Canning - at what point do I start the timer for a "boiling bath"

skc1962July 24, 2014

I've been canning for a couple of years now, but have a question regarding statements like these I find in recipes: "process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes." At what point does the timer start for the 15 minutes? The water is boiling when I submerge the jars, but it usually takes 10 minutes for the water to return to a rolling boil. So does the timer start when I submerge them into the boiling water, or once the water returns to a boil. One of my recipes states "when it returns", the other does not. TIA! Sharon

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Time STARTS when the water comes back to a boil. If it is taking a lot of time, your range may not be large enough to generate enough BTUs to do a good job, or your canner may be too large for your stove.

Check the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: New To Canning

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Awesome link! Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:51PM
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I agree, the timer starts when the water returns to a boil. However, even on my extremely cheap and not exactly new gas stove, that only takes 4 or 5 minutes. I agree that your stove might not be handling the size of the canner efficiently.

It's funny, I've been canning all my life and suddenly, it's popular again. All the "church grandmas" gave me their canning jars years ago, when they couldn't even give them away, and now they are a hot commodity on the online auctions and second hand stores. I guess it's come full circle.

Anyway, here's another link with some good recipes, I have the Cinnamon Red Hot pickles ready for the jar tomorrow, using zucchini instead of cucumbers. I'll let you know how that went, LOL. I think the jalapenos and pineapple will be next.


Here is a link that might be useful: Canning Homemade

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Don't mistake bubbles coming out of jars as BOILING. That means excess air is starting to be forced out of jars, not that water is boiling. Probably better to err on side of caution and boil a few minutes longer than under-boil??

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:36AM
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Annie, I smiled to hear you are making the Cinnamon Red Hot pickles! My good friend (who does not like to cook) attempted these pickles a couple of years ago and now makes them every year. I was literally standing in the dollar store giving her advice on my cell phone about what size canning pot to buy, which tongs to get, etc. She was tickled pink (or red) that her first attempt ever at making pickles was a success. She orders the cucumbers from a certain farmer at the market because his are the best (she says).


    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Sharon are you using one of those large enameled pots that they sell for canning in the hardware stores? Unless you are processing a whole batch of pints or quarts, those things are notoriously inefficient for processing small jars and small batches. In fact, I have nicknamed my enamel pot "the beast" and only get it out if I have to, which is less and less now that I bought a smaller pot for canning pints and half pints. If you're not filling your canner, maybe you should look around and get a smaller pot that fits more with the size batches you do. Just be sure that it fits how ever many jars you want to process, and the water covers the top of the lids an inch or more. When I do jams and my small batch pickles, I usually can use just a stockpot. The beast gets used now mostly for big batches of tomato products.

Another issue with it taking so long might be that you are overfilling it with water. The water level does rise when you put the filled jars back into the canner for processing. I often take some water out until the water level is just a little over one inch above the jar rims.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Teresa, I sampled the first of the Cinnamon pickles, and promptly picked all the zucchini and made more, I really like them.

Bud helped me make them, so he's laid claim to his "share". Like he won't eat his share every chance he gets, LOL.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:24PM
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