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Friday, March 27, 2009

Canning hamburger and chicken

Worrying about the economic situation, we have been interested in canning meat that will outlast any power outages! I had done turkey for years at Thanksgiving when you can get turkeys cheap for about $6-7. One large turkey will yield 14 pints of turkey meat! Lately I have read about doing other meats and so we have tried it out.

Since it was rainy these past few days and we’re not able to work in the garden, I bought a case of hamburger meat at Sam’s. It’s 90% lean and 80 pounds for the case and it was $126.50 or $1.58 a pound. I raw packed all of it into either pint or quart jars and put some in the freezer. It went well and was so easy.

For the 80 lbs:

I put 25 quart bags in the freezer (about a pound each).
I got 18 quarts and 24 pints canned and stored on shelves.

You basically pressure all meat at 10 pounds for 70 minutes (pints) or 90 minutes (quarts). It cooks the meat while it cans it. We opened one of the raw packed hamburger and chicken meat we did earlier to try out and it was so moist you could just eat it out of the jar. It’s not the prettiest canned but it’s good quality stuff.

If it was all pints it would be about 85 pints so it’s probably a little under a pound. The regular mouth jars were harder to fill without pockets. The wide mouth jars got more in them since I could put my fist in it to push it down better.

I already had 9 pints and 7 quart bags in the freezer so I figure that’s beef twice a week for a year and that’s if I only have it for one meal! Many times I can stretch them to two meals depending on what I’m fixing.

I’d love to do chicken next week! You can raw pack can that as well. Sam’s also sell it by the case and it’s 40 pounds for $1.54 for boneless chicken breasts so it costs about $61.60. I’m sure Costco has something similar.

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