Pressure canners for meat

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Eli-2, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Eli-2

    Eli-2 Active Member

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    :wave:I'm seiously thinking about purchasing a pressure canner and learning how to can meat.Can anyone give me some advice on which to buy or which one not to buy.I have canned veggies and fruit,but no meat.
     
  2. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Most of my pressure cookers are either Mirro or Presto and were given to me. My grandmothers is a smaller one and the one I just got as a gift is huge! But also probably over 15 years old-both still have gaskets that can be purchased and both work great.
    But I can recommend the ones with the weight and the dial gauge for best results. The newer one I have has both the weight and the gauge.
    Also have your local extension office check the gauges for you-ours here does it for free. And do it before you use it the first time.
    They do have big ones that are metal to metal seal and have no gasket-I don't have one but have friends who do and they love them--even with the 4 big latches and screws that have to be done.
    But I do want to say that pressure canning meats and low acid is one of the only safe ways to do it.
    I know that I am gonna get flack on this subject but I don't care-- low acid foods and meat should never-ever-ever be water bath canned!--Pressure canning really gets the foods above the normal heat that a water bath can get to and will kill any botulism spores.
    You will see and read stories of folks that "have been doing it(long water bath canning) for years like that" and they may well have been-but it only takes once to kill you and your entire family. Not worth the risk to me.
    High acid foods like pickles and tomatoes and jams and jellies-totally fine for water bath canning, the sugar and acid in most of those will not permit the spores to live.
     

  3. Reblazed

    Reblazed Member

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    No flack from me ... why would anyone want to take that chance.

    The metal to metal canners are great but fairly expensive (even on e-bay). The big plus is that you will never have to worry about finding a gasket after TSHTF.
     
  4. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    I'm a member on many different forums about anything from cooking to gardening to Chickens! And the amount of bad advice and folks "who been doing that for years" and jump down my posts whenever I advise folks to never can the low acid stuff in a water bath are quite abundant! On one site to the point that I don't hang out much there any longer.
    You find a lot of "but my Grandparents did it this way for years and lived to blah, blah, blah" All I can say is that they were damned lucky. :eek:
     
  5. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Even though it's already been said it's worth repeating. When canning meat and low acid produce, ALWAYS USE A PRESSURE CANNER!

    A couple years ago, before I got a pressure canner, I canned some chicken corn soup with a BWB. A couple weeks later I was in the cellar and caught a whiff of something odd. I went over to the shelves and found one of the jars had lost it's seal. I threw it out. A couple days later the smell was back. 2 more jars had popped. I threw them out as well as the other 4. When I opened the "sealed" ones, they smelled funny also.

    But to answer your question, I have 3 presto 21qt pressure canners. They serve me very well and are far less expensive than the All-American.
     
  6. catsraven

    catsraven Meoww

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    :congrat::congrat::congrat::kiss:

    I have an All American and I love the fact that I don't need a gasket. And yes they are expensive. But I think that its worth it. Just imagine how difficult it will be trying to find a gasket when SHTF.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  7. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    That's why we keep a half dozen extras around. :D
     
  8. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    I have a Presto with a weighted gauge (5, 10, and 15 lbs). It's the only canner I've used, so I can't compare it to anything else. But I'm someone who hadn't canned until a couple months ago, and now I can all the time. I love being able to find the super lean beef marked down in the 'manager's special' section of the grocery, and taking it home to can it. It's nice knowing that if he had to, my teenage son could get down a can (jar) of ground beef and a box of hamburger helper and make the family a meal.

    Someone else recommended the dial gauge. Again, I've only used this one canner so I can't compare - but the weighted gauge works fine for me. It's a loud sucker, that's for sure (no late-night canning), but I like that I don't have to eyeball it while processing - I can hear it just fine in the next room. That gives me some flexibility.

    Another flexibility - even though you need a pressure canner for meats (and veggies), if you ever decide to do water-bath canning (high acid fruits), you can do water-bath canning in a pressure canner - you just don't pressurize it. So a pressure canner can do both types of canning (pressure and water-bath). But a water-bath canner can't do both.

    No matter what brand you get, I don't think you'll be sorry you started canning meats. It's very satisfying seeing this important food item stored up on your shelves. ;)
     
  9. NotAGrasshopper

    NotAGrasshopper Active Member

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    I've got the All-American 921 and love it. It's a weighted gauge canner, which makes it foolproof and calibration-free (it's got a dial gauge on it but that's just for informational purposes and doesn't need to be tested or calibrated).

    I love the fact that it doesn't need a gasket. You can store all the gaskets you want but eventually (if TSHTF) you'll run out or your stored ones will dry-rot.
     
  10. popandnan

    popandnan Member

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    canning meat

    I canned my first meat this year. Deer meat. I used the directions from the Ball Blue Book, and used a Presto pressure canner. It was not hard to do, matter of fact I enjoyed it. I hope to can chicken and rabbit also. Good luck!
     
  11. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    Used my Presto for canning chicken today - A LOT! You know how the grocer will make bulk size packages at a reduced cost - well, they were half price due to a close expiration date. So I bought them all and have been canning them all day (along with making and freezing chicken and rice in food saver bags). Right now the bones et al. are simmering in the slow cooker, so I'll be canning up broth/stock later tonight (we went through all our broth last week when everyone in the family was sick). A dozen quarts and over a dozen pints of chicken, plus around a dozen pints of broth.... it's been a good day! :)
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    We just placed an order online for our pressure canner. It's a Presto 1781 23 qt aluminum model that we got on Amazon for $83 and some odd cents. It'll be here in 5-8 business days!!!
     
  13. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    WHOO HOO! Way to go!:congrat:
     
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Our canner showed up this morning. I opened it up and started reading the manual. All the parts are there and it looks really nice. It'll do 7 quart jars at a time and does have a dial gauge, which I do plan on having the local extension office look at before we use it. Unfortunately, DW and I have both been sick in bed for the last 24 hours and we're still not 100% so we're going to wait till we're better to get to the extension office then give it a whirl. We're really happy about opening another chapter on our journey to preparedness and self sufficiency.
     
  15. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that is the one I have too. I did get the gauge checked 2 years ago, and it was off by less than a pound. Never got around to it this year, but did get everything up to 13 lbs pressure to be on the safer side. Getting that gauge checked this year is on my list. Your extension office probably offers canning classes too, if you are interested. And I know mine had all sorts of pamphlets on canning and gardening.
     
  16. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    I called about the gauge testing the other day and our cloest office does not offer the checking, however, the 2 next closest do so we'll be getting to one of those here before we fire up the canner for the inaugural run. They didn't mention canning classes, but I didn't think to ask, either. Thanks for the tip, CVORNurse.
     
  17. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    Holy moley! 23 quarts!? That's really cool, but how do you lift the darned thing off the heat when the cooking time is up? A forklift? :) Our canners are 7 qt/19 pint, and my better half makes me take them off the stove because they are too heavy for her and she has biceps big as an ox! (Just kidding dear).

    Jason, does your canner have a rocker and the gauge? I've found the rockers are pretty accurate and they serve as a good way to check the calibration of your pressure gauge.

    You all probably already know this, but don't rush the cool down/depressurization process. If you do, your jars are likely to boil over and ruin your lid seal.
     
  18. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

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    Actually the one Jason and I have is the same as yours. It will hold 7 quarts. And supposedly 20 pints, but I only got 20 to fit one time. The rest of the time it is 19 pints. I don't attempt to move mine off the burner until pressure is down to zero. By that time it is cool enough to move quickly to the cabinet top nearest the stove.
    According to the presto web site, our model does not have the weighted gauge. There is a model that does, but they don't list it for ours. I have been told by someone on another forum that you can use the 3 piece weighted gauge but I have never called Presto to confirm this.
    Also be careful about over tightening the rings. The only lid failures I have ever had were because of my over tightening. Thought I had a bad batch of lids because they would come out of canner peaked and dented. Researched and found out it was my fault. Quit getting the rings so darn tight and the problem magically went away.


    PS- I am not Jason, but I do like to answer for other people:eek: . Guess it is a female trait?
     
  19. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    LOL Thanks for the response, CV. You did a mighty fine job answering for Jason. :D

    We use an airtight wood cookstove for heating the house and canning, so we can't really turn the heat off. That's why my honey needs me. Gee. I hope that's not the only reason. :eek:
     
  20. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    ...and now for my next trick, ladies and gentlemen...I'll make CVORNurse sing Auld Lang Syne in Pig Latin!!!!

    Seriously, though, she answered just as I would have. 23 quarts is the liquid capacity of the vessel itself. It's good for the capacities she said, at least as far as the manual says, because we haven't used ours yet. I have Monday off, so that may be our day for the maiden voyage.