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jeffshoaf last won the day on March 29

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About jeffshoaf

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  1. One of my concerns with buying a canner is not disliking it enough to deal with storing it between rare uses. Yes, not disliking it - I'm ok with being neutral on the canning process, but if I actively dislike it I just won't use it. I've not found one to borrow and try. So... I think I have a solution. I've had an Instant Pot for a long time and use it a lot for dried beans and occasionally for soups and stews. The newest model Instant Pot has a pressure canning function. It doesn't meet the USDA criteria for a "safe" pressure canner due to size (will only hold 4 pint jars and USDA criteria specifies 4 quarts) and it doesn't have the required weighted pressure valve to give a visual indicator that it's at pressure but it has been tested by an independent agency that verified that it does hit and maintain the appropriate temps. I think it'll hold 6 to 8 pint-sized retort bags; that should be sufficient for me to play with as well as what I think will be my normal canning batch size. If I get the new model IP, I can stash my current one back for the rare occasion that I need 2 or need to take beans somewhere for a pot luck; its smaller than a 20+ quart canner so storing it isn't as onerous as a big canner. Unfortunately, the new IP is US $200 (or more) everywhere and I have some pending expenses that are making me hold off. I wish I'd found this before Amazon Prime Day! Maybe I can hold off until Black Friday... And maybe they'll introduce an 8 qt version before then. If I like canning well enough to want to do bigger batches, I'll invest in a "real" canner later.
  2. I've found a bag that's been reported as being reliably sealed by my model chamber vac but it's currently out of stock except in the 100 count pack so I'm not jumping on it yet. I'm having a difficult time finding a pressure canner; since a loaded canner is pretty heavy, most are made of aluminum and won't work with my stovetop or hot plate since those are both induction units. Presto does make a canner with a clad bottom that works with induction but it's bigger than I was hoping for. It looks like Fagor made a few small induction canners but Fagor didn't survive the Spanish financial crisis of a few years ago. I do have a side burner on my natural gas grill that I could use with an aluminum canner but it's very aggravating to deal with - it doesn't adjust smoothly and it's prone to go out unless it's running wide open. My brother has several propane burners so I could borrow one of those to play with if I can borrow a canner from someone. While I do have several natural gas outlets outside that I could use with a natural gas burner for canning, I don't currently really have any other use for a gas burner - my brother generally does any frying for cookouts. Presto does make an electric canner (kinda like an Instant Pot, but made specifically for canning) that looks interesting but it's a bit pricey ($350 US) - I'd spend that if I knew I'd get a lot of have out of it but I don't know that... It's also large for its capacity so presents a little storage concern.
  3. One advantage is that since the bags are vacuum packed, there's no need to add water or syrup to fruit, so you're not diluting the flavor or adding sugars - so you're preserving the fruit instead of making jam.
  4. From my research, I've found info indicating that some bags will seal in some machines but not others and some machines won't seal any of them. I've found references that would indicate that there are bags the work with my machine but I haven't narrowed it down to any specific bags yet. I'm not adverse to testing myself but the little looking I've done had only found bags in quantities of 25 or more and I'm working on borrowing a pressure canner before spending $30 on bags that may go to waste.
  5. @tekobo , I don't think your method is considered safe by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) for low acid foods. The 120° C hits the botulism-killing temperature; if your produce is also hitting that temp, you're probably safe as long as no botulism spores find their way into either during the filling process but there is a risk there. By heating after filing, that risk is eliminated. I assume you're doing relatively small quantities; at the volumes I remember my mother canning when I was young, it would have been very difficult to keep things hot using that process. The USDA has published time/pressure charts for canning in jars for years; these are based on extensive testing to insure that all the "can" contents reach the appropriate temp to kill any botulism. Of course, the USDA has not published similar charts for canning in retort pouches, supposedly because the lack of controlled testing.
  6. I believe the indicated "spare" part is a gas orifice. Maybe to convert to natural gas?
  7. I'm confused by thIs statement - why would they not work for water processing? I've found several references that indicate they're fine for water bath processing. The only concern I've seen is that you shouldn't placed the bags directly on the bottom of the pot for water bath or pressure canning (be sure to use a rack).
  8. Hmmm... I was researching canning a while back and everything I looked at still had the whole jar sanitizing thing as part of the process. It would be difficult for me to find the space to do the sanitizing and keep the jars isolated between sanitizing and filling. Without that requirement, I'd be able to do the actual pressurizing out on the screened-in deck and not heat up the kitchen. My folks always had a huge garden when I was growing up and my mother did a lot of canning in the kitchen of our non- air conditioned house and it was pretty swampy in the whole house during that process! I think the canned bags would be more convenient to store than jars as well. I tend to keep my freezers full of meat so I'm looking at alternatives to freezing for fruit and soups/sauces. Yes, I'm aware of the pressure requirement; pretty much every source I've referenced has even recommended using the jar canning pressures and times, but stress the need to add additional time (30% more time). I think you got it backwards tho (typo?) - jams/jellies/high acid foods can be water-bath canned since the acid helps kill the bad stuff that the higher temps take care of during pressure canning.
  9. Any of you chamber vac owners tried retort canning using the retort bags? May be my next rabbit hole... Seems to be a bit less meticulous than canning in jars since you don't have to do all the sanitization steps that you do with jars before filling.
  10. I just linked to the thread and that's the pic that's displayed! I did verify that it goes to the 1st post on the thread and not the one with your pic.
  11. Be sure to look at Arizona BBQ Grill Works as well (https://www.azbbqgrills.com/) - I looked at Hooray and everyone else I could find before buying mine last year and ended up with AZ's brick-lined Argentinean grill. Hooray has some really nice features but the price was substantially higher than AZ's; I had good timing for once and ordered mine just shortly before they had to raise prices due to increasing material costs. I documented the journey here:
  12. I've noticed here and on other sites dedicated to the art of cooking outdoors that a lot of folks tend to buy instead of making their sauces and rubs. While I don't really have an issue with this and I usually keep some Bone Suckin' Sauce on hand for "emergencies", it strikes me as a bit odd that folks basically out source a big component of their flavor efforts on a high percentage of all of their cooks seeing that so many of us go overboard on other ingredients, equipment, and techniques. It's it just for convenience? Not able to match a favorite commercial item? Can't find ingredients? Thoughts?
  13. That's an average-sized chupacabra in these parts.
  14. I've been reasonably happy with the nighttime video, but I don't have anything to compare it to. Here's a recent example. 1639754621.mp4
  15. Amazon prime day(s) are 7/12/2022 - 7/13/2022 and they're supposed to have a lot of home automation and electronics stuff on sale so this might be good timing on your part! I don't have a full security system but I do have several Google Nest cams and doorbells that I'm reasonably happy with other than the one watching my driveway is prone to interpret heavy rain as a vehicle. One nice feature of the newest models is that they're battery powered but you can plug 'em in full time; even if plugged in, they call back to battery power so they keep recording when there's a power outage. They also have a decent amount of internal memory so they also keep recording when your WiFi is down; you can access those recordings once WiFi is restored.
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