Back in the day, I did a lot of pressure canning with my Mother.
Typically with any chore I had to do at home, I hated it. But I was the oldest daughter and I had to help in the kitchen, so the sooner I got it over with, the sooner I could get outside and play or get back to my favorite book.
I canned acres of garden produce with my Mother. It seems like late in the summer, that’s all we did every day. But with the huge garden we had, there was a lot of vegetables to can! I remember washing miles of jars back then, and I was the dishwasher. Hated that.
I wrote about pressure canning green beans here.
With my Mom, we canned vegetables straight from the garden. But we never did any pressure canning of beef, or any other meat. I don’t know if she disregarded any idea of canning meat or didn’t think it was a good idea.
But I wanted to try it myself, so I have done it. And it is very easy! ( See more Easy Recipes here.)
Caution: Do Not can meat without a PRESSURE CANNER. It can’t be safely canned with a water-bath method.
The Procedure of Pressure Canning
I got the idea of using my pressure canner to can beef because I thought it would be great to have cooked, ready, lean beef for a soup recipe, beef and noodles dish, quick beef stew, sandwiches, and any other recipe where you would first need to roast a large cut of beef. This way it would already be ready to go, just add pasta, or some vegetables ( those you’ve canned too!)
Note: Canning beef or any other meat is great for anytime of the year. When you are canning vegetables, you do that in the season they are ready in the garden. But meat can be canned anytime you find a great deal on sale! Now if you are a farmer and butcher your own meat, I have no idea if that is done in a certain season. Carry on!
Note for those who like beef rare: Ain’t gonna happen with pressure-canned beef. It will cook well done in the canning process.
I got a pressure canner Presto 01745 16-Quart pressure Canner and Cooker last year when I first got into canning again. You may as well get a nice pressure canner if you want to can at all. And it will save time and money, especially if you garden and provide your own vegetables.
For the meat canning, I wait until chicken or beef goes on sale at Sam’s Club and them get some large roasts. I buy as lean as possible since we have to watch our cholesterol, but I don’t obsess about it.
Get your canning jars on sale. Just inspect them for nicks or chips. Discard them for canning purposes, but you may be able to make a craft project with them, so use your judgement. Any nick in the rim could keep the food from sealing properly and the food will be wasted.
I have ajar lifter, funnel, magnetic stick
to use for convenience. Some of these you don’t have to have but they are a great convenience, such as the jar lifter thing. Those jars are HOT!
Wash jars in dishwasher just prior to using. It is best if they are very hot. Rings can be washed along with them. Place “flats” in very hot water and leave them until ready to place on top of jar.
Place canner with its rack in the bottom upon a large burner on your range. Add about two inches of water and a tbsp of vinegar to prevent whitening of your jars. Turn on burner to boil near time to load jars.
Prep the meat by removing visible fat and cutting into large chunks to fit into jar. ( I like wide mouth jars best.)
Sear the meat, if you wish, in a large skillet just enough to brown the edges. Add enough water or beef stock so that you can put a few ounces of this liquid into each jar.
Pack the jars with meat cubes pressing into the jar firmly , adding your liquid from the skillet. Be sure to leave a one inch space between the meat and the lid.
With a clean cloth, wipe the rims of the jars thoroughly to remove all drippings and fat.
Grab lids from hot water with your magnet tool, then place rings on and tighten firmly.
Place jars in canner with the jar lifter.
CHECK CANNER LID TO BE SURE VENT PIPE IS CLEAR BY HOLDING IT UP TO LIGHT. YOU MUST SEE LIGHT IN THAT HOLE. IF IT IS BLOCKED, CLEAR WITH TOOTHPICK OR TOOL PROVIDED WITH CANNER.
Check rubber gasket in lid to be sure in good shape. These last for years. If you see any deterioration, get a new one before you can.
Place lid on canner and let boil until steam begins to escape from top vent pipe for about 8 mins.
Place weight on vent pipe. We will process this beef at 75 mins with a 10lb pressure. Check canner instructions for the food you are canning and for your elevation differences.
Set your timer for the 75 minutes, and when the time is over, just slide the canner off your range burner and leave it alone until it cools.
When cool, tentatively jiggle the weight and if it does not seem to release any steam, you are good to remove that weight and then remove the lid. Carefully remove the lid with it facing away from you to prevent any steam burns.
Lift jars from canner with the jar lifter and set aside to cool. You will hear “pings” as each jar seals. When sealed properly and cooled, the lid flat will be “solid” and won’t have any give or wobble. You may remove the rings for re-use, but the flats are not to be re-used.
You have now canned beef and are done. You may want to take a Sharpie and write the date i.e. Oct 15 or 10/15 to mark a date for future reference.
I have opened one of mine, and it was delicious. Very tender. I made sandwiches but I plan to make some soups, stews and anything else I can dream up.
I will plan to can chicken soon. I love to make homemade chicken pot pie. I will need to post the recipe, right?