I think this about covers it all.:beercheer:The easist thing to can is chunks of meat or ground meat. You can brown the meat first or just put it in the jars. If I have roast beef I cut it into pieces to fit them in the jars. Wide-mouth jars are the easiest for getting the meat out when you go to use it.
At this moment I have two large kettles full of whole chickens boiling on the stove. When they're done I'll let them cool, then debone and remove most of the skin. I'll pack the meat into jars and ladle the broth from the kettles over the meat.
The lids are done the same as for any pressure cannning. Let them simmer in water to soften the rubber seals while you work on filling the jars. After the meat is in the jars, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, wet cloth, put the lid and ring on.
You should set your canner on the stove and put the required amount of water in your canner. For a 7-quart load my canner wants 2 quarts of water in the canner. Make sure you have the rack in the bottom of the canner so the jars aren't touching the surface of the bottom. I love the racks in pressure canners and use mine in my water bath canner instead of that goofy rack that doubles as a jar lifter! For meat you should ALWAYS use a pressure canner, not a waterbath canner.
After the jars are all in the canner put the lid on, turning it so it locks at the handles. Have the heat at kind of a medium to medium high while it heats. After a while steam should start escaping through the weight hole in the middle (I'm primarily talking about canners with a weight rather than the gauge. I haven't used one with a gauge in over 30 years and don't really remember). Don't worry if steam/heat is escaping around the edges of the lid or the weight hole. As pressure builds inside the canner it'll force the lid tight. Just wait it out. If it still doesn't stop you might need a new gasket for your canner, or just to oil it good to refresh the rubber.
When the steam starts coming out the vent/weight hole, wait 10 minutes and then set the weight on it. There should be 3 numbers on the weight: 5, 10, and 15. The number you want should be on the bottom of the front, upright when you look at it, and line up with a hole below the number. Set that hole right on the vent thingy.
Beef and pork are processed for 90 minutes, chicken and fish for 70 minutes. If you're under 3,500 feet of elevation, can it at 10 lbs. pressure. If you're over 3,500 feet, can it at 15 lbs. pressure. The timing starts when the weight jiggles (if you have that kind of canner) or the gauge is at the right pressure. The book says it should jiggle "2 or 3 times a minute", but mine jiggles more than that. If it seems too aggressive I turn the heat down a little. If it's not jiggling enough, turn the heat up a little.
When the time has passed, turn off the heat. Let the canner sit at least half an hour. Don't remove the weight. The quick escape of pressure and steam can cause your jars to boil all over the place and you'll have a mess to clean up, plus you'll lose your batch of canned goods. After half an hour you can gently lift the weight just a little (use a hot pad, it's probably still hot) and see if steam is trying to escape. If it isn't, go ahead and take the weight off. Then you can remove the lid of the canner at any time, and using a pair of jar lifters, lift the jars out and set them on a dish towel or any cloth. Don't set the jars right on a counter or other hard surace. The difference in temperature could cause your jars to break. I've never had a jar break setting it on a cloth.
You don't have to take the weight off until it's totally cool. In fact, you can leave the whole thing sitting there for hours. But at some point you'll want to know if the jars are sealing. If they didn't seal, put them in the fridge and either re-process them again with different lids, or eat them as you would any cooked meat stored in the fridge.
I've canned hamburgers and sausage patties before by browning both sides in a frying pan, then stacking them in a wide-mouth jar. I use a lid from a wide-mouth jar as a pattern for the size of the burgers/patties That way the patties aren't too big to fit in the jar, and they aren't too little, wasthing space in the jar.
It's also possible to "dry can" meats, which is nice for things like ground meat (hamburger) and patties. That way they aren't soggy when you go to use them. Simply place the meat in the jar, add salt if you're going to, and can it dry. It does work, and no, the jars don't break. The main thing to watch for is not to overfill the jar. The heat must penetrate to the center of the meat. Water conducts the heat in traditional canning, so if you've packed ground beef into a jar, make sure it's kind of loosely packed. We've been dry-canning meat for 3 or 4 years and have never had one go bad.
I've heard that adding other spices to the meat isn't a good idea. Some people say it gives the spices an "off" flavor after canning. I've only done it twice and it turned out okay. I mixed ground beef into "meatloaf", with all the ingredients I normally use, and canned it in wide-mouth jars. When I went to use it I just slid it out of the jar into a bread pan and heated it.
I also sliced some pork and seasoned it for stir-fry, browned it and canned it. Delicious.
For most meat I add a heaping teaspoon of salt to a pint and a tablespoon to a quart. It's not enough to act as a preservative, it's just for flavor. I figure if I'm adding it now, while times are (reasonably) good, then the salt is already in it if TSHTF. Same with fruit, I go ahead and add the sugar now and figure it's a place to store sugar, just in case!
NOTE: When you buy lids, count them. I order mine by the case, 60 boxes of 12 to a case. The case I just started has been short one lid per box in every box. I sent the company an email yesterday and told them, and I also told them I want my 60 lids (one per box) that I was shorted. I'll let you all know what they say!
I've always done atmo pressure+gauge=30The point of the pressure canner is to kill botulism-the 212° water of a water bath won't kill it but the ~250° water in the pressure canner will.
DO NOT open your canner until all the pressure is gone, as Gypsy Sue stated above. 10-15 pounds of pressure doesn't sound like much but it is nothing to trifle with, I assure you. The first time we pressure canned (and believe me, we're still kinda new at it ourselves) I was amazed how long the jars kept boiling while they were cooling on the shelf.
Nope, just stack them.Riverdale,
do you use anything to separate the patties in the jar?