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Ask Jackie headline

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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Jackie Clay

Q and A: pH stable after canning, dehydrating frozen vegetables, and canning turkey

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Is pH stable after canning?

I just heard that the Extension folks have found that pH does not stay stable after canning (guess this came out in 2008 or so). Have you heard about this, and what implications would that have on our home canning? At first it sounded dire, but the more I think about it, the more I think we should still be fine as long as we processed at the correct pressure and for the correct time in the first place. I sure don’t want to have to restrict myself to “official” recipes only.

Tracey Roberts
Cave Junction, Oregon

As long as you process at the correct pressure and time, your home canning will be fine. There are always new scientific “findings” that seem to be meant to alarm the public. — Jackie

Dehydrating frozen vegetables

Have you ever dried frozen veggies?

Linda Hinkle
Gig Harbor, Washington

Yes. It works quite well, especially with corn, peas, and broccoli. Not so hot with carrots and green beans that tend to get a little tough. They are good enough for stews and soups, however. Just thaw them and proceed as if they were fresh. — Jackie

Canning turkey

With Thanksgiving coming soon, and turkey prices will be very low in my area, could you give hints for canning? I’d like to can larger chunks, but with some flavoring added. Are there some seasoning not favorable to canning? Such as bitterness, and increased strength? How different is already roasted, vs. cold raw pack? I’m by myself so pints sounds better for my use.

Philip McRae

That’s a great idea and one I use nearly every year; buying several turkeys on a very good sale before holidays. What I usually do is to bake the turkey until it is partially done; so that you can handle the meat easily. Then cool the turkey and cut the meat off the bone into chunks/slices/dices to suit you. In bowls, separate the types of meat. When done, place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot. If you need to, cut it up to fit in one or more pots. Cover with water. Add salt, pepper, a bit of sage, onion powder, and any other spices you wish. Sage can get bitter from canning, so don’t overdo that. Simmer the bones/meat for about an hour, then strain off the broth and taste. If it needs more salt or seasonings, add them. While you bring it back to a boil in another pot, pack the turkey meat in jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Cover with boiling broth, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If you live at an altitude above 12,00 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary.

I nearly always process my poultry like that, sometimes substituting simmering the meat to roasting it, depending on the size of the bird (turkey vs. chicken). I have also raw packed, to save time, but the meat tends to “blob” at the bottom of the jars and the broth is not as attractive. The taste is good, however. — Jackie

4 Responses to “Q and A: pH stable after canning, dehydrating frozen vegetables, and canning turkey”

  1. joyce pierce Says:

    just have a question about canning pecans. can i can them after they are frozen?

  2. donald drury Says:

    I think you mis-typed the warning about pressure/altitude changes. I’m sure you meant “above 1,000 feet”, but it showed up as 12,000 feet. This might lead to a problem if one doesn’t already know.
    Thanks for all you do, your’s is the first blog and article I read.

  3. Natalie Says:

    Jackie, did you really mean “If you live at an altitude above 12,00 feet, consult your canning book for directions on increasing your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary.” on the turkey recipe? Don’t you usually have to adjust the pressure at a much lower altitude? Thanks!

  4. jackie clay Says:


    EEEKKKK I DID mean 1,000 feet! How that one slipped by, I’ll never know. Luckily, I have plenty of eagle-eyed readers in my BHM family!!! Sorry, guys!



    If you live below 1,000 feet, you will be canning at 10 pounds pressure.


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