Canning For Cruising
By Kaye Assenmacher
Kinsale, VA
1975 MK-II Yawl

Hit Counter Visits since 4/3/2011

We've made two 7 month 'deployments' to the Abacos aboard our 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER (Winter 2006-2007; and again in 2009-2010).  One of the things we discovered is that after a long day of transversing down the ICW in the fall from Kinsale to West Palm Beach, FL (our 'jumping' off point to the Abacos) in the fall, the crew is ready for a hot dinner, but neither crew member is really interested in preparing and cooking the meal when 'sailor's mid-night' is fast approaching (when it gets dark really early in the Fall).  Besides this, it's normally quite cool till one gets to north Florida (the past couple of years it was COLD until we reached the Bahamas in late December)!

SO, before we left on our most recent trip 'South', I decided to do some 'canning' of fast prepared foods to use after these long, cold days.  I have a large pressure cooker at home, which we've occasionally used (bought at a local flea market for very few $$).  I buy boneless/skinless chicken breasts, and cubed stew beef (when it's on sale, hopefully), and can the food in pint fruit jars.  The following photos 'tell the story'....


The Raw Material (Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts)


Tightly Pack Chicken Breasts Into Sterilized Pint Canning Jars
Place 1 Chicken  Bouillon Cube On Top As Shown
Do NOT Add Any Water


Wipe The Rim Of Each Jar With Paper Towel


Place New Jar Lids On Each Jar


Screw Jar Rings Onto Jars And Tighten Snugly


Pour About 2" Of Cold Water Into Empty Pressure Cooker
Place Filled Jars Onto Rack and Place Into Pressure Cooker


Install and Tighten
Pressure Cooker Lid
Over Stove Burner and Begin Heating Until Steam
Begins to Flow Through Regulator Vent - Then Place Regulator on the Vent



Continue Heating Until 11 PSI Is Indicated On the Pressure Gauge
Maintain 11 PSI for 70 Minutes
(By Regulating The Stove Burner - I.E., Turn Burner Up Or Down)


After 70 Minutes, Turn Burner Off And Allow The Pressure To Reduce To Zero
 Before Removing The Pressure Regulator And Opening The Pressure Cooker

The 'Finished Product'


The same procedure is used to process the cubed stew beef, except I substitute 1 tablespoon of Lipton Dry Herb And Garlic Soup Mix for the bouillon cube.

Check for proper sealing by observing that each jar lid is 'concave', which means there is a vacuum in the jar.  Properly sealed pressure processed food will keep for a year or longer.  Leave the metal jar rings in place until the food is to be used.

We store the jars by inserting each pint jar into an old sock (clean please!) to prevent breakage, and place the 'socked' jars in a plastic milk crate which is placed in the quarter berth. We use the quarter berth - minus cushions - as storage for a number of items, namely food items, some spare parts, paper goods, etc.

Take out a jar to add to vegetable soup, make chicken tacos, etc.  Use the beef to make stew, BBQ sandwiches, beef soup, etc.  Really great when you run out of fresh meat from the frig and aren't near a grocery.  It's sort of fun to do this project.....ENJOY!!!

Click here for additional information regarding canning of meats.


( Note:  This project was done in late March, 2011.  The chicken used for the project cost approx.  $12.85 USD - 6.45 lbs @ $1.99/lb

The beef used for the project cost approx. $21.00 USD - 7lb @ $2.99/lb.  This amount of chicken and beef made 8 pints each, with a bit left over for chicken fajitas and beef stew.)