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How to Home Can Beef
Why Home Can Your Own Beef?
The first question you might have is why would you want to homecan meat when you can just freeze it. I like to can my own beef roast because it is so tender and it tastes so much better than store bought canned meat. The canned beef makes quick and easy meals when I don't have time to cook an entire meal. It is a good option if you don't have extra freezer space. If you are able to purchase the beef at a good price, it can save a lot of money.
Canning your own beef is a lot of work originally. The time is saved when you use it for a meal. It is important that you use a pressure canner when doing this. A water bath canner just doesn't bring the meat to a safe temperature.
I purchase my meat from the grocery store or meat market. If you are slaughtering your own, follow all safety precautions needed. If you have questions, you can contact your local county agent. They will either have literature for you or be able to tell you proper procedures.
Sterile Mason Style Canning Jars, I use pints but you can use quarts
Canning jar lids and rings to go around the lids
Knife for cutting the meat
Beef - About 1# per pint jar
salt if desired
Raw Pack Method
I am using the raw pack method where I don't precook the meat. If you would like to precook the meat, that is fine too, see the instructions below.
1. Cut the meat in pieces, cutting off the bone, gristle and fat.
2. Pack the beef in the sterile canning jars, leaving a 1" headspace. Adding liquid is not necessary since the beef will make its own broth. If you'd like extra broth with the finished product, you can add a little hot water at this point. Be sure to leave the 1" headspace.
Don't add flour for gravy. This will cause a problem.
3. Add salt if desired. I don't add salt myself and you can add as much or as little as you like. 1/2 tsp per pint is recommended.
4. At this point, take a knife or similar item and work along the sides of the insides of the jars. This will get any air pockets out. You may decide to add a little more beef if there is room.
5. Clean the tops of the jar rims with a damp cloth or use a paper towel. Then adjust the jar lids and put on the screw bands.
6. Fill canner with water according to manufacturer's instructions.
Hot Pack Method
I like to use the cold pack method, because cooking the beef beforehand is just an extra step. The choice is yours.
1. Cook the meat either by broiling, frying, or boiling just until rare. Remove bones, fat and gristle.
2. Pack the meat loosely and add some broth. The broth can either be water, boiling beef broth, or tomato juice.
3. Follow steps 3-6 above for the raw pack method.
Don't start counting times until the canner has built- up pressure. If pressure is being released from any part of the canner other than from the gauge, pressure has not-built up yet. The best idea is to look at the book that came with the canner for proper instructions to know when pressure has built enough.
Dial Gauge Pressure Canner
At normal altitudes, 11# of pressure for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts is the proper pressure and time to cook.
For High Altitudes use the following pressure and can for the same number of minutes as for normal altitudes.
1001 - 2000 feet - Use 11# pressure
2001-4000 feet - Use 12# pressure
4001 - 6000 feet - Use 13# pressure
6001 - 8000 feet - Use 14# pressure
Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner
At normal altitudes 15# pressure for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts.
1001 - 8000 feet - Use 15# pressure
Why are the pressures different for high altitudes? The reason is that water boils at lower temperatures in higher altitudes. If you live in higher altitudes, it is important to follow the guidelines.
Let The Canner Cool
Let the canner completely cool before opening the lid. This can take a long time. If you try to open the canner before it has cooled you can be severely scalded and leaving the jars in the canner will also allow for further cooking time.
Check the jars for a good seal when they have completely cooled. Press down with your finger to check the seal. If the lid doesn't move the seal is probably good. Turn the jars upside down. If they don't leak the seal is probably fine. If the seal isn't good, refrigerate the jar immediately and use within a couple days.
Strore the canned meat in a cool dark place.
Video by larrylhall on Youtube
Uses for the Canned Beef
I usually just make gravy using the broth and a little water and we have hot beef sandwiches. You can also use the beef for beef and noodles, beef Manhattan, add BBQ sauce and have BBQ beef sandwiches, or any other way that you use beef.
The beef is delicious and super tender after canning with this method.