The content of the article
- What is an autoclave?
- Principle of operation
- How to use an autoclave at home
- Temperature to pressure ratio
- How to choose an autoclave
- The price of an autoclave for home canning
In the hot season, housekeepers begin to make sunsets for the winter. The manual process is very time-consuming – you need to cook the food that you are going to preserve, sterilize jars, lids. Sweat pours out, power runs out, and in the end it turns out just a few jars. Another thing is a gas or electric autoclave for home canning – its use allows you to speed up the process and increase the yield of the product without significantly increasing the temperature in the kitchen. You will need a minimum of physical effort.
What is an autoclave?
The device is a sealed design designed for heating under pressure above atmospheric. Under these conditions, the boiling point shifts in the direction of increasing temperature, the products cook faster. A home canning autoclave has these advantages:
- makes tasty preparations with preservation of all useful substances, natural color, holistic form;
- kills pathogenic bacteria, destroys spores;
- It contains a large number of cans;
- significantly reduces the cooking time of meat, pickles, beans, corn, peas, vegetable preparations, juices, mushrooms.
Autoclave is a sealed container, which consists of a loading chamber, a cover with locking mechanisms for sealing, a fitting for attaching the pump. Instrumentation devices are installed on the body – a manometer (shows the pressure of gas and liquids in a confined space), a thermometer, and an emergency relief valve. Popular models of appliances for home preservation made of stainless steel.
The standard sizes of the apparatus are: 22 liters (14 cans of 0.5 l each), 46 l (22 cans of 0.5 l each), 125 l (48 cans of 0.5 l each). Another important characteristic is the source of heating. Some models heat up on a gas stove, gas burner, others are only suitable for electric stoves. Autonomous autoclave plants designed for home canning work from the mains – they are equipped with heating elements.
Principle of operation
Buying an instrument is an expensive pleasure, but how much use it can be with a minimum of human effort! How does an autoclave from a modern manufacturer work? The scheme is simple. At standard indicators, water evaporates at 100 ° C, the temperature cannot rise above. In order for the situation to change, pressurized conditions are created in a sealed container. This causes the boiling point to shift..
When the pressure in the autoclave is increased, the liquid begins to boil at 120-125 ° C. What does it mean? That at an elevated temperature, the cooking process is in full swing, but the water does not boil, which means that all vitamins and useful elements remain unchanged. The appearance of the products in the autoclave does not lose its integrity, it becomes appetizing, and the roll takes on a wonderful taste.
How to use an autoclave at home
The technology for preparing seals in the device is simple. Wash the household autoclave, then pack the food in cans, roll up the cans. Place the cans in the canning appliance. Further actions will vary depending on the type of device:
- Pressure autoclave. Pour jars with cold water for 2-3 cm, then pump air to a pressure level of 1 atm. Warm up the device to a temperature of 100-120 ° C and hold this indicator for 60-70 minutes (depending on the recipe). After cooking, allow the appliance to cool, then bleed air using a safety valve.
- Autoclave without pressure. Home canning in such a device is even simpler. Load rolled cans into special cassettes that protect against tearing of the lids. Fill the autoclave with water, without adding 2 cm to the top edge of the tank. Close the lid of the appliance, place the appliance on the stove and observe the temperature-pressure ratio. When the home preservation is ready, turn off the heat and wait until the autoclave has cooled to room temperature.
Temperature to pressure ratio
For each autoclave, a different ratio of these indicators, for more details on the parameters can be found in the instruction manual. The numbers depend on the volume of the device, the intensity of heating, design features. You will learn the specific values experimentally as you work. After 5 hours of operation, a small electric autoclave, powered by the mains, shows on a thermometer 120 ° С at a pressure of 4.7 atm. Devices heated on the stove achieve operating parameters faster. Most home preservation is prepared at a temperature not exceeding 120 ° C and 4.5 atm.
How to choose an autoclave
Today it is not difficult to buy a device in Moscow or St. Petersburg, in hardware stores there are always several models to choose from, which you can touch, ask the seller in detail about the specifications and warranty. If you want to buy a device for home canning relatively cheaply, look for the best deals in online stores. They often hold good promotions and offer discounts up to 20%.
There are two body materials – ferrous metal and stainless steel. Plus the first – cheapness. However, the material has several disadvantages: it is not resistant to corrosion, short-lived (lasts about 5 years), requires careful care. Stainless steel lasts up to 50 years, is not afraid of corrosion, but is expensive. The autoclave capacity is selected depending on the needs. The most running ratio of the diameter and height of the device – containing 24 cans per 0.5 l.
This type of home canning machine is heated on a gas stove. If the hostess decided to choose it, then when ordering, she must estimate the weight of the device – it can be very difficult to raise the autoclave with cans and water to a height. The optimal weight of the device is 8 kg. The bottom should be flat and have a thickness of at least 3 mm. It is better to buy goods from trusted manufacturers who have autoclaved for many years..
Such a device is more convenient for housewives, since it can be placed at a low height near the outlet. Another plus of the electric autoclave is its autonomous operation. The temperature controller maintains the desired performance for the allotted time. The power of the devices is different. Small appliances with a volume of 22 liters consume 2 kW, medium autoclaves for 46 liters consume 3.2 kW. Mains voltage should be 200 V.
The price of an autoclave for home canning
Estimating the cost of the device, do not forget to add mail delivery. The product is dimensional, so car companies may charge extra money for a lot of weight. It is good if the manufacturer carries out not only sales, but also free delivery of autoclaves. Average cost of appliances:
“Conservative” electric (46 l)
“Baby Nerzh ECU” electric for home canning (22 l)
Marching stainless steel for gas stove (22 l)
“Farmer Nerzh” electric (125 l)