Are you afraid of pressure canning? What if the thing blows up? What if I don’t do it right? The doubt and fear can be endless.
They are quite intimidating with all those latches, that ominous gauge, and that hissing steam vent. But, fear not! There are people out there to help you learn to safely and confidently use the pressure canner!
Pressure canning is simply another method of preserving food that has been around for centuries. It’s a skill that can be incredibly useful for those engaged in homesteading, providing them with a sustainable method to store and consume their home-grown produce.
The Process of Pressure Canning
Being able to preserve food is an extremely useful skill. And a joy! Every day, I get a little jolt of happiness at the sight of my pantry lined with jars of homegrown food.
It’s also a big part of my backup food store. Not only for backup food but also the plan ‘in case the freezer goes out.’ I remember seeing a news segment after a big storm, and the camera zoomed in on big hunks of dripping meat that were spoiling and would be wasted because the power was out. That will never happen at my homestead. I will immediately put my homesteading skills to the test and pressure canning will be first on my list! But you can be dang sure it isn’t going to be wasted.
Pressure canning involves the use of a specialized pot that can create a seal, allowing the internal temperature to rise above the regular boiling point of water. This elevated heat level kills off any bacteria, yeasts, and molds that might spoil the food, thereby preserving it for extended periods. Foods that can be preserved using a pressure canner include fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving has tons of tested recipes.
Here are a few of my favorite types of pressure canners to fit all budgets and skill levels. In addition, I’ve included an electric pressure canners, which has recently been approved by the FDA for home canning.
The Benefits of Pressure Canning
One of the main reasons why pressure canning is a valuable skill for homesteaders is its role in modern self-sufficiency. This technique allows you to store the surplus from your harvest or to shop for grocery store sales. This ensures you have a steady supply of nutritious food throughout the year, even during the off-season.
Secondly, pressure canning is economical. By preserving your own food, you can save a significant amount of money compared to buying canned goods from the store.
Lastly, pressure canning gives you control over what goes into your food. You can avoid the preservatives and additives often found in commercially canned foods, leading to healthier and tastier meals. You know exactly what you are putting into your body! And if that isn't peace of mind, I don't know what is!
An Essential Homesteading Skill
Pressure canning is an essential homesteading skill that promotes self-sufficiency, saves money, and leads to healthier eating habits. By mastering this skill, homesteaders can secure a reliable and nutritious food source for themselves and their families. It's a tradition that connects us with our past and prepares us for a sustainable future.
If you have any concerns about using a pressure canner, visit Kendra from New Life on a Homestead who shows her gentle ease as she works with the equipment and will inspire you.
The information is really empowering for those who have not done any type of canning in the past. Go visit Kendra to learn more about her methods at Kendra's Pressure Canning Methods and be sure to tell her Marjory Wildcraft sent you!
Additional Resources From The Grow Network
Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, which is a community of people focused on modern self-sufficient living. She has been featured by National Geographic as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted the Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens. Marjory was the focus of an article that won Reuter’s Food Sustainability Media Award, and she recently authored The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficient Living—From Growing Food to Making Medicine.