Canning Woes

Remember that chicken I roasted the other day? The one I was so excited about because I’d been part of its life from 3 days old to slaughter? It made another appearance today in the form of stock.

I love homemade chicken stock. It is so much more flavorful than the canned stuff you buy at the store. It is also free of MSG and other unpronounceable preservatives and artificial flavors. It is also cheaper. After I roasted the chicken and removed all the meat, I threw the bones in the freezer for a rainy day when I’d have time to make stock. When I got home last night, I followed 100 Days recipe for crock pot stock. This morning I woke up to 10 pints worth of golden simmering broth just waiting to be canned.

The easiest way to store stock is to freeze it, but canning is great because it allows you to store the stock in a cabinet or pantry rather than take up precious freezer space. I tried canning stock once before and the results were so-so. Only one of the jars sealed the first time so I reprocessed them and 2 more sealed, but 2 never did. The same thing happened this time. I followed the instructions exactly, but only 4 of my 6 jars sealed. I didn’t feel like reprocessing them so I just threw the six that didn’t seal in the freezer. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I checked and re-checked the instructions that came with my pressure canner and compared them to stock canning instructions on multiple legitimate websites (NCHFP, Presto, Ball, and Simply Canning). They all say the same thing: process pint jars at 11 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes which is exactly what I did.

I searched other blogs to see if others have experienced similar problems, but this method seems to work like a charm for everyone else in the world. So frustrating! I guess I’ll keep trying and see if I can’t figure out where I’m going wrong. I don’t have problems with other things sealing (knock on wood), just stock.

Oh well. I still have 10 pints of stock. All from one chicken! Mom got one yesterday when she was at the farm so now I’ve got that carcass stashed away in the freezer for my next batch.

I also now have 32 cups of rhubarb in the freezer waiting to be turned into jams and pies. A lady at my parent’s church has a rhubarb patch and let me come pick as much as I wanted. One of my canning books has a recipe for vanilla rhubarb jam with earl grey tea that I’ve been anxious to try. Hopefully I’ll get to it in the next few weeks!

2 thoughts on “Canning Woes

  1. I was raised canning everything from fruits to veggies to an dog food from the meat of an old cow that had to be put down after a fall. Occasionally something had trouble sealing, but I can’t recall for the life of me what the issue turned out to be. I was helping my mom with the canning way back then, and haven’t canned alone yet. I do recall having to “re-process” a batch or two of goodies, but no idea what caused them not to seal.

    • It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t figure out what the problem is. I think it must have to do with the pressure canner because I’ve never had problems using the boiling water method (knock on wood!). It’s great that you go so much experience with it growing up!

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