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Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning chicken broth, drying garlic, and apple cider vinegar

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Canning chicken broth

I recently canned up some chicken broth, and now I’m “second guessing” myself. I decided to see if you could make the issue clear for me. If there is meat in the broth, it must be pressure canned for 75 minutes, but if it is just “broth” it need be canned for only 20 minutes. My broth always has some tiny meat bits in it, although I try to get all the meat out to can in other jars. What is the definition of “broth” and how do I tell if it needs to be processed for the longer or shorter time?

Sarah Axsom
Natchitoches, Louisiana

When there is just a little meat in the broth, such as unstrained broth, it is fine processed for 20 minutes. However when you add pieces of meat and can chicken with broth, for instance, then you must process it for 75 minutes (pints). Don’t worry if there are a few small pieces of meat. Just make sure there are just a few little ones and you’ll be fine. — Jackie

Drying garlic

I “found” some garlic bulbs in the basement from two years ago. I sliced and dried as you recommended. The center of each clove had a “stem” in it that was a dark green. Should I remove that stem or just coarse-chop it with the rest of the cloves? They did dry, just as the regular clove did.

Sandra Agostini
Nixa, Missouri

Don’t worry about the sprout trying to form in your clove. It will taste just the same as the clove itself. No worries. — Jackie

Apple cider vinegar

So much has been written about the healing power of apple cider vinegar with the “mother.” We buy this in the health food stores but wonder if it can be homemade safely.

Margaret Baker
Valleyford, Washington

Yes, you can make apple cider vinegar at home safely. The one catch is that you shouldn’t use it for pickling as you won’t really know the acidity of the cider vinegar or if it is acidic enough for pickling (or maybe too acidic, making the pickles really sour.) In issue #143 (September/October 2013) of BHM there was an article about making vinegar from peelings with explicit directions and photos so I won’t repeat. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. — Jackie

One Response to “Q and A: canning chicken broth, drying garlic, and apple cider vinegar”

  1. Betty Says:

    I did find the apple cider vinegar Margaret is talking about in Wal-Mart. I too was getting it at the health food store, but it is about 35 miles away.

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