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How water bath for pickles

glutton Nov 1, 2006 03:54 PM

I would like to make some pickles and then can them for the long haul. I know I need to run them in a hot water bath for 10-15 minutes to ensure that I get a good vacuum seal. However, I do not know if a canning pot is necessary to do this or if I can simply put a wire rack on the bottom of a big pot that I already have and then put the lid on it. What does a canning kettle/pot get me that I am not getting with a wire rack on the bottom of my big, heavy duty pot?

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    Anne H Nov 1, 2006 05:10 PM

    I've made both pickles and jam with a big pot and a rack. Actually, though, neither cooked in the hot water-- I just sterilized the jars and lids and utensils in the hot water. The pickles were then cooked in the oven (an hour at 250 is what I remember, but I'm at work and don't have the recipe in front of me). The jam sealed because hot jam cooled and suctioned the lid.

    I only can things that tend not to have problems, because of high acid or high sugar (pickles and jam, eh). And I don't claim big expertise. I just follow old family recipes.

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      Eldon Kreider Nov 3, 2006 09:02 PM

      Rack for canning kettle is structured to space jars and keep them from bumping into each other. This maximizes the number of jars that will fit safely. The rack in a canning kettle also lets the jar bottoms go pretty close to the bottom of the kettle and facilitates lifting the whole batch part way up for loading or unloading. I have a canner but wouldn't buy and need to store a special kettle for this to process a few jars of pickles. The advantages are niceties, not necessities, most useful to somebody who makes a lot of jams or pickles. The rack to keep jar bottoms off the kettle bottom is the absolutely essential element.

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