Aug 7, 2011

Pressure Canning?

My garden is coming along OK. It's not going to keep me from having to buy things at the grocery store (this year, at least), but it's WAY better than past years. In the future I hope to have a harvest that will take us through the winter without having to buy ridiculously priced veggies.

With that in mind, I'm starting to give consideration to pressure canning. I prefer freezing most things since that preserves the nutrients better, but I'm very interested in having things like broth, homemade soups, and cooked meats canned and on the shelf so that there's more room in the freezer for the veggie harvest.

My freezer is only so big!

My mom had a pressure COOKER that she used quite a lot. I remember listening to the little pressure gauge rattling away and smelling chicken and rice cooking. I actually own a pressure cooker and haven't used it. I guess I'm a little afraid of it, too!

I found this site, Simply Canning, that has a lot of useful information for beginners. I'm inspired to overcome my fears after reading through it.

I don't want to purchase a new pressure canner ($$$$!!!). I don't want to purchase an old canner (safety issues). I've been looking on CraigsList and everyone else seems to be posting about them--in the WANTED section.

Do you do any pressure canning? Do you feel safe about the whole experience?


Rocky Mountain Homemaker said...

I've pressure canned for about 5 years and I love it. In fact, this fall I am going to take a class about canning meat.
Modern pressure canners are safer than they were a generation or two ago.
Keeping an eye on the canner is the important thing. I want to keep the gauge at the right setting for safety and also to prevent soggy, overprocessed vegetables.
Try it, I think you will like it. A new canner is spendy, but it's a great investment........Denise

Roxanne said...

Denise--Have you covered this on your blog? Like, with pictures and stuff for the uninitiated like me?

Can you just hop on a plane and bring your canner to my house. Next week is good for me...

Packrat said...

I've been leery, too, yet pre-microwave days my grandmother & mother used the pressure cooker all the time. It was a speedy way to cook tough pieces of meat. Grandma pressure canned until they bought a deep freezer.

Hint: Before using the pressure cooker or canner for the first time, I'd suggest having it tested. (They test to make sure the gasket is good and that the pressure reading is correct.) Ask at your local Extension Agent's office who does that in your area.

affectionforfitness said...

I have no idea how to do these things, but I'm awfully impressed with people who do.

:-) Marion

K Quinn said...

I'm jumping up and down like a little kid waving her hands. Oooh ooh me too! My mom and I are going to pressure can some stuff this year. She has the pressure canner. My husband purchased some jars for me. I want to do pear sauce. By the way neither of us have ever done this. There are classes galore around here but I feel lazy about attending. Have you ever visited
Lots of useful information. I froze 10 lbs of green beans using her site.

I too am very impressed by people who can regularly. I watched some show about some Amish teens who went to England. Side point one of them was showing all the things they can in their pantry. It was amazing, Juices, stews etc. That got me wanting to give it a go.

Roxanne said...

Packrat--EXCELLENT idea. That would go a long way to making me feel less nervous.

Marion--It IS awe-inspiring, isn't it? Just buying things at the grocery store has been so convenient, but with the prices of food rising like they are, I'm thinking that I might go for less convenience and get to keep more of my money!

K Quinn--THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN!! My aunt, mom, and grandmother used to can like crazy every summer. I was around, but didn't participate because I was too young. Then they sort of stopped by the time I became old enough to help.

Do you remember what the name of the show with the Amish teens was? That sounds like something I'd be interested in seeing, too.

K Quinn said...

Roxanne I had to come tell you I just finished canning some jars of applesauce! Wahoo! How many quarts etc? I don't know. I used little pint jars because...well I didn't want to do too much. We will see tomorrow if we did it right.

Oh and the Amish: The World's Squarest Teenages =>

There was another one I landed upon that I lost the link for. When I find it again I sent it to you.

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