Wednesday, November 11, 2009


thinking of making a big batch of your favorite salsa to can and store on your shelves at home??

Before beginning, remember that you really should use a recipe tested and approved for canning. Certain ingredients lower the acidity of the overall food product.. which can result in unsafe canning.. which can lead to serious illness.

Many of the University co-op websites publish their researched recipes. check out these great recipes from WSU Here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Can Chicken

If you have ever had to buy canned chicken, you have probably thought about canning your own. Commercially canned chicken is expensive and hard to find in larger quantities. so... get those pressure canners out and try canning some of your own chicken.

Visit this website for step-by-step instructions

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A word about canning jars

Canning jars come in all kinds of convenient sizes to serve your individual needs 4oz Jelly

8oz Half-pint

16oz Pint

32oz Quart
The size of jar you choose will largely depend upon what you are canning and who you are canning for. When I can beef chunks for stews, I use a quart size jar because I have a large family. One quart size jar makes enough stew to feed my family of 6.
When I can chicken, I use pint size jars because we use chicken for a variety of recipes, some calling for small amounts some for larger. By using the smaller jars, I reduce waste.
Remember: Jars can be purchased with either a wide mouth or regular mouth. The one you use pretty much depends on your personal preference. Keep in mind that some foods are more easily placed in and removed from wide mouth jars.

Do not use jars from commercially prepared foods such as mayonnaise and peanut butter because they were made for single-use only. Glass home canning jars offer a deep neck and wide sealing surface to assure a tight seal. Always visually examine canning jars for nicks or cracks. Recycle or discard any damaged jars.

Most jars can be purchased with the lids and rings already in place. When re-using jars, you will need new lids each time to ensure a proper seal. These can be purchased seperately for a very low cost . Rings can be reused.

Be sure you know if you have wide mouth or regular mouth jars before going to purchase replacement lids.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Before getting started

Other than your pressure canner with all it's parts, you will need a few other tools.

Lid Lifter
Canning Funnel
Jar Lifter
Jar Wrench
Kitchen Tongs.

All these tools can be purchased seperately, or, together in one big convenient kit.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Few more good ideas

Gauges: Check dial gauges for accuracy before use each year and replace if they read high by more than 1-2 pound pressure. Gauges may be checked at most county Cooperative Extension offices. Replacement gauges and other parts for canners are often available at stores offering canning equipment or from canner manufacturers. When ordering parts, it will be helpful to know the model number of your canner.

Gaskets: Handle canner lid gaskets carefully and clean them according to the manufacturer's directions. Nicked or dried gaskets will allow steam leaks during pressurization of canners and should be replaced. Keep gaskets clean between uses. A lid which is difficult to remove after cooling may indicate a gummy, or dry gasket and is reason to replace it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Step by Step Instructions

These are general instructions. Some foods may have more specific instructions. Please check the canning guide that came with your canner.

1. Put 2-3 inches of hot water in canner. Place filled jars on the rack, using a jar lifter. Fasten canner lid securely.

2. Leave weight off vent port or open petcock. Heat at the highest setting until steam flows from the petcock or vent port.

3. Maintain high heat setting, exhaust steam 10 minutes, and then place weight on vent port or close petcock. The canner will pressurize during the next 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Start timing the process when the pressure reading on the dial gauge indicates that the recommended pressure has been reached, or when the weighted gauge begins to jiggle/ rock.

5. Regulate heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at or slightly above the correct gauge pressure. If the pressure reading goes below the recommended pressure, you must bring the pressure back up and start the timing process over again from the beginning.

6. When timed processing is completed, turn off the heat, remove canner from heat (if electric range), and let the canner "depressurize" at room temperature. (dial needle moves back to "0" or no steam sounds when weight is gently nudged). Do not force-cool the canner. Releasing pressure from a partially opened vent or placing the canner under cool water will result in under-processing. It may also cause unsealed jars and loss of liquid from the jars. Quick-cooling can also warp the canner lid of older model canners.

7. After the canner is depressurized, remove the weight from the vent port or open the petcock. Wait 2 minutes, unfasten the lid, and remove it carefully. Lift the lid away from you so that the steam does not burn your face.

8. Remove jars with a lifter, and place on towel or cooling rack, if desired. Do not set on a cold surface or expose to breezy conditions.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Processing Times and Pressures

To ensure the safety of food processed in the pressure canner, use processing times listed for scientifically-tested recipes (dated 1988 or later) and adjust for altitude using the chart below. Keep in mind that failing to follow proper processing times and pressure recommendations may result in spoiled food (mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms) and possibly fatal food poisoning.

The steam-pressure method is used for low-acid foods. Normally, the pressure given for low acid foods in canning guides is for weighted-gauge canners at altitudes at or below 1,000 feet above sea level.
For weighted gauge canners- Altitude 0-1000 ft. set to 10. Above 1000 ft, set to 15
For dial gauge canners- Altitude 0-2000, set to 11; Altitude 2000-4000, set to 12; Altitude 4000-6000, set to 13; Altitude 6000-8000, set to 14; Altitude 8000-10000, set to 15.