The hiss and jiggle of the pressure cooker heralds summer to me. The pop of canning lids sealing is the percussion of a harvest well done.
A pressure cooker cuts the time of canning compared with a traditional water bath, plus you can cook fresh foods in it. I can cook fresh green beans in my pressure cooker in three minutes! I have an eleven-year-old Mirro pressure cooker/canner.
Do not be intimidated about using a pressure cooker to can. They have safety valves built in so they will not explode as some of you have heard when using the specified guidelines.
Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it. If you’re purchasing a pressure cooker, be sure to get one that will hold both pints and quart jars. Mine will hold seven regular pints, five wide mouthed pints, or four quarts. You can get bigger pressure cookers, but I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than this.
We usually can about forty to fifty pints of Tarheel green beans. Due to last spring’s popularity, I’ll be doing an annual give away of this seed.
Once your beans are picked, wash your jars in hot soapy water and rinse. Fill your kettle with water and bring to a boil. Put your lids in a saucepan and cover with water, leaving at a low simmer. Make sure your rack is in the bottom of your pressure cooker and fill with water. (I have an eight quart canner and need to add 1 and 1/2 quarts of water) Continue reading