No, I am not an adrenaline addict, but I may be a canning addict. Who knows? Maybe you should ask my husband to stage an intervention. Although I had only done it twice before (chicken and pinto beans), I decided that I really like pressure canning. Maybe even love it. Maybe I love it more than traditional “water bath” canning. Why? Aren’t there potentially disastrous consequences to canning, like death?
Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m risking my life. Maybe I’m fooling myself, but I don’t think so. I have a pressure canner which is quite new and in good repair (I bought this one from Amazon). I follow the instructions RELIGIOUSLY! As much as I like experimenting and improvising in the kitchen, I NEVER improvise when canning, especially not when pressure canning. I want to keep my food as fresh as it was when I canned it, and I most definitely don’t want anyone getting sick from anything I’ve made.
Back to the “Why am I flirting with death by pressure canning at home?”, I like providing healthy food for my family, but I also like fast, easy cooking. Canning my own food gives me the best of both worlds. It requires a bit of work up front, but I know exactly what’s in the food we eat, and it’s so much faster and easier to prepare dinner at night when most of the items are “dump, heat, ready” foods. What is “dump, heat, ready”? I can dump the contents into a pan (or microwave safe bowl), heat it up, and it’s ready. No prep, no long cooking times, no standing over the stove for hours.
On Friday, I canned my own hamburger for the very first time. Remember the ground beef I bought from Zaycon foods? (See post here.) I took one tube (10 pounds) and canned it. I got 7 quart size jars plus a little extra out of that 10 pounds. I followed the instructions in my Ball Canning Book and my Presto pressure canner instruction book (you can see those online here). I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the instructions exactly (both with a safety tested recipe and for your pressure canner)! This will keep your food safe, so you don’t get sick!
Want to see me risk life and limb for a few jars of canned meat? Here’s my photo step by step.
This was even faster and easier than canning chicken (see post here). The most time consuming part was waiting for the canner to do its work, but I was processing the rest of the beef, so it wasn’t a big deal (posts to come). I was in the kitchen anyway.