Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pressure Canning... We Didn't Blow Up! #spoileralert

Why would you chance blowing something up? To can it of course!

To properly put up food that has a pH worthy of growing botulism (higher than 4.5), one must can under pressure. Why? Here, my favorite canning blogger can explain it better here!

So, step one, try not to kill the family.
How do you do such a thing? Just put your head between your knees and kiss your a$$ goodbye, my dad would say. Others may just use a pressure canner. Jason bought me a pressure canner for Mother's Day last year. Romantic. I know! That's how we roll on the Eiting Homestead!

It was scary for it's innagural run but in the end all was well! I recommend just following the directions in the manual.... RTFM!

Very, very basic steps for those who are curious (Do not use solely these steps to pressure can..)

Hot pack your food with pH above 4.5 into jars.

Pack jars according to directions with 3 inches of water in bottom prior to jars. This canner is big enough to get two layers in. Can't do that in a water bath. Why is that awesome sauce? 16 pint jars in one swing. A water bath will only let you do 8 or 9.

Find a heat source. We used the grill. We have a glass top stove which is not recommended for canning in general. I water bath can on it and hasn't broken on me yet. It's something about the temperature and length at which it is at that temperature can crack or shatter the glass top.. yadda yadda. But for safety, we decided to do it on the grill. Jason got a stainless steel plate to put in lieu of the grates. We have a natural gas grill.. yep, comes right off of the house feed, so we wouldn't have to worry about running out of propane and knew we could maintain a consistent heat.

Find a man to lift it onto grill. I couldn't lift it with 18 jars and the weight of the pot.

You heat until you see steam and then you wait 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes you put the pressure gauge on at selected psi based on food and altitude. Then let cook at that psi for time per recipe.

This is the, put your head between your knees and kiss your a$$ goodbye part!

You then let the pot depressurize for hours or overnight and BAM... done! Canned homemade beans.

Then, because you feel like such a rock star, repeat the next Sunday with a new recipe, homemade chicken stock!

All in all, not too shabby. Bad news, I would never be able to do this without Jason simply because I wouldn't be able to lift the pot! Good news, the freezer is no longer my only option for storing foods with pH above 4.5. Boo-Yah!

Tested Recipes!!

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