Adjust for Elevation, and more: nuts!

On the flip side, nuts and nut products are something I definitely have an opinion about … and so does the NCHFP. They’re a simple category, and I can handle them easily.

There are two different preparations available for nuts: Nut Meats and Peanuts, Green, or … as we like to call them down South … boiled peanuts :)

Nut Meats are all packed and processed the same way, regardless of variety. You don’t add water or any other fluid to the nuts. You need to dry them out first, either in a dehydrator … or by drying them on cookie sheets in a 250 degree oven. Pack them into half-pints or pints dry, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace, and then you can either BWB process them … or you can pressure can them … your choice.

To BWB your nuts, your adjustment for elevation is:

  • 0 -to- 1,000 ft = 30 minutes
  • 1,001 -to- 3,000 ft = 35 minutes
  • 3,001 -to- 6,000 ft = 40 minutes
  • over 6,001 ft = 45 minutes

NOTE: unlike every other time you’ll use a BWB–where you’re required to cover your jars with at least 2″ of water over the top of the lids–in this case, the NCHFP says you should process your jars of nuts “with the water in the canner 1 to 2 inches below the tops of the jars.” However–in my experience–that’s often enough water that you’ll still need to put bricks or some other type of weight on top of your jars in order to keep them from floating around in the canner. Since that’s the case anyway–personally–I put another canner rack on top of my jars …. then I add bricks on top of the rack (run a long loop of twine through the holes in your individual bricks, in order to facilitate removal) and then fill the BWB with boiling water to the regular 2″ over the top of the lid depth. If you’re going to have to weight them down anyway, why not sanitize the whole jar while you’re at it?

To pressure can your nuts, process for 10 minutes. Your pressure adjustment for elevation on a dial-gauge canner is:

  • 0 -to- 2,000 ft – process at 6psi
  • 2,001 -to- 4,000 ft – process at 7psi
  • 4,001 -to- 6,000 ft – process at 8psi
  • 6,001 -to-8,000 ft – process at 9 psi

On a weight-gauge canner, you will also process your nuts for 10 minutes, and your pressure adjustment is:

  • 0 -to- 1,000 ft – process at 5psi
  • over 1,001 ft – process at 10psi

Again, you may have some problems with certain sizes and shapes of jars floating–especially the half-pints (since they’re lighter)–so you may find you need to weight jars in your pressure canner, too. If that’s the case–personally–I won’t use the PC. I don’t like the idea of putting anything inside my canner that may deteriorate under that sort of heat and pressure … so I just stick to the BWB for all my nut meats.

However, a pressure canner is the PERFECT way to can green peanuts. You’re basically making canned, cooked in the jar (and in the shell) boiled peanuts with this method … a treat for most Southerners, and others who’ve discovered them along the way. Don’t forget: I created a recipe that will allow you to can shelled green peanuts, turning them into “Shelled Boiled Peanuts in a Jar” … something most Southerners wouldn’t kill for, but many would threaten you for–or, at least, ask nicely for–nonetheless :)

If you’re trying to convert your boiled peanut recipe to go into a canning jar, compare yours against theirs first. They’re probably very comparable, since–just like with basic tomato products like “whole” and “diced”–there really aren’t a lot of different ways to cook basic boiled peanuts. You can process your peanuts without salt (I know some people have to limit their sodium intake, so they’ve learned to eat lots of things without salt … even though, I can’t for the life of me imagine eating them that way) or add pretty much any flavoring you’d like to add, from something as simple as sea salt to something far more elaborate like Chinese 5-Star Powder, Chili Powder, or pretty much any other spice or seasoning.

Butter is the only thing I know about that some people put in their boiled peanuts that *may* be problematic. A very small bit wouldn’t be a problem … but–since most people add butter to facilitate carrying the salt through the shells and into the peanuts themselves … and pressure canning them seems to do that exact same thing without the aid of butter–I’d say try them first without and see what you think without it. Then–if you insist that the flavor just isn’t the same without the butter–try putting a tiny bit in each jar, say … no more than a 1/4 teaspoon/pint … or consider–instead–using something like Butter Buds, Molly McButter, dehydrated butter, or some other powdered butter substitute … just to keep that fat out of your canning jar. I always used butter in my boiled peanuts that I cooked on top of the stove, too … so I understand the urge to do it here, too … but I haven’t missed it in the least, not in the dozens of pints of cooked in the jar boiled peanuts I’ve eaten so far :)

Green Peanuts should be processed 45 minutes for pints and 50 minutes for quarts. Your pressure adjustment for altitude on a dial-gauge canner should be:

  • 0 -to- 2,000 ft – process at 11 psi
  • 2,001 -to- 4,000 ft – process at 12 psi
  • 4,001 -to- 6,000 ft – process at 13 psi
  • 6,001 -to-8,000 ft – process at 14 psi

For a weight-gauge canner, your correct pressures–adjusted for elevation–are:

  • 0 -to- 1,000 ft – process at 10 psi
  • over 1,001 ft – process at 15 psi

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About Lane

Just a canner ... on this food journey called life :)
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