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Old 12-20-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
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A good article on meat canning - HERE
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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and

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/utah_can_guide_05.pdf

and

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/Canning.pdf
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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Hi there,

I grew up on a "mini farm" where our family grew 95% of everything we ate--including beef, pork, rabbit, and chicken. My mother and I canned a lot of meat--as well as a lot of everything else. Our family had a large freezer but often power would go out and we would borrow a diesel powered generator from a nearby "big" farmer to keep the freezer going. Canning meat made the most sense for us.

There was a time that the USDA was recommending against home canning meats--during the 1990's. I was surprised by this but figured that for the average person, with reliable electric supply for freezers to run, there was little reason to can meat. I don't know their present official position on the canning of meat but wholeheartedly agree with member Estarzinger that canning meats is a wonderful way for any cruiser to have a variety of fresh meat, poultry, and fish aboard.

I sold my pressure canner before we moved to the west coast to rebuild our boat--since my canner was HUGE. Many foods are safely canned in non-pressure canners and I still have a non-pressure canner that is on the boat as I use that large enameled pot to heat up bathing water and we also soak laundry in it (multipurpose) and I have a small pressure cooker that isn't large enough for canning; I have yet to purchase a suitable pressure cooker for canning. A suitable size of pressure canner is "on the list" of things to buy sometime this spring, as a matter of fact. Since we live w/o refrigeration at this time, it would have been wise to already own that canner...but we're state-side and have plenty of access to fresh foods.

Thanks for the links
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
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One thing that comes to mind with canning meats is the portion size required for a couple of people on a boat vs the portion size for a small family... when you can mean what size jars do you use? I would think a quart mason jar would be way too much meat for a couple to eat quick enough to keep without a fridge? Little jam jars of meat would be about right I would think. and you could have a smaller canner too.

How do you store your jars in bulk so that they don't clink about in rough seas and get broken?
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:05 AM   #5
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Pint jars of meat are a good size for two people. If you've read the links above, you'll see that there needs to be about 1" between the lid and the contents, meat and broth. The meat needs an adequate covering of broth or other liquid to maintain an attractive appearance (i.e., not discolored). So you can put up one half of a boneless and skinless chicken breast per jar, or both halves if they're small enough. Enough ground beef for two servings

I am in incorrigible scavenger and recycler. Old socks are never discarded. They are washed and bleached to become the long-term stowage containers for potatoes and onions, keeping one bad one from spoiling the entire bin. First, they keep the potatoes and onions dry and cushioned from bruising which usually leads to rot. I also wash all fresh produce in a mild bleach solution, removing dirt and bugs and bacteria. I air dry them in the sun before stowing them. Clean socks kept them clean, unbruised, and dry. And should one potato or onion start to rot anyway, the sock would show the stain before the rot infected the other ones.

Those same socks also are used to cushion the glass canning jars in the bilge. They have to be secured well enough that they don't bounce or roll around, which will protect them from shattering, but the soft cushion keeps the minor movement from chipping or cracking the glass. If you don't go through socks the way Peter does, you might start saving the foam "netting" that surrounds Fuji apples and some other fruits in the more up-scale stores. If you find them, ask the fruit vendor if you can have the foam netting that's left by their customers.

My glass jars came through some pretty awful seas with nary a loss. Wine bottles, too.

J
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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good idea with the socks.... unfortunately mine seem to last forever since I usually live in flip-flops... I'll see about the foam netting.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
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good idea with the socks.... unfortunately mine seem to last forever since I usually live in flip-flops... I'll see about the foam netting.
How about old T-shirts? You can stitch them up into tubes, then cut off lengths for the jars, stitch one end for the bottom. No fancy sewing, a quick whipstitch straight up the fabric.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:39 PM   #8
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Just found this.

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/2009/1...ng-venison.html

a word of caution though ... this blog is addicting...
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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Just read the venison canning entry, and it sounds great. Looks like a good resource.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
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How about old T-shirts? You can stitch them up into tubes, then cut off lengths for the jars, stitch one end for the bottom. No fancy sewing, a quick whipstitch straight up the fabric.
We have tons of bubble wrap from getting so many things via the internet shopping. Just keeping all that bubble wrap gives us great stuff to put around glass things.

Another re-use idea: if you actually take all those thin plastic bags that the stores want to put all your groceries and stuff in--you can make them into little triangular footballs (fold them up like you properly fold the American flag) and then string the little footballs (needle and thread required) into a "mat" that can cushion things. NO, I didn't figure this out--I have a friend from Barcelona who saves EVERYTHING and she showed me this little trick of using trash to protect her treasures from breakage while moving.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Get those canning jars while you have easy access to them, as well. I can't find any in Mexico.

We have been in MX for over a year and are preparing to cross to the South Pacific this spring. I hoped to do a great deal of canning of meat and fruit in particular to bolster our stores for the crossing, and our time in less well provisioned places. I shopped hard when we were near Puerto Vallarta- there are well stocked stores there which cater to gringos, so it seemed like a good place to track them down- but had no luck.

We do have friends hopefully coming in March and I may ask them to bring some for me, but it seems a little silly, carting a flat of jars down. We do have a dozen or so on board, but that will not get our family of 5 very far.

Any thoughts on alternatives to the standard canning jar that might work? I'm afraid I may be out of luck.

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Old 01-22-2010, 09:38 PM   #12
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Behan,

There really isn't any safe alternative to canning jars, especially since for a family of five you'll want quarts. What I have always done is saved the vacuum jars that pasta sauce comes in, and I use them just once to can meat before discarding them. The rubber gasket on the lid of these jars is very thin so I don't expect it to survive more than one round of canning. Proper Mason jars are of a sturdier, thicker glass and the rubber gasket is heftier than what you find on commercially processed foods.

Every information source will tell you to never re-use the lids, the reason that Mason jars have rings and then disposable lids bought by the dozens. I agree with the caution, but still I do it with the recycled sauce jars. I am very conscious of the vacuum seal, and if any of the jars fail to seal it is not put into a locker, but rather used immediately. I believe that you will be most successful in canning food if the lids are on very tight when you start the processing. After the jars coming out of the pressure canner I used to sit listening for each of the lids to "pop" as they cooled, which proved it was successfully sealed. If I processed six jars and heard only five "pops" I'd check each one very carefully to find the one that hadn't sealed.

If it were me, I wouldn't can fruit, but I like dried fruit, particularly dried papaya and pineapple.

Canned meat is a great provision to have in your locker. I did not make stews or other recipes, just canned the "bare" meat to use in whatever I wanted to cook. Space on our boat was too limited to carry canned meals when meat already cooked was the most valuable ingredient to have available. When the weather is bad and all you want is something hot and hearty, opening a jar of canned meat and adding it to rice and veggies, or Ramen noodles, is a quick and easy way to feed a lot of people with no fuss.

Have you discovered powdered whole milk? Takes up 'way less space than liquid UHT milk, and I'm told it tastes better, too. I couldn't cook without it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:09 AM   #13
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I've done lots of canning and numerous members of my extended family and friends do a lot of canning. We're just from a part of the country where canning in common (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia...). Having said that, there are tricks to saving money on jars--or using what ever jars you can find in Mexico. Though you can re-use the screw-on rings, always use NEW lids (the part with the rubber seal on it). Many times my mother re-used jars that store bought foods came in--things like Kraft Mayonnaise jars for example have the same size and thread lid as a regular quart jar. My mother, aunts, and cousins routinely use any jar they can for canning as long as the lid fits properly. I have done the same. JeanneP is correct that some jars are thinner and so the seal isn't going to be quite as wide as all that rubber on the lid would provide with thicker glass in use. But, you can still do it.

I've seen home-canning done in Mexico--it was in the late 1980's and I was visiting with a rural family just north of Puerto Vallarta so I would think you should be able to find canning supplies there in Mexico in a store that does NOT cater to non-Mexicans.

If you can't find them--by all means have the folks visiting you in March bring some jars or at least lids your way. You'll need extra lids since you'll re-use the jars many times over.

Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:38 PM   #14
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I like the concept of home bottling/canning & was brought up as a kid with grandma's & mum's home canned produce --- meat, fruit, veg, preserves etc --- however, I prefer to keep glass jars & bottles to a minimum when aboard.

Instead I provision Tadpole (no refrigerator) using dried goods as much as possible ... pulses (beans, peas, lentils etc) ... dried vegetables, fruit & mushrooms (many types available) ... flour, grains (rice, barley etc) & pasta ...

I also stock up on dried meat (aka jerky, pemmican, biltong) air-dried ham & salami-style sausages, dried fish, dried powdered eggs, dried potato ... the list is extensive.

This season I intend to try drying my own fish & meat ... the process usually involves an application of salt, either dry salt or soaking in brine - seawater is plenty salty enough to cure meat & fish, it needs to be boiled to kill any bacteria & organisms, a pressure cooker is large enough for this & fuel efficient ... after the brining stage the product will need to be dried ... this will need warmth, sunshine & fair breezes ... a hanging camp-style muslin food storage enclosure, available from camping/backwoodsmans store, will keep flies & other nasties off ...

The possibilities are endless
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