I didn't learn how to preserve food in all my years of studying nutrition (most of those years were spent learning how to correct diets, treat diseases with dietary restrictions or teaching basic nutrition principles- how to read a food label... all of which are very important). It would take a 10+ year degree to really touch on all the different aspects of nutrition.
But alas, food canning is a big part of self-reliance and a principle that I have been taught my entire life. Having cans of rice, powdered milk and beans under beds or piled in closets was common place in our home and never appeared odd (until a friend would ask "Why in the world do you have rice in your closet?"). When you live in hurricane central you learn to be prepared not scared. To learn more about the importance of self-reliance and how to get started visit HERE.
Here is my pressure cooker, it is over 20 years old and I
- Instruction manual for your pressure cooker (if you lost it, google the instructions). You need to know how much water to add to the bottom and how to properly tighten your lid
- Mason Jars (I like quart size, wide mouth jars for meat)
- Seals (these cannot be reused like the jars and rings)
- "Jar Lifter" to get the hot jars out of the canner (pictured)
No need to add water because it will make its own broth.
I don't add salt but you can if you would like. Use canning salt and add 1/2 tsp for pint jars and 1 tsp for quart jars. *You can use regular salt, it just might make the liquid a little more cloudy.
Now place your jars in the cooker and tighten the lid (just like the manual instructs). Turn the fire on high and and wait for the steam.
- Raw chicken, beef, rabbit & deer cook at 11# pressure
- pint size jars process for 70 minutes
- quart size jars process for 90 minutes
- Raw Seafood (fish or shrimp) process for 100 minutes
Now, after you have trudged through the 70 or 90 minute wait... you get to wait longer! Keep the stem locked and turn off the stove. It will take an hour or more for the canner to cool down and start to release pressure. You can test to see if the pressure is down by lifting the stem. If it starts spewing, flip it down and continue to wait for the cool down. I usually leave it and take care of other things and then come back and check on it. Use the "Jar Lifter" to remove the jars from the canner, the water will still be very hot.
*If you lift up the stem and let it vent out the pressure (to hurry things along), you will suck the juice out of your jars and possibly break the seals. Also, you might want to wipe off the outside of the jars when you take them out of the canner. They might have a little residue from the water.
|*the sausage fat is easier to see in pictures than chicken fat|
If you have an questions feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.