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  #1  
Old 11/03/11, 01:09 PM
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Location: SW KS--Cowboy country
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turkey fryer canning

I'm a wee bit frustrated. On sunday, I canned 7 pints of chicken and 7 quarts of potatoes. Since I have an all electric house, I used the turkey fryer out in the garage. I'm frustrated with it. I can't seem to get my temperature regulated well. I canned the potatoes first, and most of my water in the canner evaporated. So, when I did the chicken, I turned the flame down, and didn't lose all the water, but most of my broth came out of my jars. So, I'm pretty confident that my heat was still to high. (Oh, my canner is a Mirro one with the weight, not the guage.)

So, for you experienced canners, who use the turkey fryer, how on earth do you regulate that fire? HOw long did it take you to figure it out? Do you have the gas opened up all the way and regulate your flame with the fryer controller (on the hose?) or is there another secret?

I have more chicken to can, but I really want it to go better. (I had one seal failure on the chicken and 2 of the potatoes. Too high of a seal failure for me!)

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Old 11/03/11, 09:00 PM
 
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I'm an experienced canner and while I own a turkey fryer, I won't use it for canning. One of the things that came with my most recent pressure canner was a slip of paper that said something to the effect of "Do NOT use a turkey fryer for canning." Apparently the inability to regulate the temperature effectively can cause fluctuations in internal temperature that are broad enough to interfere with proper pressure, can cause siphoning, and disrupt proper sealing.

Stinks, doesn't it? It sounds so nice and easy.

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  #3  
Old 11/03/11, 10:09 PM
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The turkey frier is to powerful and hard to regulate to pressure can on.It is wonderful to boiling water bath can on. The water heats very fast.

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  #4  
Old 11/04/11, 05:37 AM
 
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Location: Northeastern Oklahoma
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Turkey fryers are rated at way too many BTUs to can, even at their lowest setting, so you can't regulate the pressure correctly, as you discovered. Sorry you had to learn the hard way.

This PDF document describes the generalized care and usage of canners: http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edcomm/pdf/PNW/PNW0421.pdf

It states that Presto or Mirro canners shouldn't be used on burners over 12,000 BTUs. I haven't looked at tons of turkey fryers, but the ones I did look at had a minimum of 21,000 BTUs.

Some people use the propane burners, even though the info I've seen rates them at 15,000 BTUs. I think maybe the All American canners hold up better under the higher heat than the Presto or Mirro. Here's a thread talking about hot plates and burners:
http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...ight=hot+plate

This post shows a picture of Macybaby's hot plate:
http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...hlight=canning

Please note, though, that it requires a 220 outlet, not a regular 110. I think this is so neat and dream of one if I ever get my outdoor "canning kitchen", lol! Here's where to buy it:
http://www.everythingkitchens.com/ca...e-LKR-220.html

Another thing a lot of people have done is to purchase the set of weights and use them rather than the gauge. It apparently makes things much easier to maintain a steady pressure. Here's a thread about that:
http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...o+gauge+weight (oops, see you mentioned that already, lol)

P.S. The broth coming out of your jars of chicken is due to siphoning. This is caused by too high heat or pressure fluctuations. Sorry, I know that is so frustrating!

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Last edited by calliemoonbeam; 11/04/11 at 05:46 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11/04/11, 07:09 AM
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Do you have an adjustable regulator? I switched my standard regulator (unadjustable) for the adjustable and it works well. You do have to keep it out of a breeze but since you do it in thegarage you should be fine.

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  #6  
Old 11/04/11, 09:15 AM
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I see Callie already posted about some of what I do.

I tired, but after two different propane cookers and a separate regulator, I gave up. But I also live where it starts getting cold in the evenings and found I had problems taking jars out of the canner when the ambivalent temps in the garage where around 45F. Plus I got tired of freezing out there watching things. While I do the bulk in the fall, I can year round.

I used my presto on my glass topped stove with no problems. Not sure if the Mirro would work as it depends on the shape of the bottom - it can't extend far outside the burner element. I had problems because I switched to an induction cooktop, which won't work with aluminum cookware.

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  #7  
Old 11/04/11, 10:23 AM
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I've tried talking DH into letting me use the burner on his grill, but he's afraid that a full pressure canner is too heavy. I've thought about doing it in our camper, but that grill is fairly lightweight and THAT made ME a little nervous. I looked at the propane burners, but again, would have to be in the garage. Which stinks! I feel like I'm wasting time just SITTING there watching a pot! I've already tried the flat top stove top, but I just couldn't get it to ever pressure up! (My stove is NOT the best.)

I've thought that the turkey fryer just isn't my best option, but now I have to find something. I refuse to give up on canning! (Right now, I'm thinking I just might have to load everything up, and drive 50 miles to my Mother's house and use her gas stove!) Maybe I'll just use the camper stove...or DH's grill...

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  #8  
Old 11/04/11, 01:25 PM
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If you could not get the pot to work on your stove, check the bottom to see how flat it is. if it's not, your burner will cycle on and off instead of staying on.

The other problem I have had is I had to get the Presto just right. If I bent down, I could just see the red of the hot burner, and if I saw it go on and off, I'd move the pot a bit to get better centers so the burner would stay on. Then it worked FASTER than any of the other sources I have used, including the coil cooktop. And once up to pressure, I turned it down to 1.5-2 and it maintained very well. In fact, I was sort of worried I would not be able to turn it low enough.

It really is amazing the different you will get on a glass top stove with perfectly flat pans. I learned this after many years. I always thought my pans were flat enough, until I got some heavy duty stock pots that were truly flat - amazing difference in performance.

My first attempt with the PC was on a coleman stove - that was an experience!

I wish I could pack up my gear and head to your house and see if we could get something to work well on your stove. I love canning and am glad you are not willing to give up!

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  #9  
Old 11/04/11, 06:40 PM
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Ignorance IS bliss

Evidently I'm too ignorant to know that you can't can on a turkey fryer or I would not have been doing it that way for the last 20 or so odd years.

See, sometimes knowledge is a bad thing!!


OK, 'nuff sarcasm, but seriously I have canned with one for a long, long time.

sy

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  #10  
Old 11/04/11, 06:46 PM
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no, not ignorant, based on what many have experienced - LUCKY!!!

I'd have saved myself a lot of money if using the turkey fryer would have worked. Though I would not have my wonderful summer kitchen now if it had, so I guess it worked out. So, are you still canning this time of year? It's getting darn cold once the sun goes down. Canning outside when it's below freezing is not my idea of fun.

BTW -what part of "central-ish WI" are you? I use to leave near Eau Claire.

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Old 11/04/11, 07:13 PM
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"So, are you still canning this time of year? It's getting darn cold once the sun goes down. Canning outside when it's below freezing is not my idea of fun.

BTW -what part of "central-ish WI" are you? I use to leave near Eau Claire."

Done canning chicken and garden stuff, but deer hunting is only a couple weeks away and we can all but the backstraps/tenderloin. That I usually do in the shop if'n it too cold out. Even if I don't have the wood stove going in the shop it's nicwe to get out of the wind. AND, it's much easier to control the flame!

We are about 3-ish hours from Eau Claire, east and a little south.

sy

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Old 11/04/11, 09:25 PM
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We are getting ready for deer season here too - between DH and I, we have seven tags. Don't expect to get that many, but this year the Brule Co antlerless tags came standard with three.

I love canned venison!

So, what type of turkey fryer to you use? Seems the biggest problem is they are too high BTU and don't have the ability to be turned down low enough. I kept having problems with the flame going out if I tried to turn it down lower. When I tried BWB with the old style enamel pan, it kept boiling so hard it would boil over and put out the flame.

Now all I use the turkey fryer for is heating up water for scalding chickens. But then I'm heating a lot more water than when canning, and I never bring it to a boil. I just shut if off it it's getting too hot, and then relight it when I need to. We raise chickens every other year, and only do about 25 as I'm only feeding two.

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  #13  
Old 11/04/11, 11:29 PM
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Macybaby,
Ya, ain't canned venison great?

I don't know what kind of cooker I have, it's been around for 15-20 years. It's not a fancy/expensive one, (my brothers is quite newer/heavier duty). His does have larger burner also, hmmm?

Any way, I also use mine for scalding chickens and can easily adjust the flame to maintain an even 140 degrees.

Maybe you all just have too nice of cookers!!! Ya know I never HAVE used mine to cook a turkey! Probably couldn't handle it!

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  #14  
Old 11/05/11, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelljo View Post
I've tried talking DH into letting me use the burner on his grill, but he's afraid that a full pressure canner is too heavy. I've thought about doing it in our camper, but that grill is fairly lightweight and THAT made ME a little nervous. I looked at the propane burners, but again, would have to be in the garage. Which stinks! I feel like I'm wasting time just SITTING there watching a pot! I've already tried the flat top stove top, but I just couldn't get it to ever pressure up! (My stove is NOT the best.)

I've thought that the turkey fryer just isn't my best option, but now I have to find something. I refuse to give up on canning! (Right now, I'm thinking I just might have to load everything up, and drive 50 miles to my Mother's house and use her gas stove!) Maybe I'll just use the camper stove...or DH's grill...
Take a look at these. You can adjust the flames on them. The good thing with this type burner. You can actually close off some of your burner holes with screws if you want less flame. They are low to the ground so your not in an awkward position trying to lift jars in and out of the pots.

http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/db3...ble_burner.htm
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  #15  
Old 11/07/11, 11:17 AM
 
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I have to use a turkey fryer with my 41 qt all american. I'm afraid full it would crush my stove!! I have an adjuster on the tank as well as on the hose going to the fryer and it works fine. My canner has a gauge and a weight - you can just listen to the weight. It should jiggle every 8-10 seconds when at the right pressure.

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  #16  
Old 11/07/11, 04:46 PM
 
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Thanks for the info about the adjustable regulator Cliff! Now that I know others have used turkey fryers and outdoor cookers, I may give it a try after all. I really wanted to figure out a way to do it outside instead of heating up the house so bad in summer. Moldy, with as many jars as you put up, if it works for you I guess it'll work for me, lol!

That's what I love about HT, you can learn something new every day and many different ways to do things!

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  #17  
Old 11/14/11, 09:55 PM
 
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Location: Green country, Oklahoma
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I use a turkey fryer frame for water bath canning - I replaced the regulator with an adjustable regulator and the burner with a low pressure burner. It works very well. - I do my pressure canning on a camp chef 2 burner with a low pressure regulator and it adjusts the flame with a knob by the burner - It doesn't take much flame to hold 10 lbs of pressure. The slower you build pressure and the slower you let the pressure come down the less fluid you will loose from the jars.

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