17 June 2017

A Guide to Pressure Canning

If you have been tempted to can your vegetables (low-acid) and meat; yet you don’t know how to, then this is the guide you should be reading. Pressure canning is your best bet when it comes to preserving low-acid vegetables and meat.
We are going to cover the following content in this guide:
+ The need to use a pressure canner for canning vegetables
+ How a pressure canner operates
+ General directions for pressure canning
+ List of the Best Pressure Canners
Let’s start with understanding the need to use a pressure canner for canning most of the vegetables.

The Need to Use a Pressure Canner for Canning Vegetables--

Pressure canning is a safe method for home canning your vegetables. The need to pressure can persists due to the presence of Clostridium botulinum (bacterium) normally found in vegetables and meat. This bacterium can cause food poisoning when it is exposed to a low-acid moist, and oxygen-free environment or to simply put, a sealed jar! In such conditions, the bacterium can develop and cause botulism food poisoning to humans and animals. These bacterial spores can only be destroyed when the vegetables are prepared in a pressure canner at 240°F for the right amount of time. If you choose the open water bath method to process low-acid vegetables and meat, you’ll be literally putting your health at a risk.

How Do You Operate a Pressure Canner?-- 

Manufacturers are now making pressure canners which are lightweight and thin-walled aluminum steel kettles. Many have twist-on tops equipped with gaskets. They come with removable racks, a weighted vent port for steam vent, and a safety vent. They also have either a dial gauge for indicating the pressure or a weighted gauge. Pressure canners can incorporate a single layer of quart jars or two layers of pint jars.

These jars do not need to be fully covered with water. From the directions of pressure canner, you will get to know the water quantity to be added to create the correct amount of pressure. Venting the pressure canner at a particular length of time, while the water bubbles, will make steam thrust out all the air. The space inside the pressure canner will only have steam and boiling water. Due to increased pressure and the absence of air, the heat will be well conducted throughout all the jars.
General Directions for Pressure Canning--

These directions will generally work for most of the pressure canners, so you can easily follow them to make the best use of your pressure canner:

+ Use the largest burner on your stove to place the canner.

+ Place the rack and add about 2-3 inches of water inside the canner.

+ Increase the burner heating up to its highest position until the water boils and steam prominently leaves from the petcock. Let the steam exhaust for 10 continuous minutes.

+ Open the canner to let it air out for the predefined time, then place the weight on or close the petcock. The canner will start creating pressure within a few minutes.

+ Make sure the pressure doesn’t go down. In case it does, increase the burner temperature a bit.

List of a Few Best Pressure Canners--

If you’ve been looking to find the best pressure canner for your kitchen, here are a few names for you:

+ Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner – Available for $80 with a 12-year warranty, has a heavy-duty 23-quart aluminum pressure canner & cooker, is made with a strong-lock lid with pressure regulator and dial gauge, has a canning rack to secure jars while canning.

+ All American Pressure Canner and Cookers – has one-year warranty, is made with metal-to-metal sealing system, professional quality and extra heavy-duty 19-pint and 7-quart with cast aluminum, comes with an easy to read geared steam gauge.

Initially, you may find pressure canning tired and difficult to handle. Once you learn the directions and feel comfortable operating it, you will find yourself largely relying on it to can your food.

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