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Old 17-03-2020, 06:29   #1
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Pressure canning at sea.

Hello, Have a question hopefully someone here knows about. I reciently purchased a pressure canner so I can preserve fish and other foods, refergerator space is limited as is fresh water. The question is - can I use clean sea water in my pressure canner pot NOT in the jars with product I know that requires potable water but in the canning pot that the jars are in. jars will have lids and seals on them. is there a chance of contamination from the sea water in the pot? It will be boiling for quite a wile so I'd think bacteria woild be killed of but thinking can cause problems sometimes. Thanks in advance, Rob S/V Tallon
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Old 17-03-2020, 06:59   #2
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

My guess is that the salt and minerals left in the pot, and on the jars, would be a PITA to clean up.

I have a four quart pressure cooker and it does not take much water to preserve the food. I have never measured how much water goes in the pot but the water is only 1-2 inches deep so maybe 1/2 a gallon to a gallon of water.

Later,
Dan
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Old 17-03-2020, 07:02   #3
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

The FDA has a great website on food preservation, https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/p...ions_usda.html

I printed off the instructions I was interested in and put them in a binder.

Later,
Dan
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Old 17-03-2020, 08:49   #4
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

I have only cooked in jars at sea

Not preserved


The jar food must be refrigerated

The food is always fish

No pressure cooker , only boiling water and Only cubed fish in a jar full of olive oil

15 minutes cook time

Food preservation at sea would be much to difficult

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Old 17-03-2020, 09:19   #5
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt.rob View Post
Hello, Have a question hopefully someone here knows about. I reciently purchased a pressure canner so I can preserve fish and other foods, refergerator space is limited as is fresh water. The question is - can I use clean sea water in my pressure canner pot NOT in the jars with product I know that requires potable water but in the canning pot that the jars are in. jars will have lids and seals on them. is there a chance of contamination from the sea water in the pot? It will be boiling for quite a wile so I'd think bacteria woild be killed of but thinking can cause problems sometimes. Thanks in advance, Rob S/V Tallon
Unlike other people who are telling you it can't be done or is too hard, I have canned food on a boat. It is a bit of a logistical challenge, with lots of things happening at once in a small space, but it is doable. Not underway, but at anchor. Practice at home first

There is no biological issue with using seawater, as you say it is boiled hard and long. BUT.... Most pressure pots are either aluminum or stainless steel. Neither one will be happy with sea water at 130C. The pot itself will be ok--for a while---but there are fiddly bits in the pressure control system that will not tolerate corrosion. You will find that things you need to take apart for routine cleaning just don't disassemble any more. Also the jars themselves have steel lids that might suffer.

At the same pressure, seawater will also boil about 1 deg C hotter than fresh water, and it would get hotter as the salt concentrates latter in the cycle. I don't think this matters, but it might end up "over cooking" your cans compared to the standard recipe, which I am sure you understand for food safety must not ever be changed...

I would definitely recommend sticking with fresh water. If you are doing a full load of jars in the cooker, the amount of water you need isn't that large.
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Old 18-03-2020, 09:02   #6
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

You can absolutely use sea water in your canner but for two things. First assume your pressure gauge is going to have a much shorter life due to internal corrosion from salts and rinse off the outside of jars after they cool down to remove salts on the steel rings and lids to prevent rust. I can fish on my boat all the time, you don’t need to add water inside the jars to your fish because the high water content of the fish itself, just dry pack them into your pint jars about 3/4 inch from the top. Cook at 12psi for 100 minutes. Remember if at anytime the pressure drops below the 12 psi you need to start your 100 minutes all over. Best to have two cookers so you can have one on the stove while the other is cooling down before you open the top. If you open your canner while it’s to hot the rapid drop in external temp on the jars causes them to boil and this pushes liquid and out of the jar past the lid and this causes the lids rubber ring to become contaminated and might result in a poor seal, so be patient and let your pressure cooker cool down and drop in internal pressure gradually. Enjoy
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Old 18-03-2020, 09:53   #7
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

Wife says :
For ground meat, brown, drain, put in dehydrator, after dried place/store in zip lock bags.

To use place in pan with water just covering meat, heat to boil. remove from heat, drain excess water. Use as normal for ground meats.
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Old 18-03-2020, 18:25   #8
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

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Originally Posted by dannc View Post
The FDA has a great website on food preservation, https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/p...ions_usda.html

I printed off the instructions I was interested in and put them in a binder.

Later,
Dan
Does anyone have experience with a good quality plastic container? Or at least non-breakable and less rattling? Don't like the idea of Mason Jars on the boat.
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Old 18-03-2020, 18:32   #9
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

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Does anyone have experience with a good quality plastic container? Or at least non-breakable and less rattling? Don't like the idea of Mason Jars on the boat.
While there are a LOT of good plastic containers, there are none that can take the temperature required for canning, and then survive the full vacuum that results.

For home canning it's go glass--or go home.

For all glass containers on our boat we use this stuff: https://www.uline.com/Grp_219/Netting

5 years, 30,000 miles nothing has ever broken.
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Old 18-03-2020, 19:41   #10
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

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While there are a LOT of good plastic containers, there are none that can take the temperature required for canning, and then survive the full vacuum that results.

For home canning it's go glass--or go home.

For all glass containers on our boat we use this stuff: https://www.uline.com/Grp_219/Netting

5 years, 30,000 miles nothing has ever broken.
That makes sense. Love it. We'll be doing it. I'm about to get a new boat built, and will set a bilge space aside for many (like 20 - 40) plastic protected standard sized Mason jars. Once used, the empty, still protected jar and closure just goes back to its place to be filled again when appropriate. Putting the empties back prevents rattling and falling over, and reduces rubbish. Bilge because they'll be quite heavy. New thinking for me. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 18-03-2020, 23:29   #11
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

I do it all the time with both food jars from the supermarket, usually pickled onions or gherkins, and Mason jars. I pre-cook and preserve two or three dozen meals so that I don't have to cook after a long days sailing.

There's no problem using sea water, the steam is fresh water anyway, the salt staying in the brine. Just be sure to wipe everything with a fresh water moist cloth after use.

I tend to the opinion that the elevated temperature from increasing brine concentration will not bother anything, you might cut the time by a few minutes if concerned about overcooking. I sometimes don't bother pre cooking allowing it to cook in the jars.

You can save gas by turning the flame right down until the pressure valve only just pops off. The Idea is to hold the temperature to the increased boiling point of pressurization for sufficient time to ensure any bacteria in the food is killed by the high temperature. To ensure this happens it needs to be held at high temperature foe about fifteen minutes or so.

I've been doing it for about eighteen years or so and have yet to even have experienced an upset stomach. But be sure that when you open the jars they still have vacuum on them otherwise throw the food away. If any air whatsoever has leaked into the jars past the seal, bacteria will have been drawn in and the food spoiled and consequently unsafe to consume.

By boiling the food you kill the bacteria and so long as airborn bacteria is kept out the food will keep.
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Old 19-03-2020, 06:15   #12
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

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Does anyone have experience with a good quality plastic container? Or at least non-breakable and less rattling? Don't like the idea of Mason Jars on the boat.
I have never done but you could use cans. In the US we often saying canning to refer to preserving food in glass jars which is a hold over when people used metal cans. But you have to source the cans and a machine to put on the lids. I don't think cans are reusable like glass jars.

Later,
Dan
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Old 19-03-2020, 06:55   #13
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

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Originally Posted by Scotty Kiwi View Post
Does anyone have experience with a good quality plastic container? Or at least non-breakable and less rattling? Don't like the idea of Mason Jars on the boat.

Don't know if they are still available but years ago we used actual cans for meat and lobsters. Would buy cans by case and there was a lid sealing device that would bend the lip of the lid over the can. It mounted on a counter and looked sort of like a industrial can opener you sometimes see in large kitchens.

Processing was the same fill, seal and boil.
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Old 19-03-2020, 08:11   #14
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

A 6 quart canner only uses a quart or two during the process. My thought is that trying to save that two quarts of fresh water by using salt water is a false savings. It may take more fresh water to clean the pressure canner than the water saved.

Pressure canning is a serious process and should not be compromised. Botulism will kill you very, very dead.
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Old 19-03-2020, 08:29   #15
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Re: Pressure canning at sea.

Capt. Rob,
What is your pressure cooker made of SS or aluminum? If aluminum would be a no go as your pot will soon be destroyed if you use seawater.
What I would be worried about would be your jar lids and rings rusting prematurely. We try to use our rings over over while lids are a one and done. Never used seawater as you are suggesting, but will the lid seals last the 1 yr. shelf life? Would be interesting to test.

Not saying you can't use seawater, but try cooking up a batch and let me know how it smells. It probably not going to be pleasant.
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