Canners -16 qt vs 23 qt

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by CVORNurse, May 8, 2009.

  1. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    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!!!
     
  2. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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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.
     

  3. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    you're welcome! Good choice, and don't forget to pick up lids with those jars!
     
  5. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  7. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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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
     
  9. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  10. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    I just realized that even though I don't mean it as such, my replies have sounded like I'm putting down some of the poster's methods. I just want to state that what I've said that I do, is because I started canning with no old timer around and had to read up on it and discovered the reasons why they reccomend what they do. I have had stuff that was canned in one-trip jars and jelly with a parafin seal and it was fine. I'm just saying that I felt it took so much time and effort to grow,pick,prepare and then preserve stuff, that I chose to go with the safest method possible. I meant NO offense to those of you who do otherwise.:)
     
  12. skip

    skip Old hillbilly

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    I save the mayo jars for pickles and jams, and have lost one jar to spoilage in 5 years of canning, and that was my fault. I have actually lost more with the standard canning jars.

    That being said, if you feel uncomfortable using them, then don't.
     
  13. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I was looking over the links at they Deyo website last night and came across canning links talking about pressure canning tomatoes. I have to admit having never heard of it before, but was impressed with the time difference. May try some of each.
    I have been out of canning and preserving for close to 20 years. The last time I remember doing any, my son was in no more than 2nd grade. He is now 24 with a child of his own. Last time around, I only used quarts, as I had a husband and 3 growing boys to feed. Now I have 2 girls and the hubby. Maybe I should rethink canning all them quarts and look at some pints instead.
    Does the hang over of the canner on your gas stove not cause any problems? Not that my stove is a fashion plate anyway. Was just worried about the pot maybe being much bigger than the burner.
     
  14. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    Well I was in NO WAY at all offended by anything you said. Sometimes for me, hearing it out loud from someone else helps my brain think about it better.
    And I too realize that everyone has their own ways that may go back to older times. Remember way back when.... we would have lunch with my paternal grandma. She had a table cover that went over the leftovers, and they sat out on the table all afternoon until supper time. Her margarine was never ever put in the fridge from the time it came home from the grocery store until the bowl was empty. I thought nothing about it then, but wouldn't dream of eating like that now, although I do not recall any of us ever getting sick the next day after we had been there.

    To each his own.
     
  15. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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    No problem at all with my gas stove, but I have a Dacor and the heavy cast iron grates meet in the center of the stove. There is no open place without a grate.
    Pretty much on a gas stove you are able to use most any canner, unlike an electric coil stove or a glass top stove.
    Since this is a survival site, I think promoting safe methods is really important.
    The mold on jams is not harmless, either. The molds contain mycotoxins that cause certain cancers. The mold you see is just like the tip of an iceberg. The mold has spores running all through the jam. The stuff on top is just the part you can see.
    There is just the 2 of us, as well, but I don't have a problem filling up two layers here when canning.
    You can stack jars in a boiling water bath if your canner is deep enough.
     
  16. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    Well I decided to go with the 23 quart canner. Got it at Amazon.com with free shipping, for $88.05(us). It arrived the same day they had said it would ship, so must have shipped the next day after I ordered. I followed the advice and got the gauge checked out at the extension office. Mine was off by half a pound, so the lady recommended that I process everything a pound higher than recommended.
    Lucy, or whomever it was that recommended pressuring the tomatoes- Wow! I did a batch of tomatoes last night. I canned in pints, and due to odds and ends jars from my MIL and SIL I wasn't able to fit 10 on bottom, only 9. But I got 10 on the top. Pressured it up to 12lbs for 15 min. The canner pressured up nice and quick, and held the pressure with minimal adjustments to my gas stove. So I now have 19 pints canned, plus a quart in the freezer that was left over.
    I am so glad I went with the bigger one. I work so much that often in the evenings I would not have time to process 2 separate loads, not and keep up with laundry, cooking, picking the produce, and watering the veggies ( we are in our 2nd straight week of 95+ highs, and the scattered showers keep following the river in the evenings and don't seem to cross over to my side of the riverbank. DH is waiting on the water bill to see the impact, but we have bought drip irrigation supplies and have drips on most of the tomatoes. I have one soaker hose that will cover almost half a row at a time, been dragging it every few hours to a new row. And kicking myself for not getting the other 2 they had that night at Home Depot- everyone now sold out and don't seem to have plans to get anymore.
     
  17. ourcupoftea

    ourcupoftea New Member

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    One more difference that I have not seen hear is if you can in 1/2 gallon jars they will fit in the 23 quart but not the 16 quart.