Using a pressure canning system to can vegetables is the safest way to can vegetables, fruit, jellies, jams, and fruit butters. Pressure canning heats vegetables and the canning jars to a temperature that will kill any dangerous bacteria. While most people envision a more traditional method when they think of how to can vegetables, pressure caning is the safest method. The safest method if you actually plan on eating your canned vegetables. Traditional water boiling canning does not kill all the bacteria necessary when you are canning vegetables.
To can vegetable with a pressure canner you will need the pressure canner, canning jars, canning lids and bands. You will also want a good sturdy pair of tongs to move hot jars around with.
Start by making sure the rack is place d in the bottom of your pressure canner. Then fill the pressure canner with about four inches of water. This water level may vary with different pressure canners, so be sure to tread the directions.
Fill your sterilized jars with vegetables. Then place the filled jars inside of the pressure canner. Lock the lid down. Press the pressure release valve to remove any air. Now you are ready to turn the heat on. For most models you will allow the steam to escape from the pressure canner for about ten minutes. At this point you will cover the valve that lets the steam out, also known as the vent pipe. Different pressure canners will have different methods for this step. Some have a weight that is set over the valve. Others have a mechanism that closes the valves.
You now have to watch the pressure canner. If you can steam leaking out of the lid you need to will need to reopen the pressure valve and let the air out. Then reclose the vent pipe. You may also need to remove the rubber sealer from inside the lid, dry it off and put it back on. You are trying to get your pressure canner to create the right amount of pressure perfect to seal vegetables. In general you will find this magic number of pressure is 10. Again though, follow you recipe guidelines as well as any instructions that came with your pressure canner. You begin timing the sealing process only when you have reache the correct pressure. I highly recommend buying a pressure canner that has a gauge on the outside that tells you what the pressure inside is.
When the allotted time is up turn the heat on the pressure canner off. Never take the weight off of the vent or open the vent. You can get burned. Let the steam escape on its own. Once the pressure gage has reached 0 you can remove the weight or open the vent pipe. If more steam comes out you should wait a little while longer. Once all pressure is released you are ready to open the lid.
When opening the lid always open it away from you. Always. Steam does burn.
Remove the canned vegetables and let the jars cool. Test the jars before you put the rings on. The lid should not move at all. If it moves you must redo this canning process with a sterile and new ring and band.
Good luck! Never eat canned vegetables form your pantry when the ring has been dislodged. Never eat canned vegetables that have a growth on the food inside.