Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Canning Meat

   I about had a coronary in the store today when I saw that the 5 pounds of  hamburger that at the begining of the year was about $8.99 a pound and had crept up to $10.45 by the end of January, was now $12.45. Thats a 2 dollar hike in less than 2 weeks! What really concerned me was the knowledge that this isn't some temporary quirk. These prices will look good compared to whats down the road.
   I've made the decision to upgrade to a pressure canner instead of my pressure cooker. I figure I'll see the returns for it just in canning meat alone. I'm still a die hard dehydrator, but meat is where the money is, and I don't have the freezer space to take advantage of sales. My husband also likes french cut beans, and says they taste "funny" when they are re-hydrated, so I will probably make a  habit of canning those too.
   My mom never taught me to can as she did SO MUCH when she was a girl she vowed she'd never do it again. So I'm very timid about teaching myself. My Gram spoke of accidents she had, like having the safety valve blow and her tomatoes spewing out all the way to the ceiling. I have only successfully canned a few beans several years ago, and some easy apple butter in a water bath a couple years in a row. Other than that my method of preservation is drying.
   Needing to get out of my comfort zone, I'm researching canning, particularly meat and came across a great video for chicken found here:

And another for ground beef here:

   Hopefully you will be able to use these to your advantage as well.


  1. Home canning is so rewarding...just such a satisfaction to it. Don't let it intimidate you, just follow instructions carefully. Once you've done some it'll be easier. It's much easier with the canners that have the pressure weight...for years I just had to watch my gauge. With the weight you can hear it from another room and pretty much know how it's doing. I agree with her suggestion (on the chicken) of the canner that holds 2 layers of pint jars.
    I've never done any drying of food, except for different herbs and mints for tea. I may have to try some fruit this summer.

  2. Hello! It's wonderful to meet you! Thank you for visiting my blog. It's always nice to meet new friends! :)
    You asked about the oil lamp...actually, my sister gave it to me, I think it was left behind in an old house she bought. So unfortunately I just don't have any fun information about it! :)

    When I first started canning a few years back, it made me terribly nervous. I had heard the horror stories of if you don't do it right, this and this could happen etc. But after doing it for a few years now, I have gotten used to it and it really is less intimidating. :)
    It is so rewarding to have all the jars lined up in the basement. :)

    I hope you have a lovely weekend. :)

  3. I also posted on a shelf stable breakfast that includes home canned bacon. Check it out on my recipes page, or follow this link -> http://thepreparedhomemaker.blogspot.com/2011/03/bacon-eggs-and-buttered-toast-shelf.html

  4. I have been pressure canning fruits, vegetables and more recently meats and stews for years (starting when I was a kid helping my mom, who was a home ech. major in college and went by the rules). I follow the recommendations of my canner book, as well as the Ball Blue Book. My canner book recommends you cook your meat in liquid before putting into the jars (a hot pack). I make a broth, with seasoning and herbs to cook the chicken, and I use that for the liquid in the jars. I try not to use as much salt--it's the heat that sterilizes and preserves the food.
    I did try to make spagetti sauce with deer meat once, but the meat was very tough when we ate it. I'm wondering if it was from being in a tomato sauce base. I haven't tried it again. The beef stew I've made has been great--you just have to pressure it a long time (the time for the meat you use), especially when using quarts.
    I also feel the contents of the jars are safe as long as the jar lid is sealed.