Pressure Canning Basics with Denali Canning

 

Pressure canning comes into play with low acid foods. Food like beets, meats, green beans, and potatoes need a pressure canner since it reaches much higher temperatures and therefore preserves the food safely. Foods like these can’t be water bathed because that would run the risk of botulism (deadly form of food poisoning) in the canned foods. Each brand of pressure canner is slightly different so you always want to read through the manufacturers instructions. The instructions we will supply will be for pressure canning in general.

First you want to make sure the rack is in the canner, if not just add the rack in there. Then add the amount of water that is specified for your canner. If no amount is specified, start with a 3 inch depth of water. Add more water if the food will be processed for longer than 40 minutes.

If your food will be hot when you fill the jars before processing it, you can turn on the flames under the canner and start heating it. If the food is packed cold into the jars then don’t turn the heat on yet because it can crack the glass.

You want to fill your jars leaving ½ inch to 1 inch of headspace. Doing this prevents the food from getting on the adhesive ring under the lids. Then screw on your Denali rings and lids and put them in the canner. Next you can fasten the pressure lid on, how to do this varies depending on the type of canner you have. Leave the vent pipe open and turn the heat on high. When steam starts to escape from the vent really fast, start timing. Let it go for 10 minutes or however long it says in your manufacturer's instructions. After that you can put the weighted gauge on the vent or close it. The pressure will start to build, which should be easy to see on the gauge. When the pressure specified in the recipe is reached you can then start the timer and follow the recipes instructions. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain that level of pressure for the whole processing time. If it's too much pressure then reduce the heat, if you need more pressure raise the heat.

When the processing time is done, you can turn off the heat, wait till the pressure gauge reaches 0 and then let the canner cool down for about 5 minutes. Open the vent slowly, if you hear a hissing noise then the canner is not fully depressurized. In this case, give it an extra 5 minutes to cool down. Finally you can now open the canner. Be careful, you want to open it by lifting the side that is away from your face. The steam that is released can be very hot. After it's open you can now remove the jars with any type of jar lifter you have, be careful not to tilt the jars while taking them out. Wait for the jars to cool then test if they have been properly sealed. Then you can label and store away!

 

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