home Forums Problems or Issues Preserving chicken breasts in a pressure cooker

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  • #886655
    katemccombie
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    I’m a big fan of yours and a convert to pressure cooing after buying your Hip Pressure Cooking Book.

    My husband & I travel a lot by boat, so pressure cooking is a very safe way to cook aboard, especially when everything is contained in one pot and the contents can’t leap out when you go over a big wave. It’s also very important for reducing consumption of gas. It came in very handy when we crossed the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year.

    Next year we plan to cross the Pacific. So I’m looking at ways to preserve chicken breasts. Another cruiser told me you can do it with a pressure cooker. I have a Lagostina 6 litre Novia pressure cooker. I contacted the manufacturer, who responded to my first email, but I didn’t get anything back after the second. (see below – I suspect language may be a barrier as I don’t speak Italian). So I’m not really sure if I have enough information to do this correctly without giving us all botulism!

    We don’t have room onboard for both a pressure cooker and a pressure canner. I’m hoping to preserve the chicken using my stove top pressure cooker before we go through the Panama Canal. It’ll be done at sea level. I’d be very grateful if you are able to answer the 3 questions in my second email below, as even after much googling I’m really not sure how to proceed.

    Any assistance you can provide would be very much appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Kate

    p.o. box 171
    sandringham
    vic 3191
    australia

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Kate McCombie <kate@katemccombie.com>
    Subject: Re: Preserving chicken in a pressure cooker
    Date: 5 September 2018 at 6:03:26 pm AEST
    To: NEGRI Beatrice <[email protected]>

    Hi Beatrice,

    Thank you for your earlier response and information about sterilising the jars.

    I have a few more questions please:
    1. Once I have sterilised the jars and filled them with chicken, do I need to add water to the jars before I put the lids on?
    2. When I have filled and sealed the jars and put them in the pressure cooker, how much water should I add to the pressure cooker?
    3. How long should I cook the chicken and on which pressure setting?

    You mentioned that “you can’t preserve your food in the pots for long time”. How long do you think it will last please?

    Many thanks for your assistance,

    Kate

    p.o. box 171
    sandringham
    vic 3191
    australia

    On 8 Jun 2018, at 11:25 pm, NEGRI Beatrice <[email protected]> wrote:

    Hi,

    if you own a Novia Vitamin pressure cooker the second level is the highest 70-75kPa – 115-116°C but you can’t preserve your food in the pots for long time.
    You can sterilize jars of about 200-250 ml in the pressure cooker using level 2 for 70 minutes

    Best Regards

    Beatrice Negri
    Impiegato / Employee
    Clienti Estero / Foreign Customers

    Groupe SEB
    LAGOSTINA S.P.A.
    Via Magenta, 6
    28887 Omegna – Italy
    Tel : +39 0323 652276
    [email protected]
    http://www.groupeseb.com
    http://www.lagostina.it

    —–Messaggio originale—–
    Da: Katemccombie [mailto:kate@katemccombie.com]
    Inviato: lunedì 4 giugno 2018 23:57
    A: Info <[email protected]>
    Oggetto: Preserving chicken in a pressure cooker

    Hi,
    I bought one of your 6 litre Novia pressure cookers last year and I love it!
    I am very happy with it and it’s great for cooking on board our boat.
    I would like to use the pressure cooker to preserve chicken so it will last unrefrigerated.
    I am told that the pressure cooker must reach a temperature of 116 degrees Celsius to be able to preserve food in a jar.
    Can you please tell me will my Lagostina pressure cooker reach this temperature?
    Any other advice you have for preserving chicken in a pressure cooker would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,
    Kate

    #886990
    Beth W
    Participant

    I’m sorry to tell you that you cannot preserve food in jars in a pressure cooker; it must be in a canner. The reason is that the entire jar must get to the proper temperature for the proper time to kill everything to make it shelf-stable. The times given to do so take into consideration the time it takes to bring the canner up to temp and reduce the pressure afterwards until the pressure is gone and it can safely be opened.

    You are able to pressure COOK in a pressure CANNER, so if you have room on your boat for a canner, that might be the solution. Or can your chicken on land somewhere, and take your jarred goodies with you.

    To answer your other questions: 1)if you are using a pressure canner, you don’t need to sterilize the jars first–everything will be sterilized during the canning process under pressure; 2)using a pressure canner, if you are raw-packing the chicken, you do not need to add any liquid to the jar; the juices from the chicken will be sufficient. If you hot-pack the chicken, you will need to add water or broth to the jar. Salt is optional, and is for flavoring, not for preservation. 3)The amount of water you add to the canner will be listed in the manual for the canner–each canner is different. You will need a rack, so the jars are not sitting on the floor of the canner. And you cannot hurry the cooling when you are canning in jars, or you will likely break the jars from the temperature changing rapidly. 4)Whether raw-packing or hot-packing, if it is boneless, meat is canned for 75 mins in pints, and 90 mins in quart jars. 5)The pressure setting will depend on your altitude; at sea level, it is 10 lb pressure if using a weighted gauge, or 11 lb pressure if using a dial gauge.

    You can find more information at: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/chicken_rabbit.html

    #886973
    Greg
    Participant

    HI Kate,
    Sadly no spring weighted pressure cooker has been approved for preserving meats. So you will not find the information you are looking for.Further no pressure cooker of any type less than 10 litres capacity has been approved either.

    There are several reasons for this.
    1. Spring based pressure cookers autoseal. Very convenient, but it means the required venting for preserving may or may not take place
    2. The springs can deform over time. This means that while a NEW pressure cooker may meet the required temperatures, once it has been in service for a while, it may not meet the requirements. Weights on the other hand do not change specification noticeably unless they are subject to obvious damage.
    3. The testing was done in a large vessel. It relies on the stored energy in the water to complete the process. A small pressure cooker does not have sufficient thermal mass to meet these requirements.

    All that said, a pressure cooker may work. But without testing no one can be certain. And if you are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean you will be a long way from a hospital if you get it wrong.

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