We just got done canning 16 quarts of chicken. Once done, my wife reread directions and discovered that pressure canners want 2-3" from the bottom, not the top. We did it like water bath. Now, she is very worried about food poisoning. Ball and the pressure canner company are outsourcing to India their help line.
Our question: can we safely keep the contents, or do we need to freeze it? I need sourcing for my wife from a reputable source! She won't accept "greatcanning.com" or some such source.
Will she accept a professor of food preservation and safety, writing for the national Cooperative Extension website? Somebody wanted to stack small jars on top of each other, submerging the bottom ones:
“Yes, you can stack the smaller canning jars in a boiling water or pressure canner, just not directly on top of each other. The processing times are based on water or steam circulation around the entire jar...”
This makes sense because inside a pressure canner, the superheated water and steam should be in thermal equilibrium. That’s why it works to have only a few inches of water ... the steam above the water is the same temp as the water. So it don’t matter if you got water or steam atound your jar inside a pressure canner.
I agree. As long as you had enough air space in the canner to have it come to pressure, you should be fine as that pressure allows the temperature to get up to around 240 degrees F. That and as long as she went by the proper time for the item canned, it should be fine. Water won't get into the jars because the contents in them is expanding and releasing air. That's the reason you only tighten them finger tip tight, so they can release air/pressure. Only after you take them out and set them on the counter to cool do they get a vacuum going and that's what pulls the lid down and makes the seal. In fact, after they cool and the lid has pulled down, the screw on rings can and should be removed, the jar cleaned and you don't put the rings back on because they tend to rust underneath. Wash the rings, make sure they dry real well and store them. And even if a tiny amount of water got pulled in while cooling, it's not a big deal because having been at 240 degrees, it's all been sterilized.
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