Canning is easy and it’s not a long process, you can make so many different meats and go in so many different directions with your recipes. Have fun with this you will love what you can do. I sometimes forget I have canned meat down stairs, no problem this process lets you go a long time before you have to worry about spoilage. I have been using my smoke house this year and have not canned anything this year yet!!!
-------------------- We are what we do repeatedly. Execellence is, therefore, not an act but a habit.
I got set up for pressure canning when my freezer died this year. Unfortunately I couldn't get set up in time before my venison went bad. I wound up canning two turkeys, a bunch of turkey stock, and a bunch of beans. Not a lot of experience, but I have some insight. I am so impressed by what I can do that I bought a second pressure canner so I can can (can-can?) twice as much in a day. Next deer I get, I'm putting chops in the freezer and the rest is going into sausage or getting canned.
First off- canning meat in the oven, or in a water bath, is unsafe. The point of pressure canning is to kill botulism spores. To do this you need to hold the water inside the food at 240 degrees F. The only way to do this is to raise the pressure, such as in a pressure canner or autoclave. I bought an over-priced Mirro pressure canner for like $80 at the hardware store in my tiny town. If you get botulism it will cost you much more than that is medical bills and lost wages. You can hold your jars in a 600-degree oven for a day- the water in your food won't get above 212F (the boiling point of water) because it will just evaporate out and your food will burn, and not be food anymore. Seriously, I'm as much as a cheapskate as anybody else, but c'mon.
Then again, they're your groceries, and it's your family, so do what you want.
A few other people have mentioned the USDA guide. This is a great resource, and, the best part is, it's free. Just google 'USDA canning guide' and you will be able to download a .pdf. A bunch of different organizations host it on their web pages so there are multiple download links. Save it to your computer, phone, tablet, etc. It's free, so I have it on pretty much any device I might have in the kitchen. Download it, read it, use it as a reference. It's free, it's well-written, and it's very useful. For every food you might can, it will have a table showing the pressure and time for pint and quart jars. Use the highest pressure, and the longest time, for the ingredients in your jar. For example, process stock for 20 minutes, onions for 30 minutes, and beans for 90 minutes, so stock-onion-and-beans soup gets processed for 90 minutes.
Find the altitude at your residence. Your altitude determines what pressure you have to can at. I live uphill from town and I looked up the altitude in my town, and at the airport across the lake from me. There's enough of a difference that I'm very glad I looked it up again.
I like adding veggies and seasoning to whatever I can. Onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, carrots, chipotles, etc. I make a little code for myself- diced onions in the chili beans, sliced onion in the bean soup, etc. That way I can process multiple products at the same time and tell them apart when I label them the next day.
I've seen (but not yet tried) recipes to put, say, beans, raw meat, spices, and tomatoes in a jar, process it, and you wind up with a Mason jar full of (inauthentic) chili. I'll be trying that trick as soon as I get either a roadkill deer or some beef on sale.
You can also can frozen meat. My friend found some ancient venison at the bottom of his chest freezer this year. I helped him trim off the freezer-burned parts and can them. You might as well brown your meat before you can it, not only will you make sure it's thawed out, you'll add flavor. Besides, browned meat looks better.
Posts: 32 | From: MN | Registered: Jun 2011
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I just got a pressure cooker, lotsa great info in this thread. TTT
-------------------- Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Posts: 1403 | From: Hudsonville,Mi | Registered: Jun 2003
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