Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

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Dogan
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Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by Dogan » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:12 am

Hello all! I recently came across an old National pressure cooker with the weight and pressure gauge intact at a thrift store, took it home and don't have a clue where to start with it. I know pressure cookers can be used both to cook and to can (and this one came with a canning rack still inside) but I'm at a loss as to a good place to start. Easy/favorite recipes, good resource books, the like. Any help would be awesome because oh my god is there a ton of information out there to sift through.

Also, as an early Valentines day gift my SO got me a dehydrator which, same deal, I have no clue where to start with.

Any advice or personally tested recipes (I still use ZombieGrannies granola bar recipe) would be awesome!
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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by CG » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:56 am

Test the pressure cooker with just water to make sure it still seals, and ask your county extension agent about testing the gauge if you're in the US. Past that, I got nothing.
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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by bacpacjac » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:27 am

I recommend checking out Jaxx Drinkwater @http://thebeardedhiker.com. I starting watching him to try to reduce my pack weight and got totally hooked on his cooking. He's got a bunch of awesome recipes specifically for the pressure cooker, and otherwise yummy tasting stuff. He's got an awesome YouTube channel too, and he always makes my mouth water. I've tried some of his recipes and they've never let me down.
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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by aikorob » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:21 pm

see if you can dig up a copy of the Ball Canning Guide
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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by 50 Mission Cap » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:04 am

CG wrote:Test the pressure cooker with just water to make sure it still seals, and ask your county extension agent about testing the gauge if you're in the US. Past that, I got nothing.

This. I picked up a pressure canner dated 1945 (victory garden anyone?) for $5 at a garage sale. Still being made today but would cost several hundred $ new. This is the type that is manufactured so well it's a metal-to-metal seal on the lid and requires no gasket. I should know way better but I just started using it to can. Well turns out the 70 year old gage was reading way low. So my food was safe but I was cranking up the pressure to god knows what. Lucky it didn't explode.

In any event get the gage tested and start using it. Canning is a lot of work and honestly economically it's doesn't make sense when you can buy a can of string beans for $0.69. But it's fun and a great skill to have for so many reasons. It's cool to pull a jar of pasta sauce out of the pantry that you made from your tomatoes a year and a half ago.

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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by Dogan » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:07 pm

Alright, tested the pressure cooker (only got it up to 5psi before I shut it down) and while it can hold pressure at low levels, it hemorrhages steam from the seal so I think it needs a new one. Gonna figure out how to test the pressure gauge for accuracy next.

Also, starting small, made some banana and strawberry chips with the dehydrator. Checked out Jaxx and can't wait until I'm that proficient. Also found a bunch of info about dehydrating whole meals on YouTube and can't wait for that. Ball canning guide, my mom probably has a spare copy, I'll ask her next time I see her.

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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by ZombieGranny » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:17 pm

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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by Dogan » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:38 pm

Oh they absolutely will! I'll back read them in a bit, thank you!
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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by KYZHunters » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:40 am

We use our pressure cooker for canning, but it gets used more for making stock. We keep plastic bags in the freezer for beef bones and chicken carcasses. The bones go in their respective bags either raw or after cooking.

Whenever a bag is full it goes into the pressure cooker with water, celery, carrots and onions and an hour later you've got a couple of gallons of top shelf stock. We chill the stock overnight to let the fat solidify and feed the fat to the dogs or pigs. We strain the stock and freeze it in 2 quart plastic containers which is a god size for most of our recipes calling for stock. It is so flavorful you can use it directly for soup.

This is also a great use for veggies that are sound but not in the greatest shape that you might have just tossed or composted.
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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by patient[0] » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:58 pm

Dogan wrote:We use our pressure cooker for canning, but it gets used more for making stock. We keep plastic bags in the freezer for beef bones and chicken carcasses. The bones go in their respective bags either raw or after cooking.

Whenever a bag is full it goes into the pressure cooker with water, celery, carrots and onions and an hour later you've got a couple of gallons of top shelf stock. We chill the stock overnight to let the fat solidify and feed the fat to the dogs or pigs. We strain the stock and freeze it in 2 quart plastic containers which is a god size for most of our recipes calling for stock. It is so flavorful you can use it directly for soup.

This is also a great use for veggies that are sound but not in the greatest shape that you might have just tossed or composted.
I'm down with all that jazz. We also save trimmings (ends/peels/skins) from celery, carrots, onions, garlic, shallot, leek, and keep 'em in a giant freezer zipper bag. Works out great for stock. If you want to be really lazy about stock, dump some frozen veggie trim and frozen chicken bones/carcs into a crockpot in the morning before you leave, top it up with water, lid it, and cruise on out. You'll have a nice stash of stock, and a soup-scented house when you get home (call it eight hours or so). If you find yourself needing smaller amounts of stock for sauces, etc. you can freeze it in ice cube trays, and crack the frozen cubes into a big zipper bag or similar to store in the freezer. Measure out how much water fills one of your cubes - I find my ice cube trays to be about a tbsp per cube, but I'm sure they can vary.

For pressure cooking, I find https://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers ... cooker.php to be pretty helpful, especially once you get a hang on the pressure cooking and want to adapt recipes to it.

For dehydrator stuff, http://www.backpackingchef.com/ has a bunch of recipes for dehydrator meals, perfect for replacing Mountain House or other dehydrated meals. Way cheaper, and way better tasting.
aikorob wrote: Canning is a lot of work and honestly economically it's doesn't make sense when you can buy a can of string beans for $0.69.
Canning grocery-store produce might not be worth it, but if you've got a decent garden then canning is pretty much a must if you want to maximize your ROI. Even with a fairly small garden in my northern climate we can grow far more veggies than we can consume as fresh produce.

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Re: Where to start w/pressure cooker and dehydrator

Post by duodecima » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:56 pm

Dogan wrote:Hello all! I recently came across an old National pressure cooker with the weight and pressure gauge intact at a thrift store
ONE OF US! ONE OF US! Ok, so I LOVE pressure canning & am always happy to see folks get into it.

I don't know that canner (& there's more than one kind on line) - is the weight rated for different lb of pressure, or do you have to control the pressure via the heat/weight by looking at the dial? If the later, getting the dial calibrated is critical and county extension is the place to start like CG says.

I don't actually use mine to cook with, just can, so all my recipes are canning recipes. Also, while canning guides will tell you NOT to screw around with the recipes - the truth is you can do so once you understand the principles. I can things I can't buy, like my own chili recipes (up to 3 types now), browned ground meat & onion (for easy cooking), pork chili verde, and my own stock (made with meat/bone/veggie scraps exactly like KYZ and pt[0]). It's good for taking advantage of sales on meat, and easy weekday open&heat meals. Also means my canned food has a fat & salt content that I'm in direct control of.

My All American is one of those couple hundred $ ones, with the metal-to-metal weight gauge, 10 years old and no issues, so it's good to hear it'll still likely work in 80 years, 50 Mission Cap!

For my dehydrator, I've experimented with a lot of things, but strawberry chips (yum!) and apple chips are the faves. Yogurt & fruit leather also not bad. We've recently gotten into jerky (picky eater child will eat it!) so I may start experimenting with that.
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