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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
how many here can their own foods or dehydrate them?

ive been canning ground beef and had a failed attempt at canning chicken. ive also been dehydrating frozen peas and corn along with some fresh celery, peppers and onions.

im curious as to whats popular or easy to can/dehydrate that i may be overlooking.
 

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We do and use them a lot. Wise skill to learn and we're even doing elk and chicken soups. Tuna too... Dehydrating various fruits etc. Tasty snacks and healthy.

All sorts of vegetables...can't say enough about canning. Some up front costs but pays for itself. Be sure to follow USDA guidelines to the letter or resources at The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/questions/FAQ_general.html
 

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:supergrin:I did beef and buffalo jerky until I stored enough.

The girlfriend has done 4 jars of strawberry guava in the last few weeks.
For those who don't know. Strawberry guava is a tropical fruit that does not appear in supermarkets because it goes bad within 3 days of picking. The Salvadoreans put it on pancakes. I put it on vanilla ice cream. Had a helping tonight.
 

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Are you using a pressure canner for meats? Pressure canning meats is fairly easy if you follow the directions. What failed in your attempt? In my limited experience I found basic recipes with no pepper to be almost foolproof.

If you are trying to use a water bath canner for meats, stop and read fda guidelines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i am using a pressure canner. the chicken was my first attempt at raw pack. i cut the chicken into bite size pieces and packed the jars. i got just about 1lb per pint. when they were done processing for the specified 75minutes, i pulled them out and had bits stuck to the outside of a couple jars. im assuming that i overfilled a jar or 2. they all sealed but after a couple days, they still looked pink like uncooked chicken and the chunks had become a huge ball of chicken in the middle of the jar. i opened one and it was pretty foul smelling. not fowl :)

i usually boil my hamburger before i process it and have had great luck. i will eventually get around to doing another batch but will precook it like the hamburger and see if it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
to go along with this, i have 10lbs of hamburger in the pressure canner right now and 5lbs of bananas on the dehydrator.

i tried apple chips for the first time the other day. did a 5lb bag of gala apples my wife bought for her horse. horse wouldnt eat them so i used a peeler/corer/slicer and let them stay on the dehydrator overnight. they were just shy of crispy in the morning but after cooling they crisped right up. i lightly sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on them after treating them with the preserver. my wife and i ate them all for breakfast :) they came down to loosley stacked into a quart jar.
 

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I rarely do raw pack and have never done so with chicken. I either boil or bake the de boned and skinless chicken and use the broth mixed with water for my wet pack. Take care to leave enough head space for the expansion or you will find, as you have, small pieces can pop out. The space you leave at the top includes both the meat and the wet pack broth. although it's not required, I like to leave the meat covered by the broth. Make sure there is an inch and a half or so empty space to the rim. I have made mistakes and left less space. Check the seal after canning. If the seal is good, CHANCES are the product is also. As you have already said, observe appearance and smell before you eat it. I have raw packed beef. It turns out good but just doesn't look right. I prefer wet pack, pre cooked. Be careful of the spices because these can also lodge in the seal area of the lid causing leaks. I have never done burger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
the hamburger is very easy. it basically breaks down into its tiny little bits when pre-cooking it. i usually take 5lbs at a time, break it up and place it in a pot by hand. then i cover it with hot tap water and gently break the remaining pieces up shortly after its placed on the stove. the meat is generally cooked before the water even begins to boil. i strain off the water and reuse the same water for the second 5lbs of meat done exactly the same way. i try to rinse the meat with hot water to limit the amount of lard left in the jars.
by the time the first batch is packed in jars with clean water, the second batch is ready as well. i place them in 9 pint sized jars and there is usually 1lb left that i use the next day as my canner is smaller and will only handle 9 pints at a time.
 

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I use the dehydrator more often than the canner. It may not store as long but the product is much better. For jerky I use a food saver to seal it up. Jerky tends to not last long because everyone wants to eat it. I managed to keep some for about a year and it was still great. I use much more spices on things I dehydrate.
 

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the hamburger is very easy. it basically breaks down into its tiny little bits when pre-cooking it. i usually take 5lbs at a time, break it up and place it in a pot by hand. then i cover it with hot tap water and gently break the remaining pieces up shortly after its placed on the stove. the meat is generally cooked before the water even begins to boil. i strain off the water and reuse the same water for the second 5lbs of meat done exactly the same way. i try to rinse the meat with hot water to limit the amount of lard left in the jars.
by the time the first batch is packed in jars with clean water, the second batch is ready as well. i place them in 9 pint sized jars and there is usually 1lb left that i use the next day as my canner is smaller and will only handle 9 pints at a time.
Try this. Buy london broil on sale. Singe it lightly on the grill, adding as much wood chips that will keep smoking. Finish cooking in the oven until light pink inside. Cut into Small pieces. Mix the drippings with beef broth for your wet pack. This one is probably the best canned beef I have done.

My canner is not large but it does 16 pints at a time. That seems like enough until you end up canning for over a day due to some good deal you get somewhere.
 
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