Saturday, April 28, 2012

THE FIRST TIME IS ALWAYS SCARY

Last year I got this great pressure canner for my birthday.  My birthday is May 22nd.  I just used this for the first time yesterday.

Why did it take me so long?  Well, to be honest, I was scared. 

I had heard stories for years about how a pressure canner can explode and how people have really gotten hurt because they used them when they didn't really know how.

So, I waited and waited and waited.  Then I finally got the nerve up.

I have done a lot of research on line about the different types of pressure canners, how to use them and if they are are really safe.  Yes, they are.  As long as you use them how they are meant to be used and you are careful.

They are much safer then they used to be and really easy to use.


Watch a few videos on YouTube if you are scared.  Soon, you will get the nerve to try pressure canning too.

I love beans and so that is what I started with.  Pinto beans.

I had no idea what to do with them.  I never cooked them normally before, let alone try to pressure can them.

I used 4 lbs of dried beans.  I washed them off and pulled out the bad looking ones.  Then I put them in a big pot, covered them with water and let them soak over night.

Wow!  Those suckers soaked up a lot of water and what was 1/2 pan full of beans turned into a full pan.  The pan was so full, I ended up using two pans to cook them.

I rinsed them off again and then put them in two pots, covered them with water and added some garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaf and a little bit of canning salt.

I boiled them for 1/2 hour.  Make sure not to hard boil them as they will end up breaking in 1/2 and the skin comes off.  You can see some of my beans did that even though I used a gentle boil.

Don't cook them longer then 30 mins.  They will finish cooking in the pressure canner. 

Make sure your jars are clean and hot.  Fill up the jars with your beans.  Make sure you leave enough room for juice and for the beans to expand.

Add the hot juice from your cooked beans.  Make sure you leave 1/2 inch head space. 

Seal up the jars and put them in your pressure canner. 
Add boiling water to your canner to the line that it says in your book that comes with your canner.  Each canner is different so be sure to follow the directions for your canner.

Put the lid on and lock it.  Then heat up the canner.  Leave the weight off at first.  You want to see steam coming up for 10 mins to get all the air out of the canner.  Then you add the weight and get your pressure up to 10 pounds.

Make sure you keep the pressure at 10 pounds for 75 mins.



I found I had to sit near by to watch the canner.  It was hard to keep the heat right at 10 lbs.  It would slowly start to go up to almost 11 pounds so I ran and turned the heat down.  Just a tiny bit.

If you turn it down to much, the pressure drop.  If it drops to 9 pounds psi you have to start your time all over again. 

Thankfully I caught mine before it went below the 10 pounds psi.

This was the hardest part of the whole canning day.  Making sure it was at 10 lbs the whole time.

After you cook them for 75 mins.  turn off the heat, move the canner to a cooled burner and let it sit until the pressure drops down to zero.  Make sure the gage says zero and your pop up button on the canner drops down.  This will take about 20-30 mins.

Don't open the canner yet!  Remove the weight and let it sit another 10 mins. 

Then open your canner.  Be sure to open the lid away from you as the steam will still come out and you don't want to get burned.

When you remove the jars, be careful as they are very hot.  In fact, my jars were still boiling inside.

Listen for the pop sound as the jars seal. 

Do not move them for 12-24 hours.  Then you can remove the rings, check the seals and wash the jars off.


That's it!  You now have fresh beans to use in soup, burritos or how ever you want to.

The 4 pounds of dried beans ended up making 15 pint jars.  I only pressure canned 14 of them.  I left one out and just put it in the refrigerator.

I had it tonight for dinner.  They were wonderful! 

I'm so happy I finally got brave enough to use the pressure canner.  I am no longer scared and I have a list a mile long of things I now want to can.


3 comments:

Barb @ The Everyday Home (formerly Grits and Glamour) said...

Oh I haven't pressure canned in years, but this year we have a HUGE garden (not just container gardening like I have done in the past). I can't wait to start canning. Thanks for the tutorial. I am going to buy a pressure canner soon.

Blondie's Journal said...

What a neat process...I never knew how these worked! I imagine it would be a little scary the first time, but now you have the hang of it and you can can away! The beans look delicious!

XO,
Jane

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Joanne!
My Mom had a pressure cooker but I never bought one. It sure does look like it makes things cook faster. Cooking and canning the beans was a great idea.