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Fowlers Vacola preserving times

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    I have a Professional Stainless Steel electic Fowlers Vacola unit. The current recipe book is a bit ambiguous about time, saying that after placing bottles in unit and covering entirely with cold water you :

    place the lid on and turn temperature dial to 92C. Leave for 1.25 hours for bottle sizes 27

    It takes my unit 1.3 hours to reach 92C but if I process for 1.25 hrs after reaching 92C the fruit is overprocessed.

    Can anyone clarify this for me, or give me a few ideas to go on with.


    I’ve got the plastic version (electric) without the thermostat and my instructions say to set a timer for 1 hour but not to let the water boil for more than 5 minutes. It holds 8 x size 20 jars. I switch it off after 55 minutes, because the water has been boiling for 5 minutes, and let it sit for another 5 minutes and then empty.

    Edited to add: I just checked my book for the instructions on how to use your unit.

    “Place bottles into the preserver and fill with sufficient water to cover the bottles entirely. Place the lid on and turn temp. dial to 92 C or No. 4 on your thermostat. Leave for one and a half hours for bottle sizes 27, 28 and 31. “

    So that’s one and a half hours in total from go to whoa.


    Thanks Gianna 🙂 I will give it a go.

    Out of curiosity do you know what year your Fowlers book was published?


    Yep = that is what mine says too. Thank you so much.


    Bendalls post=303313 wrote: Thanks Gianna 🙂 I will give it a go.

    Out of curiosity do you know what year your Fowlers book was published?

    No date on the book but it would be sometime during the last 5 years I think.


    There might be some people out there who are using older outfits,

    We have been using our Fowlers Vacola Stainless Steel K2 outfit since 1975 and felt we needed to update our preserving method so I rang Fowlers in 2004 and was given the new instructions for the K2 model outfit, which are now:—

    Set thermostat to 92 degrees C.

    Fill unit with cold water to cover the jars by 5 cm.

    Switch on unit for the time below.

    Bottle size Time

    20 & 31 75 minutes

    36 & 65 100 minutes

    They didn’t mention the #27 bottles which are 3″, like the #20 & #31.

    We have found 75 minutes is quite ok for them.


    Thanks to everyone for their beaut comments and advice. I have preserved everything possible in fruit. So much so that I have run out of cupboard space! Ready to put Fowlers unit to bed for another year. Happy preserving. 😆


    when i do my preserving I ignore the Fowler’s directions because I don’t think they are right.

    I will always preserve my high acid produce such as fruits for 20 minutes at a rolling boil, with water at least one inch OVER the height of the lids of the jars.

    That info comes from the USDA recommendations for home preserving.

    I generally have hot jars, filled with fruit and hot syrup(or water), lids on and into hot water in the preserving unit. Then top up with hot water until all jars are covered and boil for that 20 mins.

    I use a combination of units depending on how much fruit I’m doing – I have the plastic electric one which will boil for 20 mins without overflowing the top if I use the shorter jars, and I also have a pressure canner and a large stockpot both of which double as boilers if i need them.


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