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Old 08-01-2006, 01:54 AM   #1
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New to Canning

Hi, My husband and I are new to canning. We did our first canning of green beans tonight. He was wanting to use the vacume sealer after the jars can out of the canner. I didn't know if that would be ok. He also said that he read somewhere that you can cook the green beans and then put them in the jar and use the vacume sealer onthem and they will last a year. Is there any truth to this? Can anyone please help me and give me some advice on weather or not to use the vacume sealer after the jars come out of the canner. Thank you very much, Tanya

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Old 08-01-2006, 02:04 AM   #2
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I have been canning for years and I have never heard of using a vacuum sealer on jars. After removing them from the canner, as they cool, you should hear a pop as the lids are sucked down, creating a vacuum within the jar. If you press on the lids once they are cool there should be no "play" on the lid. If it didn't seal properly, refrigerate and use within 5 days. If it did seal properly store in a cool dark place, and it will last for years.
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:04 AM   #3
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Tanya - green beans are a low acid food and MUST be processed in a PRESSURE CANNER!!! The jars will form a vacuum when properly processed.

If you are making "freezer" green beans ... then just blanch them, freeze them on a sheet tray, and then pack and store them in vacuum freezer bags. Cooking and storing in a freezer safe jar is, IMHO, excessive overkill since you obviously have a vacuum sealer (the bags are cheaper than the jars and off you the option of "boiling pouch" or "microwaveable" that glass jars will not.

Using either the Hot or Raw pack method for green beans only processed in a boiling water canner will not be safe to eat - although they will form a vacuum seal on the lid without the vacuum sealer - and using the vacuum sealer will not make them safe to eat even a week later, much less a year later. If you used a pressure canner - there is no need to use the vacuum sealer - read and follow the instructions for canning green beans

It's kind of a mantra on this forum ... get the Ball Blue Book of Preserving as a minumum starters guide ($5)- or the new and just released Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving about $14 (you can sometimes find these in bookstores or at Wal-Mart) but the online sources are generally the most reliable sources. Yes, you can sometimes find them on ebay ... they tend to be the older outdated versions ...

Another resource is provided by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can find loads of information online for free, take a course for free, buy CD's if you want, etc.

Hope this gives you some information to make your food preservation experience safer.
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:33 AM   #4
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Michael, here I am browsing this area because canning is one thing that I've always wanted to learn but am downright phobic about ... and just as I'm thinking "hey, maybe I can do this" I read your thread and I'm back to square one.

Wherever it was that I initially read the warning about how one can't see it or smell it but it (botulism?) can kill you, I've been out of this game. Tried all sorts of other types of cooking and don't have phobias about things other people are scared of (making pastry, for instance) but canning sends shivers up my spine!

But! I really MISS things like the homemade chili sauce and the homemade watermelon rind pickles that my relatives made and that made my childhood all that richer.

Does anybody have some soothing words to help me get over this?!
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Old 08-01-2006, 05:55 AM   #5
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Continuation of my previous post:

I've gone into the recommended USDA site and am browsing (intimidated, but holding tight) but one question's come up:

Is a "pressure canner" different than a regular "pressure cooker"? I have the latter (Fissler) but not sure if that's what's meant. Does anyone know?

***

No, wait! Help please!

I realize with this post any logical person would reply by saying "well, nobody's FORCING you, dear!" but I'll continue anyways.

Just hit the "detoxification process" on the same site and now I'm REALLY scared! Dang, this is like nuclear waste handling!

Obviously, I'm not a born, natural canner, am I? All the usual enjoyment and relaxation I get out of cooking looks to be flying out the window if I take up canning. I'll probably have the world's first canning-induced ulcer or breakdown ...

Is there hope? Will I have to just continue to buy my Sharwood's Mango Chutney rather than making my own one day?
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:34 AM   #6
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A regular pressure cooker is basically too small for canning, but it is the same principal.
Michael is right on about green beans and canning. The FoodSaver part of the OP's post is a melange of preserving ideas. YOu can using heat and pressure (maybe). You can freeze green beans by blanching them in hot water and then sealing in the FoodSaver and freezing.
And while jars may seal properly (the pop of the seal and the dull sound on the lid) it is no assurance that the product has been safely processed at sufficient heat to kill spores of botulinum in non-acid foods.
There are things that can be done in a water bath if they contain sufficient acid or sugar which also act as preservatives. Jams and jellies do not actually require any processing at all--put in dishwasher clean jars and cap with boiled tops.
Tomatoes can also be canned in a water bath if sufficient acid is added.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:26 AM   #7
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I'm freezing green beans now and I'm doing what was mentioned above. Blanching then freezing on a tray and then vacume seal in bags. Canning takes to long using the hot water bath and I don't own a pressure cooker large enough to do several pints. They turn out great freezing them.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton

Does anybody have some soothing words to help me get over this?!
Yes I have some soothing words for you. Get the Ball Blue Book as Michael mentioned and read it. The important stuff is in the beginning of the book and will not take you long to read. It will spell out exactly what you need to do to be safe.

Canning is not difficult at all. there are a number of steps, but they are easy steps to get right. Just follow the instructions in the Ball Blue Book.

Canning can sound scary, but so can anything else. If you do not treat food properly (canning or not) then you can hurt or kill yourself. Once you know the rules though then you have nothing to worry about as long as you follow them.

Do not be afraid of canning, seriously. I know it can be intimidating at first, but once you read the Ball Blue Book all of your questions will be answered and you will see how really simple it is to get it right.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvangel
He also said that he read somewhere that you can cook the green beans and then put them in the jar and use the vacuum sealer onthem and they will last a year. Is there any truth to this?
No this is completely false. I do not know which vacuum sealer you own, but if you have the Tillia Foodsaver then read the instructions that came with it. They specifically say that vacuum packing is NOT a substitute for canning.

Once you can something there is no need to vacuum pack it. The vacuum packing systems work by removing most of the air from around the food. Canning will remove all (I believe) of the air. vacuum packing after canning would really not do anything at all.
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:27 AM   #10
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Thank you

I would like to thank you all for your help on this issue. I went out and got the book this morning and read it. I will can without the vacume sealer, as I no that it wouldn't help and that they will seal fine on there own in a canner. I also plan on blanching and freezing some green beans for certian dishes. Thank you again for all of your help. Tanya
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