Good morning everyone!
- Each year with your pressure cooker you should have the gauge checked at the nearest county extension office to make sure it is working properly. You should always have an extra rubber seal on hand just in case yours gives out. And that pressure cooker should be very well cleaned, inside and out, all the holes and doo-dads, knobs and weights, at LEAST every six months. If you are a seasonal canner, who only does a little canning, then that should work. If you are a moderate canner, it should be every three months. If you can year round, like I do, that baby should be inspected by you inside and out about once a week or every two weeks to make sure it is working properly and will not have issues on you.
- You can avoid babysitting the pressure gauge and constantly fiddling with the stove temps on the burner if you purchase the weighted gauges that go from 5 lbs to 15 lbs by adding one to three weighted rings onto the pressure cock. I will provide a link at the bottom of the post that will take you to the amazon site that has an example. I dont do paid links, so it is just to show you what it is.
- You should always……read that, ALWAYS……...read your pressure canner manual before using a pressure cooker to know how much water to add, and the basic operating instructions. If you have a used canner that was passed on from someone else, get it checked, and go online to find a current user manual for that canner (if there is one available). Each pressure canner manufacturer is different in how they approach their design and how to best use it. These are devices that deserve a healthy use of common sense and caution………..and then will reward you with amazing food and health for your family if you use them!
- Once you are done pressure canning, you should always allow the canner to cool down, even after the pressure cock drops and the gauge shows no pressure. once you hear that clink of the metal pressure release valve going down, wait ten minutes, and then open your canner. Why? Because it gives the inside of the pressure canner a chance to settle a little, and you will not lose any water, broth or product from the inside of your jars in a canning process known as siphoning. Take it from me, better to exercise a little patience and have no failed seals on your jars than have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN. With meat, since it contains liquid fat when heated enough, this is a crucial step. It will siphon grease between the lid and the edge of the jar, and you will have failed seals. So just wait. It really is a virtue. Really.
- Never run cold water over your canner, even if every grandma on the block did it back in the day. its dangerous, and believe me, getting scalded with a huge pressure canner (even if you have Popeye arms and can get that baby off of the stove and to the sink) is absolutely NO FUN. Do it once, and you will never do it again.
- Anything else that comes to mind over this series I will add in as I go. Check out what your elevation is, and look at this chart:Â Pressure Canning According to your Elevation
Now, there are two schools of thought about canning meat: Hot pack canning it, and Raw Pack canning it. I personally prefer the Hot pack, although I do understand why people choose to pack their jars with raw meat and seal it, since it is easy, cooks while you are canning, and you can do a lot more meat in a faster time. However, since I don’t do that, I cant teach you on it. You will have to find that information somewhere else if you want to learn more about doing it. One of the best places I know is the Canning and Preserving for Christians over on FB. Great group of people, who love the Lord and one another, pray for one another, and many people who have been canning for years and years and years……….as well as all the newbies we keep getting addicted to canning. So–check it out, and join if you love canning, want to learn more about canning, or anyhow, above all, want to find a group of people who will walk in faith with you through something in your life. There are “raw-packers” on there, who will answer all your questions.
Â Â We are starting with covering cubed beef. Here is the process by which I do things at the Welcoming House. Check under each pic for descriptions.
|These are cheap beef roasts we purchased on sale for jerky. I think
they were rump roasts?
|Put your cover on to the roaster and leave it on overnight at 250*.
The goal is to cook the meat without drying it out.
|I put 1/4 tsp in each clean, hot jar before adding the meat, since it will
make its own broth.
|I cube the beef roasts and add it until it reaches the bottom thread of
where the ring sits on the jar.
Â Add the boiling water here, being sure you never go over the bottom thread of the neck of the jar, where the meat was put to in the previous picture. Since meat can be greasy, I always wipe the rims of the jars with a cloth soaked in straight vinegar. It works better than straight boiling water, and have not had a failed seal on canning meat since I started doing it, even with sausage patties. Make sure the water in your canner is the same temp as what is in the jars so you dont have cracked jars from temp fluctuations. I make it easy on myself and have the canner boiling just like the water I am adding to the jars. Put on warm lids after wiping rims, tighten rings down gently and place in canner.Â
Â Â Ground beef is easy. SUPER easy.
|all you gotta do is fry it up, with any seasoning you choose (think taco,
basic, garlic and basil, etc)
|Pack it hot into the jars that have that same
salt in the bottom,
Oh goody, I can’t wait until my canner gets here!! I think it is scheduledd to arrive today or tomorrow. I think I would have thought it crazy to be excited, waiting for an appliance when I was my younger self 🙂 I have a few questions. I’ll ask here first…
Can I take my frozen beef, thaw and cook it, then can it? It seems like I should, but not sure if you should use meat that has been previously frozen. My hubby picked up two packs of stew meat a while ago. Usually the packs we get are anywhere from 3 to 4 pounds of met, but these packs are 13-14 pounds each!!! Whoa!
Also, do you have to run a spatula around the inside of the jar to get out air bubbles? I thought I saw that once (I’ve never canned anything in my whole life, nor has anyone I personally know!).
And last question…for now! Ha, ha! About how much meat (per pound) would you say you can get into a pint or quart jar. I want to say I thought that about 1 pound of meat is 2 cups worth? Have you found that to be true? Just wondering so I know how many jars I will need.
Oh, wait…see I thought of another question. I was totally blown away to have read that you can over 4000 jars a year! I am assuming that you are reusing some of the jars that you used earlier in the year. Where have you gotten your jars. For some reason my neck of the woods I can’t seem to find a good deal. I’ve looked on craigslist (some were more expensive than store bought, for used jars!), I heard about Big Lots, but they were $1 more than the price at Walmart. Oy. I heard of estate sales, and I haven’t gone to those yet as I seem to have very bad luck when I go to yard sales and such. Seriously I seem to find the ones that are selling things for a lot of money! Of the various times I’ve gone to the Good Will, they have not had any jars.
Ok, sorry for the novel! I’m just soooo excited to dive into this new venture.
LOVE LOVE LOVE the questions, and dont worry about the novella because you know there will be others who are asking the same thing. As to using frozen meat and canning it–absolutely. In fact, everything you see above was once frozen and now canned. 🙂
I do not use a spatula, but a wooden skewer stick, but also lightly shaking the jar back and forth releases the air bubbles when you have a light liquid covering. I also use that same technique with meat to get a little more in the jar without packing it down by hand.
I would say with ground meat you easily get one pound or more into a pint jar. I split 4 lbs of meat between three pints for the ground beef. For the larger beef chunks, close to 1 lb per jar.
OH yes–I do NOT have 4000 jars on hand they just get re-used over and over throughout the year. As you can imagine, that means some break over time, or get denegrated to drinking glasses or plain waterbath only jars. I find jars everywhere—farm stores, garage sales, thrift stores, sales, ads, etc. You just need to keep your eyes and your options open. If you purchase new jars, stick with the known brands of Kerr and Ball, as Walmart is bringing in jars made in china that are, in my opinion, unsafe, and poorly made. Put out some ads and feelers in your area, Ask around, hit those estate sales, and if you have no choice, purchase new. At thrift stores you often have to ask if they have any in back.
SO excited for you to start! Did you head over to the Canning page I linked??? Great ideas over there!
Try asking around at church. Often older folks who’ve raised their kids already either don’t garden much or don’t want to can anymore.
Yard sales can be good; but, you never know.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Heather, thanks so much for this series. I can’t afford much meat with my budget; but, you’ve gotten me thinking about trying to can a bit up when I’m able.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
NO problem Laura, and I am SO GLAD to see you over on the canning page!!! Meat will dip for a few weeks and then skyrocket, so hit the sales as much as you can now. Go together with someone else and buy a larger amount for cheaper. Whatever you need to do. 🙂
~Blessings to you
Would you be willing to share your recipes for the meatballs? I just bought 50 pounds of ground beef and want to can it. I would love some different ideas and recipes to try.
I am doing two days of recipes on Friday and Saturday, and that one is included, so check back!!!! thanks for stopping by!
~Blessings to you
Thank you. I will have to do it next time. My meat would spoil by Friday.
Love your site, so many good things.
Do you have room in the freezer? I would freeze some of it. Then you can wait for the recipies and do it later.
Elizabeth of Upcycled Farm
I am in the process of putting it in the freezer now. I just hate to freeze it then have to thaw it out. Such a pain. 🙂 Oh, well.
Joyce—-here is my recipe. For every two pounds of burger, add the following: one egg, one cup of bread crumbs, season with worchestershire sauce, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper. Form into balls the size of a walnut. Stack into a wide mouth pint jar after frying lightly in a frying pan until browned.You can can with any of the following as the liquid covering: a light marinara sauce ( I water down the spaghetti sauce as it thickens in the jar, pour it over the meatballs, and pressure can), a beef broth, or even store bought cream of mushroom soup thinned out with water. Just depends on your taste. They will be similar in texture to meatloaf. Process pints at 75 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes.
Hope that helps. 🙂
~Heather–I dont want you to have to wait either. 🙂
Thank you so much. I actually hard a minor emergency yesterday so I didn’t get anything put in the freezer. So this worked out great. Oh, everything is okay now.
Off to make meatballs. 🙂
Thank you again.
Hope everything is okay????
And No problem. Writing it actually inspired me to make up a couple more jars while I was doing some venison burger. 🙂
Heather have you ever canned up hot dogs/weiners? I have canned beef, chicken, even sausage but wondering about weiners as they have a great sale on jumbo weiners this week.
I personally have not done it yet, but have a couple friends who have (over on the canning page on FB) who have done it and shared pics. Anytime you have a processed meat, and try to can it, it will swell during the pressure canning. SO—yes, you can do it, but only fill the jars 2/3 full. Or make something like fake Bush’s beans with the hot dogs added. However, if you are planning on doing them whole, then as I said, go easy on filling the jar. 🙂
Blessings to you~ Heather
I have canned ground beef but even though I partially brown the meat and drain as much grease as I can I always end up with a layer of grease on top of the meat once it cools. Do you rinse your meat? Also I have a couple of jars where the water level fell below the meat and it has turned white on top, is this safe to eat?
I love your site and really appreciate all that you do!
Hi and thanks for the question! I always have a layer of fat on top of my meat as well, and I think it is just part of the process of canning. Also, remember that a lot of the flavor of ground meat is in the fat, not that you should eat a ton of it, but a small layer is just fine. 🙂
As to the meat in the jar, I have also had that happen, and what you are seeing is the meat has simply dried out, with flecks of fat on it, at the top of the jar because it is below the liquid level. Think of leaving a little ground beef out on a tray overnight and it gets a little crusty and the fat coagulates. Same process in the jar, but if you processed it properly time-wise, if your lid is solidly sealed, etc, then your meat is fine and I would not hesitate on eating it. 🙂
Hope that helps, and thanks for participating and reading The Welcoming House!!! 🙂