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Canning meat

Discussion in 'The Homestead Kitchen - Recipes Etc' started by sumi, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. Nov 24, 2016
    sumi

    sumi Super Self-Sufficient Administrator

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    All you canning experts and pros, I am curious about canning meat. The process from start to finish. Do's and don'ts. Hints and tips.

    Educate me. :pop
     
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  2. Nov 24, 2016
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Super Self-Sufficient

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  3. Nov 24, 2016
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    Yes, I would like to know, too. I've often thought of canning meat, but I know it can be fraught with danger if mistakes are made. I know some of you have mentioned you do it, so please tell us about it.
     
  4. Nov 24, 2016
    Hinotori

    Hinotori Super Self-Sufficient

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    I only do fish so I'm not sure. Meat has to be cubed if I remember right
     
  5. Nov 24, 2016
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    There's a whole lot of information out there on canning.

    http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-meat.html

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can5_meat.html

    I have The Ball Book of Canning that I use as my 'bible' of canning.

    Lots of folks have lots of different ways of doing things. There have been lots of discussion on this site and a lot of different opinions. I tend to be a 'rule follower', lol! Others have used different methods and are happy with the results.

    Good luck - it's really not any harder than any other canning in my opinion.
     
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  6. Nov 24, 2016
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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  7. Nov 24, 2016
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Meat is pretty basic and most Ball or Kerr canning books covers the basics on it. You can either raw pack or precook, depending upon preference...I always raw pack as I feel that it makes for a fresher product, with more of a sealed in flavor and moisture to the meat.

    Most debate on canning meats comes into the canner and method used to can it. Most would agree that pressure canning meats is the safest route and most use it. Water bath of meats has gone on much longer than pressure canning and whole families for generations have eaten from jars of meat that have been boiling water bath canned, so there is a whole faction that feels that BWB of meats has stood the test of time if it's done properly and one uses common sense with it all.

    I've done both and find the BWB product has more texture and freshness to the finished product, but since I have a PC and the canning times I would use are the same as I would in a BWB method, I most often use the PC for meats. Meat is hard won here on the homestead, involving much work to kill and process the animals, so I use the method that will insure my jars seal the best and last the longest on the shelf.

    Having said that, if I were suddenly to lose all access to a PC, I'd be canning meats up all the same with a BWB method in my steam canner and wouldn't think twice about eating the finished product. I've never had a jar of meat come unsealed or turn out bad with either method, no matter how long they were on the shelf, so I'm a fan of both methods.

    I keep my canning of meat pretty basic as well, as I don't like anything to mask the flavor of the good meats we grow and harvest here. I only add a tablespoon of salt to each qt. jar, raw pack the meat~if deer I don't add water, if chicken I'll often add water as they don't have as much blood in their muscle tissue to produce enough broth to cover the meat in the jar~ and process them for 90 min., starting the timer after the weight is jiggling/spinning at a regular rate.

    Lately we've been grinding our deer prior to canning and find it our favorite thus far...very juicy and more flavorful than if one were to thaw the deer burger out and brown it in a pan...plus, less prep time for the various ways in which we use it.

    My favorite way to can chicken is to debone it during the processing, chunk up the raw meat and raw pack it in quart jars. The deboned carcasses and leg bones are then cooked down for stock and canned separately in qt. jars, cooked down and concentrated in flavor so I can use one jar to flavor a large pot of soup. The fat is skimmed off the cooled/chilled stock and placed in ziploc bags, frozen flat, so I can just chunk off pieces for recipes when needed.

    Here's a tip on canning of chicken...if choosing to can with the bone in, try to keep it only the large bones of the legs or upper wings, as the rest of the bones of a chicken are very thin and tend to just crumble after being pressure canned in a jar. This makes it very hard to get the meat off them once you open the jar without getting bone crumbles in the meat, so I find this results in a lot of wasted meat tidbits.

    Another tip...it's easier to use the chicken fat if you preserve it/freeze it separately from the canned meat. When canned in with the chicken, the fat chunks tend to render out to the top and cling to the jar when you go to use it and much is lost to the dishwater later instead of winding up on your recipe. It's just easier to use it in the stock, skim the fat off the stock and use it straight from the freezer bag than it is from the jar.

    Hope all of that helps!
     
  8. Nov 24, 2016
    Hinotori

    Hinotori Super Self-Sufficient

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    I'll say that raw packed tuna is much better than cooking it first. The only time I can cooked tuna is when I smoke it first which does cook it. (Canned smoked tuna sandwiches rock)

    I always smoke the salmon before canning. we don't do cold smoked salmon. Salmon poisoning is a real concern over here so salmon must be thoroughly cooked. Salmon eat local (PNW) snails infested with the parasite. Alaskan and Atlantic salmon don't have that issue.

    Non-fatty fish aren't very good canned. I tested a small amount of sea bass, ling cod, and halibut.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2016
    sumi

    sumi Super Self-Sufficient Administrator

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    @Beekissed I was hoping you'd chime in, I remember you posting about canning meat before. Thank you for the info!

    @frustratedearthmother thanks for the links!

    @Hinotori I haven't thought of canning fish… You're giving me ideas now.
     
  10. Nov 24, 2016
    Hinotori

    Hinotori Super Self-Sufficient

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    You will never go back to store bought tuna after canning it yourself. I ruined my parents as well. Mom complained about the mush in cans so I took her some I did up.

    I use the 10 oz oyster jars. cheap to get around here and enough fish for meals
     

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