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Tell me about pressure canners and canning venison


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All this talk is bringing back memories of my childhood of the "POP" of canning lids 'setting' during the night after mom & grandma had a busy day.

They never did meat, but tomatoes (regular and hot), salsa, peaches, green beans, pears, cherries & assorted jams and jellies were a yearly event.

 

My superpower was helping them eat it 

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My wife opened the first jar of my first batch of canned venison tonight. She made it with noodles and served over mashed potatoes. Damn is it good. Great flavor and the broth is very rich. I don’t wa

The weights work fine, I simply prefer a gauge because I can see the needle where it is at and tell if its going down or up when I am adjusting the heat. I use to can with a weight and did fine.

Finding components is going to be tough...   Canning venison is quite easy.  We cold pack in jars with nothing but a little salt.  I want to say 75 minutes at 11 pounds, but don't quote me o

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I don’t have much to add other than that I also have canned venison regularly over the years. I have my moms pressure cooker. It holds seven jars and has the jiggle weights. Up to 15 # of pressure depending on the weight combo. I can venison with just a little salt, 10# for 90 minutes. One of my favorite bachelor recipies is venison veggie soup: 1 quart of canned venison, with juice, two cans of veg-all with potatoes, Montreal steak seasoning to taste, heat and eat. Add a can of Rotel for a little zing. Not exactly gourmet, but delicious. 

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Birdcountry70

I asked my mother in law if she had an old pressure cooker I could borrow and she brought me these 2. These were in the basement of their house when they moved in, she hasn't used them and didn't know anything about them. The one with screw/clamps doesn't seem to need a gasket so if the valve and gauge are good it may work. It doesn't have any markings on it except "15-1/2QTS" on the  bottom.  The other one says "National pressure cooker #7" on the I.D. plate. The gasket is old and brittle.  As of yet I can't find a replacement that says it should fit. I need to find some basic instructions on how to operate them since neither one has the basic weight to control pressure type system and I have never used one before. Don't know why the pic is upside down,  that never happened before. 

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Yes the screw down clamp one shouldn't need a gasket. Inspect the rim and top to make sure there are no dents. It should also have a safety or release valve, inspect that the best you can to make sure it would work. My canner is a 20 pint canner and I put in 3 quarts of water to can jars. You could google how much water to put in your canner knowing the capacity. You may want to calibrate the gauge, google who might do that in your area (county extension office). Other than that you just heat the canner with water in it and see if it will seal and get to pressure. If you want 10 lbs pressure, than once the gauge reads that, start tweaking down the heat to hold that pressure and not let it get too far above the 10 lbs. As I said earlier I heat on an electric stove and it takes about 20 minutes to level off. I start with the heat just below high and tweak it down once it hits the right amount of pressure. I usually end up a little below medium on my electric stove. I have never used a gas stove.

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I paid a price for getting in a hurry and having my wife buy the 22qt canner, lids and jars at the local hardware store. I told her not to buy it if it didn’t have a pressure gauge. Obviously she doesn’t know what one is, as it doesn’t have one, just 3 weights, 5-10-15lbs. And it costs $130. Mirro brand. 
 

A guy at work gave me a pint of canned venison to sample his recipe and it was very good. It requires a general purpose meat spice mixture he gets at Rural King. So I went out of my way yesterday to pick some up. RK had two pallets of pressure canners on sale sitting right inside the door.   16qt for $50 and 22qt for $80, both with gauges. I considered getting one and taking the other back to the hardware store. But we know the owner in the way everybody knows everybody in a small town, and it was likely half their sales that day. RK only had pint jars and no lids or rings at all. 
 

After church, I plan on canning for the first time. If you don’t see anymore posts from me, check the headlines for explosions in NW Ohio. 

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Birdcountry70
8 hours ago, Treerooster said:

Yes the screw down clamp one shouldn't need a gasket. Inspect the rim and top to make sure there are no dents. It should also have a safety or release valve, inspect that the best you can to make sure it would work. My canner is a 20 pint canner and I put in 3 quarts of water to can jars. You could google how much water to put in your canner knowing the capacity. You may want to calibrate the gauge, google who might do that in your area (county extension office). Other than that you just heat the canner with water in it and see if it will seal and get to pressure. If you want 10 lbs pressure, than once the gauge reads that, start tweaking down the heat to hold that pressure and not let it get too far above the 10 lbs. As I said earlier I heat on an electric stove and it takes about 20 minutes to level off. I start with the heat just below high and tweak it down once it hits the right amount of pressure. I usually end up a little below medium on my electric stove. I have never used a gas stove.

 

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Birdcountry70

I found out from the internet that it is an "All American model 915" which is still made but the modern version has a 3 position rattle weight. This one just has a safety valve and a second little spring loaded valve with a cam over type knob on the top. Other than adjusting the heat on the stove, I'm not sure how you control the pressure.  Maybe by changing the position of the cam/knob on the valve? No luck so far finding instructions,  I may try contacting the company. 

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1 hour ago, topdog1961 said:

I paid a price for getting in a hurry and having my wife buy the 22qt canner, lids and jars at the local hardware store. I told her not to buy it if it didn’t have a pressure gauge. Obviously she doesn’t know what one is, as it doesn’t have one, just 3 weights, 5-10-15lbs. And it costs $130. Mirro brand. 
 

A guy at work gave me a pint of canned venison to sample his recipe and it was very good. It requires a general purpose meat spice mixture he gets at Rural King. So I went out of my way yesterday to pick some up. RK had two pallets of pressure canners on sale sitting right inside the door.   16qt for $50 and 22qt for $80, both with gauges. I considered getting one and taking the other back to the hardware store. But we know the owner in the way everybody knows everybody in a small town, and it was likely half their sales that day. RK only had pint jars and no lids or rings at all. 
 

After church, I plan on canning for the first time. If you don’t see anymore posts from me, check the headlines for explosions in NW Ohio. 

Gauges are simple to read but they commonly get out of range and become inaccurate

 

the weights will never do that

once you learn how to use the weights you will have a better system IMO

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On 11/18/2020 at 1:28 PM, Okhotnik said:

Its pretty easy to do. Ive been canning deer, elk, antelope, trout, salmon, tuna , birds etc for years. Suggest getting the largest canner available. I like presto brand

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Presto-Aluminum-23-Quart-Pressure-Canner-and-Cooker/2625289?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ball-Glass-Mason-Jars-with-Lids-Bands-Regular-Mouth-32-oz-12-Count/14234956

 

As mentioned finding jars and lids is tough now.

 

I cold pack too with a pinch of kosher salt, pepper, garlic, onions and carrots. The vegetable kind of disintegrate but give good flavor .

 

 

Exactly!!!!!  Our Walmart is loaded with jars right now. Good time to buy. Also check all farm supply stores, they carry components. You need WAY more lids than rings. Buy lots of lids, single use only. Rings can be taken off cooled jars and used again immediately. They last for YEARS!

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I’m going to can some deer this year. Been saying that fir several years. Mom accumulated some canners through auctions, yard sales, and inheritances. Old ones. Like 60+ years old. Dad found replacement parts. County extension office tested/calibrated. Now I just need some meat. Deer season is 2 weeks away. 

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The weights work fine, I simply prefer a gauge because I can see the needle where it is at and tell if its going down or up when I am adjusting the heat. I use to can with a weight and did fine.

 

Here is how I can. I load my jars and have the canner sitting on the burner with the water in it. I put my stove (electric) on medium to get the water warming. I wipe the rims of the loaded jars and use a little magnet thingy (not necessary really) to pull my lids out of the hot water they are soaking in. Screw the rings down tight and place the jars in the canner. Then I wet my sealing gasket (not sure that is needed either but I just do it), put the gasket in the lid and put the lid on the canner. I turn up the heat, almost to high and when the water starts to boil and steam comes out of the little spout on the canner I put a little cap on it. This is when you would put the weight on a canner without a gauge. The weight you choose would be either 5, 10 or 15 lbs. With meat and most other items you are going to use 10 or 15 lbs depending on your altitude. Need 15 lbs for higher altitudes. Now the canner gets heating up and mine has a little button on it that rises up when everything is sealed. The needle on a gauge will start to rise at this point, a weight will just sit there for a while. Once it gets to pressure the weight will let some steam escape. This cause the weight to jiggle and make a sound. This is when you start your timer for the amount of time to can at pressure, 75 minutes for meat. Now that the canner is up to pressure you need to tweak down the heat or the pressure will just continue to increase. Its been a long time since I used a weight gauge but I think the weight should jiggle about every 30 seconds to maintain the pressure, you can look that up or it should be in some instructions. The heat should be tweaked down gradually, especially at first, so as not to lose too much pressure. This is where I like the gauge as I can see what the needle is doing. But a weight works, you just have to get use to it. You don't want the weight to jiggle constantly, but not too slowly either. After a while the heat will balance out and won't need adjusting any more. 

 

Once the timer goes off I remove the canner from the heat and put it on a little rack I have (so it won't burn the counter) to cool. A trivet or a couple of bricks could work here. Once it is cool and no pressure is left (the little button on my canner will drop and gauge goes to zero) I remove the lid and take the sealing gasket off right away to save the gasket. If you have no button to drop and use a weight gauge, you just haver to pull the weight up a little to see if steam still escapes. If it does there is still pressure and the canner needs to cool more before you can remove the lid. Most lids have a lock on them so you really can't remove the lid if it is under pressure. Not sure about real old canners tho. I have seen some people just remove the weight and let the steam gush out or even cool the canner under water. I just don't do that, but do some research in that if you want to go that way. Once the lid is off I pull the jars and set them on a towel on the counter to cool. I have a thong to do that as the jars are still pretty hot. You need to keep the lids on until the jars are at room temperature or the seals could be broken. I let my jars cool for several hours before removing the lids, usually overnight. I also date my jars on the lid, month and year, just so I know when it was canned. As the jars cool the lids will make a pop sound...,music to a canner's ears.

 

One other thing. When I go to use a canned jar I have a habit of running my finger over the lid. If for some reason the seal has broken the lid will have popped back up and I will know it from the feel. That jar is now garbage, or compost. In the 40 or so years I have been canning that has only happened a couple of times and I can over 100 jars of various types of food a year.

 

Canning is very safe when done properly, just like handling a firearm. There are a lot of safety features in canners now and I really don't see how one could blow up. The little safety plug or valve should prevent that. Old canners may not have those safety features and you just need to be a bit more attentive. I just have never even come close to a canner over heating. I stay in the kitchen most of the time because there is plenty more to do anyways when I am putting up food.

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If u asked me right now I’d say pressure canning sucks. Can’t get the $130 Mirro to build pressure in two attempts. The instructions are terrible. On my way now 45 min each way to buy the $80 cooler with gauge, in an attempt to salvage 15lbs prime meat and a lot of work. There’s a lot better ways I like to spend my Sunday afternoon. 
 

I doubt any of the jars will seal after being heated up and cooled down three times. 

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I’m hearing popping noises, so that must be good. I got the $80 canner and it came right up to pressure. It has a similar “floating valve” that is designed to pop up and seal once a small amount of pressure builds up. I followed the instructions on the first one but the floating valve never popped up, despite a raging boil and the 10psi weight on the open post.  It never developed any pressure. So I just hope the local hardware store is good with refunds. 
 

thanks for all the help. 
 

edit: I just checked and they all seem sealed. So I guess my first foray into canning is a success so far, despite the unexpected hassle. 
 

2nd edit: I just walked out into the kitchen and in the low light, seeing all those canning jars lined up, for a moment I was 10 years old, and I looked around the room for mom. 
 

 

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Birdcountry70

Now you need to open one up and try it. I found a place online and ordered a  new standpipe and weight to convert this old one away from the petcock valve style. I did put in water and give it a test run and it came up to pressure just fine but this one is so old it has no emergency vent. I  would just be more confident using it if it had the rattle weight system since that would release overpressure if needed. Between the rattle weight and  the gauge I think it will be perfectly safe. There are no jars to be had locally but it looks like Amazon has some for a decent price. 

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2 minutes ago, Birdcountry70 said:

Now you need to open one up and try it. I found a place online and ordered a  new standpipe and weight to convert this old one away from the petcock valve style. I did put in water and give it a test run and it came up to pressure just fine but this one is so old it has no emergency vent. I  would just be more confident using it if it had the rattle weight system since that would release overpressure if needed. Between the rattle weight and CV the gauge I think bbn it will be perfectly safe. There are no jars to be had locally but it looks like Amazon has some for a decent price. 


read the reviews and product descriptions closely on Amazon, some of them are not for canning. A previous post said Walmart had some. 

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