Will it explode? Will I end up burned and disfigured? Is it too hard or too time consuming? If you have not canned with a pressure canner yet, these may be some of the questions running through your mind. Maybe you have mastered the hot water bath canner but the thought of moving on to the big bad pressure canner has you stopped at tomatoes and fruit. I was like that for many years. So many of us grew up with no one to teach us the basics of canning and preserving food. My grandmother did not live near us. I finally learned to can from my mother-in-law as a young mom. She patiently taught me to hot water bath can and also brought over her pressure canner and helped me can green beans. But as she aged, and my kids grew into busy teens, I didn’t want to ask her to travel to my house to can with me.
Fast forward to two years ago. I finally just decided to purchase a pressure canner. Using it was another matter. But, at last, I gathered up my courage, read a lot of information and harvested the green beans. Only to meet with utter failure. No the kitchen didn’t burn up, I did not end up with exploded green beans all over me either. What happened was nothing. The canner apparently had a defective pressure gauge. I called Presto, and explained my dilemma. The very nice person on the phone agreed to send me a new pressure gauge. It arrived in due time but by then I had missed the boat and my confidence and the green bean harvest had passed.
This year, I tried again and succeeded! I learned to regulate the pressure (its not hard, but you do need to stay near by and maintain the pressure at the recommended level). And the best part of all, that by following the guide from the pressure canner, we have been enjoying fresh green beans, carrots, and corn this winter. I love the jars filled with the produce that I prepared. It’s really very simple and here is how I did it.
Green Beans canned in the Pressure Canner ( Cold pack )
boil water in a tea kettle
Wash and sort the beans Remove any that are starting to spoil
Trim ends off the beans
Sterilize the jars and bands. drop the lids in a small pan of boiling water to sterilize. For more complete canning instructions take a look at this > How to Use A Pressure Canner
Pack the green beans into the sterilized jars.
Add boiling water up to the 1 inch head space line.
add half teaspoon salt to pint jars and one teaspoon salt to quarts.
Wipe rim and place lid and ring on the jar. Finger tighten the ring.
Following the directions for the canner, fill to the required fill line. Begin heating the water to boiling. To save time, I will start this while I am preparing the jars of produce.
Add the jars to the canner. Following the manufacturers directions, place the lid on the canner and begin building pressure. Do not be alarmed. This can take some time. Pressure canning is more time consuming than hot water bath canning.
The new pressure canners have built in safety measures. The canner cannot be opened until the pressure has been reduced.
After the pressure has been reduced and it is possible to open the canner, place the jars on a towel to cool completely. It is recommended that you remove the metal bands after the jar is cooled and before storing. Removing the metal bands prevents you from having a false seal. This can occur when the lid pops and the seal breaks, but you don’t notice this because the ring has kept the lid in place.
I hope I have inspired you to try pressure canning. May you have a bountiful storage cabinet, all winter long.