Vegetables and Fruit forum: Cooking, Canning, Freezing, Preserving, Meats/Veggies/Fruits

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Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Nov 25, 2015 8:46 AM CST
Others here at ATP indicated an interest in learning more about safety in canning meats. So I created this thread for folks to discuss any of the subject, and hope you will all join in.

As for me, I'm very busy during the garden season. So I've decided to try to prepare as much food as I can through the winter season that is easy to fix during the busy season. I enjoy chicken and noodles and chicken salad (spread type for sandwiches). I also enjoy beef and noodles and barbecue beef for sandwiches. So I canned my own beef and chicken to be able to quickly and easily make those lunches/dinners for one or two (small quantities).

For the chicken, I like chicken salad (spread type on bread) with white meat only. So I canned both jars of white meat only and then a combination of white and dark meat for chicken and noodles.

While cooking both my meat and chicken in large large pots or a large slow cooker, I added lots of extra water, and I also canned Broth from both the chicken and beef. My meat was canned in half-pints, while I canned broth in pints.

For canning meats, one *must* use a pressure canner for safety to kill botulism. This is my first year to do this, so I do not know the shelf life of canned meats. Perhaps I will check dates on cans of tuna or salmon to see how long they are good.

I have found all this very satisfying, in more ways than one.

Both of these jars, although one looks smaller, are half-pint (8 ounces) jelly jars:
Thumb of 2015-11-25/HoosierHarvester/2f4f09

[Last edited by HoosierHarvester - Dec 6, 2015 10:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 25, 2015 6:17 PM CST
HoosierHarvester/Kayleigh,
Great thread; glad you started it. Hurray!
I have always preserved vegetables by "canning" in jars and making jams and jellies. I have never been a fan of freezing food and would like to learn to "can" meats, stews, soup base and things like that. Working with meat has always frightened me; afraid I would get it wrong. But a good quality pressure canner should do the trick. Hope to learn from the experience of others. Thumbs up

I would also hope to create some home made dog food recipes using the pressure canning so I can control the ingredients.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Nov 25, 2015 6:28 PM CST
I purchased my Mirror pressure canner probably 15-20 years ago. The nice thing is that it comes with a book and gives fairly nice details on how to process most meats. However, it does not give details on stews or soups that have a lot of mixed ingredients. It did give details (I should say timing amounts) for broth, so that is probably similar to soup base. I too would like to can some stews and soups, but haven't ventured there yet.

I did have to replace the main seal on my canner about 3 years after purchase. But it was my own fault. I tend to put a tablespoon of vinegar in the canner when processing to hold down the lime deposit on the jars. I wasn't good about washing the canner properly when finished (was always in a hurry with two jobs, plus trying to can and cook and clean), by completely removing the rubber seal and washing it individually. Now I wash it properly when I'm finished using it and have had no further problems, although I suppose it is possible those things could naturally wear out so as not to give the canner a good seal and need to be replaced.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 25, 2015 6:37 PM CST
When I first moved to Georgia I learned about hard water and the damage it can cause during canning. I use either bottled water or filtered water - a necessary extra step - to save equipment and keep the mineral deposits off the glass jars. Hope this helps. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Nov 25, 2015 6:58 PM CST
Although I can a lot of tomatoes, sour kraut, jams jellies, and fruit butters, I've never canned meats, although growing up, my mother used to can lots of chicken, and venison using a pressure cooker. Seems like it would last more then a year, but we usually used it up before then. I have a lot of lime in the water here, so I use some vinegar in the water too, and it solves the problem of lime deposits on the jars.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Nov 25, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Thinking about canning stews, I guess you'd have to process for the longest ingredient. I canned potatoes and they were 35 minutes, and the meat is 75 minutes. I looked up carrots and they are only 25 minutes. Most other veggies are 25 to 30 minutes. To be safe, I'd think you'd have to process for 75 minutes. Likely to have some very done carrots and potatoes (but for me that would be okay, because I like them kind of on the mushy side).
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 26, 2015 9:49 PM CST
It seems like you might be further ahead to can the meat and the veggies separately and then combine them into stew. Or try it both ways and see which you like best...

I always put vinegar in the water when I'm canning as well, and have never had any damage (at least not that I noticed) to my equipment.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Nov 28, 2015 9:49 PM CST
My understanding is that you cannot can anything that has milk or flour. For instance, I made a really good turkey stew but I used flour to thicken the broth. So I cannot can this? I have done bean soup and chili okay.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 29, 2015 12:35 PM CST
I've never heard of the vinegar trick, but have always put a spoonful of alum in my pressure canner, can't even remember why - something to do with water rings or hard water I think. Funny how you form habits and later can't even remember what the purpose is...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
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Chillybean
Nov 29, 2015 4:09 PM CST
I have a friend who cans ground beef. I think that is so handy that she can just open up a jar or two for a quick meal. She's done both raw and precooked and sometimes she puts in tomato sauce and other things that she commonly uses for a meal. When we get our next order of beef, I want to experiment with canning ground beef and maybe a few jars of the stew meat. It drives me nuts when I forget to thaw the meat I need for a meal.

About vinegar, I canned something last year... cannot remember what, but it was in the water bath canner. I heard about vinegar keeping the jars cleaner on the outside. Well, it reacted to the rack that held the jars making it all rusty. I got a new rack, thinking it was rusting from age and could break at the wrong moment. I tried vinegar again and it did the same thing. No more vinegar in my canner.

I remember the first time using the pressure canner. I was so afraid it was going to blow up. Hilarious! Until I can the beef, the only thing I've used it for is beans. I
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Nov 30, 2015 10:42 AM CST
I can tomato soup that has flour in it, and I've had it last in good shape for up to 3 years. You can buy condensed canned milk! I think as long as you cook it to a high enough temp when canning, all of the bacteria is killed.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Nov 30, 2015 2:34 PM CST
Humm, I think I will follow this thread as it seems really interesting. However, I will not be canning anything.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Dec 4, 2015 1:41 PM CST
I assumed that milk would somehow curdle or something although you are right about the canned milk. That doesn't curdle. Will have to go back and read the instructions again.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
Cat Lover Seed Starter Canning and food preservation Plays in the sandbox Lilies Hummingbirder
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HoosierHarvester
Dec 6, 2015 11:24 AM CST
Oberon46 said:My understanding is that you cannot can anything that has milk or flour. For instance, I made a really good turkey stew but I used flour to thicken the broth. So I cannot can this? I have done bean soup and chili okay.


I understand thickening the broth with flour, but we've been thickening our broth with corn starch, and I'm liking it just as well. So perhaps that is used as a tickener in some canned soups and things over flour.

I thought about canning some beef stew, but canned everything individually instead. It doesn't take long to open the jars and dump them into a pan to heat. Only thing I found was that the flavors are not as nicely mixed. But then i found that the left over portions that were placed in the refrigerator, were usually better as say the potatoes and carrots in the stew or soup picked up the beef flavor moreso after sitting together for a time.

Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Dec 6, 2015 1:47 PM CST
I had never heard that about milk and flour. I have thickened gravies with corn starch, so could use that, if needed.

I canned 21 quarts of tomato juice Friday. I keep the tomatoes in the freezer until I am ready to can. The water and pulp separated after cooling. I know store bought tomato juice says to shake, but I've seen that in clear plastic jugs and that does not have the distinct separation of mine.

I was good and remembered to put in the lemon juice, though I would rather not since I think it effects the flavor. If salt is a preservative, could that be used instead?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Dec 6, 2015 2:09 PM CST
For any low acid foods that are canned we need to add either lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar. This is done to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Dec 6, 2015 2:19 PM CST
I agree with Greene. A work around if you are growing your own tomatoes is to plant high acidic tomatoes. Many of the newer hybrids are specifically bred to be low acid, which is what prompted the addition of an acid. You might try adding powdered citric acid rather than lemon juice, although I don't know if/how that affects the flavor. The other option is to pressure can your tomato juice, in which case there is no need to add any additional acid.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 6, 2015 6:13 PM CST
greene said:For any low acid foods that are canned we need to add either lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar. This is done to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum.


I absolutely agree -- salt is just for flavor, the acid is what inhibits the bacterial growth.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Dec 7, 2015 6:12 PM CST
I just stumbled on this thread but am so happy to see it. I want to can meat too. My grandmother used to can it and it was always so tender, plus it makes a quick and easy meal.

I took a fermenting class a couple of weeks ago and a lady there cans chicken, beef and venison. She said it's pretty easy but you MUST use a pressure canner. She gave me a website that is very helpful and has some recipes too.

http://sbcanning.com

We buy most of our meat in bulk from Zaycon Fresh so I plan on trying to can chicken breasts in Feb. when I get my next 40# box from them. I haven't used a pressure canner in years so I'm a bit apprehensive but I am looking forward to it.

https://www.zayconfresh.com/
Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
Cat Lover Seed Starter Canning and food preservation Plays in the sandbox Lilies Hummingbirder
Irises Daylilies Cut Flowers Butterflies Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
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HoosierHarvester
Dec 7, 2015 6:23 PM CST
Hurray! @abhege All the best too you in the endeavor! You'll have to post a photo or two of your canned items. I haven't opened a jar of my canned chicken breast yet, but probably soon. My mom gave me a special recipe for chicken salad to make sandwiches from. I have opened a jar of the mixed white/dark meat and made some chicken and noodles, and mmmm Drooling I was very happy and hope to enjoy it in the summer.

I know a lot of folks are doing such for *healthy*, but honestly I'm doing it for quick and easy, although we have some pretty good local beef and chicken.

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