This time of year is hunting season in many parts of the United States. Many people take their meat to butchers to have it processed or do it themselves. While it’s nice to have a freezer full of meat for the coming year, there are times when you want a quick meal. You don’t always have the time to spend waiting for the meat to defrost or cook.
Canning meat is easy and safe if you follow a few simple rules:
– Make sure there are no nicks or chips in the body of the jar or the rim.
– Jars should be clean and washed in the hottest water possible. If you have a dishwasher, use the hottest setting you have to prepare your jars.
– Trim off all fat, gristle and cartilage from the meat.
– Make sure you allow your canner to vent for a minimum of ten minutes before placing the pressure gage over the vent tube.
– Maintain even and consistent pressure for the duration of the canning process.
– Once the canning process is done, allow the pressure in the cooker to bleed down naturally. Do NOT forcibly bleed the pressure from the canner.
– Once the jars have cooled down, make sure all the lids have sealed properly. If a lid has not sealed, put that jar in the refrigerator and use the contents for supper that night.
If you’ve never canned anything in your life, or have limited yourself to vegetables from the garden, learning to can meat can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. Plus, you will have developed an invaluable skill that you can pass on to others!