Country Living Series

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Canning meat

A few weeks ago, the local LDS (Mormon) church asked me if I would teach a class on canning meats.  We're not Mormon but are literally surrounded by Mormon neighbors, and this isn't the first time I've been asked to share some knowledge on domestic skills.  Apparently the LDS church holds similar skills-type classes once a month.

So today was the day.  Here's the stuff I brought along: My canner, some empty quart jars (seven, since that's all my canner will hold), lids, rings, sample jars of canned meat, my canning book, some bacon and chicken breasts (the other meats were provided by the hostess), and all the little accouterments needed for canning: jar lifter, tongs, kitchen timer, etc.


Rather than going to the LDS church (which has a kitchen the size of a postage stamp with no room for people to see what I'm doing), a church member with a large and luxurious home graciously opened it up for the class.


About a dozen people attended (I couldn't fit them all in the picture) and we all had a lot of fun.  The attendees ranged from fairly experienced canners to utter beginners, and they asked a bajillion questions, all of them excellent.  We canned bear meat (hey, this is Idaho), pork sausage, chicken breasts, and bacon.  By the end of the class, even the folks who were most concerned about the supposed dangers of pressure canners (a common fear, I now realize) were energized to give it a try.

I really enjoy doing stuff like this.  I adore canning and can almost can in my sleep, so to be able to share some of the joy of canning with other enthusiastic learners was a pleasure.

30 comments:

  1. What is the white sutff in the jar smack dab in the center of the 2nd photo? Looks like intestines - ick.

    Yes, pressure canners and cookers have a very bad reputation for exploding and scalding people, much less making a huge mess. Modern pressure canners/cookers have safety features built-in, but the bad rep stills hangs on.

    I have no doubt you are a great teacher and that those folks learned a lot, and not just about canning meats.

    WTG, Patrice!!


    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  2. It's not intestines, it's CHICKEN BREASTS!! CHICKEN!!

    Intestines? Eeewww. It's not Halloween yet.

    - Patrice

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  3. Way to go. Us Mormon's are cool ya know.....ha
    I am a die hard canner. I grew up canning, on a small self- sufficient farm. I can meat too. We love.

    Enjoy,
    Melissa

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  4. I can all kinds of meats, chicken, pork, beef, fish and venison.

    Bacon and hamburger are my favorites. I first fry the hamburger patties until they are about 2/3 done and then can them. I fill the jar with hot water leaving about 1/2 inch space. I take the canner to 15 pounds pressure and keeping the pressure steady I can quarts and pints for 90 minutes. The canned patties make excellent hamburgers by just browning the meat in a skillet.

    I'm careful to wipe off the mouth of the jar, especially when canning bacon. I always get a seal.

    Thanks for your post,

    Mountain rifleman

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  5. I'm "asking Santa" for a canner for Christmas!

    Tina

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  6. Those Mormons have it going on! That is not meant to be a slam or anything else for that matter. It is simply a fact.

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  7. Meat and canning, my two favorite things!!!

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  8. the thing is, if your canner or cooker pops its cork and leaves a mess on your ceiling or floor, it is easy to clean up and you can take your canner to most hardware stores and buy a new plug, gasket etc.... and chances are goood that if you do not follow directions or your canner has a leaky gasket then problems are sure to happen.

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  9. Hmm, I'm thinking I need directions to your house! lol
    Lisa/dragonfly.garden

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  10. My Aunt Minnie blew the canner lid through the ceiling of the summer kitchen when I was a small child (way back in the 1950's). I'm sure she did something terribly wrong to get it to do that, but every one has heard a similar Aunt Minnie horror story.
    My mother willingly eats the canned meats I give her, but she shakes her head and tells me she worries for me. But that's 80 yr old Moms for ya. I'm someone's grandma but to her I'm a kid.

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    1. Even 60ish year old moms worry. My mom thought for sure I was going to die from botulism or some other bacteria and asked why I needed all of that food anyway??? Then regaled me with stories of how I am like my grandmother and great grandmother. LOL I'm 38. I am not Mormon but I believe we need our own store of foods.

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  11. Just one query. Why do you call it "canning"? What do you call those cylindrical metal containers that you buy baked beans in? :-)

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    1. hahaha!!! I've been wondering the same exact thing! It's always been jars!

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    2. Hi, I am from Australia and funnily enough , over here we call it bottling. Our "Bottles" were "fowlers Vacola " brand. We have really only in the last few years became aware of pressure canning and mason jars.(Well at least in my case )..You can see the Australian method on my blog,which I have only just recently started. it is, Our Aussie off grid heaven.

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    3. I was just over on your blog -- nice! I wonder, can you find Mason jars in thrift stores or estate sales, like you can in the States? It's the best way to stock up on jars ("bottles"). Happy canning, and be sure to spread the knowledge everywhere you can!

      - Patrice

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  12. I just canned some beef stew yesterday. I have canned bacon with Enola's method on her blog, but want to try precooking it first next time because the bacon really pops and complains when it is fried up. I was lucky I was wearing my glasses one morning because a big piece of fat exploded out of the pan and landed smack in the middle of my glasses lens.

    I think I will also try hamburger patties as one reader mentioned, but the canned burger I have done before has a very well-cooked texture and wonder how patties will fry up.

    I have a glut of potatoes and am possibly going to can some today, as I tried my hand yesterday at dehydrating them. They turned out great and now I have a jar of scalloped potatoes with the cream sauce mix ready for baking on my shelf. I love having food ready to go on my pantry shelf.

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  13. Save the Canning JarsOctober 31, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Our family really enjoys the beef stew recipe in the Ball Blue Book, and I cut up a rump roast as the meat that goes into it. It is simple to can, and when the kids help chop the veggies, it goes together quickly. Thanks for the canning posts!

    I had to laugh at Anonymous 7:56 pm's post about her 80 year old mom worrying about her canning meat. My 71 year old mom is the same way, MAKING me write on the front of my canner's instruction manual "Pray Before Canning!" So when I am setting up to can and I see this sentence, it makes me laugh, then sincerely I stop and ask God to bless my canning (especially that all my jars seal) and for none of us to get sick! Good to know we can cast ALL our cares on the Lord for He cares for us!

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  14. I also pray over everything I can, that God will protect us and cause the food being canned to be "health and nourishment to our bodies," and not illness or death.

    I never saw anyone can anything in my life, so I'm playing catch up. As I said in a previous post (here or at Patrice's), I had my pressure canner for a year before I got up the nerve to try it for the first time.

    Enola and Patrice get the credit for helping me get the confidence to go for it!

    Thanks,
    Melody

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  15. I can hamburger with onion, garlic, S&P and a little tomato sauce. It makes a great starter for chili, spaghetti sauce, taco's and taco soup starter.

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  16. Both my hubby and I took the classes to become Master Food Perservers. It is so nice to have his help. He's the pickle and salsa guy and I pretty much do everything else.
    Donna B.

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  17. I'm not much of a vegetable girl, so the best news EVER was when I found out that meat & potatoes can be canned!

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  18. Awe, what a treat for your students, Patrice!!!!
    You can read all you want, about the how to's of canning, (or anything else for that matter), but there's NOTHING better, than actually being shown, first hand, how to do it....and doing it!
    Donna G.

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  19. Patrice, have you ever thought about filming one of your classes and putting it on you tube? I live too far away to attend your classes (although I have attended them at the local LDS church) but would love to see it. I can read about it all day long, but if I actually see it being done, I am more confident about it. I agree with Donna G. above, there is nothing better than actually being shown first hand.
    Just a thought.
    Dawn

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  20. I bought a canner like the one in the picture with all the people. I've tried and tried to can with it. It always leaks and I end up feeding the stuff to our chickens. In my opinion it was too expensive not to work. I use petroleum jelly lightly around the inside edge of the canner. Try to get the lid on evenly and then tighten the nuts across from each other. What am I doing wrong?

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  21. Neat! I have several friends that come to me with canning questions, but I have yet to find/teach a class or anything a little north up here.

    Anonymous right above me - I have an All American 921, and I have yet to had it fail on me... are you following all the directions in the booklet? I've probably rotated a good... 800 jars (cumulative) through mine in the last few years - stocks, soups, meats, veggies, you name it. After the first few uses I got the hang of putting the lid on (since you have to make sure it's all even all the way around), and you have to really crank on those wingnuts to tighten them up.

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  22. Anonymous on Nov. 4, I got the All-American 921 a few months ago and have canned ground beef, chicken, turkey and stock in it so far. I've had three jars in one batch fail to seal and have no idea why, but otherwise, it's worked fine. Are you sure you're following all the steps, including letting the steam vent for 10 minutes before putting the pressure weight on it, and then waiting until it gets up to full pressure before beginning your timing count? I almost missed that venting step the first time. It still surprises me how much time it takes to get to the point where the clock starts on the 75 or 90 minutes. And you do need to let those jars sit very peacefully overnight.

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  23. well I'm writing this post 2 years too late, but just wondering how you actually go about canning meats? I'm fairly new at doing canning of any sort. I agree that you should do a you tube video, I'm a hands on learner.

    thanks for all the great information that you all post.

    shalaee

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    Replies
    1. Hey, better late than never! (wink)

      I'm actually pretty techno-challenged and think a YouTube video would be beyond me (besides, I look horrible in videos/photos), but at the risk of tooting my own horn, I just put out three inexpensive ebooklets on canning (pressure canning, water-bath canning and 100 FAQs on canning). The pressure canning ebooklet has specific directions for canning chicken breasts, and the FAQ ebooklet has an entire section on canning meat. The website for the ebooks is found at:

      www.selfsufficiencyseries.com

      Before canning meat (which requires a pressure canner, by the way), I urge you to can some fruits or tomatoes in a water-bath, just to get the hang of canning techniques without having to deal with a pressure canner.

      Good luck and happy canning!

      - Patrice

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  24. Patrice,
    Thank you for taking time to do this blog. I just ran across it tonight while looking up info on the Tattler Reuseable Canning Lids. It's wonderful!! My husband and I just bought a house on 5 acres out in the country and I'm looking forward to having a garden next year...and canning my brains out!! Like several of your readers I, too, got a late start in learning to can. But a good friend in Seattle let me watch/help her make jam one day and I was hooked! Next thing you know I'm stepping up to a pressure cooker and box after box of jars. I've canned fruits, veggies, soups, roast beef (YUM!!), pickles...all sorts of things. With the way things are going it's time to brush up on the skills and get more put away...just in case. Thank you so much for having this resource...you'll be hearing from me again!

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