Then I tried it, let me tell you home canned meat is as far from commercially canned meat as wholesale supermarket tomatoes are from your garden fresh, still warm from the sun tomatoes! I was an immediate convert.
Why Canning Meat is an Essential Homesteading Skill:
2. It is incredibly convenient. This was a pleasant surprise for me. When you can meat you have tender, cooked goodness on your pantry shelves. Want some chicken fajitas? Empty a can of chicken pieces into your pan, add seasonings and heat. Easy peasy.
3. It tastes good, and is an economical nutritious way to keep your food that you have invested so much time into raising or sourcing.
Please be aware, if you are going to can meat you NEED a pressure canner! Meat is a low acid food, processing it in a water bath canner will not reach high enough temperature to kill off pathogens which may be present. Botulism is the biggest risk, simply because it is odourless and tasteless. You will not see or smell any thing 'off' with the product when you open the jar. Botulism will kill you.
On to the good stuff!
- Pork, Beef, Chicken or Venison
- Litre or half Litre jars. If you want to can full or half chicken breasts I recommend using wide mouth jars
- Broth or water
- Pressure Canner
- Salt (optional)
- Trim excess fat from your meat. (Don't trim all the fat, this is where a lot of the flavour is.)
- Cut the meat to desired shape. This is pretty much up to your personal tastes and how you will be using the meat. We can lots of chicken strips, and a few half breasts. For pork and beef we generally cut the meat into approximately 1 -1.5 inch cubes or strips. you can also use small roasts or steaks and of course ground meats.
- Place you meat into a pan or stock pot and brown the outsides. You aren't trying to cook the meat all the way through, just brown it.
especially the ground meats! Tightly packed jars will not heat to the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens. If you boiled your meat, add water from the pot, or broth to the jars, leaving at least 1 inch of head
5. If you browned your meat in a pan, add broth or water to your pan and heat to just boiling, this will deglaze your pan, picking up all those lovely little pieces of fat and meat from the pan. Use the broth to cover the meat in your jars, remember to maintain the 1 inch head space
6. If adding salt, use 1/2 teaspoon for half litre jars, and 1 teaspoon for full litres. Please note, the salt is for personal taste only it is not needed for preserving purposes. I do not use salt.
7. Wipe rims of jars, place lids and screw bands. Hand tighten.
8. Process in pressure canner, at 15 pounds of pressure. 75 minutes for half litres and 90 minutes for full litres. (If you live at high altitude, adjust your pressures according to manufacture's directions.)
After the jars cool, wipe down the outsides and place labels. Congratulations, you now have several days of fully cooked meat that is tender and delicious. Just heat through and it is ready to eat.
I use this meat to make the obvious stews and soups, but it can also be shredded with a fork and used for taco's, or pasta. The guys around here love to pull it apart with a fork add BBQ sauce and have pulled sandwiches. If you pull it apart and use the broth from the bottle to make gravy, you will have hot sandwiches. The uses are really endless: stir fry, fajitas, chili, whatever you can think of!