Friday, November 7, 2008

Pressure Canning Meat

1.  Wash and prepare jars, lids and rings.
2.  Optional:  add 1 tsp salt to bottom of jar.
3.  Pack raw meat tightly into prepared jars within 1/2 inch of top of jar.
4.  Wipe rims of jars clean.
5.  Put on warm lids and rings.

6.  Read instructions for pressure canner.  Fill with about 4 quarts of cool-warm water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar.  The canner should not be filled more than 1/2 way with water.
7.  Put filled jars in canner.  Usually you can get 9 comfortably in canner.  If you have a tall canner, place rack on top of first layer of jars and put the next layer in.  This can only be done with pint jars or smaller.
8.  Put lid of canner on and close tightly.

9.  Turn burner on to high heat.  The steam vent (small pipe on top of canner lid) will start to show steam as the water heats up.
10.  Once the steam has a steady output, time it for 10 minutes before placing the weight on the vent.
11.  Once the weight is on the steam vent, pressure will begin to build.  The pressure valve will pop up which indicates that the canner is full of pressure.
12.  Keep canner on high heat until the weight starts to rock or jiggle.  If the rocking becomes violent, turn down the heat until the weight continues with a gentle rock.  You'll be able to hear it rocking.
13.  Don't worry if a small puddle of water accumulates under the weight or around the pressure valve.
14.  If you have a canner with a gauge, build pressure to the amount indicated in the recipe.  The weight on the steam valve will also rock.  Turn down the heat to maintain the correct pressure.

15.  Once the correct pressure is reached, begin timing.  For pints of chicken and beef (no bones) the pressure is 10 lbs for 75 minutes (at sea level).  For quarts of chicken and beef (no bones) the pressure is 10 lbs for 90 minutes.
16.  Once the time is up, turn off the heat and let the canner depressurize.  DO NOT TOUCH IT!!!
17.  Once the pressure valve has dropped and is flush against the canner, you can open the lid.
18.  Do not try to cool the canner other than just naturally.

19.  The jars inside the canner are HOT.  You'll see that the liquid inside the jars is boiling.  The boiling will continue for a couple of hours.
20.  The the jars cool on a cookie rack over night.
21.  After the jars have cooled, remove the ring and wash each jar with hot soap and water.  Dry and label them with what's in the jars and the month/year.



terry6 said...


These are fabulous instructions! I'm going to buy a pressure canner and try some chicken according to your directions. Where's the best place to purchase a canner? Which type is best? Thank you so much!

Maria Hart said...

You answered my question in the summary, it may be more helpful to storage novices for the rack clarification come earlier, not in review. This is a great site. You have a lot of valuable information to give, I am excited for future posts.

fromthestecherbush said...

Hey! This is going to be great. Hopefully save you some time too:)
It gave me warm fuzzies to see it.

Sarah Kay said...

SWEEEEEET! I was very excited to see this after I missed the live class. This will certainly come in handy. Many thanks, Wendi.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog...thank you so much! I have been very nervous about canning meats, but you have given me the confidence to give it a try.:)
I'm looking forward to seeing what you will be teaching in the future.

A new fan, Joyce

Leddy Landers said...

There's something I'm very confused about concerning canning meat. I've looked for the answer everywhere and am stumped. I have 10-quart a Fagor pressure canner with two settings - low of 8 pounds and high of 15 pounds. The elevation where I live is approximately 700 feet. If I'm supposed to can at 10 pounds pressure, should I set this thing on 15 pounds? Will it matter? Do I reduce my cooking time? Can someone please help me figure this out?

BerginMania said...

Hi Leddy!

I found this link that should help answer your questions.

Scroll down to the middle of the page and you'll see a chart on how to adjust your pressure according to your altitude.

Because you're under 1000 ft above sea level, you'd process it for the regular time shown in a recipe.

Another question. Are you sure you have a pressure CANNER and not just a pressure cooker? A pressure cooker cannot reach high enough temps to safely can food.

Thanks for leaving the question. Hope I've helped some.

Leddy Landers said...

Thanks so much BerginMania for your response. The link shows how to adjust time for sea level. My dilemna is about the pressure. I bought this canner:

It has two pressure settings - low which is 8 psi and high which is 15 psi. I didn't think it would be a problem since I was looking for 10 psi to do the meats. But now that it doesn't have a 10 - but rather a number on either side - I'm not sure which one to use.

Fortunately for me, this canner arrived today and it contains a cookbook. It does not specifically give directions for canning meat, per se, but it includes a recipe for canning chicken a la king which is basically chicken with some veggies and seasonings - for pints and quarts. It specifies pints (which I like because there is just two of us) at high pressure (15 psi) for 75 minutes. Do you think that sounds reasonable?

I'm sorry to sound so silly about this but feel intimidated by the pressure canner and am stumped about the pressure

BerginMania said...

Here is a little more info.

If you follow the USDA recommendations the Fagor units are not classed
as pressure canners. Two reasons. The first is lack of 5 and 10 pound
pressure settings and the second being it can't hold 4 quart jars for
processing. The USDA is not given the ability to write regulations thus
the recommendations.

15 PSI is the only choice for a pressure setting but you still have the
size issue.

My recommendation is for you to return the Fagor and buy something that is more for actually pressure canning. For about half what you spent on the Fagor, you could have a 16 qt Presto
that holds 10 pint jars or 7 quart jars.

Tiny URL: Presto 16qt Canner

I would feel safer knowing you were using equipment really meant for the job. I have the 16 quart presto and use it all of the time. You can always use it to pressure COOK in as well.

Leddy Landers said...

Thank you again. I'm going to follow your advice and return it but I have one more stupid question. If pressures of 5 and 10 are required to can, wouldn't 8 and 15 surpass the requirements? And do I have to do quarts? I cannot imagine putting up anything that big for just the two of us. I would only ever do pints and half-pints. I have a presto AND a mirro in the trunk of my car - got them for free from the swap meet at work when I posted I was looking for one. They are 23 quart canners and I will have to take them outside to the burner on the gas grill to use them but I do have them. I guess I am just slow getting the pressure thing. You've been very helpful and I appreciate it.

Kristin said...

Why do you put 1/4 Cup of vinegar in the canner? Does it soften the water or something?

BerginMania said...

The vinegar is to keep the water from staining your canner and also to keep any smells trapped in the canner during processing from staying in the canner after processing and during storage.