Pressure Canning Conversion
Autumn is upon us with its painted landscapes and cooler weather. If you’re like me then it’s time to bust out the soup and hot cocoa! I love soup, it’s easy to make, easy to clean up after, and you can get almost all your food groups in one delicious bowl.
However homemade soup takes a little elbow grease and time, so Campbell’s pinch hits a lot. Not anymore! Now you can take your favorite homemade soups and can them.
Take that Campbell’s!
Pressure Canning on Steroids
Canning soup isn’t that different from canning anything else. As a general rule I pressure can all my soup. So if you’ve never pressure canned, then hop on over here and I’ll show you the ropes.
I love pressure canning my soups (and chili) because it’s faster to prepare when I need it, and it only takes a little more time than making one normal pot of soup. There’s also the added bonus of portion control, which means fewer leftovers to forget about. 1 quart jar feeds 2-3 people depending on your bowl sizes.
Let me show you how it’s all done
Start with your favorite soup recipe: mine is Very Pleasant Veggie Pheasant, aka chicken noodle with pheasant instead of chicken.
You’ll need to follow a few rules for proper conversion and canning. The Ball Blue Book is a MUST HAVE if you are converting your recipes. This is where you’ll need to go to look you each ingredient.
Basic Conversion Rules:
- Triple the recipe ingredients for canning
- Always season to the heavy side, especially if recipe calls for noodles or beans. Then if you need to add more water to the jars the added spice offsets the water.
- Look up each ingredient in your Ball Blue Book note the canning time and pressure for each.
- Any dairy product must be added before serving – dairy can’t be pressure canned it burns or curdles, omit it. Sorry that means no cream based soups.
- Noodles- precook and add more water to recipe – they expand about double when canned.
- Ground meats- pre-cook 2/3 of the way done to avoid over cooked texture, except in chili.
- Shredded meats – leave extra head space and pack down the meat, it has a tendency to worm up and can prevent proper sealing.
- Experiment with ingredient quantities and varieties (best done before canning so you don’t have 20 quarts that your family avoids.
- Example – red or russet potatoes, more tomatoes or less, large chopped onions or finer, fresh parsley or dried, etc.
Here’s an example of how the process looks.
Now that you have your ingredients figured out, compare their canning times and pressure requirement. Always base your canning time and pressure on the longest time and highest pressure. This ensures that all foodborne hazards should be eliminated through proper cooking. Never skimp on this! EVER!
Everything else is just like regular pressure canning. But here are a few more tips for better soup canning.
- Using the pressure canner pots to cook soups, stews and chili before is great. You’ll have to fill all your jars before you start canning, then rinse, but this keeps your stove and kitchen a little clearer.
- I fill my jars by guessing how many jars I think I will fill and then pouring in 1 c at a time into each jar, repeating till full and the pot is empty. I then go through the jars to even things out – this avoids jars with too much liquid and too little substance or vice versa.
- If there is no pop when you break the seal later DO NOT USE even if it looks and smells fine DO NOT USE!!!!!! This goes for all canning jars. No pop means it didn’t seal and that’s like eating soup that was left on the table for… well, since you canned it. Gross and dangerous.
Check out our Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ pages for more canning converted recipes. Merry Canning and Happy Autumn!