Pressure canning first time

I did my first-ever pressure canning session about a week ago, canning green beans in water and a bit of salt. My canner is an electronic Instant Pot Max.

Overall things went well, and I canned four pints of beans. This canner is too small to can quart jars.

The only issue I had was when depressurizing the canner, some of the water from inside the jars appears to have escaped when the pressure was released, leaving a definite green bean smell in the canning water and the water level in the jars lower than when I started.

I'm not sure of the best way to prevent that, or if it's even possible. If you don't depressurize the canner but wait for it to cool, the water wouldn't escape but the beans would likely overcook. The canning recipe specifically says to cool down the jars as soon as possible after canning.

Comments

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I feel like I remember something like that happening the first time I canned green beans also. I think that I just made it a point to tighten the bands a bit more.

    I do not have an electric pressure canner so my process is a bit different. My canner instructions specifically says that you have to let the canner depresserize on its own.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    My instructions also say to let it cool down on its own. I've had that happen, jars losing liquid, when I have tried to hurry up the process. I've never used an electric canner before, though. If I am going to go to the effort of canning, I want to make a big enough batch to be worthwhile. So quart jars, with as many as I can get in there. Or double stacked pints.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't think the use of an electric pressure canner vs. a traditional one made any difference in the leakage issue. Next time I'll try letting it cool down on its own.

    I would have a challenge using a stovetop canner because my stove is glass-topped, and pressure canners are not recommended for use on those. There's too much risk of cracking the glass. I've had no trouble with water-bath canning on that stove, but to do safe pressure canning, I'd have to buy the canner AND a stand-alone burner to heat it. It's just too expensive for the benefit.

    When I buy a new stove, I will try to avoid glass-top versions. This one came with the house and I can't justify replacing it.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy I completely agree with not replacing your stove until needed. I would not risk using my pressure canner on a glass top either although I know of people who do it. I found a stand alone burner that I use for pressure canning outside in the hot months so as not to heat up the house. The unit itself was not very expensive. My frustration is the cost to fill the propane regularly. It makes me try to save the pressure canning for the cold months when I want the house to be warmer.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Michelle D I would probably get an electric stand-alone burner. We don't use propane for anything else around the house, except occasional grilling.

    Everything has been more expensive this year: food, gasoline, propane, and so on. Even canning lids are more expensive then they were pre-COVID.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2022

    @VermontCathy you are completely correct there. So much could be said about the rising prices but I will keep my comment on topic. Here at our local stores canning lids have almost doubled in price. Wide mouth lids are averaging $5/dz. I remember seeing the prices around $2.75 two or three years ago. I order in bulk now to save money.

  • Mark Baker
    Mark Baker Posts: 19

    We tried canning on an electric hot plate, but it was too slow. We got a Coleman propane camp stove and it worked great. We are using an All American model 921 pressure canner, doing 7 quarts at a time. We used it on the porch, to avoid heating up the house.

  • JoAnn
    JoAnn Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    I've used my glass cooktop stove with my large pressure canner and have not had a problem, yet anyway, as there is always a chance. I read somewhere that if you make sure to adjust your heat so that the pressure stays where it should be according to "popular brand" canning recipe book, then you should be okay. I have been doing it for 10 years now.

    I would be interested in the Instant Pot Max though as I LOVE my regular Instant Pot for cooking. Maybe a wise elf will surprise me in a coming holiday? Crossing fingers!

  • mistytwilight1
    mistytwilight1 Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    @Michelle D can you use the stand alone propane unit indoors? When you do that, what do you put yours on so it doesn't burn the surface that it's sitting on? Do you happen to have a link you could share with me of the one you purchased? I need to do pressure canning and I have a glass top stove that came with our house that was just built. The manual for our range says you can pressure can on it. The pressure canner I bought says it can be used on glass top stoves. But if I could figure out a work around and not take the risk, that would be great!

  • Deb113
    Deb113 Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    Pressure canning for the first time sooo all of your experiences is helping me get my courage up.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mistytwilight1 I do not use any of my propane equipment inside. My stove is natural gas so I use that when I do canning indoors.

    I can't find a link for the exact unit that I have but this is the same style.

    Camp Chef Explorer, Two Burner Stove, Two 30,000 BTU's cast-aluminum burners, Cooking Dimensions: 14 in. x 32 in https://a.co/1UUASai

    I have also used one like this when helping a friend. He purchased it for frying turkeys but it works well for canning also.

    GasOne Square Heavy Duty Single Burner Outdoor Stove Propane Gas Cooker with Adjustable 0-20Psi Regulator & Steel Braided Hose Perfect for Home Brewing, Turkey Fry, Maple Syrup Prep https://a.co/9jm0a3Z

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Deb113 I was nervous the first time I used my pressure canner. It gets easier with experience.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mark Baker I'm surprised that a Coleman stove is strong enough to support a large All American canner with a significant amount of water and jars of food in it!

  • judithdiotte
    judithdiotte Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    I have a glass stovetop and I have no problem pressure canning. I have the Presto pressure canner and it can take 7 quart jars (that is what I used for all my canning). You only need 3 quarts of water in it, which is not much. I pressure canned a lot this year and had no problem with my glass-topped stove.

  • Owl
    Owl Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    I had the same problem when I started and green beans seem to be the worst about it but leaving them in the cooker through depressurization and cooling down quite a bit while still in the water solved the problem. Welcome to the wonderful (and addictive) world of canning!

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin


    Hi @VermontCathy First of all - congrats!!! You made it and didn't blow up anything LOL

    I wonder if you overfilled the jars with the green beans in them? That is the reason some of the liquid escaped? A general guideline is to fill just to the shoulder of the jar.

    I very rarely can indoors. I use a 5 gallon tank of natural gas and a sturdy camp stove with a big burner setup out on the patio. Partly because it is hot work I don't want that heat in the house and partly because I was kicked out of the house by my family. Yeah, it was the time I was rendering beef fat in the house (that is a totally stinky - I mean the smell is very bad - process) that began my eviction for projects like this. Even though canning does not smell bad, it the beef lard adventure totally traumatized everyone.

    I love to hear the sound of the lids going "pop" once the bit of air inside the jar has cooled enough for to create the suction.

  • Mark Baker
    Mark Baker Posts: 19

    We have no problem using the canner on the Coleman propane camp stove. The canner is heavy, but the stove is very strong. The stove is this one: https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000020943NP-Classic-Propane-Stove/dp/B00005OU9D/ref=sr_1_3?crid=12F0A47J5MAYZ&keywords=Coleman+Gas+Camping+Stove+%7C+Classic+Propane&qid=1663002003&sprefix=coleman+gas+camping+stove+classic+propane%2Caps%2C293&sr=8-3

    Another tip: If you have a security camera system, and you are canning on the porch, add a camera that points at the canner, so you can monitor the pressure from inside the house where it is cool.

  • Mark Baker
    Mark Baker Posts: 19

    ... also, we use an adapter to connect the Coleman stove to a 20 lb propane tank, like you exchange at a service station or grocery store, so we didn't have to use the tiny disposable bottles:

    https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-High-Pressure-Propane-Hose-Adapter/dp/B0009PUQAK/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3M4CXR2CRN2EI&keywords=Coleman+5+Ft.+High-Pressure+Propane+Hose+and+Adapter&qid=1663002186&sprefix=coleman+5+ft.+high-pressure+propane+hose+and+adapter%2Caps%2C491&sr=8-3

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Pressure canning is not something I have gotten up the nerve to try yet. I inherited a pressure canner from my aunt, but I would need to get a gasket as well as taking it in to the WSU extension service to have the pressure gauge calibrated. Maybe later on...

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft Thank you, Marjory. I have been doing water-bath canning for years, all the way back to helping my mother as a child, but she never did pressure canning and until recently I didn't have the equipment.

    I purchased the Instant Pot Max partly to give pressure canning a try, and partly to have a pressure cooker. And wow, the pressure cooker function has changed my cooking life. I can now cook beans quickly instead of simmering them for hours in a crockpot or on the stove. I've switched almost entirely from canned beans to cheaper dry beans! I can cook rice in a sealed pressure cooker without having to constantly watch them and add water to an open saucepan.

  • Deb113
    Deb113 Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    My pressure canner scares me. I think I will invest in an American pressure canner with gauge and “ticker”. This year I. Froze most of my produce and fruits.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,162 ✭✭✭✭

    Love this post and all of the comments---I may get brave enuf to try canning!

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I found that the pressure-canned green beans taste a bit better than commercial canned beans from the store, but they are still mushier than frozen beans or dilly beans.

    Part of the problem is that a lot of the beans I had available were flat-podded beans like Dragon Tongue and Kentucky Wonder. The round-podded beans in the canning mix are a bit firmer.

    Is there a trick to keeping the high temperatures and pressures of pressure canning from turning beans to mush?