Canning meat/what Equipment is needed, how much canning is necessary

paralleloscope

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I canned 4 jars of liverpate yesterday and all of the seals went undone (partially melted). My question is now that I'll be redoing them today after a nights refrigeration, if it is safe to only give them ½ hour seeing that they got the full treatment yesterday?

Also I'd really enjoy hearing about anyones pickling experiences/ recipes (with xylitol).

Psyche said:
parallel said:
I'm going to can bacon ala this, I've got some unbleached parchment (baking paper) but it's treated with silicone- is that safe to conserve with?

I was going to do my bacon with the paper technique, then I found a guy demonstrating his result with this method. The bacon came out way too shredded. Then I found another blog post about just raw-packing it for practical purposes, the problem being that the bacon takes a wrinkly shape that makes it hard for your standard bacon strips to be cooked when it comes out.
Ok, much easier. Canned 4 jars of 'raw' smoked bacon (wrapped in the silicon parchment). I won't test them untill the time of need.

Psyche said:
So I rolled two big slices of bacon and raw packed like 6 rollies per jar and canned it. It stayed rolled by the time it was done processing.
Really having trouble deciphering what you mean here. What's a rollie? (is that a parchment roll with bacon or a baconslice rolled unto itself, like a spiral)
 

Gaby

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parallel said:
Really having trouble deciphering what you mean here. What's a rollie? (is that a parchment roll with bacon or a baconslice rolled unto itself, like a spiral)

The later, a baconslice rolled unto itself, like a spiral :) I used two slices per rollie though and stuffed them all in into the jar. I think I fitted 6 or 8 of them.
 

annp

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anart said:
I think that's just complicating things. We've been raw packing with salt and pepper and that's it. The canning process itself cooks the meat just fine. I'm also not sure why pockets of air in the meat would make any difference at all since, once again, the 90 minutes canning at 10 PSI is more than sufficient to cook the meat and kill bacteria, so why would pockets of air matter? I might be missing something big on that one, so, if I am, let me know.
Psyche said:
For practical purposes, I just raw pack everything right to the very top and over-process if necessary. My first batch shrank by a few inches due to overprocessing, so now I'm stuffing the jars to the very top and stick to the recommended timings and so far, no jar has broken. All of them have sealed and their has been no spillage.

It cooks the meat just fine and even though the food might still bubble as it comes out, according to the book, that is normal. It is due to the processing/heating and as it cools down, it seals all air pockets.

Thanks Anart and Psyche - I thought it would make things unduly complicated as well. Since I am getting a late start, want to get this process underway as simply as possible. Have been making bone broth - some of it jells and some does not - but that will probably be the first thing and then will go to work on bacon and other meat!!
 

KTC

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Hi everyone,

I have been skirting around this whole canning thing for a while simply because of the cost of setting up. Its going to cost me just over $700 AUD for the presto canner and 8 boxes of 500ml jars w lids and 8 boxes of 1l jars w lids. Here is the link to where I can buy them.

A box of 12 jars works out to $37.00 Aussie. Has anyone found cheaper??

http://redbacktrading.com.au/index1.html?lang=en-us&target=d5.html&lmd=41162.371528

I just keep reading how cheap it seems for many of you so before I jump in I want to make sure I have exhausted all avenues.

I have bought cans of meat but there are so many added 'ingredients' in them that I would be scared to eat them and will probably use to barter with if I have the choice.

Also, are many of you considering fishing for your own food if you live on the coast? THere is an abundance of fish where I live so we have stocked up on equipment. I just don't see anyone talking about it.
 

Foxx

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fisheye said:
Also, are many of you considering fishing for your own food if you live on the coast? THere is an abundance of fish where I live so we have stocked up on equipment. I just don't see anyone talking about it.

My personal take would be to take caution that you weren't in an irradiated area--so maybe checking the estimated Fukushima fallout flows in the pacific, if you're on that side of Australia. I'm not aware of any other major problems with the water in that area (though I think there might have also been an oil spill near New Zealand not too long ago?), but I'm also not familiar with it at all, so I'd check out what potential toxins there might be in your area.
 

aragorn

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anart said:
aleana said:
My pressure canner is on the way and I have been catching up on the posts as well as reading books on canning. A book I have advises packing cold raw meat loosely and then exhausting air by heating meat filled jars in a pot of hot water - cooking a slow boil until meat is medium done (or 170 degrees F). Only then putting in the canner to process. I am confused because from what others are doing, it seems that this is not necessary because the pressure canner will cook the meat.

Is the book incorrect, or is it really better to cook most meats slightly before canning? This is all very new to me and I have never used a pressure canner before, so am reading everything and watching videos.

I think that's just complicating things. We've been raw packing with salt and pepper and that's it. The canning process itself cooks the meat just fine. I'm also not sure why pockets of air in the meat would make any difference at all since, once again, the 90 minutes canning at 10 PSI is more than sufficient to cook the meat and kill bacteria, so why would pockets of air matter? I might be missing something big on that one, so, if I am, let me know.

a said:
Also - is it really necessary to take the gauge in for testing on a new canner?

Not to my knowledge.

Aleana, you should be fine as long as the jars seal properly, creating a vacuum. According to various canning resources, you should try to minimise the amount of air pockets in the jar in order to guarantee a good seal. During the canning process, the air in the jar will be pushed out, and supposedly, if you have 'too much' air in there, a vacuum will not be created. This falls into the fear mongering category, IMO.

As to the checking of the gauge; it is my understanding that with canners that have pressure regulator weights (as in the AA, and Presto) you can be pretty sure that they keep the desired pressure accurately (unless there's a change in gravity :) ). The Presto comes with an 15PSI weight, and what I did was that I heated the thing up to 15PSI and checked if the wieght started rocking. Sure did, thus I knew that the dial gauge was accurate. You can also buy a three piece weight set to the Presto with 5 and 10PSI weights.

Having said that, e.g. the Presto manual do recommend checking the dial gauge. But referring to the above, I don't see how this would be necessary.
 

Turgon

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Quick question about the canning procedure. I just got the All-American 921 Pressure Canner and read the instructions from top to bottom, and this thread, but I'm coming into a snag with my first batch.

I put the pressure gauge at 10 PSI, which is normal for meat, and the dial reached as high as 7 1/2 when I left the kitchen for a few minutes. I just heard a pop and when I came back there's now more steam coming off the seal on one side and the pressure dropped to 5 PSI and is staying steady there without moving.

I'm wondering if I should just let it can at that pressure for the next 90 minutes or open it up to see what the deal is with it?
 

Turgon

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I've decided to shut off the stove and wait until morning to see if maybe the pop was one of the jars in the canner. Although with the safety mechanisms I can't see how that would've affected the overall pressurization of the canner. I have a metal-to-metal seal and I made extra sure that the lid was put on evenly, tightened the wing nuts on each opposite side and looked around to make sure it wasn't tilted before I turned on the stove...
 

aragorn

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Turgon said:
Quick question about the canning procedure. I just got the All-American 921 Pressure Canner and read the instructions from top to bottom, and this thread, but I'm coming into a snag with my first batch.

I put the pressure gauge at 10 PSI, which is normal for meat, and the dial reached as high as 7 1/2 when I left the kitchen for a few minutes. I just heard a pop and when I came back there's now more steam coming off the seal on one side and the pressure dropped to 5 PSI and is staying steady there without moving.

I'm wondering if I should just let it can at that pressure for the next 90 minutes or open it up to see what the deal is with it?

Why would you even consider processing meat at 5PSI? Meat needs at least 10PSI to destroy harmful bacteria, as you must have noticed reading the instructions.

I can't say why the pressure in your AA dropped, but I'm sure other AA-owners can give you some pointers (I have a Presto). Sounds though like the metal-to-metal seal isn't tight enough for some reason.
 
Turgon said:
Quick question about the canning procedure. I just got the All-American 921 Pressure Canner and read the instructions from top to bottom, and this thread, but I'm coming into a snag with my first batch.

I put the pressure gauge at 10 PSI, which is normal for meat, and the dial reached as high as 7 1/2 when I left the kitchen for a few minutes. I just heard a pop and when I came back there's now more steam coming off the seal on one side and the pressure dropped to 5 PSI and is staying steady there without moving.

I'm wondering if I should just let it can at that pressure for the next 90 minutes or open it up to see what the deal is with it?

I have the same canner and just did my first batch last week successfully. It sounds like your canner did not even come up to pressure at all. From the information you provided I would have guess that the metal to metal seal on the canner lid was the problem. The only steam that was released from my canner was through the pressure regulator weight, and it sound like yours was leaking from the seal from the get-go, it just got worse after the pop. ( You said there was more steam after the pop, so I am guessing there was also steam before the pop.) Perhaps a couple wing-nuts were loose?

The lid is a bit tricky to install. Inspect the seal when you take the lid off and see if it is damaged, uneven, or warped? There is a small arrow on the lid that is supposed to be lined up with a groove on the pot but I don't think that matters all that much anyway. Did you apply a thin film of cooking oil around the metal seal before hand?

Look closely at the gap all around the canner when you are tightening down the big wing nuts. Go around and tighten all 6 of the wing nuts slowly a bit at a time, to keep the gap even as you can. Loosen some of the wing nuts on one side if you have to, to correct it if it starts going down unevenly. When you are done with the lid though all 6 wing nuts need to be good and tight.
 

Cosmos

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Aragorn said:
Turgon said:
Quick question about the canning procedure. I just got the All-American 921 Pressure Canner and read the instructions from top to bottom, and this thread, but I'm coming into a snag with my first batch.

I put the pressure gauge at 10 PSI, which is normal for meat, and the dial reached as high as 7 1/2 when I left the kitchen for a few minutes. I just heard a pop and when I came back there's now more steam coming off the seal on one side and the pressure dropped to 5 PSI and is staying steady there without moving.

I'm wondering if I should just let it can at that pressure for the next 90 minutes or open it up to see what the deal is with it?

Why would you even consider processing meat at 5PSI? Meat needs at least 10PSI to destroy harmful bacteria, as you must have noticed reading the instructions.

I can't say why the pressure in your AA dropped, but I'm sure other AA-owners can give you some pointers (I have a Presto). Sounds though like the metal-to-metal seal isn't tight enough for some reason.

Turgon if you have read the posts here on the topic and the manual itself you will notice that the AA canner is leaking at the beginning (first two to three times of canning) after that it shouldn't leak anymore (leaking=pressure loss). make sure the lid of the AA canner is installed even on all sites. use olive oil or vaseline to put on the seal (as is mentioned in the manual). tighten the two wing nuts that are opposid to each other evenly.
(all also written in the manual)

what I did at the beginning when I noticed that the AA canner leaked on a specific site and the pressuree didn't came up was to tighten the wing nut on that site. my canner doesn't leak anymore now :)
 

Turgon

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Pashalis said:
Turgon if you have read the posts here on the topic and the manual itself you will notice that the AA canner is leaking at the beginning (first two to three times of canning) after that it shouldn't leak anymore (leaking=pressure loss). make sure the lid of the AA canner is installed even on all sites. use olive oil or vaseline to put on the seal (as is mentioned in the manual). tighten the two wing nuts that are opposid to each other evenly.
(all also written in the manual)

furryfrog said:
I have the same canner and just did my first batch last week successfully. It sounds like your canner did not even come up to pressure at all. From the information you provided I would have guess that the metal to metal seal on the canner lid was the problem.

Okay, I just opened up the Canner and had a look at all the jars. None of them cracked but I did take note of one thing that seemed odd. The area just underneath the seal where I applied the olive oil had a film of slightly darker discolouration which was probably from the olive oil, except for the area where the pop happened and the steam was coming out a lot.

So I'm wondering now if when I went around with the olive oil I might have not gone the full circle and missed a small section which could explain why the seal in that area wasn't working properly. Not sure if that is the reason but I applied some olive oil to that area and will start the canner up again and give it another go.

Aragorn said:
Why would you even consider processing meat at 5PSI? Meat needs at least 10PSI to destroy harmful bacteria, as you must have noticed reading the instructions.

I was frustrated at that point because I was having a case of inflammation and I cooked the food first which took almost 3 hours of cutting, cooking and canning and it was late at night and wanted to sleep more than anything, so when this new problem arose with the pressure I thought because I had cooked and killed off some of the bacteria that a few degrees centigrade wouldn't make a huge difference and I could just flip the pressure gauge to 5. :zzz:
 

Odyssey

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I bought a 5gal bucket of beef tallow and spent most of the day canning pint jars of it. Only 2 of them didn't seal. I consider that pretty good. Of all the canning I've done I think this incident is a first. After I'm done with all this fat I'm gonna move on to canning broth.
 

Turgon

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My second go at it yielded some better results but with a new concern. the gauge went up to 10 PSI, and stayed there without ever going over or causing the pressure control to jiggle, so when I turned it off and tried to open it up afterward the metal-to-metal seal stayed stuck together and I can't get the lid off...

The instructions said to use a screwdriver to slowly pry it open, but instead I signed up for the canning forum Aragorn suggested earlier in the thread and it was suggested heating up the canner w/all the vents open which may loosen the hold/vacuum a bit. I just switched the stove off now and will try opening it before I go to sleep. Hopefully it works.

But either way, the entire batch of meat has to be thrown away :(

Edit: The advice I was given on the forum didn't work, but the screwdriver method was very effective in releasing the seal. It actually came off much easier than I expected. :headbanger:
 

aragorn

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Turgon said:
My second go at it yielded some better results but with a new concern. the gauge went up to 10 PSI, and stayed there without ever going over or causing the pressure control to jiggle, so when I turned it off and tried to open it up afterward the metal-to-metal seal stayed stuck together and I can't get the lid off...

The instructions said to use a screwdriver to slowly pry it open, but instead I signed up for the canning forum Aragorn suggested earlier in the thread and it was suggested heating up the canner w/all the vents open which may loosen the hold/vacuum a bit. I just switched the stove off now and will try opening it before I go to sleep. Hopefully it works.

But either way, the entire batch of meat has to be thrown away :(

Edit: The advice I was given on the forum didn't work, but the screwdriver method was very effective in releasing the seal. It actually came off much easier than I expected. :headbanger:

Canning can be a little bit overwhelming at first, but once you learn the routines it's really a walk in the park. Don't worry about the spoiled batch, that's part of the "learning fee", as we say in Finnish. ;)

Btw, are you letting the canner cool down properly (at it's own pace, without aid) before trying to open the lid?
 
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