Although I didn’t formally put this on my 2011 To-Do List, I’ve been wanting to can chicken stock in my new pressure cooker for a while. Its different from the one I’ve used in the past canning with my Mom. When I made a big batch of chicken stock this past weekend, I decided it was time for its maiden voyage.
Since you can’t can chicken stock in a regular water boiling method because of its low acidity, I’ve always just frozen it. But whenever I want to use it, I always have to defrost it, which can be a pain. So I want to start canning it.
It is necessary to use a pressure cooker when canning chicken stock because the low acidity of the stock requires the jars be brought to a higher temperature then water boils at to kill off all harmful bacteria. Following the directions of my new cooker, I needed to bring the pressure up to 11 pounds (as shown below in the pressure guage) for safe canning. Although pressure cookers can be very imtimidating, they’re actually very easy and safe to use as long as you follow their specific directions.
The process begins similarly to canning with a water bath. After preparing a batch of chicken stock, straining it and bringing it back up to a boil. I ladled the boiling stock it into prepared mason jars (washed and heated) and placed the two part canning top and ring onto the jars.
Prepare the pressure canner: Before beginning, I disassembled and cleaned every part of the pressure canner. The lid of the canner has a steam vent pipe which allows the steam to be released. Make sure nothing is blocking the free flow of air and steam through the vent pipe. When wanting to create pressure, you place a pressure regulator also known as a petcock over the vent. Have the petcock off the lid when beginning the canning process.
To begin canning: Check the instructions for your canner and follow them exactly. This is the process for my Presto Canner: Place the 3 quarts of boiling water into the canner along with the jars (and lids) and twist the lid of the canner into place. Place canner on burner over high heat.
Bring to a boil. Once a steady stream of steam starts coming out of steam vent pipe, allow steam to vent for 10 minutes.
After ten minutes, place the petcock over the steam to regulate the pressure. Bring pressure up to 11 pounds and regulate pressure by adjusting the burner heat to medium-low to keep at 11 pounds. For quart jars, boil at 11 lbs pressure for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, turn burner off and remove from heat. Allow to sit until pressure is down to zero again. DO NOT REMOVE petcock before the pressure has been reduced.
When pressure is at zero again, remove petcock and allow canner to sit for 10 minutes or so to cool down.
After ten minutes, remove lid. Keep face and hands away from the steam which will be released. Remove jars and allow to sit to cool. Label with name and date and place in pantry.
I know have 7 quarts of chicken stock which is ready to use whenever I want it without having to defrost it first. Yus!