Monday, September 06, 2010

Store More Food By Canning Meat

Home Canned Angus Ground Beef

We don't store our meat in a freezer like most people do. In fact, we don't even own one at the moment. I buy our meat in bulk and bring it home and can it immediately. I try to have everything ready so that when I get home I can start working on it. That is why it is best to do it early in the morning. That is what I did yesterday morning. I drove to Mainesource Food & Party Warehouse in Binghamton, NY and did my shopping.

I purchased three of these Ground Fine Angus Beef logs. They are close to 10 lbs. each. I forgot to photograph them before I cut one open. So these are the other two. They were on sale for $1.89 a lb. That is a good price around here for any kind of ground beef. It is usually anywhere from $2.49 to $2.99 a lb. in most stores. Now Mainesource is a local restaurant supply store that sells to the public. It is huge and has such good prices and really good, healthy looking meats and produce. This beef tastes very fresh and you can tell by the smell as soon as you open it. Not like the regular ground beef or chuck you usually find. Less greasy too.

Oven Frying The Ground Beef

I cooked the meat in the oven this time and think I will do that from now on. Though when I fry it on top of the stove I fuss with it more. Cooking it this way seemed to be easier for me, but the burger comes out with bigger pieces. When it is on the stove you tend to break it up more often. Cook it just till it is not pink.

Rinsing The Grease Off

I rinsed the grease off the beef. Put another pan underneath to catch the grease so it does not go down your drain. Drains do not like grease! I never used to do this but think it is good to do so that there is not as much grease in your jars. That is where the culprit is in canning meats.......the grease will be the reason your jars may not seal. So be sure to wipe them off really good when putting your lids on. 

Simmering In Water Before Canning

This is the way I do it. I put all the beef in the stock pots and then cover it with water and heat it to the boiling point.

Boiling Point

Then I ladle it into clean canning jars that I washed in hot soapy water. Then I filled them with hot boiling water to keep them hot. Then I empty each jar just before I fill it. You may add 1/2 to 1 tsp. of salt if you wish, but do not have to do this. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. We aren't big on salt around here.

UPDATE: According to the USDA guidelines, you no longer have to heat the jars or simmer them in boiling water. I never did that anyway. I still put hot water heated to the boiling point in them so that they are hot when I put the hot food in them. I do not want to take the chance of one breaking from the hot food going into a cold jar. 

Filling The Jars

Have all your lids and rims right there and makes sure you have put them in hot water too. I always wipe them dry just before using it for the jar. Tighten the lid and you are ready to put it in your PRESSURE canner that should be on the stove. Not a pressure cooker........a pressure canner is different. And to be safe you MUST be using a pressure canner.

Jars Going Into The Canner

When you put it in the canner, the water should be simmering. You only need a few inches of water in the bottom of the canner, about 3 inches is good.

Two Canners Going At The Same Time!

Tighten your lid on your canner and exhaust it for 10 minutes. That means you will see steam coming out of the top. I use a regulator on mine, so when the 10 minutes is up I can put that on and when it starts to jiggle, I check the time.  One hour and a half from then. If it stops jiggling that means it has lost it's pressure.

A Regulator And A Gauge

I have both for my Presto Canners. A Presto Canner Regulator and an actual gauge. I bought two of the regulators for both of my canners that had gauges and I love them. It has made canning much easier for me since I don't have to stand over it watching the gauge. Every time I look at the gauge it is right on the 10 lb. pressure and never varies much. Here is where I explain better about the Presto Canner Regulators in a previous post.

The Finished Product!

When your time is up, turn your canner off and wait until your pressure has gone down. You should hear a click and then the pressure should be at zero. Take the weight or regulator off the top, wait a minute and then take the lid off. When taking the lid off, make sure to lift it away from you so it doesn't hit you in the face. It is HOT!

Then you are ready to transfer your jars with your jar lifter to the towel or pad on a table or counter. I try not to put it directly in front of a window with a cool breeze. Let them sit for 24 hours before wiping them down, and with meat there will be grease on the jars and tops so clean good. Put labels on with the date and what is in it. I take the rims off when I label them as the rims can become rusted to a jar over time. 

Now I have 14 quarts of ground beef. They have run me approximately $3.90 a jar. I think that is a bargain if you compare it with the other canned meats you find out there. Yoder meats are good but they cost about $6.50 a can or more. I can drain this ground beef and make it into sloppy joes or put it on a hamburger bun with ketchup and eat it ground. It is still good even though it is not in a patty form. Great for casseroles though.......and pizza. You see the grease on top of beef inside the jar, I try to scoop it out in a lump if I can. By rinsing it I believe I have less than I used to get. 

We both like the canned meats way better than frozen ones. Try it and tell me what you think. The meat seems to develop more flavor over time.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated July 2016

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