People are always looking for ways to save money on their grocery bills. These days, it seems like most people are turning to what they can grow in their own backyard. One of the easiest things you can do is pressure canning your produce so that you have food all year long.
A pressure cooker will allow you to cook at a higher temperature than what is usually found with boiling water, which kills more bacteria and allows your food to last longer without refrigeration. This article will discuss what is pressure canner and how it works as well as what foods are safe for home-canning!
What is Pressure Canner?
The word ‘canner’ might make you think of a can, but what it refers to is actually a much bigger pot. Pressure canners are specifically made for boiling food at higher temperatures than one would see with just boiling water. The steam that builds up inside the pressure cooker allows your foods to cook quickly and efficiently so that they remain fresh for longer.
A pressure canner is made with three basic parts: a base, a pot, and a lid. The base is what heats up the water and this part will either be electric or stove-top. The pot that sits inside of it holds your food, which you then place into a very secure lid to trap in all of the steam until pressure builds up. Pressure canners usually have an indicator on them so that once they come to full pressure you know what time you have to cook your foods for.
How Does Pressure Canner Work?
Pressure canners are made with a specific purpose in mind, and that is to create an environment where your food cooks at a higher temperature. This allows what you’re cooking to stay fresh for longer but this only works if the pressure cooker has been properly prepped beforehand.
Before using your new pressure canner, make sure it’s clean and in good working order. You don’t want to use your pot for canning after it’s been used for cooking something else, especially if what you were cooking had a strong smell like fish or onions.
The next step is making sure that the pressure cooker has water inside of it and this means enough to fill at least half an inch above what’s inside of the pot. You then put your burner on high heat until that water begins to boil which means it is warming up and becoming steam, what you need for canning.
Once this stage has been reached you let the pressure cooker sit on low heat with just enough heat so that there are no more than two whistles per minute. After you’ve reached this point, what’s inside of the pot is now sterilized and safe for canning.
What Foods Can Be Pressure Canned?
There are a variety of foods that can be pressure canned, one of the most popular being fruits. If you have an overabundance of fruit in your yard and you’re looking for ways to preserve what would normally go bad before it gets eaten then this is a great way! Just make sure what you’re canning is what’s known as a high-acid fruit, usually something with at least an 80% citric acid or higher.
Canning vegetables also comes highly recommended because they too will last longer when done correctly in the pressure cooker. In fact, if you know what you’re doing then it isn’t unheard of to be able to pressure-can what is known as a ‘low-acid vegetable like green beans or carrots, which would normally require refrigeration.
Just make sure you do some research on what can be canned in the oven before you get started because if done incorrectly it could turn your food into something both unpleasant and dangerous; botulism poisoning won’t do your body any good!
Pressure Canning vs. Water Canning
A pressure canner is different than what you would use for just plain old water-canning. Water canners are made with the purpose of boiling jars filled with food so that they become sterilized and safe to eat. A regular pot, however, does not have enough steam inside it to kill bacteria which means your foods will only last a couple of days without refrigeration.
Pressure canners are what you need for foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry because it allows them to stay fresh anywhere from six months up to a year after the initial cooking process! This is why pressure canning is what works best when preserving your food.
What are the Advantages?
There are a couple of big advantages to pressure canning, the first one is that what you make will stay fresh for much longer than what water canners provide. The second advantage is that it’s very easy to tell when your food has been properly cooked and sterilized which means less risk of getting sick from undercooked or raw food.
What are the Setbacks?
One of the few setbacks to pressure canning is that you have a very small window where what’s inside your pot is safe and ready for eating. If it has been undercooked then bacteria could be present which means food poisoning or worse: botulism, which comes from improperly canned foods and causes paralysis among other symptoms!
Is There a Difference Between Pressure Cooking and Pressure Canning?
Pressure cooking is what you would do for your food before pressure canning it. It’s what cooks the food quickly but leaves it slightly underdone to preserve flavor and nutrients while keeping everything safe from bacteria that may be present in other traditional methods of cooking.
What Can You Can Without Pressure Canner?
There are a few foods that can be safely canned in what’s called water-canning, but it doesn’t usually last as long and does not have nearly the same level of sterilization. This means what you make will only last a couple of days before it goes bad and gets harmful bacteria.
What is Best Pressure Canner for Beginners?
There are several good pressure canners out there for beginners, but the one that gets the best reviews is what’s called a Bayou Classic. It has all of what you need to get started with pressure-canning without having to break the bank!