Pressure canning is one of those things that completely terrified me!
But once I read some books, talked to others who have successfully pressure canned before and got all of my ingredients, I still felt nowhere ready! HA! But, I just took the plunge!
And I’m so glad I did.
Canning is so addicting. I’m continually thinking of things that I’m able to can next.
How to pressure can:
Ok before I go into how I canned each different food, I’m going to go over the basics that I do each time I pressure can, regardless of what I’m canning.
- Have jars and lids clean.
- Check your headspace.
- Wipe rims before placing lid on top.
- Rings go on fingertip tight.
- Fill my canner with water (check your manual to see how much you should add)
- Add 2 tbsp vinegar (some day cream of tartar is better but my manual says to use vinegar so I do)
- Check your altitude so you know how much pressure to process at.
- Vent 10 minutes before pressure builds.
Here are the 5 items that I ended up pressure canning first:
*After I canned these, I realized that the method I used was not a tested method, therefore it’s considered rebel. I don’t understand why since meat can be canned raw. **Rebel canning is canning things or methods that have not be tested so therefore are not considered safe.
Anyways, I sorted my beans, taking out all the beans that were split and halved.
I had some water boiling on my stove.
I took ½ cup of rinsed, dry beans and put them in each pint jar. Then I added ½ tsp of salt and filled to 1 inch headspace with hot water.
Then I added hot water in my canner.
Processed at 15 lbs of pressure for 75 minutes since I did pints.
Beans should be processed for meat times.
If I was going to do beans in quarts, I would add 1 cup of dry beans, 1 tsp salt and then process for 90 minutes.
So, to not do this the rebel way, you need to soak the beans overnight or cook them for a bit on the stove before canning them.
I did these the same as my pinto beans.
½ cup dry beans in pint jars.
Added ½ tsp salt.
Filled to 1 inch headspace with hot water.
Added hot water in my pressure canner.
Processed at 15 lbs of pressure for 75 minutes.
I’ve done this twice now. The first time I used water in my jars and the second time I used chicken broth.
I took chicken breasts and cut off all the fat.
Then I cut it into big chunks.
I jammed chicken into my pint jars. The first time I used regular mouth pint jars. Then I thought wide mouth jars might be better so the second time I did it I used wide mouth pint jars.
Then I filled it with hot liquid. Make sure to really debubble since the chicken is packed in pretty tight.
Leave a 1-inch headspace.
For pints I processed at 15 lbs of pressure for 75 minutes.
If I were to do quarts, I would process for 90 minutes.
I was so excited to have cooked potatoes ready to go for soups, stews and hearty pies. Potatoes take so much time and work to add into meals.
I had two pots of boiling water on my stove.
First, I peeled the potatoes. Once a potato was peeled, I put it into a bowl full of cold water so it wouldn’t turn brown.
Once they were all peeled, I cut them into large chunks. Once they were cut, I put them in one of the pots of boiling water. After 10 minutes I drained them. You don’t want to cook them all the way through.
Then I added the potatoes to my quart size jars. I filled the jar with hot water to 1 inch headspace.
Processed at 15 lbs of pressure for 40 minutes.
If I did pints, it would’ve been processed for 35 minutes.
Next time, whatever size jar I use, I think I’ll make sure to use wide mouth jars.
But I did already use 2 of my quarts of potatoes for some potato soup for my family. They were perfect!! Not overly cooked where they are falling apart and not under cooked.
I am a fan of canning potatoes. I will definitely do it again and probably forever now.
***side note: I did get a little impatient for them to finish because I had to get my son from school. I may have let out a little pressure from the canner manually instead of letting it do it on its own.
Because of that I had some major siphoning. Which is why I decided to make some soup and try out the potatoes. The potatoes were still perfect.
So, learn from me. Let the pressure canner come down to zero pressure on its own. And then let it sit for a bit. I got impatient because after an hour it still hadn’t hit zero. Just be patient.
I had some leftover carrots from when I dehydrated them for the first time, so I decided to try canning them.
After I peeled them, I sliced them, added them to my pint jars (only had enough for 2 jars but it’s fiiiiine) and added hot water to 1 inch headspace.
Processed at 15 lbs of pressure for 25 minutes. Quarts would’ve been 30 minutes.
If you’ve never pressure canned and are looking for something easy for your first go at it, carrots are a perfect candidate. There isn’t much prep work and the processing time isn’t very long to watch it.
Do I like pressure canning?
ABSOLUTELY! It’s easy and fun. It does take some time, especially if you are canning meat, but it’s worth it.
Having shelf stable food for your family, food that you know exactly what is in it without the extra preservatives, is an amazing feeling.
Also, it makes dinner a snap. On nights that you don’t have much time for a home cooked meal, home canned food makes it easy to throw a healthy meal together.
If you’re looking for what pressure canner to get, I use the Presto 23 quart. I love it! I can also use it to water bath if I ever need to. And it holds SO many cans! It’s pretty user friendly as well.
If you’re looking for an electric pressure canner, I have the Nesco pressure canner. It is slick! Man, I can set it and basically forget it! There isn’t the constant babysitting that you have with the Presto. The one drawback is that it doesn’t hold very many cans. But when you only have a few cans to process, it’s a snap. Highly recommend this one as well.
If you’re looking for books to help you in your journey, the ones I use the most are The New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving, The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning and The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Not canning related, but food preservation related, if you’re interested in a dehydrator, I have this one. It seems like a decent one to start.
Do you preserve food in any way? Have you tried pressure canning yet?
Thanks for being here, in the space with me. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite places to be!