We use a lot of vegetable broth in our cooking and our supplies were low, so I needed to make some more. In the past I’ve used the normal process for making broth that consists of cutting up the vegetables, covering them with water in a stock pot and simmering it for several hours.
This time I decided to try out the process listed in a note that I had found in my mom’s recipe notebook. The note said to cut up the vegetables, cover them with water and pressure cook them at 12psi for at least 5 but no more than 10 minutes. THIS COOKING TIME IS NOT THE CANNING TIME!!!
My vegetable broth recipe is an informal one and uses whatever vegetables I have available–either at home or at the store. This time it was three large onions that had been quartered, a chopped turnip, half a dozen large chopped carrots, several crushed garlic cloves, a chopped bunch of celery, several chopped Serrano peppers, a chopped parsnip, a chopped fennel bulb, a bunch of parsley and the thyme that was left over from another recipe.
This all went into my Mirro 22 quart pressure canner. For what it’s worth, a pressure canner can be used as a pressure cooker, but often, the reverse is not the case.
It took 20 minutes for the kerosene stove to heat the canner enough for it to reach 12psi. I adjusted the flame to keep the pressure at 12psi and cooked it for 10 minutes. After I extinguished the flame, it took about 25 minutes for the canner to cool down and reach zero pressure. This is much faster than the “simmer for several hours” process.
It worked. The broth is clear and has a strong, but clean, taste. This is not a weak, watered down broth! In the future, if possible, I’ll choose the pressure cooker method of preparing the broth.
From there, I canned the broth. For vegetable broth, the Ball Blue Book specifies processing times of 30 minutes for pints and 35 minutes for quarts, and for my altitude, a pressure of 15 psi. I used 12 ounce jars, but since there was no processing times for 12 ounce jars, I used the times listed for the pint (16 ounce) jars.
I chose canning because the broth can be stored on the pantry shelf at room temperature. Freezing is an alternative method of preserving the broth, but a power or freezer failure could result in “disaster”.