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I gave away my water bath canner!


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When I was in my twenties I canned all sorts of jams, tomatoes etc and had all of the supplies. Life got in the way and after I hadn't used any of this stuff in over 10 years, I gave it all away. Now of course, I want to make some tomato chutney...I have jars, but hate to buy a new water bath canner.

My question is....has anyone used a large heavy pot to process jars that wasn't an "official water bath canner"? I know I can't put the jars directly on the bottom of the pot, but I can't quite figure out what options there might be.

Thanks,

Margy

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It wasn't until I read this that I realized I should have put something in the pot for the 4 batches of peach jam I just did. I too gave away that monster in the cellar, and used my heavy soup pot. Guess I was lucky as they are fine. Mother always used a folded towel and I have done that or the wire rack.

The tough part is getting the hot and wet jars out without the jar "corral/lifter". I removed the hot water with a scoop till I could get a good grip on top of jars. I know, I should buy one of those jar lifters.....but it's not a "multi-tasker" as Alton would say.

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silicon oven gloves would work for taking the jars out... also the water-resistant, heat-resistant industrial gloves. You can use them for handling hot pot handles, too.

I often just use a towel in the bottom of whatever pot is tall enough (stock pot for big jars, saucepan for the "artisan" shaped ones). There is also a set of racks distributed by the Bernardin company, which includes circular racks in 2 sizes, with removeable handles. Racks can double as cake cooling racks. The handles are small enough to be single-purpose, in my mind.

Karen Dar Woon

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Thanks Emmalish....I've looked for a round rack that would fit, but have only found square ones that would be used for cookies etc. I'll keep looking!

Margy

Try looking for the round replacement grills for the mini/tailgating BBQ grills.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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You can order canning racks without the pots.

Amazon has several.

They have them at Wal-Mart and at Target in my area.

Two sizes at Kitchen Krafts

And you can always find anything that is farm and kitchen related at Lehman's.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thank you so much everyone for the great ideas! I never would have thought of using a towel....would you use a thin kitchen type towel folded up I'm thinking?

I did find a round rack at the local Ranch-99 store for less than $2 on my lunch hour today....but I left it at work. I'm hoping it fits! I'll let you all know how it works out.

Thanks again,

Margy

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Can we back up a bit? The only thing I've canned (though I've done it several times) is Worcestershire sauce. Being ignorant, I just put the jars in a stockpot -- no rack, no towel. Sometimes they stay upright, sometimes they tumble. It's always turned out fine.

So what's the point of the towel and/or rack? To keep the jars from cracking on the bottom of the pot?

eta: begging pardon for my ignorance.

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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If glass jars rest directly on the bottom of the pot, they can develop hot spots and if the jars are not heated evenly, as they are when suspended in water, they can break, sometimes violently.

I use only the racks that hold the jars securely and can be lifted out of the water without spilling the jars - mine has the handles that hook on the sides of the pot, suspending the jars out of the water so they can drip dry and avoid scalding me.

The same racks fit in my pressure canner.

I prefer to do things as safely as possibly.

I have used my big electric roaster for canning the smaller, pint, half-pint and 4-oz jars, using the rack that holds them about 1/2 an inch from the bottom and transfer them out of the water with jar tongs. However I have the roaster on a cart that is a foot lower than my cooktop so it's much easier for me to do this. Working with a much deeper pot, on the countertop cooktop is rather awkward for me.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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In my early days of canning, I used a huge stock pot and then placed the jars in a pasta insert - this allowed the water to swirl around the jars but they weren't in direct contact with the bottom of the pot. It also made it very easy to handle jar insertion and removal.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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This thread has got me wondering why is the process of putting things in a jar called "canning?"

To anticipate at least one response, it may be something to do with the word "jarring" not sounding right.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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