Review: Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond14. October 2021
Anyone who is familiar with the SchneiderPeeps blog knows that Angi Schneider is a force! She’s a master of chickens, bees, gardening, sewing, herbs and aromatherapy, not to mention meal prep and canning. But, since I did mention canning, she has a new book: Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond: Safe, Easy Recipes for Preserving Tomatoes, Vegetables, Beans and Meat. Angi sent me a copy of this amazing book to review (while I received the book complimentary, all opinions are my own). She has created an indispensable guide—a “definite must” for both the pro and novice within the canning universe. She delves into so many more aspects of the topic than most would have considered. A perfect example is the step-by-step pictorial of how to carve and pack poultry into mason jars. So unbelievably useful! She even has a few extra tips for if you butchered your own poultry.
Yes, one of the biggies for me is the extensiveness of the section on safely canning meat. From pork and beef to poultry and wild game, all is included. Not only that, but mouthwatering recipes accompany the “how to’s”, so you’ll not only be doing it correctly, but scrumptiously as well. Veggies are also thoroughly examined (with a whole chapter dedicated to the boss of all canned veggies: the tomato). And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the glorious stocks, stews, and soups section. Angi’s a woman after my own heart, and her love of the grab-n-go homemade soup concept is evident and quite wonderful.
Comfort food in a jar is like a gift from heaven. And that’s what this Chicken Pot Pie Filling recipe in Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond reminds me of. Angi’s kind enough to include tips on the biscuits or pie crusts to serve it with, too. Delish! Photo reprinted with permission from Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond by Angi Schneider, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021
This is a tome that no self-respecting home canner will want to be without. I recommend Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond to one and all!
In this book, Angi teaches you how to safely can vegetables, meats, and legumes using a pressure canner. Her book starts with pressure canning basics though, so it’s perfect for novice canners. She has detailed info on the two kinds of pressure canners — dial gauge and weighted gauge — and how to use them both. This will help newbies understand the difference and choose the canner they’ll be most comfortable with. She then includes step-by-step photos and directions on the pressure canning process—prepping jars, removing air bubbles, checking headspace, lidding and processing. And no canning book would be complete without info on botulism, temperature and altitude, acidity, and outdated canning methods (yeah, I’m looking at you, vintage recipes & dishwasher canners)! Canning processes that were once considered safe a century ago, should now be ignored.
Angi’s recipes follow safe canning guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Complete Guide to Home Canning as well as other sources like Ball® and Bernadin® canning companies. All of Angi’s recipes are based on lab-tested canning recipes and procedures. Any substitutions or alterations were made using published safety guidelines for altering canning recipes. And that brings me to why I really LOVE this book. Angi covers how to convert your family’s favorite soup recipes to safe canning recipes. Many canners are nervous about adjusting recipes and getting creative. No one wants to produce unsafe canned goods after all! Angi explains that while you should always start with a tested recipe and process, there are still safety guidelines that allow for recipe tweaking. It is also safe to can a soup recipe that has not been lab tested if you follow USDA safety guidelines. Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond goes over those safety guidelines in detail.
Teriyaki and Hot and Sour Chicken aren’t canning recipes I would have thought of… and that’s why I’m glad Angi did in Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond! A quick and easy way to liven up an otherwise humdrum meal of stir-fried veggies and rice. Photo reprinted with permission from Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond by Angi Schneider, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021
So what type of substitutions or alterations can you make with pressure canning recipes? Angi explains in her book how you can safely make adjustments for salt, sugar, herbs and seasonings, and acids. While it’s not safe to remove an acid from a recipe, you may for instance add MORE acid to a recipe for extra zing. She explains that salt and sugar are used for flavor and retaining color, not to preserve the food. That is something that I think many new canners (and some experienced ones), are not always aware of. I recommend grabbing a copy of Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond so you can get all of Angi’s pressure canning tips and recipes.
Angie has another excellent canning book, The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables. For anyone who hasn’t read it (and if you haven’t, go to her SHOP to get a copy of this book too), it is an amazing handbook for preserving a cornucopia of veggies. And not just canning, but fermenting, dehydrating, and freezing of vegetables are also fully examined. Learn how to use all parts of vegetables so you can save money, how to choose the best veggies for canning, and when and if you should blanch before freezing or dehydrating. The book has great tips and recipes for you to create preserved food for your family or friends.
If you have canning and gardening friends, or just want to add new books to your own library, be sure to check out Angi’s SHOP.