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Today, I am going to share with you 15 reasons why you should be pressure canning. Many folks are frightened by pressure canners, but they really shouldn’t be. They are easy to use, and if used correctly, there is nothing to be scared of. You might also be interested in my article Which Pressure Canner Should You Get? where I compare two of the most popular models, the 23 Quart Presto and the 30 Quart All American. And also check out my other articles on Food Preservation!
If you are interested in getting a pressure canner, please treat yourself to this book: The All New Ball Book of Home Canning and Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled and Preserved Recipes. This is a link to the latest edition, which came out in May of 2016. It is best to own a copy, because you will refer to it again and again and again. Mine has many notes and bookmarks on favorite recipes and I am sure yours will too.
Please do not use older editions, as many aspects of canning have changed over the years, and things that may have been deemed safe years ago, may no longer be considered safe. Same goes for how your mom or grandma canned. Things they did back in the day, may not be safe methods to follow now. Please always follow safe canning practices for the sake of your family and friends who may partake in your canned goods.Once you have your hands on this book, think of it as your in house canning guide. Read it from front to back before you begin canning.
Also become familiar with the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The guidelines on this website are the most current, up to date, tested and true methods and recipes to use in canning. In particular, here is the section on How to Use a Pressure Canner.
Lastly, check out my article Which Pressure Canner Should You Buy (coming soon!), if you decide that you need to buy one. In that article, I review two of the most popular pressure canners on the market, the Presto 23 quart and the All American 30 quart. In my opinion, no homestead (or home for that matter), should be without one. Currently, there is no safe electric pressure canner out there that has been deemed safe by the national Center for Home Food Preservation, as you can read about here. And also be aware, that you cannot can in a pressure cooker. However, you can cook in a pressure canner. So keep in mind that these are two separate things, pressure cookers and pressure canners.
Please reference the Ball Book I mentioned above, as well as the National Center for Home Food Preservation (just search on their site for an ingredient to see recipes they have that include it) for safe pressure canning recipes. You can also check out the Ball website for safe pressure canning recipes.
Low acid foods are what can be canned in a pressure canner. Examples of low acid foods are potatoes, carrots, beets, green beans, dry beans, corn, peas, cubed pumpkin/winter squash, mixed vegetables and meat. Also things like beef stew, chicken stew, chicken soup, veggie soup, chili, pea soup, black bean soup, etc. High Acid foods can be canned in a water bath canner such as jams, jelly’s, pickled veggies. Tomato products canned in either type of canner. I prefer to do them in a pressure canner as I can fit more in a pressure canner by double stacking the jars.
Things that CANNOT be canned are grains such as rice, noodles, barley, wheat, most thickeners such as flour or cornstarch, oils, dairy, and butter.
OK, now on to why you NEED to be pressure canning!
Yes they can! In many ways. If you have a garden, you can pressure can up the veggies that won’t fit in your freezer. Do you or your spouse hunt? Uou can pressure can up the meat that won’t fit in the freezer. If you live a busy lifestyle, and need convenience foods, make your own and know what goes in them. Are you a bargain hunter? When you see a deal on something you like canned, buy a bunch at a time and can up a bunch. Especially during the peak season of a fruit or veggie or even meat.
Instead of preparing umpteen meals 1 at a time, do a double or triple batch and can what you don’t eat for dinner, making multiple meals in a jar. Just remember to use only ingredients that are safe for canning! Pressure canning cuts canning time down on some things like WB’ing tomatoes vs PC’ing them, canning dry beans so you have them at the ready, means no waiting for them to soak. Not having to wait for meat to defrost before making dinner.
Just like pressure canners can save you time, they can also save you energy. If you cook up a triple batch of something and can most of it, you are only doing the main cooking one time. Then you can simply warm up jars as you need them which takes less energy. You can also pressure can a lot of what you keep in your freezer, ie meat and vegetables. If you don’t need a freezer, that can save energy too.
Not only does pressure canning save energy, but it is also eco friendly. Buy canning your own food instead of buying processed food at the store, you are creating less food packaging waste by reusing your jars over and over.
You can water bath can some of your harvest. You can also freeze and dehydrate or freeze dry a good lot of it. But by using a pressure canner, you can preserve even more of your garden harvest!
In pressure canning, you can easily and simply stack your pint jars, allowing you to can 16 or 18 jars in one batch. Run two canners at the same time and double that. I like to do this with dry beans, as I am a vegetarian, and then I have oodles of jars of assorted beans ready to cook with and at the ready. Have you seen those pictures of gorgeous canning pantries on Pinterest? Yeah. I bet most of those jars were pressure canned.
This works well also if you hunt or find a deal on meat, such as Turkeys around Thanksgiving. I’ve been known to bring a bunch of turkeys home from the grocery store between Thanksgiving and Christmas, targeting a couple of them just for canning. Can up the meat for easy dinner nights of tacos, turkey salad, adding to pasta dishes, stir fries and casseroles. Then boil up the carcasses and can up a bunch of stock. It is a wonderful feeling to grocery shop from your own pantry in this way.
As I mentioned above when I talked about saving energy, if you pressure can a bunch of the stuff in your freezer, it can free up more room in there. This allows me to stock up on things like bread and butter when they go on sale and fill the freezer with them. Or when harvest season is in full swing and there just isn’t time to do it all. I love to throw my tomatoes in the freezer to can up later, or berries if I don’t have time to make it then. Than when things slow down in winter, I can can those things up when I have more time.
As I have mentioned above, you can’t can meat in a water bath canner. You must have a pressure canner to can it! This alone is reason enough to get one.
You know how pot roast falls apart and is supper tender? Or pulled pork? This is what the texture of canned meat is like. So if you can get a deal on some tougher cuts of meat, don’t be afraid to can them up!
I have mentioned this above under how pressure can save you time, but having a pantry full of ready to eat home made meals, is definitely a reason in and of itself, to have a pressure canner. Plus those gorgeous canning pantry pics on Pinterest. Goals!
Who likes eating preservatives and additives and GMO’s and who knows what else that you will find in processed food? And why hand your money over to those greedy mega companies who really don’t need your money anyway? Can your own, and know what you are eating.
Ok, this is serious here. If the Shit Hits the Fan, I’m talking WW3, The Big One hits the west coast, the next mega Hurricane, etc. Do you know how important it is to have a food stash that will last? Think about it. Everyone I know says they are coming over to my house when the shit hits the fan. I better get to canning some more stuff……!
We had first hand experience with this last summer when my husband got laid off unexpectedly. Another reason to have a well stocked canning pantry is if your family goes through a tough financial crisis. Be it a job loss, a medical crisis, divorce, death in the family, etc. It is super comforting knowing that your family won’t go hungry, because you had the for thought to stock up your canning pantry.
Trust me, home canned yummies, are a big hit! My brother in law can never get enough of my home canned pears. During times of stress or illness in other families, I love to bring over a couple jars of home made canned soup. It is always appreciated! Once again, shopping from the Canning Pantry is a win!
Um, fun and addicting! Really, this may be the hobby you have been waiting for. It is also fun to do with another person. Each of you bring the ingredients for one or two recipes, can it all up together, and than divvy up the goods! And fill up that Canning Pantry!
I always encourage anyone interested in food preservation, to follow SAFE food preservation techniques. Many tutorials, how to videos, blog posts and recipes and other such resources found online are NOT safe. These methods are often passed down from generation to generation or are self made recipes. Please trust your source, especially when it comes to canning.
I will only share food preservation techniques that are outlined as safe from scientifically tested processes on this blog. For all things food preservation related, as all their procedures and guidelines are scientifically tested for safety, use this site:
When in doubt, check it out!
Did I miss anything? I hope you now understand why you should be pressure canning. Are you a Crazy Canning Lady like me?!? If so, post a comment and let us know! What are your favorite must haves in your canning pantry? As always, thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out my other articles on Food Preservation!