I had a problem with my pressure canner this year not sealing. I tried everything I knew, rubbing a little vegetable oil on the seal, dampening, even turning off the canner letting it cool completely then starting the sealing process all over. Still, to no avail. Even a new seal didn’t do the trick.
I then bought a new pressure canner. The next morning when I got ready to reprocess the entire batch they were all sealed. Yes, sealed from heating the canner twice until the water boiled and steam escaped (even though the canner did not form a seal).
Green beans and all non-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner for 25 minutes/quarts or 20 minutes/ pints at 10 pounds pressure to kill potential botulism. So even though my jars sealed they were not safe to eat because the botulism spore would not have been destroyed. Processing non-acid foods in a water canner will not kill potential botulism, a deadly toxin.
Even if you or your mother canned everything in the water canner it is not safe for non-acid food. For example: tomatoes, sauerkraut, pickles and fruit are acidic. Corn, green beans, squash, meat etc. are non-acidic and require pressure – a pressure canner (not pressure cooker) to preserve them.
If you can anything, the next time you are in the Extension Office pick up a new publication or set of publications on principles of home canning, canning tomatoes and tomato products, canning jams and jellies, canning meat and freezing foods.
For canning questions call Cheryl at the Extension Office Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 234-5510.