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Canning Milk -These instructions are for store-bought, pasteurized milk. If you are canning fresh milk (cow or goat) you will need to sterilize the milk first.
1) Gather the jars, seals and rings for the project. My canner holds 16 pints and I prefer pints of milk since I typically use it for cream soups, gravy, and other recipes. The jars just need to be clean - not sterilized.
2) Put a small pot of water on to boil - when boiling, turn off, add seals, put the lid on and let the seals warm up.
3) Pour the milk into the mason jars - leaving 1" headroom. The milk can sit out for a few minutes, but it should still be cool - I usually sit the milk out when I go in the kitchen and get started gathering things - so it's out maybe 5-10 minutes.
4) Remove seals from hot water, put seals and rings on jars - only screwing rings on finger-tight.
5) Place jars in Pressure-Canner and process according to manufacturer instructions:
(You know - the usual - vent for 10 minutes - add the weight and bring up to pressure)
Process at 10# in a weighted gauge canner and 11# in a dial gauge canner
(at sea level).
*** IMPORTANT ***
Make Sure to Adjust for Your Altitude (Altitude Adjustment Chart)
Pints: 20 minutes
Quarts: 25 minutes
This picture is of the canned milk after it has cooled and is ready for long-term storage. Actually this milk was canned about 6 months ago - the jar on the left is what it will look like on your shelf - separated. The jar on the right was shook up. You will note the color is a caramel latte color - the sugars in the milk caramelize under heat. While this may not look as appealing as fresh (white) milk - it's great for cooking and super convenient to have on hand.
Note: I used non-fat milk - if you use half or full fat milk, it may caramelize more. In fact full-fat milk will taste almost like condensed milk that you buy at the store in the can -- but without any additives. While I have no issue for milkfat (butter) and appreciate it's health benefits - I find that for canning purposes, the nonfat milk is my preference. When using in a recipe, I may add back a Tbsp of butter to make up for the loss of the fat.
The more fat in a canning project, the shorter it's shelf-life. I have had canned nonfat milk for several years and it tastes as fresh as when I first canned it.
If you are new to canning - or just want to see how I do it - check out my Personal Canning Routine
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