February 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm #454374
Thanks for that link tamandco…it’s brilliant!
Mind you, I am now totally unsure how to use the electric vacola to effectively sterilise anything when you can’t use it to boil more than 5 mins!February 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm #454375shadowdancerMember
I would dearly love to learn how to preserve fruit etc without a vacola or similar highly expensive gadget? I don’t think they had those sorts of things when my grandmother used to do it, but they were in a better position with canned goods at the stores when she was older, so she never showed me how to preserve food the “old” way. Any ideas or books that would teach me without a vacola or similar “new” vessel?February 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm #454376
I use the simple preserving unit as an extra waterbath when doing my salsa and pasta sauce in the smaller FV jars. Mostly because I have a very small kitchen and an even smaller sink! I like to do my tomatoes in bulk, so I usually end up cramming 2 big pots of sauce/salsa on the stove plus another pot for the hotwater bath – but then I have too many jars full of produce, so I get the electric one out to help the process along.
I don’t follow the directions that come with the thing at all. I put the water in, turn it on, and leave it on while I fill up hot jars with hot product. That way I’m putting the jars into the already hot water in the unit.
Then I make sure the water covers the jars to the appropriate level, and bring it to the boil – then start timing it.
Yes, the steam condenses on the lid and runs down the outside of the silly thing (bad bad design) but I leave a folded teatowel sitting over the power plug to stop any water getting into the electrics. It helps free up some space for me in my kitchen and means I can cook more jars than just one saucepans worth!
SD, you just need a big pot on the stove with a cakerack or something similar in the bottom to do waterbath preserving. Oh, and jars with lids obviously LOLFebruary 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm #454377
Thanks Tam, yes I should have clarified that the boiling water bath is only safe with high acid foods. I was clear as mud when I mentioned the organisms that cause spoilage. I should have added that the organisms that cause death need a pressure canner.
shadowdancer, you can use a large stock pot on the stove as a boiling water bath. I do when I only have a few jars of jam to process.
You need to put something in the bottom of the saucepan, like a cake cooling rack, or a folded tea towel. You need to put some space between the glass jars and the really hot saucepan.
Cover the tops of the jars with an inch of water, bring to a boil, and boil for the length of time needed for the size jars and whatever produce you have.
You can find the timing charts and clear instructions here http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html
Also, these guys http://canningusa.com/Podcasts/Podcasts.htm have some great videos. They are funny to watch, but very helpful too.February 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm #454378TamandcoMember
A FV unit is just a big urn. The plastic ones don’t have a thermostat, and the stainless steel ones do. If you put a wanted add on freecycle, you’d more than likely get one for nothing. I bought my simply natural one on ebay with over 100 jars for about $60, and a stove top one, with tonnes of accessories, including jar lifter, jar opener, pitting tool and thermometer for $7.50 on ebay. Then, I found Tully’s one on the side of the road, a stove top unit with 2 doz jars and accessories, and since then, I’ve been bombarded with jars right left and centre to the point that now I knock them back. I have given heaps of jars away as I just don’t have any space to store them.
And the funny thing is that when I’m doing small batches, I just use the stock pot on the stove, and I preserve in recycled glass jars with GreenLivingAustralia new lids, more often than FV jars. That way, I can give them away as presents or sell them without worrying that they are in the FV jars.February 21, 2010 at 11:51 pm #454379
So ali-cerlt, do you boil your plastic electric unit for 30mins or so without problems????March 1, 2010 at 9:16 am #454380
I received the new version of the vacola instruction book the other day. SO much more information and recipes! I’m off bottling again! When I mentioned my worries to a fellow CWA member (I joined coz it’s the only place I know where you can be 40 and still called a ‘young thing’) and she gave me her instruction booklet…a 1943 edition! Had to laugh…will definitely keep that copy!March 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm #454381
Sorry Brigitte, missed that one.
I do – I boil the living daylights out of it LOL it steams up my kitchen and I HAVE to put a folded up teatowel over the power cord inlet to catch the run-off, but yeah.
I only use the smaller size jars in it though – recycled pasta sauce jars and the FV no. 20’s ( and the #14’s I have that are half the size again of the #20’s – love the #14’s they are perfect for salsa!)
The #36’s and the #27’s go in either the canner as a waterbath, (or the canner as a canner LOL) or the other big boiler I’ve got that’s NOT got the thermometer thingy in the side.
All depends on what I’m doing, really!March 1, 2010 at 8:55 pm #454382
Ali I did 16 jars of tomatoes in the canner yesterday. At 5lb for 20mins. No fogging up the kitchen at all, it was great! I am very, very tempted to buy an All American 15.5Qt now. It should be a lot quicker, for smaller amounts, rather than building up pressure in the 23Qt Presto. And it uses much less water. :tup:March 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm #454383
Yeah I keep thinking about pressure canning them rather than waterbathing them – save a heap of water that way!
Do you use FV jars in your canner? (and if you do, how do you stack them?? I don’t have a second rack – maybe I should get one…)March 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm #454384
I have a large canner, but it’s too bit for my small stove and doesnt sit on any of the elements safely. Have made sure that’s not an issue in my new kitchen!
The vacola instructions say you must not boil the plastic unit for any longer than 5 minutes. They say the hour limit is the pefect temp and time for the majority of fruits and preserves. They say for the lower acid food like some tomatoes, to add citric acid and it will be fine.March 2, 2010 at 12:14 am #454385terra madreMember
The benefit of the pressure canner over the water bath method (FV) is that water bath is ONLY recommended for preserving fruit. The pressure canning method is used for fruit, veges and meat and seafood. It’s great for doing pasta sauces and I have done 70+ bottles of chopped potatoes (great for quick potato salad), dog meat, spinach and mixed vegs so that hubby gets his veges when I’m at work!March 2, 2010 at 3:17 am #454386
Ali, I’ve only used recycled jars in the Presto. I stack 375ml jars – 2 layers of 8 jars. I don’t know how you could stack FV jars. Maybe an extra canning rack could sit on top of the jars?March 2, 2010 at 4:48 am #454387TamandcoMember
Not just one pressure canner. TWO pressure canners!!!
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