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Dear Editor,

I want to can meats. Unfortunately I don’t own a pressure bath canner, only a water bath. My question: If I pre-cook the meat, will it be okay to water bath it?

Many thanks,

Prepping in Germany

Dear Prepping in Germany,

Thanks for your email. I’m sorry to say even cooking the meat will not make it safe to water bath can. You have to raise the temperature of the meat and liquid inside the jar to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115.5 Celsius) and process for the recommended times in order to kill off any bacteria or spores that are present on the meat. Simple boiling does not achieve this result.

We are most concerned with botulism in this process. The bacterium Clostridium botulinum produce a toxin under anaerobic conditions (absence of air) that can be deadly. The only way to destroy the spores is to pressure can the food.

For safety’s sake, I highly recommend you buy a pressure canner.

The Editor

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Dear Editor,

This article brought back many memories! With 4 children to feed, my mother was always canning extra meat. We raised Australian giant rabbits for food, cleaned the hides, and sold them to a company that made gloves. My dad and 2 brothers were great hunters and when deer season came, my mother and my sister and myself would be busy canning deer meat for winter – to this day, to me, there is nothing as delicious as opening a can of deer meat and having it over noodles or in a vegetable soup for a meal! We also had a huge garden and each child had a section assigned to us to keep weeded!! To this day, even at 72, I have a garden, somewhat down-sized, but still cram a lot into my “Garden of Eden.”

My neighbor gave me a half of deer a couple years ago and I canned the whole thing – everyone is into “making jerky” – not me!! I have so enjoyed your site and we are in the process of having our extra supplies on hand, and have found many great sites to get some great supplies from. I am planning on canning all my tomatoes this summer which are coming on like gang busters!! Also beets, carrots, peppers, onions, and parsnips. Keep up the great work and all the wonderful helpful tips.

Oil City

Dear Oil City,

Thank you so much for your letter! My fondest memories with canning was the time spent with my kids as we’d sit around and watch movies, shelling peas or snapping beans. The pride I felt in packing 4 ounce jars of canned chicken into their lunch boxes is something I’ll never forget. I enjoyed teaching my daughters all this, and now that they’re married and have families of their own, they can as well. The whole process of food preservation doesn’t just provide you food stores for emergencies or the winter—it provides you a time of bonding with your family if you’ll take advantage of it. God bless!

The Editor

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