Sunday, December 28, 2008

Success and disappointment

Okay,  Those two words don't generally go together. But that's what today was.  I successfully canned 7 quarts of turkey and stock.  We don't really eat that much meat in things we use stock for, so I just put a bit of meat in the jar before adding the stock.  I managed to not blow up the house and all seven jars sealed.  Woo Hoo!!!
Turkey and Stock
The canner is HUGE!!  With all the knobs, dials and regulators I felt a little like a mad scientist.  It will hold 7 quarts or with the extra rack they provided it will fit 19 pints.

The beast in it's glory!!
But here is the disappointment:
Drop forming
My canner has a manufacturing defect.  Near the center of the lid there is evidently and invisible hole.  It isn't evident if you look at it but when it was pressurizing a drip formed on the top.  Initially I thought it was just a drop of water from the pressure regulator that was starting to sputter,  I wiped it off, and it grew again.  It wasn't enough to keep it from maintaining pressure but if there is a defect in the metal I'm worried that it may get worse with use.  We took lots of pictures for documentation and V is going to contact the manufacturer tomorrow to see what can be done.  Looking at the book, they have a 1 year warranty for manufacturing or materials defects so it shouldn't be a problem to get a replacement lid.  
This makes me doubly glad I tried this out sooner rather than later.  This gives us time to get the replacement lid in time for canning season.  I would hate to have discovered this with a bushel of green beans ready to go.  
All in all, the day was a success.  I'm proud of myself that I took the plunge.  I wasn't really worried that I wouldn't be able to do it, it's just that fear of the unknown.
K8 is feeling better, but now J14 isn't feeling well- she said she was dry heaving this morning- luckily she didn't have anything left in her stomach.  I'm sure this will make the rounds- I've been extra diligent about hand washing recently but I'm not sure I'll escape.


  1. Whoo hoo! Glad you got it done! I just finished the venison - ugh. The seal in the lid wasn't lined up right the first time, so I had to shut it down and start all over. We'll see when it finishes cooling if everything seals. Hope everyone gets to feeling better!

  2. Looks really good! I have some to can up this week too. I had a turkey out in the sunroom and yesterday's almost 60 degrees F brought on a bit of thaw 9and no room in freezer). So turkey went into oven today, meat in baggie, and bones in crockpot for stock.

    it's ggod you found the hole!

  3. Geez! Ignore the typos-love laptop keyboards!!

  4. Woo-hoo!!! Congrats to you on the successful first run of the canner - I'm definitely impressed. I just read your last post, and was hoping that you'd post the results.
    And it *is* huge! Sorry about the defect though, having the warranty is a blessing in cases like this. Smart to get all the pictures and documentation. Hope the replacement lid comes quickly.

    How is K8? Better I hope... continued healthy thoughts to him...

  5. A fully functional canner is a good thing to have. Glad you are following up.

    risa b

  6. Wow, that is huge! Mine is not nearly so big which is probably for the best. I think yours would scare me. LOL Congrats on your first pressure canned goodness.

  7. So maybe a dumb question --what is the advantage to pressure canning over hot water baths? Less chance of botulism? Wider variety of products to can? So far the only things I have preserved are freezer jelly and blanched frozen green beans--so much to learn! Kris

  8. hickchick Canning food under pressure does reduce the chances of spoilage. The acidity of the food in question determines whether it needs to be pressure canned. Anything containing meat needs to be put away with a canner. For example if you make spaghetti sauce with meat despite the high acidity of the tomatoes, it is still prudent to use a pressure cooker.
    For what it is worth, I got by without a pressure cooker for a lot of years freezing and dehydrating stuff I couldn't put away in a hot water bath.

  9. Hickchick- I second what Stephany said. Even for low acid veggies like green beans you need to pressure can. My understanding is that it heats it to a higher temp so it kills more bacteria. In processing at 10 lbs of pressure (the usual for most things- depending on your elevation) it brings the processing temp to 240 degrees F, hotter than you can get in boiling water.
    I've also gotten away for years with freezing lots of stuff but I only have so much room in my freezer.

  10. I'm happy for you, you conquered your fear! Glad everything turned out alright and hopefully you can get that replacement without a lot of hassle. Hope the kids get to feeling better soon.

  11. Firstly, I'm glad to hear that K8 is so much better, how scary. What was it anyway?

    YAY! on the new canner. I will need to get one one of these days. At the moment I do everything by the boiling method, and subsequently haven't canned meat items.
    You shouldn't have a problem exchanging it, thought it's darn annoying isn't it?

    Glad you didn't blow up the house! lol

  12. I second (or third or fourth or wherever we are) the motion that it's good you found out early about the defect.

    How much 'clarifying' did you do? Your brother looks quite clear compared to my last batch. Which I didn't strain at all, but even so... yours looks amazing.

  13. Thanks for all the comments- Wow! It feels good to get cheers for my success!
    Meadowlark- I didn't clarify at all (well, I took out the big chunks of veggies floating around) I think it's clearer because I didn't simmer it for as long as I normally do. It was getting late at night and I was tired so I turned it off. My stock isn't normally that clear either.

  14. Congrats on your new canner, sorry about the defect though...

    A word about canning. All vegetables and meats should be pressure canned because they are low acid, and only fruits and fruit products are safe to can with a water bath canner. Even tomatoes which are technically a fruit can be low acid enough to cause problems, so if water bath canning tomatoes you should add acid of some sort, like lemon juice or citric acid to each jar just before processing.

    You will love your canner, I can my fruits in my pressure cooker most of the time too, shorter processing time, and less water all adds up to getting more done using less energy, mine and the grid!


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