Country Living Series

Friday, November 30, 2012

Canning turkey stock

I hope that everyone who had a turkey at Thanksgiving did something useful with the carcass? I knew you did! Good for you.

I made turkey stock. Very very simple to do and useful to have in the pantry.

I am forever using chicken stock while cooking. In the past I've used the granular version...


...but it's very expensive and I don't care for the ingredients.


So now, whenever I have a chicken or turkey carcass, I simply make my own stock. Much better ingredients list!

After our Thanksgiving feast was over, Don deboned the carcass, and then we slipped everything into our largest stock pot: carcass, skin, bones, scraps, you named it. Everything went into the pot. Then we filled it with water.


We set it to simmer on the very lowest heat all night long. By morning the house smelled rich and the stock looked disgusting. Well sorry, but you must admit this doesn't appear very enticing.


But that's okay. I knew the goodness hidden inside the revolting mess. Next step: strain out the bones and other stuff. I heaved up the heavy stock pot and poured it through a colander into our second-largest stock pot.


Here's the result. Now this looks more promising!


This stockpot holds twelve quarts. The stock came to below the line...


...so I washed eleven quart jars.


Filling the jars. Isn't it cool how something so beautiful can emerge from something so revolting?


Eleven quarts, ready to process.


My canner only holds seven quarts at a time, so I had two batches to process. Since this stock is meat-based, I pressure-canned it for 90 minutes.


Eleven jars of beautiful healthy turkey stock for my pantry. Ten, actually, since I used one right away to make some additional gravy for our leftover turkey meat. It would also make a superb base for soup of many kinds.


Waste not want not! Who else made stock or something similarly useful from their turkey carcass?

56 comments:

  1. Wonderful!
    We had a small turkey, so I froze the bones until we have more turkey or chicken bones to add to it.

    Have a great weekend!

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  2. EEEKK!! I followed these directions: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/stock_broth.html

    At my altitude of 5000 ft., it said to process quarts 25 minutes at 13lb, which I overprocessed at 15 lb for 30 minutes (because I had a qt. of carrots in the canner also that required the extra 5 minutes. Reading your post, I am now panicked that I did not process long enough.

    Do you think it's safe for the dog? Wait, I love my yellow beasty...

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    Replies
    1. Criminey, I can't believe they have those directions on that page...

      Based on their recommendations, I will **tentatively** say your stock is okay, but in the future I would treat it as a meat product just to be on the safe side.

      My $0.02....

      - Patrice

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    2. Patrice,
      Putting Food By also has the 10#(adjust for elevation) for 25 minutes for quarts and 20 minutes for pints. That is how I do it. I think the 90 minutes are for when there is actually meat in the product. I will continue to do it this way.
      Paintedmoose

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    3. I just checked my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, it also gives the same processing times for pints and quarts as Putting Food By and the site she lists above.
      Paintedmoose

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    4. I would also make sure you bring it to a full rolling boil for a few minutes when you open it to be on the safe side.

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    5. I made chicken stock today and the Ball Blue Book says 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts. It's the 2009 edition so I'm assuming it's ok.

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    6. I've just checked the Presto Pressure Canning instruction book and it says 25 minutes @ 11 lbs. for quarts--which is what I've always gone by. Will research this further. Also, I refrigerate my strained stock so that the fat can be lifted right off--delicious AND fat-free!

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    7. Referencing my earlier post about chicken/turkey stock processing times in a pressure canner, the Presto website agrees with 25 min.@ 11 lbs. pressure for quarts and 20 minutes @ 11 lbs. for pints. See: https://www.gopresto.com/recipes/canning/soups.php
      Of course,over processing doesn't hurt anything.

      Delete
  3. I'm anonymous, but I'm really sidetracksusie and I canned the stock for only 30 minutes at 13 lb. Any suggestions, other than pouring it out?

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    Replies
    1. Sidetracksusie, see my answer on the post above.

      I sure would like to hear their justification for not canning meat stock as if it were meat byproduct. Maybe I'm being overly cautious? Who knows...

      - Patrice

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    2. Both the Ball Preserving books state that Chicken and Beef Stock to be processed at 20 mins for pints and 25 mins for quarts.
      Vegetable stock is processed at 30 mins for pints and 35 mins for quarts.

      Although poultry and beef stock are meat based, what you are actually processing is clear liquid, which is far easier to heat thoroughly and quickly to temperature. Nowhere in the clear liquid for little nasties to hide!

      You may want to rethink your stock processing as you would be wasting an awful lot of gas, which is certainly not cheap.

      If you have any misgivings or questions, why not get in touch with Ball Book people themselves. They have a website and 1-800 number inside the front cover of the Blue book.

      I am not in any way affiliated with the Ball people. I am Australian and Pressure canning is not common here so I am extremely careful where I research my information. But, the Ball books have never let me down.

      My name is Maria.

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    3. I think in the future I will go with the 90 minutes, as I don't strain the fat out of my stock and I'm sure there is some small bits of meat in there, also. If I do strain until it's clear, I'll then do the 25 minutes at 15lb (due to altitude). I did have it boiling when I jarred it, but at over 5000ft altitude, liquids boil at much lower temps.

      Thanks every one for your responses.

      sidetracksusie

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    4. Times are based on how long it takes for the high pressure and heat to penetrate to the most dense portions of the jars' contents, and to remain at that temperature for a sufficient length of time, rather than whether the product comes from vegetables or meat sources. Since broth and stock is all liquid, there is no need for long periods of pressuring. That is why all reliable sources say 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts, at 10 pounds pressure. These times are based on scientific lab results in the test kitchens. If anything, Ball and the other sources are ridiculously OVER protective in many of their recommendations! Please, don't encourage them to be more protective.

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    5. I know this is two years late, but to jump in here - the Ball timing is correct for liquid you only do the meat timing if you have more than half a jar of meat. AND I suggest that next time, when you finish straining your stock, you let it sit for an hour then use a ladle to skim off as much fat as you can. I skim into a large measuring cup (glass) then use the turkey baster to return the stock that invariably gets sucked up as part of the process. This reduces the fat issue, ensuring you don't have seepage of fat that might threaten your seal! Ecoteri

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  4. I always make stock after turkeyday but I have always frozen it but yesterday I took the plunge and bought a pressure canner so I guess I am on my way to being the invincible canner heh

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  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)November 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Made a big, big pot of turkey soup and shared with family and neighbors!

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  6. I have always used by turkey bones for soup or broth. I do however save my onion peels, celery ends and put them into the freezer for when I want to make stock. Then when I am ready I just pull them out of the freezer and put them in with the carcass and simmer away. I sometimes will throw in a couple of carrots. It seems to give my stock more flavor and color than just cooking the carcass. If I have extra turkey meat I will go ahead and can it up for later at the same time. Doing this is really good on the grocery budget.
    Jeri

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  7. Thanks so much for this post. I was raised as a city girl & missed learning so many things.Now at 75, I'm trying to catch up. I made stock with our turkey but as you say, it looked disgusting. It was cloudy and did not look at all like what comes out of a can. So, I decided I should not have put in the skin and scrap meat, so I threw it out.I now see how it should look and the difference canning makes. Many thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Good for you! I have been water bath canning for many years, but at 68, I finally got a pressure canner. There's hope for me yet!! I am learning a lot about pressure canning here!

      Lana

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  8. Nah, I gave the carcass to our outside dog and cat. They loved it.

    dkswife

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  9. Patrice,
    I need you advice on canning broth. I've canned beef broth (I'm novice at this) already and plan on canning both chicken and turkey broth. Do I need to have heated jars before placing the broth in the jars or can I just wash them well with hot soapy water? Also being that I have one pressure canner, can I fill all the jars at once and process them in two separate batches? I would truly appreciate your insight.

    Thanks,
    Sandy, Oklahoma Transient

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    Replies
    1. I don't heat my jars in advance. The only time I tend to break jars is when I submerge cold jars in already-boiling water (such as removing a processed batch and inserting a fresh batch to a boiling-bath canner). But since you increase the temp slowly in a pressure canner, everything heats at the same pace. And no, you don't need to heat your jars before pouring hot broth into them -- they should be fine. If a jar breaks, it's probably because it had a hairline crack to begin with.

      And if you need to process your broth in two batches, you can get them all ready and capped at the same time, and just put the second batch in when the first batch is finished. Be warned that the water in the bottom of the canner will be super-heated already, so you may risk breaking a jar when it hits the hot water. If you're worried about that, then don't fill the second set of jars with hot broth until you're ready to process.

      Clear as mud? (LOL)

      - Patrice

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    2. So Patrice, what you are saying is that when processing multiple batches, it would be advisable to have the jars for the later batches warmed above room temperature to minimize thermal shock?
      I agree - I don't think the jars need to be boiling hot, but warmer than room temperature is a good idea is possible. They do NOT have to be boiling hot - hot but handlable with bare hands is probably a good compromise.

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    3. So Patrice, what you are saying is that when processing multiple batches, it would be advisable to have the jars for the later batches warmed above room temperature to minimize thermal shock?
      I agree - I don't think the jars need to be boiling hot, but warmer than room temperature is a good idea is possible. They do NOT have to be boiling hot - hot but handlable with bare hands is probably a good compromise.

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    4. Patrice,

      Thanks, clear as mud!!!

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    5. We turn our oven on to 200 degrees, process all our jars for the multiple batches in the boiling water bath to sterilize them, fill the jars with the first batch & keep the remaining empty jars in the oven on a cookie sheet with a clean towell on it. This way you don't risk cracking jars, plus the second batch goes into hot sterile jars when its time for the second batch to go into the pressure canner. Rmember to use hot mitts when handling the jars that are in the oven as you begin to fill them for the second batch, as 200 degrees is too hot to handle with bare hande. Hope this gives you another useful way to have second batch jars ready to fill and process in the pressure canner. It works for us and never any cracked jars

      Sincerely
      Marsha

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    6. Now, this is how OC I am--I sterilize my jars in my water bath canner for 20 minutes for EVERYTHING I can--high or low-acid. It comes out of the canner, gets filled, then put right back in if it's a water-bath appropriate item or placed into the pressure canner with 3 qts. of already boiling water. I have never gone ahead and filled jars ahead to sit on the counter waiting their turn....I'm that picky. Sorry, but I don't trust anyone else's canning but mine. I KNOW how careful I am.

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  10. How important is it to skim off whatever fat possible? Some paces I've seen commendations to cool the broth in the fridge, skim off the fat, then reheat

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    Replies
    1. I like to strain my stock and then refrigerate overnight so I can skim off the extra fat. It is an extra step, but I don't like all that fat floating on the top of my soups. I then bring to a boil before filling jars. I also keep my jars warm in a 200 degree oven before filling.

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  11. I split the carcass (with lots of meat left) into two gallon freezer bags and froze it. This week we had a huge pot of very rich soup, will do same or similar in a couple of weeks.
    We do stock & soup at the same time - boil the bones & all, pick the meat and put it back in, then add veggies & rice.

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  12. There is a cookbook called 'Nourishing Traditions' by
    Sally Fallon who has a chapter in her book how to make stock from raw meat bones! I have done it for the last tens years and loved it, as it is so useful and so very nutritious.You leave it on for three days and it becomes a rich color and the taste is great onion, carrots and celery go in it and the last five minutes add a bunch of fresh parsley. I used a nesco roaster and had it in my garage because after a couple of days it can be smelly. I strained it several times to have a clear stock it is worth all the effort!
    My husband did the canning and it was good team work!

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  13. I add carrots, celery, onions and some vinegar to draw out the marrow. Cook it slow for 12-18 hours. Strain, then can. The vinegar is a key ingredient. It adds a kick to the broth.

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    1. How much vinegar and white or apple cider? I had not heard of this but would really like to try it.
      Thanks
      Dawn

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    2. The vinegar also leaches calcium from the bones into your broth. I only use a "splash", but I've never heard of a rule of thumb for how much.

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  14. I have been canning chicken broth and all the directions I had read including my canner book said to process for 25 minutes. I thought it a short time, and now I am wondering about it...I will be interested in seeing what all your readers say about it.
    Alas, I did not cook Thanksgiving dinner and so had no carcass, but I did can turkey broth last year and it was yummy!

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  15. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving uses a 25 minute canning time for broth at 10 pounds pressure. I'm assuming the short time is due to the thinness of the broth and the fact it doesn't take that long to reach the heat and pressure.

    When I'm doing multiple batches I set the next batch of jars in a water bath of hot water to keep them warm until they are ready to go in the pressure canner.

    As for the fat skimming, I think that's a matter of personal preference. We've become such a fat concious society that I think all the receipes mention skimming the fat off now days as a supposed health issue.

    Just my thoughts.

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  16. I, too simmer my carcass and any scraps of meat, skin, etc., but after done I strain off the broth, separate the meat and throw away all the bones and skin and then freeze the broth and meat separately.

    I then use this in the future for turkey and homemade noodles. Not to brag, but my turkey and noodles are supreme. I make them for a community kitchen several times a year, and the demand is huge.

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  17. We canned our turkey stock and made some turkey/bean soup from the rest.

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  18. I put the carcass, skin, and uneaten wings in my crockpot with a chopped up onion/celery/carrot mix and let it stew all night. I froze the strained stock and picked all the little bits of leftover turkey off the bones and wings and ended up with almost 3 cups of finely shredded turkey.

    Since the meat was a little dried out from the stewing process, I used my favorite chicken enchilada recipe that mixes the meat with a cream cheese, pecan, and onion mix and smothers it all in a cheesy sour cream sauce...now I'm all hungry again.

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    1. This recipe sounds delicious. You wouldn't want to share it would you????

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  19. Next time you make broth with any bones you should add a few Tbsp. of vinegar. The vinegar helps draw out the vitamins and minerals from the bones which makes your broth even more healthy! I also save carrot, onion, and celery ends along with potato peelings (because there is still some potato on the peeling) in a large freezer bag as I use them instead of throwing them out. I then add them to the broth frozen at the beginning. It seems to make my broth taste better and I'm sure that it adds nutrients as well. Besides those little scraps would just be thrown out anyways.

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  20. Next time you make a broth using bones you should add in a few Tbsp. of vinegar. I use white vinegar and it helps to draw out the vitamins and minerals from the bones so then your broth will be even more nutritious.

    I also save my veggie scraps (carrot ends, celery ends, onion ends, and various veggie peelings). I put them all in a freezer bag and store in my freezer until I'm ready to make broth. I then add it to the broth while still frozen at the beginning. It seems to make my broth taste better, and I'm sure it is better for me with the added veggie nutrients. It feels good to use those scraps that otherwise would be in the compost. I can still compost them after I boil them in the broth, too.

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  21. We saved our turkey carcass specifically to make stock. Up to this point, we've always frozen the stock in 2-cup portions. I do need to start canning it, though.

    I had a blog post about making my own stock, and a friend commented on it. She said that after straining, I could reduce the stock way down, and fit it into one jar. Then I could just spoon a little of the concentrated stock into water, or directly into a dish.

    She said it kept for a very long time in the refrigerator. I just may try this sometime. It would definitely take up a lot less space!

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  22. Patrice, I like you process my broth just like the meat for 90 minutes. I always inevitably have little tiny bits of meat floating around in it. I use a collander like you and not a muslin bag to strain it... I believe the ball book is considering that you strain it until it is clear. My broth is no more "clear" than yours is. I think that the cloudy broth tastes better it is just not as pretty as perfectly clear broth. After it cools then you can see the sediment in the bottom of the jar from the little bits of meat. I have been canning for over 30 years myself and I believe better safe than sorry when it comes to canning.
    BTW to let you in on a great deal I got... I am so proud... I found gallon cans of pineapple at the Allens warehouse (The canning factory that makes popeye spinach here in Arkansas) for $3 each, so I bought a case of 6. Like you I buy gallon cans of stuff and then re-can it into smaller jars. I should get about 6-7 pints out of each can and since a can of pineapple at the store is almost $2 here I will be saving a load of money!

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    1. I think you hit the nail on the head, Christine. I don't "fine strain" the stock, I just filter out the bones, skin, etc. There are still bits of meat and other sediment which have indeed settled at the bottom of the jars, and the stock is cloudy. So yes, I'll continue processing this "rough strained" stock like it was meat, just to be on the safe side.

      - Patrice

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  23. I freeze it in ice cube trays, then dump all the cubes into some gallon freezer bags. Individual cubes let me use the exact amount of stock I need (sometimes a meat dish needs just a little bit of liquid.)

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  24. I can so much stock. I am blessed with the largest size All American Canner, and was GIVEN a 2nd canner....so with both canners, I can do 38 jars. And I do. Broth is such a mainstay in our diet. We are Weston A Price subscribers. I slow cook stewing hens, along with veggies, and strain through a colander to remove the large pieces. I aim to include as much fat as possible on my broth, and therefore process quarts for a full 90 minutes, like meat.

    Our family of 7 consumes at least a quart of broth a day. I use it in everything, including the base for a home made non-dairy baby formula (ala Nourishing Traditions) for our adopted 9 month old daughter. It is so convenient to make broth in giant batches, and then just open a jar the rest of the time.

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  25. Made a huge batch of broth with the carcass.I also use an onion cut in half, carrots, celery, fresh parsley, dried thyme and a garlic head cut in half. Covered it all and Boiled the whole thing with the carcass in a 12 quart pot. Froze half and made turkey noodle soup with fresh veggies and left over turkey legs (that didn't go into the stock.) It was delicious and I look forward to using the rest at a later date.

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  26. Hi Patrice! I was wondering how the tattler lids do with pressure canning? I bought 200 lids when they were on sale a few months ago and have only used them for water bath canning so far. The directions say to tighten them immediately after pulling the jars from the canner, and I was wondering how this worked if you have to leave the jars in a pressure canner for a while while it comes down in pressure? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Believe me, you can leave those jars in there a long time and they will still be very warm! I use the Tattler's and last Wednesday I canned carrots and forgot we had homeschool PE in town. The canner had not depressurized yet when it was time to go and knowing how important this day is to my son, we left for town. I'm sure the pressure was down enough to open the canner fairly quickly after we left (1330) and it was 1600 when we returned. I opened the canner, lifted each jar out and tightened the ring when I set the still very warm jar down on the waiting towel. All of my jars sealed.
      In a nutshell (I have problems with brevity, LOL), it is okay to wait for the canner to depressurize naturally, you MUST do so, in fact. The jars will still be hot when you open it, and it's the cooling down of the jars that create the vacuum. Just tighten the rings when you take them out at that time.
      sidetracksusie

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    2. Sorry, should have responded to this sooner.

      When using Tattlers, I prefer to keep the jars in the pressure canner for about 10-15 minutes after the pressure has dropped to zero, before removing them. It's not absolutely **necessary** but it's what I do. When I remove each jar, I tighten the rings (using a towel, of course -- they're HOT!). Sometimes the lids will tighten, sometimes not. Tightening each jar has improved the rate of sealing.

      By the way, I don't remove the rings from the jars until they're fully cool -- about twelve hours.

      Tattlers work just fine in a pressure canner -- they're designed for it.

      - Patrice

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  27. Yep, made stock, canned some, froze some.

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  28. When I make my broth I put the carcass, skin and all into my biggest roast pan, add a bag of frozen onion/garlic peels and celery leaves, cover with water then add ground pepper and a bay leaf or two. Cover and let either bake in the oven or simmer on the woodstove for many hours. The last hour or 2 I take the lid off and let the bones brown up. Half way through I'll turn the bones so that whatever is in the water comes "up" and can get browned too, it makes a nicer coloured broth.

    The latest on Tattler lids says to hand tighten just as you would a single use lid. Since I've started treating them exactly the same as the tin lids, I haven't had a seal failure.

    Just ordered a bulk order of Tattler lids...woohoo! Can't wait til they arrive. Have been pondering on where to store them...I have a potato bin in the kitchen that doesn't work well for spuds..I think it will be handy for the lids though.

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  29. Hi Patrice, Got a pot on the go at this very moment, and was wondering if it was better to freeze it in muffin sized cubes and use as needed or to bottel. Think I will try both ways. We processed 8 very large meat birds on Sonday, cut it all into portionsand froze 20 meals. Not bad I'd say.

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  30. I am so glad to come across this post! I was not prepared for the whole cooling and de-fatting step that so many other recipes called for. And I don't know about anybody else, but I hate getting amped up for a canning project only to find out I'm going to have to wait. Plus I think the fat really adds some flavor. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and feel free to check out my results once I get them in on http://thenotquitehomestead.blogspot.com :)

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