Canning is something that can be very easy and rewarding, but you have to make sure you follow the proper procedures so that you don't run the risk of canning something that is unsafe. Unfortunately, I am having problems getting my pictures transferred over to my computer, so they will have to be included later on. I have a dial gauge pressure canner, and the instructions will be focused on canning with that canner. I will put up basic instructions for canning with both at a later date as well as a chart for the correct canning pressures based on location. I live very close to sea level, so I personally need a pressure of 10-11 lbs..
Pressure Canning Chicken Soup
2. Get out your pressure canner. Follow your manufacturers guidelines for canning, as they can vary. For mine, I always make sure the steam vent is clear of obstacles and check the rubber gasket.
3. Put about 1" of water in the bottom of the canner, or until you reach the line that is inside of some canners. Some people like to add a splash of white vinegar to the water to make sure the jars don't look cloudy when you remove them.
4. Make sure the tray that came with the canner is in the bottom of the canner. The jars should never be placed directly against the bottom of the canner. Start heating up the water in the canner.
5. If the chicken soup is cold, put it into a pot and heat it up until just boiling. If already hot, move onto the next step.
6. Take the jars out of the oven as you need them and, using a funnel, ladle the hot soup into the jars leaving a 1" headspace. Wipe the rims with a wet cloth before putting on the lids. The rings should then be screwed on until finger-tight.
7. Put the jars into the canner, making sure they aren't jam-packed. The jars should have a little wiggle room.
8. Put on the lid, making sure it is completely on. Do NOT put the weight on yet. Wait for a jet of steam to begin escaping through the vent. This is a necessary step in the canning process, as it's getting all of the excess air out of the canner. Let it vent like this for 10-15 minutes, depending on your manufacturers directions. Then, put on the weight.
9. Stay in close proximity of the canner for the next couple of minutes until the needle is pointing at the correct pounds of pressure. Once the correct pressure is reached you can set your timer for the amount of time you need for your jars, and ONLY when the correct pressure has been reached. For quarts you'll can 90 minutes, pints will can for 75 minutes
9. This is where checking on the canner comes into play. Anything with meat in it cans for a long amount of time, and who really has so much free time that they can stand in the kitchen watching a dial for 90 minutes? That is definitely not an option for me. My guidelines are to check on the dial every 20 or so minutes, because if the dial drops below