Canning low-acid foods such as broth requires a pressure canner. Fruits and fruit preserves such as jams and jellies are about the only foods you can safely can with a water-bath canner. Tomatoes can also be water-bathed if you add a bit of acid such as lemon juice.
First, assemble your equipment:
Jar lifter, canning funnel, tongs to take lids out of hot water.
New lids, kept in warm water to soften the rubber. Do not re-use lids.
Jars, clean and kept in hot water until needed.
Rings, also called bands.
Now, how to do it:
Heat the broth. Since I make broth one day, and can it the next, I put it in a clean stockpot and bring to a boil.
Jar breakage is minimized by adding hot broth to hot jars that are then placed in hot water in your pressure canner.
Add the recommended amount of water to your pressure canner (check the instruction booklet). Mine uses 3 quarts of hot water, so I fill a quart jar three times and add to the canner. I also add two tablespoons of white vinegar to prevent mineral deposits on the jars.
Check your jars for nicks or sharp edges on the rims. Using the canning funnel, fill your jars leaving one inch of headspace.
Use a damp rag to wipe the rim of the jar, to remove any food or grease that might have splashed.
Using tongs or a lid magnet, remove a lid from the warm water and place on the jar.
Add the ring and tighten just until it's finger tight; do not over-tighten.
The jars are hot, so use your jar lifter to pick up a jar and place carefully in the canner. Try not to bang the jar against the side of the canner or against another jar, to avoid the chance of breakage.
Following the directions for your canner, close the canner, and bring the temperature up. Steam will begin to flow from the vent pipe. After ten minutes of letting the steam vent, add the pressure regulator and wait for the dial gauge to register the correct amount of pressure.
When the pressure is reached, begin timing. Pints of broth require twenty minutes at 11 pounds of pressure at my altitude. I seem to always have the pressure higher than needed, but as long as it doesn't go below 11 pounds, it's ok.
When the timer tells me my broth is done, I turn off the heat and move the canner carefully off the burner. It's hot and it's heavy, so be careful! DO NOT take the top off or try to hurry the cooling-down process. Let the canner cool down naturally. The air vent/cover lock will drop down, and you can then remove the pressure regulator. Wait another ten minutes before you remove the lid of the canner.
When you open the lid, be sure to lift the side farthest from your face first so that any steam will be directed away from you. Use the jar lifter to carefully lift each jar straight up - do not tilt them - and place on a padded surface such as a towel-covered counter.
The jars are still VERY hot. Do not bump them on anything. Let them rest undisturbed for 24 hours.
After that 24 hours, test the lids to see if they've sealed. If one "bounces" up and down, it did not seal, and you need to either use it or put the contents into the freezer; you cannot store it on a shelf if the jar did not seal correctly. You can process it again, but you must replace the lid with another new one.
Wipe down the outside of the sealed jars to remove any residue. Remove the rings for storage, label, move to your storage area, and admire your hard work!
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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