The Time Laura Canned Chicken Broth in a Pressure Cooker and Didn’t Blow Up Her Kitchen

I’ve been putting this off for my entire 22 years of married life.

See, I’ve been canning acidic foods like applesauce and tomato sauce from the time my kids were little because all you have to do is run those jars through a water bath to seal them. Easy. Not scary. Anyone can do it.

applesauce_2

For such a long time, I’ve so badly wanted to branch out and can less acidic food items (like veggies and meat) that have to be processed in a pressure canner.

But alas. I was afraid of blowing myself up.

#truestory
#noshame

Not only have I aspired to learn how to pressure can, I’ve actually had my mom’s pressure canner in my basement for 12 years. Every year I would be determined to learn to use it. Every year I would chicken out. It has provided a wonderful home for several spider families down in our basement, so at least it hasn’t been entirely useless.

I’ve had an excuse (beside the extreme fear thing) for letting it sit idle. The manual that originally came with the canner was long ago misplaced. Also, my mom has been gone for quite some time so I couldn’t ask her to teach me how to use it. I think we all know that we should never use a pressure canner without first knowing how to use it safely.

#feartheexplosion
#saynotobotulism

Don’t even tell me that I could have found a manual online or perhaps could have asked one of many dozens of women or men who could have taught me how to use one. I know this. Apparently I wasn’t ready to face my fears or wash the spider webs out of my canner.

Until now.

This year, I finally washed my pressure canner (goodbye spiders) and guess what? I learned to use it! I think my mama would be proud.

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Have you ever seen a 43-year old act giddy like a little girl? That was me three weeks ago when I pulled my first jar of chicken broth out of my pressure canner. I did it! I DID IT!!!! The jars sealed. The broth is beautiful. More importantly, nothing blew up.

canning2

It truly wasn’t even hard.

Not only am I thankful to have finally conquered my fear of the pressure canner, I’m so excited to now have the ability to make more healthy convenience foods to keep in my pantry! Chick broth, Chili, Veggie Soup, the list goes on and on. This is going to be so amazing! (Once I get over my “don’t open those, they are just for looks” issue. I can’t help it. It’s fun to have and stare at full jars of home-canned food in the pantry.)

How I finally learned to use my pressure canner

After being afraid to even try using my pressure canner, I found what ended up being a wonderful teacher and confidence builder for me. I took the Home Canning With Confidence Mini-eCourse (which was full of videos so I could actually see how it all worked) and now here I am, canning like it’s 1970.

The course taught me about all the parts of my canner, showed me how to put it together and use it safely, gave me some great recipes, and by the time I had watched the videos and read through the downloads, I was so inspired and eager to get started that the spiders living in my canner didn’t have a chance.

home-canning-with-confidence_2x

Then I watched all the videos and read the downloads again, just to be safe. Shoot. I knew I was ready to do it but canning with a pressure canner still seemed like such a big deal.

Finally, I went for it!! (I may have also called my friend Tana for some moral support. She’s been pressure canning for years. She affirmed all I was doing and told me I was on the right track. Yay!)

Lookie!! I canned chicken broth in a pressure canner!

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Once I canned my first batch of chicken broth and had busted my way through the learning curve, the pressure canning monster in me was unleashed.

I’ve since canned 14 jars of Chili and 14 jars of Vegetable Soup!!!! (All the exclamation marks show how a 43-year old types like when she feels like a giddy little girl.)

canned-soups

This is, in some ways, even better than freezer cooking because:

  • Jars go in the pantry, saving freezer space!
  • I don’t have to thaw anything. We have ready-made soups and broth in the pantry ready to go!

Afraid of the Pressure Canner?

Don’t be. I mean, I get it. You know I get it. But all it takes is having someone to teach us how to do it and then boom! A whole new world is opened up to us in the kitchen! Pressure canning is actually not even hard. I thought it would be. But nope. It’s easy.

If you have any interest in canning at all, take this Home Canning With Confidence eCourse. Do you know how much time and money we’ll all save ourselves? It’s even worth buying a pressure canner if you don’t have one. I was ready to click the purchase button on a new one if my mom’s decided it was too old. That’s how motivating the eCourse was to me.

I’d love to hear if you are a fan of pressure canning and how you like to use it!

Comments

  1. Patricia R. says

    I have this exact canner you linked to on my wishlist at Amazon. I found I can use it on my smooth top stove. But like you were, I am very afraid. I think I will check out that e course you mentioned. I think canning is a good skill to know. Unlike you, I have never water bath canned either. This was a very helpful post. Thanks!

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    Laura Reply:

    I really think the eCourse will help you very much, even without having water bath canning experience. Knowing how to can is SO helpful and saves so much money on healthy food!

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  2. mrs.p says

    My hubby taught me how to use one. We canned vension oh its the best that way. Happy canning.

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    Laura Reply:

    I’d like to try canning meat like that. Glad your husband knew how so he could teach you!

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  3. Mary Ann says

    I have an old pressure cooker/canner from a dear old friend who is gone now. I feel like an old homesteader when I use it! I like to can beans and meat. Super simple to can meat and have ready cooked meat to put in a soup or heat and thicken as a gravy.

    I have a question for you. Did you just make your chili and soups and then can them? I have never thought of processing them.

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    Laura Reply:

    Ooh, beans. I should do that next! (I’m assuming you mean pintos and such?)

    Yes, I made chili and soup as normal, then canned it. Actually, on the veggie soup, I didn’t cook the veggies thoroughly. I just made sure the mixture was hot, then the processing cooked the veggies the rest of the way.

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  4. Carly says

    I’m 38 and still afraid to make chicken broth let alone can it! Laura you are awesome!

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    Laura Reply:

    You can totally make chicken broth. I believe in you!

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  5. Jessica says

    I would LOVE a pressure canner!! Someday :) I saved the link to the one you mentioned as it actually seems pretty affordable so I will be saving up until I can afford it……it would be such a blessing to be able to can veggies and soups! Thanks for the pep talk!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It is pretty awesome. Totally do it!

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  6. Kari Coppinger says

    Gives new meaning to “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….” Brava! I’ve a newish friend who said, “yes” she’d love to teach me how to can. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to try it. I have pantry space a plenty. Freezer space, not as much. It might make a good new year’s resolution, which would give me time to work through my fear of blowing up.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes!! Let your newish friend teach you. It’s so cool and then we could pray for each other when we see our jars in our pantries!

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  7. says

    I feel you. I’m still kind of scared every time I use mine (which is possibly older than me). My most-(pressure)-canned item is dry beans (pinto and black). I’ve never mastered the art of just cooking beans–mine either turn out undercooked or burnt, or sometimes both (because I’m just that talented)–so I just can them to cook them and to make them shelf-stable and recipe-ready.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Okay, I have to know more! Are you saying you put the beans in the jars UNCOOKED? Do you soak them first? Must, have, details…. This would be life changing.

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    Tera B Reply:

    When I first started, I did just put the dry beans in the jars without cooking, or even soaking, them first, and it worked fine. I think it was 1/2 c. dry beans per pint and 1 c. per quart, filled up with boiling water, leaving 1″ headspace.

    Then I heard that soaking the beans makes them less troublesome to the digestive system, so now I soak them overnight, drain, cover with water, and bring to a boil. This method takes a little more advance planning, at which I am not particularly good. I distribute them evenly in my jars (2.5 lb dry beans for 5 qt or 2 lb beans for 8 pt), use the boiling liquid to fill to within 1″ headspace, and process. They cook in the canner–no more crunchy, undercooked, and/or burnt beans for me!

    Beans need to be processed at 10 lb pressure, 75 min for pints or 90 min for quarts.

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  8. Jenn C. says

    Yay!! Not only is it great you are now able to can fabulous food, but it’s so wonderful you are doing what your Mother did, and using her pressure cooker! That’s priceless. Regardless of how much I learned from my Mom in the kitchen, and it was plenty, some things I just didn’t. Not fully. It takes time and courage to try. Congratulations!

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  9. Ruth says

    Okay, so I’m puzzled. Maybe I’m totally naive. But I was raised in a household where we canned anything and everything from fruits to vegetables and meat, and none of it was done with a pressure canner. Vegetables and meat were put in a boiling water bath for three hours. I’m alive and healthy to prove that it works, and still do it that way. So I’m curious, is that totally an old fashioned, supposedly an unsafe way of doing it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Innnnteresting! I’m curious now to learn the history of canning! What DID they do before pressure canners?

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  10. Ruth says

    I can’t say that I totally know the history of canning, but I was raised in the Mennonite culture, and a few generations ago hardly any of them had electricity. There’s still a number of them that don’t allow it. So they depend largely on canned goods, and since they grow most of their own vegetables, and raise their own meat, they can anything and everything you could imagine :) Now I can’t say for sure that none it is done with a pressure canner, but I think it’s safe to say most of it is done in a boiling water bath, for various amounts of time, depending on the item.
    It’s funny, but being raised that way I never realized until now that that’s not the normal way of canning food:) We learn new things every day, I guess!

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  11. Carolyn says

    Dear Laura,
    Do you have any idea how much money I’ve spent “saving” money with all your recommendations? lol! I could have saved $10 and gotten a slightly smaller one at Walmart, but nooo, Laura recommended THIS one so this one I must have! I ordered my pressure canner last week and I met the mailman with it just a little while ago with a big smile on my face. I’m sure he thought I was crazy. My chicken stock is almost ready to can – I started it last night knowing the canner would be here today :) I have to laugh as I eagerly opened the box and removed the canner, then took the plastic off the lid and removed the booklet from inside. Out of the booklet fell a little slip of green paper on which is typed: “WARNING FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS! State of California Proposition 65 requires that we include the following warning: WARNING! This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. ”
    My question is: does this chemical only cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm in the state of California? or are the other states not aware of this chemical? LOL!
    I certainly hope you are reading this with the tongue-in-cheek in which it is written :) So far I haven’t been disappointed with anything you’ve recommended. Not the silicone cupcake liners, not the silpat liners, not the coconut oil, not the…well, you get the idea. This is why I don’t read your blog often anymore. You cost me money! haha! But then I read all the posts I’ve missed and …end up spending the money anyway :)
    Anyway, clearly I will only be using the canner to…’can’ and not be cooking anything in it. I wouldn’t anyway because it’s made of aluminum, but I don’t want to take any chances if the State of California isn’t!
    I’m so excited about this honestly. We have a rather small deep freezer and it’s full of chicken and pork and will be “fuller” soon when we get our 1/4 beef. There’s no room anymore for my beans and chicken stock. So even though I don’t get to read your blog as regularly as I used to, scrolling down to get the posts I missed was a godsend. I need my homemade stock…and beans! As another woman said, I’ve got pantry space, but no freezer space!
    Thanks for the heads-up on all the sales and good deals you find! :D
    p.s. this is also my first foray into pressure canning. My mother’s always scared me away with all that rattling! I’ve done tomatoes and fruit and applesauce for years, now it’s time to tackle the pressure canner and stock and beans…and soup!
    Hugs to you for all you do, Laura!
    Carolyn

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  12. Katy says

    Hey Laura! Congrats on your new adventures! I’ve been pressure canning for a few years now, but I’ve never canned bone broth or soups. I purchased the UHL Bundle and took the canning mini-ecourse, but I’m still confused about canning soups. Do you have a recipe for your chili and veggie soup? How did you know how long and at what pressure to can them? I’ve always been under the impression that you must use a known canning recipe. Any advice? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I just used my regular chili and veggie soup recipes and looked up online the time and pressure to pressure can them. Once I learned how to can this way in the eCourse, I just went with that knowledge…so far so good!

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