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Safety first: why pressure canning bone broth outside is not recommended

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When it comes to homemade bone broth, there are numerous benefits to pressure canning it at home. Not only does it allow you to have a constant supply of flavorful broth for all your cooking needs, but it also extends the value of a whole chicken and is a frugal option. However, it is crucial to follow proper safety measures when pressure canning bone broth. Skimming the fat, using the right supplies, boiling the broth before filling jars, and ensuring proper headspace are all important steps. Additionally, it is essential to understand why pressure canning outside is not recommended. From temperature regulation to the risk of jar breakage, it’s best to stick to canning indoors for a safer preservation experience.

Why pressure canning bone broth outside is not recommended


Canning bone broth at home is a fantastic way to extend the value of a whole chicken and have delicious broth on hand for various recipes. If you’re looking for a convenient way to always have broth available for your favorite soups, stews, gravies, and sauces, canning is the perfect solution. Pressure canning, in particular, is an essential skill for homesteaders and allows you to preserve a large supply of food. However, it’s important to note that pressure canning bone broth outside is not recommended for a few key reasons. In this article, we will explore the importance of pressure canning, the process of skimming fat before canning, the necessary supplies, bringing the broth to a boil, the waiting time for processed jars, the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning, the significance of proper headspace, the choice between disposable and reusable canning lids, and the reasons why pressure canning bone broth should not be done outside.

The importance of pressure canning

Before delving into the specific reasons why pressure canning bone broth outside is not recommended, it’s essential to understand the importance of pressure canning itself. Pressure canning is a method of preserving food that involves using a pressure canner to seal jars filled with food at high temperatures. By doing so, pressure canning eliminates bacteria, yeast, and molds that can cause spoilage and foodborne illnesses. Unlike water bath canning, which can only be used for high-acid foods, pressure canning is suitable for low-acid foods like bone broth.

Skimming the fat before pressure canning

One crucial step before pressure canning bone broth is skimming the fat. Skimming the fat serves two purposes: preventing a faulty seal and ensuring proper temperature during canning. The fat layer can interfere with the canning process, creating a barrier that prevents the lid from sealing correctly. Additionally, the fat can insulate parts of the broth, preventing it from reaching the necessary temperature for safe canning. By skimming the fat off the top of the broth, you ensure a better seal and more effective preservation.

Supplies needed for pressure canning bone broth

To successfully pressure can bone broth, you’ll need a few supplies. First and foremost, a pressure canner is necessary. A pressure canner is a specialized pot that can reach and maintain high temperatures needed for safe canning. In addition to the canner, you’ll need mason jars to store the broth. Make sure to choose jars specifically designed for canning, as they are thicker and more durable. Lids are another crucial component. Metal canning lids can only be used once and must be free of dents or damage to ensure a proper seal. Alternatively, reusable canning lids can be used multiple times, reducing waste and ongoing costs. Other supplies include a canning funnel for easy pouring, a headspace measurer to ensure the correct amount of empty space in each jar, and a jar lifter for safe removal of hot jars from the canner.

Bringing the bone broth to a boil

Before filling the jars with bone broth, it’s important to bring the broth to a boil. Boiling the broth serves two purposes: it ensures that the broth reaches a safe temperature for canning and helps to sterilize the broth, reducing the risk of bacteria and spoilage. A safe temperature is crucial to eliminate any potential toxins or harmful microorganisms present in the broth. By bringing the bone broth to a boil, you can confidently proceed with the canning process and have peace of mind knowing that the end product is safe to consume.

Allowing processed jars to sit undisturbed

Once the bone broth-filled jars have been processed in the pressure canner, it’s important to allow them to sit undisturbed for approximately 12 hours. During this waiting period, the jars will cool and the seals will properly form. It’s essential not to disturb the jars during this time, as any movement or tampering can prevent the seals from forming correctly. After the waiting period, it’s time to check the seals, wipe down the jars, label them properly, and store them in a cool, dark place.

Water bath canning vs pressure canning

When it comes to canning bone broth, it’s crucial to understand the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Water bath canning is a method of preservation that involves immersing jars of high-acid foods in boiling water for a specified period. This method is not suitable for bone broth, as it is considered a low-acid food. Pressure canning, on the other hand, is the recommended method for canning bone broth. It involves the use of a pressure canner to reach and maintain the high temperatures necessary for canning low-acid foods. Pressure canning is the only safe method for preserving bone broth and ensuring its long-term storage.

Importance of proper headspace

Proper headspace is an essential aspect of successful canning. Headspace refers to the empty space between the top of the food and the rim of the jar. Having the correct headspace is crucial for a couple of reasons. First, it allows for expansion during the canning process, preventing the jars from cracking or breaking under pressure. Additionally, proper headspace ensures a proper seal. If there is not enough headspace, the food may expand and interfere with the sealing process. Conversely, too much headspace can allow excess air to remain in the jar, potentially leading to spoilage or premature breakdown of the food.

Disposable vs reusable canning lids

When it comes to choosing canning lids, there are two options: disposable metal lids and reusable lids. Disposable metal canning lids are designed for single use and must be free of dents or damage to ensure a proper seal. Once used, they cannot be reused for canning. On the other hand, reusable canning lids, often made of plastic or silicone, can be used multiple times. These lids are an eco-friendly option and can save money in the long run. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage and maintenance of reusable lids to ensure food safety.

Why pressure canning outside is not recommended

While pressure canning bone broth is a valuable skill, doing so outside is not recommended for a few reasons. First and foremost, it can be challenging to regulate the temperature outside, especially during drastic weather changes. It’s crucial to maintain a consistent and precise temperature during the canning process to ensure proper food preservation. Additionally, the risk of clumsy accidents, such as dropping hot jars or jars breaking due to uneven surfaces or unexpected incidents, increases when canning outside. To guarantee the safety and quality of your bone broth, it’s best to pressure can indoors where temperature control and stability are more manageable.

What to do if a jar doesn’t seal

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a jar may not seal properly. If you notice this after the waiting period, it’s important to take appropriate action. In the case of bone broth, if a jar doesn’t seal, it’s best to refrigerate it immediately and use the broth within a week. While it may be disappointing to have a jar that didn’t seal, it’s better to prioritize safety and consume the broth within a shorter time frame to avoid any potential spoilage or risk to your health.

In conclusion, pressure canning bone broth is a wonderful way to extend the value of a whole chicken and have delicious, homemade broth readily available. However, it’s important to follow the proper steps and guidelines to ensure safe and successful canning. Skimming the fat before canning, using the necessary supplies, bringing the broth to a boil, allowing processed jars to sit undisturbed, understanding the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning, ensuring proper headspace, and choosing the right canning lids are all crucial aspects of the process. While pressure canning outside may seem tempting, it’s best to avoid it due to potential challenges in temperature regulation and increased risk of accidents. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of canned bone broth while ensuring the safety and quality of your preserved food.