The Benefits of Pressure Canning
The benefits of pressure canning allow home canners the ability to preserve more than just high acidic foods in a water bather like jam, tomatoes and pickled items. Having a pressure canner in your arsenal of canning supplies is crucial to preserving foods like meats, soups, stews, chili, vegetables in water, spaghetti sauces… The list is long.
There are many benefits to home canning and preserving.
Here are 3 major benefits of pressure canning foods:
- Yield. After working hard creating a triple batch of a recipe and filling umpteen jars, there is something exciting knowing you can double your yield (output) by successfully double-stacking the jars in a pressure canner. Purchase an additional flat canner rack (Presto sells their canner parts a la carte) and get to stackin’! Depending on the jar size, you can produce upwards of 19 pints per batch! Love it!
- Variety. Pressure canning opens the doors to so many creative recipes you otherwise would have never been able to preserve. Low acid foods such as vegetables, squash, meats and soups can only be safely preserved in a pressure canner. If you love canning tomatoes or pickled items, just wait until you start pressure canning!!! You will rarely have to frequent the grocery store again!
- Convenience. There is a chapter in my cookbook, Canning Full Circle, called Meals in A Jar that is dedicated to recipes geared towards convenience and flavor! Delicious spaghetti sauces, stews, chili, chicken pot pie filling – all on the ready when you need a quick, healthy meal in minutes. So yes, there is an initial time investment when canning foods however it is well worth it when dinner needs to be on the table in 20 minutes. It is an amazing feeling knowing the drive-through isn’t your only option to feeding your busy family! And trust me, meals in a jar also come in handy when your teenager need a healthy snack. Grab a jar of home canned chicken with taco seasoning and a tortilla shell, and BAM! – you have an awesome alternative to MickeyD’s!
Often I am asked what type of pressure canner I use or would recommend. Well, seeing I own 4 Presto 23-quart pressure canners, it is safe to say, I like Presto. Now I have also operated and liked the American pressure canner, but the cost per unit versus the Presto canner for me personally is cost-prohibitive. The beauty in using the tall, 23-quart canner is with an additional $10 purchase for a flat rack, I can double stack my jars when processing. I haven’t seen that with other manufacturers.
Regardless of the type of pressure canner you own, be sure to follow the specific manufacturer guidelines when operating. The amount of water required and venting times are often a tad different from one manufacture to another.
Also, be certain you know your elevation!! Living in a higher or lower elevation is critical to understanding the proper amount of processing time, both when water bathing and pressure canning. Every canning recipe on my website and in my cookbook, Canning Full Circle, is based on an altitude of less than 1,000 feet so be sure to adjust according to your elevation.
From the Garden to the Jar,
Diane, The Canning Diva®