Canned meat is one of the must-have pantry food stocks and if you own a well stocked home food pantry, chances are that you have canned meat as your ready to eat meal somewhere in there.
While canned meat is a must-have in every home pantry, there is no doubt that canning meat at home requires an investment into utensils like pressure cookers and best canning jars at the very least.
But, what if you didn’t have the money to buy an affordable pressure canner, how do you can meat at home without a pressure canner?
If you have ever wondered if there is a way to learn how you preserve meat( by canning) without a pressure canner. This post might just what you needed to learn how canning meat without a pressure canner works.
Listen, canning meat is not for everyone, but it makes sense if you want to preserve your meat for your pantry at home so it can last longer and can even be eaten as a ready to eat meal.
Between you and me, I can tell you that I use canned meat recipes to make tasty meals faster and if you are constantly striped for time between school runs and family meal preparations, you need to tap into home pantry food preservations as a time saver.
As a way to save hard-earned pennies, I tend to go for meat on sale at my local butcher’s. Whether am buying pork, beef, chicken or any other type of meat, I always buy when it best suits my needs and budget.
And when we buy in bulk, we know we are getting the best deals possible. Then we get to choose which best way of preserving that meat so that it lasts longer and still tastes great with our family’s favorite canned food recipes.
Well, unlike freezing canning meat is the best way to preserve for a longer period and it will still taste good no matter how you leave it, freezing is another method people use to preserve meat but after some time the meat can take on a bad smell and taste.
However, if you want your meat to still taste good, it’s very important to use the right canning technique to make sure it remains fresh, taste better and that it does not get contaminated.
When people think of canning meat, a canning pressure always come e to their mind. But what about those who cannot afford a canning pressure, what are the other ways of canning meat without a pressure cooker?
Basically, there are two methods you can use to can without a canning pressure
- Canning your meat in boiling water: This type of canning is also known as water bath canning, whereby you use boiling water and jars to can your meat. It’s very effective and the process will not require most of your time. Anyone can follow the instructions and easily can meat without a pressure canner.
- Canning your meat in the oven: This method is similar to when you Cook your food in the microwave but you do the process a bit longer for the best of results.
Okay now, let’s look at these types of canning methods with a pressure canner in detail. These procedures if followed exactly, will help you can your meat so that you preserve it for future use.
And if done properly, your meat will remain to taste great no matter how long you keep it canned.
1. Canning your meat in boiling water without a pressure canner
When canning in the oven, firstly you will need the best jars and lids for canning your meat. This is important for you to achieve the best results.
So the two most important things to look at when selecting the best jars for canning is the size of the jars and the lids. The best brand that provides the perfect jars for Mason style jars are available here on Amazon. They are modernized classic canning jars that come in a variety of metal and wooden lids for maximum sealing of your canned meat at home.
The jars come in quarts, ounces and half pints so make sure you choose the size that is suitable for you and your family. And a good tip for best-arranged pantries is to maintain a standard storage canning jar system by using one or two brands. That way, your pantry racking requirements are kept to a standard measure.
After selecting the perfect jars for this task, the next step is to prepare your meat for canning. Firstly you must remove all the fat from the meat whether it be chicken, pork, beef, venison, or another type of meat.
This procedure allows you to can prime cuts rather than wasting space with fat and also prevents fat from getting on the rim of the jar.
Another reason why you should remove all the fat is that the fat creeps into the lid area and then can prevent the jar from sealing correctly.
After you have removed all the fat, you then cut the meat into cubes or strips. Rather than canning an entire wedge of meat, it’s a good idea to cut it into cubes or strips, so each piece gets hot enough during the canning process.
As you cut the meat, remove any pieces of bone or gristle. When you’re canning ground meat, you can skip the cubing step. Form the meat into patties or choose to can your meat in a loose form.
And remember It’s easier to cut the meat while it’s cold, rather than cutting warm meat. After you’ve cut the meat into pieces that fit into the canning jars you then heat some oil in a cast-iron skillet and brown the meat for several minutes on each side.
This process helps shrinks the meat, allowing you to pack more in each jar. Browning meat also brings out a good flavor that will improve overtime as the meat sits in the jar after canning.
You shouldn’t cook the meat because you must can it raw, unless it’s ground meat.
It is not necessary to cook the meat; you can preserve it raw instead unless you’re canning ground meat. After Browning the meat you can as well add your favorite spices to it or you can wait for the day you will prepare it to eat.
Once you have prepared the meat the next step is to heat the canning jars.
Heat some water and pour it in a large pot that can contain all the canning jars, after that put the jars inside, it shouldn’t be boiling water though.
And then also fill the jars with boiling water. This procedure is to make the jars flexible so that they do not break when you add the hot meat.
Once all the procedures mentioned above are done and ready, you’ll then take the hot jars out of the water using these jar lifters which are available on Amazon. As a safety precaution, remember not to grab too tightly or you could break the jars.
Some canning kits like this 9 piece kit of Granite ware-Enamel on steel which is available on next day delivery from Amazon, come with everything you need to get started canning your meat at home.
Empty all the water of the hot jars carefully, and then begin filling the jars with the recipe. Leave a quarter of an inch to a half-inch of space between the filling and the lid.
If stated in the recipe, be sure to remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula by sliding the spatula between the jar and the food to release the air bubbles.
Then clean the jars around where the lids will screw on, otherwise, the lids won’t seal well at all. Use a damp cloth to do this.
You’ll want to place the lid on the clean jar and apply the screw top with the tightness of just fingertip tight, too tight and you risk breaking the jar.
After the procedures mentioned above are done, it’s then time to start boiling. You must use the jar lifters to carefully place them one at a time in the now boiling water, cushioned by a rag or something to keep jars from breaking.
Also, remember the lids of the jars need to be covered by close to 2 inches of water. Make sure to keep the full rolling boil going as long as the tested recipe says.
Once the time is up, turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit for 5 minutes. This allows the water to cool down and the jars will be less fragile.
After that take the canning jars out of the pot and put them on a soft towel to avoid the jars from breaking. After that, you should leave the jars for 24 hours.
After the 24 hours is done, you must then test the jar lids for proper seals. After the 24 hours, the kids should not flex, so if you try to lift the lids with your fingertips and they do not get lifted, it means the lid has a good seal.
But if the lid did not seal within 24 hours, the meat should be immediately reprocessed or refrigerated.
2. Canning in the Oven
Canning your meat with an oven is kind of similar to when you Cook a meal using a microwave, it gets the cooking job done but not the best way of getting the most quality.
The basics of the steps are the same; however, time is the main difference. And most good things take a bit more time as most of us know.
You will have to follow the same preparation for the jars as that on we mentioned in the 1st method. Simply boil the jars in simmering water until you’re ready to use them.
The difference is that instead of having to prepare another pot of water to boil you just turn on the oven to 250 degrees when you put them in there!
While the jars are doing their thing in the hot water, you’ll be preparing the mear that you want to be canned. After removing the jars from the hot water, filled them with the mear and clean them and after that you’re ready for the easiest part of this experience, putting them in the oven and turning it on!
That’s as simple as it gets So you’ll put the jars in the oven, turn it on to 250 degrees, once it reaches that temperature turns it off and let them sit for up to one hour.
After that, you can either carefully take them out of the oven and place them on a towel to avoid breaking, or just let them cool off in the oven overnight.
So these are the two ways in which you can preserve your meat (canning) without a pressure canner, it’s easy and anyone can do it.
All you have to do is follow the instructions exactly as we have listed here and you’ll have your meat canned and preserved for future use.