Book? I am a big proponent of not using anything but regular canning jars, since mayo jars are thinner and the lids may not seat properly. I did an experiment with a friend who did that...she did have a lot more spoilage as she upped the number of jars she canned (water bath).
I asked the Extension lady about it and she said the reason that canning rules had gotten more precise was that the environment had changed...water, soil, fertilizers all combined to make old fashioned canning less safe. When it came down to it, I just figured better safe than sorry. I save my old majo jars too, but use them for things like refridgerator pickles, pickled eggs, dried herbs.
It's pitiful.. Here I am a nurse advocating doing something potentially unsafe And many times I have advocated against potentially unsafe medical things like saving some of those antibiotics for if you get sick again. Or not lying to the anesthesiologist about those OTC diet pills you are taking that will cause your surgery to be canceled if they know about it, but could kill you if they don't know about it.

Honestly, when I realized a bunch of the jars from MIL were mayos I wanted to fuss at hubby. He actually bought them from SIL at a yard sale. First instinct was to chuck them, but didn't want to hurt his feelings.. But you are right about the changing ways. It is best not to take the chance. That is why I bought the new water bath canner actually. My old one was a steam bath canner which Blue Book recommended against. Lord knows I can use the jars around the house for other things, such as spices and tea glasses.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:25 PM   #8
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those 'bastard' jars are good for canning fruit jellies/preserves, that's what we use them for... but we also cap the jellies/jams with wax to keep air/oxygen out


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Old 05-11-2009, 05:07 AM   #9
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The mayo jars are called "one trip jars". They should not be used for canning. The sealing surface is more rounded, so not as much area to seal. Then, the glass is thinner, too, so more breakage in the canner. Dried goods are fine for them.
Paraffin wax is not a safe method, either. Nothing has been done to preserve those jars, the mold can still grow. They do not have any vacuum seal with wax. The only method here that is recommended for jams is water bath canning.
As for the pressure canner, I highly recommend the 23 quart size. You can stack pints and half pints, getting done a lot faster ! Get some sort of rack to put between layers.
I really do endorse the 23 quart size. Why can two batches of pints when you can do it in one batch ?
CVORnurse, are you still water bath processing your tomatoes ? I only use the pressure caner now for mine. I like the results of the "crushed tomato method" the best. Faster and easier for me. Instead of processing jars of raw tomatoes, no water or juice added, (with the required bottled lemon juice or citric acid, of course) for 85 min. in the boiling water bath, it takes so much less time in the pressure canner. Saves energy with my gas stove for me, too. I can stack the pints and get done a lot faster.
Both methods are still safe, though.


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Old 05-11-2009, 11:15 AM   #10
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Lucy- you make a valid point about the larger size. However, it's just me and my husband and the occasional guest. Much of what I can is water bath right now and you can't stack that. When I had three kids at home and a larger garden, I used the bigger pressure canner. I do remember that I found it hard to gather enough stuff at one time to can a double canner (pressure) load more than a couple of times a season (from my garden).
I liked canning tomatoes in the pressure canner also, it just seemed safer to me, but I've done it the other way too.
I remember going into my grandmother's jelly cupboard and finding all the jams she'd buy at rummage sales that had been put up in baby food jars with parafin wax. 90% of them had mold growing within 6 months.




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