Questions on Pressure Canning

The pressure canner I ordered came in yesterday (it was fast!!) so today, I decided, would be the day to try it out for the first time.

Last week I froze turkey soup in the pot I made it in (put the whole pot into the freezer) so today I defrosted it, cleaned the mason jars I have around the house (I actually have a ton of them but most are in storage), and put the soup into the jars. I followed the directions which came with the pressure canner but I’m not convinced I’m doing it right.

First, the directions say to use 3 quarts of boiling water. I did this but this amount of water doesn’t cover the jars. Should the jars be completely submerged in water? Is it ok the jars are not submerged?

Second, I’m having a really hard time keeping the pressure at 11psi. I keep fiddling with the burner (it’s gas. I can only imagine how much more difficult this would be if I had an electric stove) but haven’t found “the spot”, thus the pressure goes from 10-15, averaging at 12. Is this ok?

Third, will the 3 quarts run out? If the purpose is to steam the jars, won’t keeping the heat high boil down the water so there’s nothing in there? If it does run out of water, how will I know? Should I replace it or just let it be?

Am I just being paranoid?

Thing is, the directions booklet has me completely afraid I’m going to poison myself and Wolf. I felt like that when I did my first canning project, but now I’m at a new level of fear.

Assistance, please!

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One Response to Questions on Pressure Canning

  1. Erikka says:

    quick note I’m sending to all farmers or wanna bes –

    The USDA is considering regulations on leafy greens that would harm sustainable farmers. You can comment on this at http://www.regulations.gov. Click on “All documents with an open comment period,” then “Handling regulations…” – the third one down. It tells you what to do after that. I just copied some language from this press release into my comment – it took maybe two minutes.

    If you want more info, please email me at smadaakkire at yahoo dot com.

    Peace…oh, do forward this to other farmers too.

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