Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wide Mouth

Whew!  My* pressure canner has been getting quite a workout lately.  First there were the 7 quarts and 7 pints of turkey stock (3 loads!) on Saturday, and then I canned 5 quarts of pinto beans yesterday (and I'm thinking of doing another load while I have the canner and all the stuff out).  I am amazed at how nonchalant I am these days about canning with pressure, especially considering how I felt 3 short years ago.  I used to plan for weeks for my canning sessions.  These days, it's no big deal.  If I'm doing beans, I soak them the night before, but other than that, I just go.

But you may recall that I mentioned I have trouble with seals on my pressure canned jars.  I don't think I've ever had any of my water bath seals fail, but I don't think I've ever had a pressure canned load that all sealed perfectly (maybe green beans, but those were pints.  Oh, and my pints of black beans sealed, too...hmmm, interesting), including my turkey stock a couple of days ago.  In fact, the last time I canned pinto beans, only 20% of the jars sealed.  Not a passing grade.  I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong, and I was feeling quite discouraged.  I mean, 80% failed seals!  But in the past few days, I've gotten a clue.

I ran out of lids.  Well, not really.  I ran out of regular-mouth lids, so I had to go to plan B, which was using wide-mouth jars and lids.  I don't have as many wide-mouth jars, because regular jars and lids are cheaper, and it's just more convenient to have all the jars the same.  In fact, when I give away jars to people who probably won't return them, I always make a point to give them a wide-mouth jar.

Now I'm going to have to rethink that policy.  Because every single one of my pressure canned wide-mouth jars sealed.  One hundred percent.  That's 8 jars, in 2 separate loads.

Hmmm.  Is it a coincidence?  Or do wide mouth jars really seal more consistently in the pressure canner?  I don't know, but for now, I think I'm gonna have to buy some wide-mouth jars.

*Not actually my pressure canner.  It's on indefinite loan from my parents.  And if I keep talking about how wonderful it is, they might want it back...

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