12 Pressure Canning? Huh, Me?

Mention "Pressure Canning" and what comes immediately to your mind?

For me, it's a mini-atomic explosion emanating from my stovetop, creating a monster sized hole in my ceiling...

Last year, some neighbors of mine got together at a friend's house for an introduction to pressure canning.  I just had to see for myself what it was all about...

After a 30 minute demonstration, I was SOLD.  Did you know you can pressure can your own chicken?  I sure didn't.

I borrowed my friend's Presto Pressure Canner and canned 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken that was $1.19 a pound.  It was SO easy!  If you want to see a step-by-step tutorial, check HERE.

The chicken is cooked and ready to eat.  I have found many uses for it in chicken noodle soup, chicken enchiladas, chicken tacquitos, and chicken salad.  I gave my mom a jar and she proclaimed that it was just as good or even better than Costco's canned chicken.  *awwwwwww*

Do you want to try pressure canning?  Then do what I did and borrow a canner from a friend or neighbor.  Once you have tried pressure canning, you can then decide if you want to purchase your own canner.

Here are some reasons to think about WHY you should pressure can:

1.  Not everything can be canned the traditional water bath method.  Only high acid foods such as fruits can use the water bath method.  This includes juices, jellies, and spreads.

Peaches canned in water bath canner

2.  You will be able to can MANY different low-acid foods such as vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and combination recipes:  soups, chili, spaghetti sauce with meat, and glazed carrots.

3.  If you are on a SPECIAL DIET (no salt, msg, or allergies) you will be able to control what goes in your food.  

4.  It can be COST EFFECTIVE to do your own canning.  The initial costs to begin canning may be higher to purchase the equipment.  However, you can find great deals online and through thrift ads for canners and jars.  The only equipment you would need to purchase from then on is your lids.  Food can be purchased in bulk and on sale, saving you even more money.

5.  VARIETY.  Think about the meat/protein that you have in your food storage.  We are not a bean loving family. All I had for a protein source was wheat (if sprouted), tuna fish and peanut butter.  We LOVE chicken and beef, but guess where that is?  In my freezer.  If the power were to go out for an extended period, we would eat like kings for a few days.  But what about after that?  

Since pressure canning chicken, this year I have done chili with ground beef, potatoes, and enchilada sauce.

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