If you saw my video on making turkey stock from the carcass you may have noticed that I said I planned on canning it. Now I’m gonna tell you how I do that.
Canning the stock let’s you preserve it a long time without taking up valuable freezer space. I don’t know about you, but I would rather use my freezer space for pizza rolls.
Let’s start with the gear. I have a big a** Mirro pressure canner. I like this one because it’s stupid big (22 quarts) and I can put two layers of jars in it and also because it has 3 different weights instead of a gauge. Oh, and you can pressure food in it too! You’ll also need a pressure canner kit. Do you need it need it? Yeah, I would say so. That water gets really hot and so do the jars. It just makes it easy to do what you need to do.
Big note here, you cannot can stock in a water bath. The only safe way to pressure low acid foods is with a pressure canner. Period.
So the jars, lids, and bands. You don’t need to boil them or anything special. Give them a wash up with warm soapy water and rinse well. Don’t take my word for it, Ball says it. You know, Ball, the canning peeps. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. If your process is over 10 minutes you’re golden. Now, you will want to take care with your jars. If you’re putting hot stuff in a cold jar you run the risk of breaking it, and vise versa. Keep that in mind.
I did warm my jars in a 200 degree oven. After I chilled my stock overnight and skimmed off as much fat as I could, I reheated the stock until it was warm, and filled the warm jars with the stock. I left one inch of head space in the jar and used my bubble remover to remove any bubbles that may have been in there. I put the lids on and snugged them down.
I filled my pressure canner with 3 inches of water and added 3 tablespoons of vinegar. The vinegar prevents discoloration of your canner. I then added my jars in two layers. I locked the lid and put the burner on high. When you see steam jetting out of the top, let the steam come out for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, put your weight on and start your time. I pressured for 25 minutes for my quart size jars at 10 pounds of pressure. If you’re using pint size jars, you pressure for 20 minutes.
Let your pressure come down naturally until the red button on the handle goes down. This means it is no longer under pressure and is safe to open. Actually, you can’t unlock it even if you wanted to. This canner has a safety lock on it that won’t open while it’s under pressure. See? You can relax. It’s safe.
I used my handy dandy canning tongs to remove the jars and let them cool a bit. When cool, you need to check your lids to make sure they are in fact snug. And please, please put a label and date on these things. You really want to know what it is and when you processed it.
If you have the new Mirro pressure canner the weight will not jiggle. It won’t do anything. I called the Mirro folks and this is what they said. They said steam may come out of the weight 2 or 3 times a minute, but that’s the most you’re gonna get. My manual said nothing of the sort and when I mentioned this to her she said they were aware of that. The manual that comes with the pressure canner is outdated and they haven’t put out a new one. Please follow your pressure canner’s guidelines. These are for the new Mirro.
For those of you who don’t have a pressure canner or are too afraid to use one, I have a freezer tip for you. I have done this so it works but I can’t promise no breakage because, well, glass will be glass, but here is the method. I put my stock in canning jars, with 2 inches of head space. You need to give that stock some room. I then put them in the fridge for 24 hours. After 24 hours I move them to the freezer and loosen the lids. This gets them from room temperature, to fridge cool, and then freezer in steps so it doesn’t shock the glass. After they’re frozen I go back and snug the lids down (and make sure they haven’t exploded in my freezer).
Let’s use that carcass people!!!