|I will be pressure canning for the first time and found a recipe from ball (the jar company) to start off with.
My question pertains to the water level which the ball recipe does not address. Should my jars be fully submerged in the water, or can the water level be about halfway up the jars (not fully submerged)? What would the difference be?
I will be canning 7 quart jars in my Presto 23qt. pressure canner.
Pressure Canning Beef Stew: A water level question.
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The water level is decided by your pressure cooker manufacturer. You'll have to look in it's manual.
There will be no difference to the food as the water and steam will be the same temp once it's at pressure.
Different water levels will change how long it takes to come up to pressure and how long it can stay there (there is always some vapor loss).
If you don't have the manual you should be able to find one online or contact Presto for a replacement.
Don't just guess either - each manufacturer designs things a little different, you don't want it to come up to fast or boil dry over 90 minutes, conversely you don't want it to come up to temp too slow either.
Things are pretty specific with regards to levels / time / temp when making shelf stable foods.