One thing we all need in our food storage is meat! I mean, think of what would happen if you could no longer just run to the store and grab a pack of chicken for that weeks dinner. Either you are suddenly becoming a vegetarian, or you have hopefully prepared in advance and you have a supply of meat on hand. Freezers are great for storing meat, but only as long as you have electricity to keep it cold- otherwise you are going to be eating a TON of meat for about 2 days and then none thereafter...SO, I am going to show you how to CAN your meat so that it is shelf stable, and can be used at any point in time- no refrigeration required! Its also delicious, unlike store-bought canned meat, which is not only expensive but tasteless in my opinion.
Now, the part that might gross you out at first is that we are stuffing the jars with RAW MEAT. When I first heard about this, I had a vision of jars of raw meat sitting on my shelf...gross. The truth is, the meat cooks in the pressure canner for 75-90 minutes. Its VERY cooked when you are done, and you can literally eat it right out of the jar!
What do I do with this lovely canned meat? I make,
What do I do with this lovely canned meat? I make,
Etc Etc Etc.
Basically anything that you would put shredded chicken in, this is great for!
As for the Beef, I add it to anything that I would normally put ground beef in like....
and the list goes on and on
The best part is, you can buy meat when its on sale and can it, and use it whenever you want! This saves me a ton of money on my grocery budget. Last week Beef was 1.99 a lb which is a FABULOUS price, so I bought 15 lbs to can
How long will it last? Well Wendy DeWitt (the food storage expert) says she has jars that are 5-10 years old and that they are just fine. Mine never lasts that long because they get eaten LOL. My research suggests that 1-2 years is a safe estimate, and I doubt seriously you have any that lasts that long because you will use it first :) Just make sure you always eat your oldest jars first!
Alright here we go!
|Gather your supplies, in my case I am using wide mouth Kerr Jars, Rings and Lids- I always put the lids in a pot of water on the stove, so when I am ready to heat them up all I have to do is turn it on.|
|Make Sure you Wash your Jars with Soap and Water|
|Here are all my supplies.|
Jars washed and rinsed, ready to go (they don't have to be sterilized first)
Salt and measuring spoon
Chicken and a good sharp Knife
Two bowls, one for the chicken in the Pkg to go into and one for the scraps
|Now stop and have an ice cream break...you'll need your energy.|
|So then you just stuff the jars up to about 1/2 inch from the rim and add 1/4 tsp of salt (1/2 tsp for quart jars)|
Now I am going to go ahead and show you the instructions for putting beef in the jars, since the canning method is the same for both- if you are just canning chicken today, feel free to jump ahead!
BEEF! Its whats for dinner :)
I love doing Beef, because it comes out of the jar all nicely shredded up. We put this beef in any recipe that calls for ground beef. I don't like the texture of ground beef anyway- but canned ground beef is just gross to me...so I do regular beef.
|It doesn't matter what kind you get, it can be anything from Bottom Round Roast to NY Strip Steak- I typically get whatever is on sale for less than $3 a lb|
|This time it was London Broil, and it was 2.29 a lb- which is a great price here in AZ|
|Take a minute to feed the baby with bed-head hair :)|
|Here is my work station :) Jars, meat, knife, cutting board, bowl for scraps (looks similar doesn't it? That's cause its the same as for chicken...exactly!)|
|Simply cut the fat off, as much as possible- I do this by pulling the edges of the fat up and kind of sliding my knife between the fat and the meat- the fat kind of pulls away without losing any of the meat.|
|Now you just cut it up into chucks that are small enough to fit in the jars|
|And fill them up! Like the chicken, you want to leave 1/2 inch from the top of the jar.|
|and add 1/4 tsp of salt- I typically add 1/2 tsp cause I like it saltier- its up to you. |
Oh, and don't add any other spices! You can season the meat after you pull it out of the jars,
|Here's my meat all salted and ready to go!|
Okay, by now you should have your jars, whether chicken or beef, all stuffed and salted and ready to go. Next we are going to add the lids and rings and can them! The pictures show Beef, but the process is the same whether you are doing Chicken or Beef.
|Bring your lids and rings to a boil (I usually turn the heat on this pot about the time I am adding my salt, that way they are ready when I get done)|
|I dip a napkin or a rag into the hot water|
|And then I use it to clean the rims of the jars- make sure there are no pieces of meat dried up on the edges- this is IMPORTANT, because anything on that rim will affect whether your jars seal or not.|
|Put your lids on your jars. Use NEW LIDS. Don't reuse old metal canning lids.|
|Then put the rings on and tighten "finger-tip" tight. This basically just means tighten it to wear you can loosen it with the slight push of a finger.|
|Now, put 3 inches of water in the bottom of your canner|
|So there's my jars all ready to go|
|Now you put your lid on and tighten it|
|Now you turn your stove on HI and you wait...till steam starts coming out of the vent|
|Pretend like you can see the steam coming out of the vent- its there, but HARD to take a picture of.|
|Once the steam starts coming out, set the timer for 10 minutes. Allowing the steam to come out for 10 minutes, allows all the air to be expelled out of the jars and the canner.|
|This is where I sit back and start reading a good book|
|When your timer goes off, put your weight onto the vent|
|Your pressure will start building inside the canner right away...|
DON'T read a good book during this time- sit and watch it!
|Once your pressure reaches about 5-6 start turning down your heat quickly!|
The pressure you are going for is going to vary somewhat according to your altitude. Your manual that came with your canner should list the altitudes and the pressure required for canning meat. Here in AZ and other places that are close to sea level, the pressure I am going for is 10 lbs. So once you reach YOUR optimal pressure you are going to turn your heat way down.
|I turn mine to about 2-3 otherwise the pressure keeps going up too fast|
Once you have reached your optimal pressure,
you set your timer for 1 hr 15 minutes (75 min) for pints and 1 1/2 hours for quarts
|You may have to play with the heat a little for the first 15 minutes or so. Here, my pressure had started dropping|
|So I had to turn the heat back up|
|A little over 10 minutes into the process my pressure finally stabilized|