Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Canning Meat

How to can Meat

I love canning my meat, it is so easy, and so convenient to be able to just open a jar of meat when you need it. It also saves on freezer space, and will last a lot longer canned then frozen.

You can can all kinds of meat beef, pork, elk venison, poultry, fish, and rabbit. You can can bacon but I will cover that on another day

Canning meat is so easy if you have a pressure canner (Meat has to be canned in a pressure canner).
There are two ways to can meat Raw pack or hot pack (except hamburger and that needs to be hot packed). I like the raw pack because it is the easiest and quickest.

Always read your canning manual before attempting to can anything.

1. You need to start with clean jars they do not have to be sterilized because they will be cooked at such high temperatures, but it is up to you. I personally do not sterilize them and I haven’t had any problems. (But make sure they are very clean). If using used jars make sure, there are no small cracks in the jar and on the rim of the jar

2. Cube the meat in to chunks. Put the raw meat in the jars. A pint jar will hold appx. 1 pound of meat a quart will hold appx 2 pounds of meat. You can put whole pieces of chicken with the bone still in.(I go ahead and debone mine first that way I can use the bone to make broth) fill to about one to one and a half inches from the top the raw meat needs no added liquid. You can add a teaspoon of salt per quart if you like.

For Hamburger you need to lightly brown it in a little grease then pack into hot jars. Some people like to add hot water or hot broth. I prefer not to it keeps the hamburger from packing together and it will come out in the larger chunks like normal fried hamburger
If you want to hot pack your meat just slightly brown, it some people will put it in the oven to brown or you can put in a large roaster pan and cook in the roaster or on top of the stove. To this you will add hot broth or hot water to 1 inch from the top of the jar 

3. wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth, put on the lid (be sure to boil the lids for about 5 minutes before placing on jar. If your lids have been stored for a year or two you will want to boil them for a little longer) screw down the ring firmly tight.

4. stick a knife down into and around the meat to get out air bubbles. Put about a gallon and a half water in your canner . Make sure your water is the same temperature. as your meat hot pack hot water, cold pack cold water. Place the jars into the canner, put the lid on and tighten it Turn up the heat under the canner.
You must let the canner heat up and exhaust steam. This generally takes about ten minutes, although it can take longer when you have many jars in it. You want the steam to be exhausting forcibly, for about 10 minutes (not just puttering out in little spurts and spits). Check your owner’s manuals to see what pressure you need to use for you altitude, where I am I have to use 15 pounds.

Pints should be processed for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes. When the processing time is up turn off the heat under the canner. Do not move the canner from the stove let the pressure come down to zero. Do not force the temperature down let it come down by itself . When it has reached zero lift off the weight and make sure no steam spurts out. If no steam comes out you can safely open the lid, be careful when lifting the lid as there will be some steam still in the canner.
Lift the jars out with a jar lifter and set them on a dry towel out of any drafts you can also cover them with a towel.

As the jars seal the lids will make a popping sound. The liquid in the jars will be boiling this is normal. Do nor touch or poke the lids while they are sealing as this could cause them to not seal. I wait at least 12 to 24 hours to check if they have sealed, If they are sealed they will be tight and will not pop back up when you poke it. If it is not sealed refrigerate and use right away, or reprocess using a new simmered lid and clean jar.
Take the rings off and store. Your meat will be ready to use.
To use just open an jar and add to what ever you are fixing They say you should heat the meat after opening but I have opened a jar and just made sandwiches with it.
This will make the meat very tender

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