Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Canning Night September 15, 2012

Filed under: food preservation,home canning,off grid,pantry building — ourprairiehome @ 4:08 am

Went shopping at the grocery store today and found they were having a truckload meat sale. Oh boy!!! I was needing to buy meat to can up for Joe to take on the truck so this was great timing.

I bought 4 large bags of boneless chicken breasts, a large package of ground beef, and a nice sized roast. The roast was cut up into small bite-size pieces to be used in beef stew. Cutting it up small allows more room in the jars for veggies. It also makes it easier to get out of the jar later on.

I precooked the stew meat in a little water to make a broth with. Then added it to the jars along with baby carrots. Joe adds potatoes when he cooks it. Broth added over the meat & carrots, then I processed the jars in the pressure canner.

I boiled the chicken breasts, again to make a broth to go with it. The chicken was then cut into chunks and placed in jars with it’s broth before processing in the pressure canner.

The ground beef is browned until nearly done. I then add a bit of chopped onion to it and finish browning. The meat is drained to remove as much fat as possible. I fill the jars loosely to about 3/4 full, then process in the pressure canner. Sometimes, I place the ground beef in a 1/2 pint sized jar mixed with a tomato sauce such as the type you would put over meatloaf, a sloppy joe mixture, make it as taco meat, or simply mix with a bit of spaghetti sauce before processing.

Overall, I am very pleased with the results. I did up part of the meat in pint jars for Joe to have on the truck and the rest is done up in quart jars to use in meals for the entire family. We have enough for 4 dozen meals all together. Not bad for an evening’s work.

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2 Responses to “Canning Night”

  1. Scarlett Says:

    I have a question for you. When I can stuff for my hubby to take in the truck, I fear sending him to much at once, I fear breakage (what a mess that would be). Is there anything special you do when you put the jars in his truck to help prevent breakage?

    • We never have a problem with breakage and he has been doing this for 5 years now. We plan on 1-2 meals per day of home canned foods. So, if he is out for 5 days, he takes about 14 jars with him to allow for unexpected delays, such as weather in the winter or truck repairs. One way to transport them is to carry them in the plastic totes like the sweater boxes. The are deep enough that you can use the tote lid. If a jar should happen to break, the mess would be contained in the tote and not leak out in the truck cab. One note about caring for the jars – Joe has a small bottle of dish soap with him. He uses water from the ice chest to rinse out the jar, then he places a drop of dish soap in the jar and half fill it with water again. Replace the lid and canning ring onto the jar before putting it back into the tote. As the truck goes down the road, the vibrations help to wash the jar. It sure makes for fast cleaning when he brings them home! There is also no food odors in the jars when I open them for cleaning.


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