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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canner weights and Hopi Pale Grey squash

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Canner weights

I have found a number of canning recipes requiring 11 pounds pressure. My canner has a 5, 10 or 15 pound weight. Should I use 10 or 15 pounds for these recipes?

Judith Almand
Brandon, Florida

The 11 pound pressure replaced 10 pounds to keep folks safe from underprocessing their food. Ten pounds is easily safe provided that you process for the correct length of time required. I know it confused a lot of folks. — Jackie

Hopi Pale Grey squash

I received and planted the Gray Hopi Squash. I need to know how to tell when to pick them and how do you cook them. We have a lot of blooms but not many squash. Do you know why? We have had an unusually milder summer compared to the last few years and lots of rain. Fewer days over 100 degrees. Our tomatoes did not do well this year but hoping to get a second crop. Have your canning book and treasure it. Do you have many recipes for canning the squash?

Claudine Norwood
Wagoner, Oklahoma

You need to pick them when a hard frost is predicted. Leave them on the vines until then. When it is hot, the squash don’t set fruit as well as when it is cooler. You’ll always find “hidden” squash you never saw while growing as the vines are so rampant!

I’m glad you like the canning book. The only recipe I use is the one in the book. However, you can also substitute immature squash for summer squash in any recipe such as zucchini bread, pickles, etc. They are really versatile. I even grate fresh, ripe squash on my salads. It tastes fruity. — Jackie

4 Responses to “Q and A: canner weights and Hopi Pale Grey squash”

  1. cptacek Says:

    I was just wondering about the 5-10-15 pound weight for 11 pounds of pressure. I’ve pressure canned a few things this week, and I am getting pretty tired of watching the gauge like a hawk for an hour and a half straight, and my 2 year old and husband are too! Ok, off to get a weight.


  2. kathy v Says:

    The instructions I have been given are that you need 11# of pressure in a dial canner but can use the 10# weight in a weighted canner. A little bit higher is not a big problem. Good thing since I have an electric stove and most of my pressure canning seemed to make it to 12# and not lower when I used the dial. Since I got the weights, it is a lot better.

  3. Robin putman Says:

    Jackie, my Hopi squash vines are dying out do I still wait until hard frost to pick? Also I was given several boxes of older jars; some looked to be the old fodgers coffee jars, lids and rings fit. Could I use these to can in? Thank you.

  4. jackie clay-atkinson Says:


    If the squash looks light blue-gray, it’s mature. If not, it will still keep but not be as sweet and some of the seeds may not be mature and won’t continue to mature in storage. I can in any jar that the lids and rings fit on. Some folks say the jars aren’t as strong and will break but I’ve never had this experience and I’ve canned at both normal and high altitudes all my life.

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