Monday, October 21, 2013

What I've Learned About Pressure Canning

I have had my pressure canner for 3 years now. It is a very old one and it didn't come with instructions.  I have never seen anyone use a pressure canner and had to figure it all out so that I could can up lots of great foods.

So, I have been using it and learning with each batch. I'd look online to trouble shoot my problems and I think after 5 batches this year I have finally got it down!  I found a lot of my questions answered on the Presto Canning Website.   I especially had a problem with losing the liquid in the jar during processing.  I am happy it's still safe to eat, but of course, I want to do it right!

The main steps I have learned are;
  • Leave 1" head space in the jars for vegetables
  • Once all jars are in the canner, bring the water to a boil on high, with the lid on and the vent open, for 10 mins to heat up all the contents.
  • Once you have processed the jars for the proper length of time, take the canner off the heat and let it come down to 0 pressure on it's own. Do not take off the weight or open the vent. This takes about an hour!
I found out that higher elevations need more pressure. So, I am at 3000ft here and at this elevation, I need 15lb of pressure.

One more thing that I have found to help a lot has to do with our well water.  Our water leaves a white mineral build up in all my canners and especially on the aluminum racks in the canners. I read that if you add 1 tsp of vinegar to the water in the canner, this will not happen and it's completely true!

I'll leave you with a picture of some potatoes I canned up tonight.

Thanks for stopping by!

This post is linked up to Raising Homemakers Growing Home A Better Mom Happy and Blessed Home Homestead Barn Hop Time Warp Wife Savings 4 Six Serving Joyfully Hope in Every Season Living Well Spending Less
Raising Arrows


  1. Hello Crystal, so nice to meet you, saw you visited me on my blog, doing the same......Great blog, Blessings Francine.

  2. Hmmm...I've never heard of home-canned potatoes before! That pressure-cooker looks very familiar, though. It's similar to the one my mom used to can with when I was young. Thanks for all the great pointers!

  3. Good for you for all the trial and error! Glad you got it figured out :) I love pressure canning- or ANY kind of canning, for that matter ;)

    I found your blog on the Homestead Barn Hop! Happy to meet you,

    Erin (your newest follower!)
    Yellow Birch Hobby Farm

    1. Hi Erin
      I'm happy to have you as a follower! Your blog is so interesting!

  4. Good for you Crystal. It looks pretty terrifying when you first start using a pressure canner but with time you can relax and enjoy the process. Remember all the pork and beans I used to can in quarts? Grandma used to can chicken. Thanks for posting all your new discoveries.

    1. Oh Mom! I loved your pork and beans! I can NEVER makethem as good as you.