Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pressure Canning Chicken

I am so excited! Canned my first time with a pressure canner and it was a success!

Decided to prepare for canning at 6PM. Put out my tools: Instruction book, Canner with basket, jar grabber, orange peeler to get the bubbles out of the food, my largest mixing bowl to dump the chicken tenders in, Sea Salt, measuring spoons, wooden boards to set the hot jars on, towels to cover the jars, washcloth to wipe the jar rims, knife and cutting board, gloves.

Loaded my canner with a layer and a half of empty jars... just to make sure they fit, how they fit and that the second row didn't stick up too high. Counted the layer then took them out to wash and forgot how many fit. Ahgg! So then I had to reload the bottom and count again. (My old regular mouth pint jars fit 9 to a layer and the new wide mouth jars fit 8.)

According to my instructions poured two quarts of hot water into my canner, then set it on low to keep it warm. Set my lids to warm in water. Added 1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt into each jar. Put my non-latex gloves on and dumped my chicken into a large mixing bowl. Did I mention how much I LOVE my gloves?

Packed each jar tight and used the orange peeler down around the sides to get the air out. Once done packing I wiped each jar mouth clean, placed a lid and ring on. Loaded my canner. I don't have a shelf to set on top of my first batch but a metal apple slicer did the trick. Was able to balance the outside jars onto two lower but had needed something so the middle jar was not setting directly onto the lid of the lower middle jar. Like I said the apple slicer worked really well.

Next step was venting the canner for 7 to 10 minutes. Instructions say to heat on high till steam comes out and then turn down for a moderate flow. What is a moderate flow? I guessed. (Note at this point I was still afraid the thing would blow up.) Time was up and the weight went on the vent and set the timer for 1hr 15 min.

Was really glad one of the blog posts had mentioned that the heat would need to be adjusted all during the time, with it gradually being lowered over and over again till the end of the process. Why? Because my canner book said electric stoves should immediately be turned to low and that should hold the temp for the whole process. Not my stove!

The processing went well and I couldn't wait to see my jars after the canner cooled. Yeah! They turned out great! I put them all on the boards, covered them and went to bed. Will wash and label each jar in the morning.

Thank You to all the bloggers that posted instructions and YouTube videos about canning chicken. I would never have tackled this without you! :)

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