canned meat

backyardbumNovember 4, 2011

Trying to can meat. I did three pint jars of beef and three of deer. Cold packed strips, added salt and pressure canned for 75 minutes at 10# (weighted).USDA guidelines.

I expected the meat and juices to be a grey/brown. There was a pinkish tint to parts of the meat and the juice was clear and red.(some solids that were obviously cooked blood) Not at all what I expected. So is it right? Do I dump it and do something different.

Will it have to be cooked before eating? (Someone told me they enjoyed eating canned meat out of the jar on crackers.)

I have never seen home canned meat so I don't know what to think.

Thank you for any help or encouragement.


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hot packed meats eaten right out of the jar is one thing, raw packed eaten right from the jar something else. Shouldn't be done IMO.

If you were cooking it to eat fresh you wouldn't eat it until it looked fully cooked, right? So if it doesn't appear to be fully cooked in the jar then I would cook it more after opening just as you would fresh cooked.

If properly processed then there is no need to dump it. It is safe to store. But it will need more cooking before eating.

Hot pack is preferred over raw pack for several reasons but if you want to use the raw pack then likely your strips were too thick. Try thinner strips next time.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 11:58AM
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Thank you for the encourageent. This is my first attempt and I would really like to make it work for a few reasons.I was concerned that not being fully cooked they wouldn't keep. My extension office have no experience and told me to just throw it out and forget it.

The man I was talking to had a "my grandmother did it this way and it is right attitude" (It could be)after some discussion he said she canned them for about four hours?

I am still learning and will try the hot pack. I will use the ones I have soon and cook them well. Thanks again for your response.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 12:16PM
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kriswrite(zone 8)

I agree that you need thinner or smaller pieces. When I have chunks of meat to can (for example, beef stew chunks), I cook them first. When the meat is in small pieces (like chopped chicken), I can them raw and don't need to cook them before eating.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 1:05PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

If you processed within the last 24 hours, you can open the jars, heat in a pan, then repack into clean jars with new lids and reprocess them. I would normally safe they are safe, but the part that concerns me is what you say about the liquid and the color of the meat.
Just for further information, there is no such thing as "cold pack". What you did was raw pack.
If done properly there is no problem eating foods right out of the jars.
Otherwise, if you want to keep the meats, I would not let them sit in the jars, but would open, boil for 10 min. before eating and eat them up right away.
My guess is that you packed the jars too tightly before you processed them.
It is hard to say without seeing the jars of food.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 1:14PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Well, I'm going to play devil's advocate here. You followed current USDA/NCHFP guidelines per pints, which does permit either raw or hot pack 75 minutes for strips, cubes or chunks. If the meat presented safety issues raw-packed that way, they wouldn't recommend it.

I have noticed color changes in canned venison and found this old Extension document which states:

"Pink, Rusty, or Red Discoloration: Heat usually causes
the coloring matter in the juice of chicken and other
meats to turn somewhat brown. Sometimes it changes
to a pink, rusty, or bright red color. This is a harmless
product and safe to use."

From my perspective you do not need to re-process your product and need have no concerns with using it.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 2:36PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Just to clarify, I agree with Carol that there is no need to reprocess. Properly done is properly safe for shelf storage.

I just would cook it more before eating. But then I don't like rare steak either. :)


    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 5:52PM
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Opened a jar last night. It was fully cooked and looked much better after I poured the red juice off. (That is what had me concerned.) The meat itself had pieces the coloring of smoked meat.

Too much salt, broke down more that I expected, and had a rubbery texture. So I try again. This time I will brown it before canning.(After Thanksgiving)

My reasons for making this work. I have two teen-age girls. They either arent home or have friends with them. Hungry not hungry? Hungry but need to leave real soon.

Hunting season just opened. I have neighbors who hunt but don't eat the meat. (They won't hunt unless someone can take the meat.) They are looking for a bear this year also. I am feeding out a calf and have the whole hog my daughter raised comming. Some where in there my freezers will overflow.

The problem that breaks my heart is when the power goes off for 6-10 days and I loose a bunch of meat. If I have taken the time to learn, It can be saved. Yes a generator would be nice. They are expensive and expensive to run.

Thanks for all your help. You have made this little experment a lot more fun.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:30AM
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You might like something like this beef recipe:

(click for larger image)

Really good right out of the jar & tonight plan to have on top of some artichoke root flour pasta that I heard about on Dr Oz the other day.

There is an earlier thread about the beef in wine sauce somewhere too.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 10:14AM
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