Learn how to can vegetables using a pressure canner. Learn why using a pressure canner is safe and practical.
When canning vegetables in a pressure canner, process the jars of food for the appropriate minutes and pounds of pressure indicated in the recipes below. You will need to learn how to operate your pressure canner by reading the owners manual that comes with your particular pressure canner. If you have purchased a used pressure canner, and you do not have an owner manual, you can obtain one by contacting the company that made your pressure canner. Give the model number to the manufacturer, and they will send you the right manual. There is a charge for this, however, depending on the manufacturer.
Place the rack in the pressure canner and fill with 3-4 inches of water. I usually have enough water in the pressure cooker that, when the filled jars are placed inside, it comes halfway up the jars.
Lock down the lid of your pressure canner after the filled jars are placed inside. This is usually done by placing the pressure canner lid on and giving it a turn to the lock position.
Vent the pressure canner to eliminate the air inside. After you have locked down the lid and turned on the heat, the water inside the pressure canner will begin to boil. Soon after, you will notice steam escaping from the vent on top of the pressure canner lid. Let this steam escape for 10 minutes before you cover the vent pipe with the weight (or by closing the petcock in some models.) Air left inside the canner prevents temperatures form rising high enough to kill all bacteria.
Add the weighted gauge to the vent pipe (or close the petcock in some models.) This action will cause pressure inside the pressure cooker. You will hear your pressure cooker making hissing noises at this point. If any steam is escaping from under the lid, you will need to take the weighted gauge off of your pressure canner and release the pressure (or open the petcock.) After pressure has been released, take the lid off of your pressure canner and remove the rubber gasket from the lid. Wipe the gasket off (Caution!! It will be hot!) and wipe it dry, stretching it a bit while you do this. Replace it inside the lid and vent your pressure canner again.
Once the correct pressure level has been reached (usually 10 pounds for vegetables) you can begin timing the process. Each food has a different processing time, so you will need to read the recipe for each vegetable. You can read the gauge on your lid to see the amount of pressure inside the canner. Some canner do not have gauges, and you have to count the times the weight, which is closing the vent pipe, giggles per minute.
If you live in altitudes 1,000 feet or above, you will need to increase pressure 1 pound for the first 1,000 feet, and then 1/2 pound for each additional 1,000 feet afterwards. Cooking times will remain the same.
After processing turn off heat and allow the pressure canner to cool. Do not take the weight off of your canner (or open the petcock.)Let the steam escape on it's own accord. When all steam has escaped from the canner (read the gauge, and the arrow will point to 0) you can remove the weight or open the petcock. If you hear a rush of steam escaping upon removing the gauge or opening the petcock, the steam has not completely escaped from the canner and it is not safe to open the canner lid. Replace the gauge and wait longer. When you are absolutely sure all pressure has escaped from the canner, you may take off the lid. When you open the canner, remove the lid away from you. If you open the canner towards you, steam will rush into your face, and that hurts!
If your jars of food have sealed, you may remove the band that holds the lid down. You can reuse the band on another jar. Don't remove the lid until you are ready to use it, or course.
Pour the water out of your canner and refill, if you are going to can another load. I have reused the water in the pressure canner for a second batch, but by the third batch the water starts to discolor, so I would change it.
Introduction on Canning Fruits and VegetablesPage 1 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about what you should know before you begin to can.
How to Can Vegetables Using a Pressure CannerPage 2 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This talks about canning vegetables using a pressure canner.
How to Can Vegetables Using a Boiling Water CannerPage 3 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden. This page talks about canning vegetables using a boiling water canner.
How to Can FruitPage 4 of "How to Can Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about canning fruit.
How to Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 5 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about freezing basics and "how-to's."
How to Make Jams and Jellies Page 6 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about the tips and tricks of making homemade jams and jellies.
How to Make Pickles and RelishPage 7 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about pickling.
How to Dehydrate Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden.Page 8 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetabes frm Your Garden." This page talks about drying and lists dtying times for fruits and vegetables.
How to Make lye Soap and Other Homemade Concoctions Page 9 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page talks about making lye soap and other old-fashioned, homemade concoctions and remedies.
Home Processing Troubleshooting GuidePage 10 of "How to Can and Freeze Fruits and Vegetables from Your Garden." This page answers your questions about canning and freezing garden produce.
Other Home Canning Links This site lists other links that you may find helpful.