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Old 01-26-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
suzyq
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Default Canned meats - shelf life & nutrition

What is the shelf life of home-canned meats? How much nutrition do they lose during preparation?

I've never canned before, but I know from reading here that I need to use a pressure canner for meats. With my daughter having celiac disease, she can't eat TVP; and freeze dried meats are pricey. So I am thinking of canning meat. It's something I can get started at as meats go on sale. I actually do have 4 or 5 dozen quart canning jars, which were brought brand new a few years ago but never used. With a family of 6, I figure quart size is probably the right size.

Thanks!



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Old 01-27-2011, 12:44 AM   #2
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I don't have hands-on experience with this yet, as I just started canning meat a few months ago. However, I've read that home-canned meats are 'good' for 2-5 years, but are best if used within a year (in terms of flavor). I don't know about nutritional value.

Right now I've got some chicken going as I type. Got it last night on sale because the 'sell by' date is today. I'm always stalking the 'marked for quick sale' clearance section for these kinds of mark downs, and I've built up a substantial supply of canned meat this way. Last week it was a couple of large roasts. You will enjoy canning meat - it's so satisfying to see your meat supply slowly but steadily grow.



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Old 01-27-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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TVP is a place where it was once possible to hide gluten. It is now required, at least in Canada and the United States, that wheat be clearly disclosed as 'wheat'. So, 'hidden' gluten should no longer be a concern.

Textured soy protein is gluten-free, but is not safe for those avoiding soy. Soy, like wheat, must now be clearly disclosed on the label.

I hope this helps.

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Old 01-27-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Thank you. So far on all the emergency supply websites, wheat has been listed in the TVP ingredients. I figure that canning meat would be helpful for my daughter's sake. I'll keep looking for gluten-free TVP.

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Old 01-27-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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I can all types of meats, beef, chicken, turkey, pork & venison. It taste wonderful and is so handy for a meal in a hurry. The chicken I skin and only debone the breast, because of the small bones add hot water or broth. The beef and venison roast I brown slightly on all sides, (this is not necessary but looks nicer in the jar) add hot beef broth. The ground meat I brown but do not cook thru add hot beef broth. My next adventure is to can sausage patties and bacon. I purchase what we can afford as it comes on sale until we have enough to fill a canner or two. If you are a couple of jars short on product fill the other jars with hot water and seal. This will keep your jars from moving around and possible breakage.

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:27 PM   #6
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Saw an interesting bit of information on meat storage on NOVA a few days ago. It was in relation to NASA space program, and long term mission planning. The meat is always the hardest part, even for advanced pachaging methods. It's no great feat, even for the home canner, to exclude air, moisture, microbes, etc. The limiting factor is the composition of the materials themselves. Meat has a completely different make up, from the intracelluler chemistry, cellular structure, etc. on up that comes with a built in shelf life. The enzymes, co-enzymes, electrolytes, amino acids, etc. in muscle tissue (meat) will still be present in the preserved product and will affect the stored material continually, if but at a delayed and significantly slowed rate. In short, nobody can really get meat to stay good (palatability and nutrition value) longer than a couple of years.

So, if you can put up a couple of years of animal product, great. But keep rotating it out quarterly, oldest for new, if I was in your shoes.

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Old 01-28-2011, 04:07 AM   #7
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I canned sausage patties and bacon today. I browned the patties and stacked them in jars. The bacon was laid on parchment paper and then rolled and stuffed in the jars. I dry-can meats, meaning I don't add water to the jars. A few years ago I got tired of soggy ground meat and other home-canned meats, and quit adding water. Amazingly, the jars don't break!

Part of the length of shelf life has to do with how you store it. If you keep it in a cool, dark, dry place, you'll get more years. If you keep it in a warm kitchen cupboard, probably a year or two?

We try to keep it worked out where it gets rotated enough through regular meals that nothing is more than 2 or 3 years old. I have occasionally found a jar that was 4 or 5 years old, and if the seal was still tight, the meat tasted fine, and we lived after eating it (didn't get sick, either! )

Though a couple times, we found jars that had come unsealed and we could smell them and had to track them down. Nasty!

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Old 01-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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Thanks. I will probably start with ground beef and chicken since that's what we eat the most of anyway. As per my other post, if we can figure out how to make it work, we'll be storing the food in our old fieldstone, unheated, unfinished basement. So it should be plenty cool enough. I'm hoping to be able to order a pressure canner soon so I can get started.


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Old 01-28-2011, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyq View Post
Thanks. I will probably start with ground beef and chicken since that's what we eat the most of anyway. As per my other post, if we can figure out how to make it work, we'll be storing the food in our old fieldstone, unheated, unfinished basement. So it should be plenty cool enough. I'm hoping to be able to order a pressure canner soon so I can get started.
Just one tiny word of advice on storing canned foods in the basement--if it is really damp down there your lids can rust thru. I had an aunt that used to lightly oil the lids that she stored in part of her root cellar and regular basement and they don't rust out that way--but she did check them at least once a month to make sure that they were still rust free.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald View Post
Just one tiny word of advice on storing canned foods in the basement--if it is really damp down there your lids can rust thru. I had an aunt that used to lightly oil the lids that she stored in part of her root cellar and regular basement and they don't rust out that way--but she did check them at least once a month to make sure that they were still rust free.
Emerald, I'm delighted to know that about lightly oiling the jar lids! I try not to store many jars in our root cellar because it's so damp and the lids rust! I'm delighted to know what I can do about it, so I can try again at storing them there! Thanks!

Right now I've been storing them in boxes under the beds in our cool bedrooms (Cool as in pretty cold, not as in totally awesome! ) and in closets, but I'm always running out of space.


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