Steam canning

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Andy Cromarty

Assistant Cook
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Aug 8, 2022
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Cromarty
Hi
I've been reading about steam canning. Seems a good method as an alternative to water bath canning for high acid foods. Living in the UK we don't do so much canning. We have a steam juicer pan, which has a reservoir in the bottom, a middle section to catch juice and a top steam bath with a lid. Given that I don't have a steam canner and that these are likely to be expensive/ not available in Britain, do you think I could use the top of the juicer to steam small quantities of jars?

What do people think?
 

blissful

Executive Chef
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Mar 25, 2008
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I don't have a steam juicer or a steam canner. I have a couple water bath canners and a pressure canner.


I looked around canning sites and google but didn't find anything saying you can use the steam juicer AS a steam canner.


What it usually says is that you use the steam juicer to get your hot juice into jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space in the jar, THEN, wipe the top, put on the canning lid, put them in a boiling water bath canner covering them 1 inch over the lids, and boil for a certain amount of time. Start timing when the water is at a full boil.



Pretty much any large kettle can be used as a water bath canner. It would need a little metal grate or something on the bottom to hold the jars above the bottom of the kettle. (you could put lids below the jars) It would need to be tall enough to be as tall as the jars on the grate, or whatever, plus 1 inch of water on top of the jars, plus some leeway so it doesn't boil water all over the place. A lid will help it hold the heat.


Well, that's what I think. :)
 
Last edited:

dragnlaw

Site Team
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Feb 16, 2013
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Waterdown, Ontario
Hi Andy! and Welcome to DC.

Had heard of Steam Juicer's but never really knew what they meant. Found this article that I thought really expained a lot.

About a Steam Juicer

With that being said and from what I just read in the article, I don't believe you can use the top for canning. I doubt it would get your jars to the internal temperature that you would need to make them safe.

As bliss has explained in the last paragraph, any large pot that you can fit your jars into with water over by an 1inch and boiling room on top, can be used.
Maybe even the bottom of your juicer hmm, or maybe not, they look sort of shallow. Pot size depends entirely on the size of your jars.
Looking on Amazon, UK - wild range of prices starting at (pots only on up to all the bells and whistles) 19 Euro.

Good Luck and let us know what you do!
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
918
water bath canning reaches 'boiling point' = 212F / 100C
steam is the same temperature as boiling water, it's just water with the input of heat-of-vaporization, i.e. water that the same temperature but forced into a gas (steam) vs a liquid (water)


the temperature to kill "bad stuff" is the issue.
to kill botulism spores - 240'F / 115.6 'C
open pot/lidded pot boiling water cannot reach that temperate - hence the recommendation for "pressure canning"


any crop that has had soil contact may have botulism spores.
no, it's not a 100% certain thing, but in the vein of 'better safe than sorry' - pressure canning is recommended.
 

dragnlaw

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I believe the poster is talking about acidic foods, fruits/tomato, which water bath is within the range it needs to be. I believe, but don't quote me, that is the reason for the length of time various water baths need to be for the safety of the contents.
 

Andy Cromarty

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
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2
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Cromarty
Thanks

Thanks everyone
I guess the question is the volume of steam produced by the juicer and whether it is a hot enough bath to raise everything to 100C boiling.

I guess I could try a science experiment with some water filled jars and see if the jars were actually at boiling point.

In Britain we make jam the old-fashioned and "dangerous" way, by heating the jars in the oven and pouring the hot jam into the jars. sometimes we just use wax discs and cellophane covers to seal the jam. As far as I know nobody dies but the jam can go mouldy. As others have commented, it is a completely different matter if you are preserving less sweet, less acid produce, especially if it might have been contaminated from the earth etc. Even with the cherries I have preserved in the oven, (wet pack method), I gather you have to be careful although they seem to have sealed and definitely were boiling vigorously.

Anyway my thoughts around the steaming method was that it was more efficient than the waterbath method, but I guess for the number of jars we do, maybe that isn't too important, I have a big jam pan I could use. We have some solar pv but I am always looking for low energy climate-friendly ways of doing things.

Thanks for the advice, and if anyone has any hacks for a steam bath let me know.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
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near Montreal, Quebec
Andy, I agree that steam canning is more efficient. You don't have to heat up nearly as much water. But, you need to use a purpose built steam canner. It will have the proper vents so you can monitor the heat during the canning process without opening the lid.

Here's an article about steam canning. It's from the University of Wisconsin, so it's a reliable site. https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/safefood/2020/06/30/a-fresh-look-at-steam-canning/
 

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