Food-storage cheeseburgers

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by gypsysue, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    [​IMG]

    Tonight's dinner. Home-made hamburger buns (one sliced, the other about to be), home-canned hamburgers and home-canned cheese. I could have re-hydrated some of the onions and tomato slices I dried this fall, and put those on it too.

    The ketchup and mustard (not shown) were store bought, I sheepishly admit!

    When I can hamburgers I make the patties and brown them good, then drop them into a wide-mouth jar. I use a wide-mouth canning lid as my sizing guide when I make the patties. I "dry" can them, with only a small amount of water in the jar so they won't be soggy when we open the jars and use the burgers.

    The cheese is canned by cubing it into jars, setting the jars in a pan of boiling water, and adding more cheese as it melts. Then I water-bath can them for one hour. As it cools, the cheese hardens back to it's original consistency. When I want to use it, I dip the jar in hot water, slide the cheese out, and slice it or shred it.

    You can do this with mozzarella cheese, too, and make good homemade pizza from your food storage. Sausage and pepperoni can be canned, or sometimes we open one of those little cans of ham and make a Hawaiin pizza with ham and pineapple. Onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes, anything you might want to add to a pizza can be dehydrated and stored until needed.

    Here's some of the jars of hamburgers I canned yesterday:
    [​IMG]

    Those are short, wide-mouth pint jars.
     
  2. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    3,848
    7
    Looks great gypsysue! Gonna have ta give that canned cheese a spin!
     

  3. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    3,104
    98
    Hey, Gypsysue--you got a knife like mine---I just used it to cut my firestarter 'fire loggs' into little 1 3/4 X 1 inch pieces to put in my BOB and some in the car.

    What is dry canning??

    I have 80+ 1 pounders of ground beef in the freezer.
    .
     
  4. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    Wow, cool! I hope you wipe the knife off on your pant leg before you go slicing up hamburger buns! :D :lolsmash:
    Good project, though, the firestarter for your BOB and to put in the car!

    Old Coot, canning cheese is easier than falling off a log! Go for it! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  5. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    418
    0
    :eek: Danggit Sue ... You make me feel like such an amateur ... :gaah: ;)

    Seriously though, thank you so much for this post (and all your other ones too :p).

    I don't like having a freezer full of meat (and we do). I am gonna try some dried ground beef, too but those canned hamburgers will save my McDonalds-eating husband's life if the S ever HTF ... (and probably be healthier for him too!)

    :2thumb::2thumb:
     
  6. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    Yeah...exactly. That's why I do what I do! :D

    My next project is to dry-can boneless chicken breasts and see if I can make fried chicken afterward! I already use my home-canned chicken to make chicken patties, then bread and fry them. But I haven't canned chicken since I started dry-canning a couple years ago, and the meat holds better without marinating in all that canning jar water for months. :eek:
     
  7. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    418
    0
    Since I just kinda got started in all this food preservation stuff I hadn't even given canning meat much thought. And all the stuff I have seen says it changes the texture and it's not as tasty but danged, those hamburger patties look fine to me.

    The more I see from you the more I think I am just gonna dry my fruits and veggies and use my cans for meat ... How nice it would be to NOT have to go to the grocery store but once in a blue moon ...
     
  8. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

    3,312
    4
    Thanks GypsySue! It's really great to see how you do it. :2thumb:

    So what is the shelf life of your canned meats and cheeses?
     
  9. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    Some of it depends how you store it. I keep the canned cheeses and butter in the root cellar, which stays cold and dark. Not only is cold and dark good for anything with oils/fat in it, the constant steady temperature is good for shelf life.

    Some of the canned meat is in there too, but some of it is in "cool" places in the house, like in boxes under the bed. We live in the north, and heat with wood, so the bedroom is cool most of the time, and under the bed is downright cold.

    Back to the question of shelf life, the oldest home-canned meat I've used was 5 1/2 years old and tasted fine. It was a few jars that got overlooked. Most of our canned meat gets eaten up within a year or two. I've only been canning cheese for about 3 years, but I recently opened a jar of cheese from the first batch (10/07) and it was as fresh-tasting as the day I canned it.

    If I had stored it in the kitchen cupboard I don't know if it would have lasted as long. Maybe the OP with the other directions for canning butter can give his/her input on their experience with shelf life.

    At the very least, it keeps these products available and safe to eat for at least a few years! :)

    If you can afford it, a nice addition to LTS is a few cans of freeze-dried butter and cheese, but even when reconstituted they aren't as close to "the real thing" as the canned butter and cheeses.
     
  10. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    1,240
    4
    Gypsiesue, I'd like to know more about "dry canning" your burgers.

    Yes, ours get soggy because I always thought it was necessary to have the meat immersed in water to conduct the heat to kill the bugs. Since that is obviously wrong, can ya share your dry canning method with us? Pleeeeeeeeezzzzzeee?

    GS, you and your worserer half are a veritible fountain of knowledge! :)

    Thank you for being so generous with your prepper wisdom.
     
  11. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    Here's part of an article I wrote for another website:


    The biggest complaint I had with using the meat I canned is that it was often soggy. The worst was ground meat, such as hamburger or sausage meat. I tried all kinds of things to make it better. I let it sit in a strainer to drain off as much water as I could. I tried frying the water out of it. It’s almost impossible to “brown” the soggy meat, even in oil. So I’d just add a bunch of seasonings and hope for the best.

    Then I read a debate on the internet about 4 years ago, about canning without water in the jar. Some of the people writing in thought the jars would break, or that the food would scorch, or be tough and dry. Others insisted it worked. I decided to try.

    Part of me was nervous about breaking jars, so I put half an inch to an inch of water in the jars. I tried it first with ground venison. When I took it out of the canner it looked fine, so I opened a jar and made spaghetti. The meat acted like any previously-browned meat and cooked up great. I discovered that it works best if you brown the meat before you can it, rather than raw-packing it.

    Next I canned venison chunks with only a small amount of water. I learned that the meat puts out some of it’s own moisture in the canning process, so if I started with half an inch of water in the jar, when the canning process was over I had about an inch of water in the bottom of the jar. That small amount of water didn’t soak the meat the way it did in the old days when I filled my jars to the top, leaving such-and-such amount of head space. I made venison stew with the chunks, and it came out great.

    Then we dry-canned roasts and steaks. Nothing notable about the roasts, it’s hard to do those wrong. The steaks were what we were waiting to test. When my husband was processing the meat he had to slice the steaks to the size that would fit in a wide-mouth jar, so when we took them out and cooked them, we had two apiece. They fried up nicely, though they were already “cooked” from the canning process and mostly just needed to be heated and browned some more. They were succulent and tender.

    Hog-butchering time came, and I made breakfast sausage. I’d always canned it as crumbles and used it in gravy, and in…biscuits and gravy! I canned some of it with the dry-canning and, no surprise, I was pleased with the results. Like the ground meat, I browned it first. Then I wondered what would happen if I made sausage patties, browned them, and stacked them in a wide-mouth jar and canned them. I’d tried that once with ground venison back in the days of filling the jars with water, and the burgers fell apart and were soggy.

    I patted some of the meat into patties and dry-canned them. Shortly after that we opened a jar and fried some up with breakfast. Other than the fact that I put too much red pepper in, they were great. So I was off and running. The next deer we processed, I made hamburger patties, browned them, and canned them.

    We had “food storage” cheeseburgers soon after. I made hamburger buns from scratch, opened a jar of cheddar cheese I’d canned, sliced some off, and opened a jar of the canned burgers. Home-dried onions and tomato slices were soaked and drained. The ketchup and mustard were store bought. We seasoned and grilled the hamburger patties and assembled everything into cheeseburgers deluxe!

    The only thing that didn’t taste right was the tomatoes. They were “chewy”.

    Bacon can be canned by laying the strips on parchment paper, covering them with a second piece of paper, rolling it tightly and packing it into a jar. If the bacon is longer than the jar you’re using, you can cut the strips in half to make them shorter, or fold the whole thing over before you roll it.

    Canned meat doesn’t all have to be like tuna or other “chunked” meats. Those have their uses in cooking, too, but it’s not hard to have more variety from canned meat. The canned chicken chunks can be made into decent chicken patties and fried, but I’m hoping for something better! The next thing I’m going to try is dry-canning boneless chicken breasts, to see if I can make fried chicken afterward.

    Don’t pack the meat tightly in the jar. If it’s too dense, it’ll be hard for the heat from the canning process to reach the center of the meat. The high temperatures achieved under pressure is what kills the pathogens that would spoil the food otherwise. If you’re canning roasts, chicken breasts, or any large cut of meat, cut it to the size of the jar, make deep vertical scores in the meat so the heat can move through to the middle. Whether you’re using water or not, it’s important not to over pack the jars, but even more so if you don’t have the water in there to act as a heat conductor.

    Always use a pressure canner, not a water-bath canner, for canning meat and all low-acid foods.

    Most meats are canned for 90 minutes, though some like chicken are canned for 70 minutes. Below 3,000’ elevation use 10 lbs. pressure. Above 3,000’ use 15 lbs. pressure. Own and use a good canning book or the manufacturer’s booklet for your canner, and always double-check the recommended time and pressure for everything you put in your canner.
     
  12. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    [​IMG]

    Short-pints of canned burgers. Water builds up, even if you don't add water to the jar. It works best if you brown the burgers before putting them in the jar. Using a wide-mouth jar allows you to drop the burgers in and stack them up. I use a canning lid as a "sizer" when I form the patties.

    Surprisingly, the jars don't break. Getting the heat all the way through the meat is the main thing to be concerned about.

    [​IMG]

    Burgers, ground meat, and stew chunks.
    Be careful not to overpack the jars so the heat can thoroughly penetrate the meat.
     
  13. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    1,587
    7
    That is awesome Gypsysue! I would love to come to your house and get hands on lessons!
     
  14. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    4,350
    22
    Sure, come on out! There's a bunch of people on here I wish I could make the rounds to THEIR homes and learn things! :D

    Actually, we'll be in your neck of the woods later this year (late summer, early fall) to visit people in Ohio and Pennsylvania. We'd love to meet you or anyone else, even at a coffee shop or some place, while we're passing through!

    Meanwhile, if you have more questions, put them on here. There are quite a few people on here who have been canning meat for some time, and someone will have answers for you.
     
  15. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    1,587
    7
    I would love to meet up! Lehman's would be an awesome place to meet up if it is not to far out of your way! It is like two hours from me.
    I am trying to talk my mom into going to Montana! I told her "Why do you keep saying that if you hit the lottery you are going to move to Montana if you have never been there? We need to go there!"
     
  16. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    418
    0
    Dang I wish you two lived closer to me!!! The old JBT wants to move to Wyoming when he retires ... *sigh* I had always dreamed of moving to a tropical island ... *sigh*

    Danggit Susan ... you pics have me "needing" a canner now. That's on my list for this year ... I might have to bump it up a month or two or three! LOL
     
  17. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    1,587
    7
    I mapquested Butte, MT from my zip and it said 29 hours!! 1900 miles! :eek: I would have to stop in South Dakota too to visit my cousin on the way!
    Whew! I am not sure I am up for that drive with 6 kiddos just yet! I need to get my IL trip done this summer to visit another online friend and see how that goes first!
     
  18. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

    418
    0
    YIKES!! 6 Kiddos, huh? I am the oldest of 7 ... :D Only 3 of us have had kids so far but I've got 4 grandkids! LOL :p

    Opps ... sorry for the hijack ...
     
  19. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    3,104
    98
    Gypsysue..I don't have a pressure canner--can I water-bath the cooked burgers??

    Or, do not try it??
     
  20. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

    3,312
    4
    JayJay, I'm not GypsySue, but I know that answer to that one. ;)

    Definitely do not waterbath meats. For meats the temperature needs to get to 240 degrees, and that can only happen under pressure - so a pressure canner is needed.