Guide to preserving meat and fish with a pressure canner

馃ォ Denali Canning's Guide to Preserving Meat and Fish with a Pressure Canner

Mar 28, 2023Karl Guzman

If you're new to homesteading or just looking to learn a new skill, you're in the right place. With a pressure canner, you can preserve meat and fish at home and enjoy it all year long. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to get started.

Chapter 1: Equipment and Supplies

Before you start pressure canning, it's important to have the right equipment and supplies. Here's what you'll need:

  • A pressure canner: This is the most important piece of equipment. It's essential for preserving meat and fish safely. Look for a canner with a gauge and safety valve. You can buy a new canner or find one secondhand.
  • Jars: You'll need glass jars specifically designed for canning. You can reuse jars, but make sure they're free from cracks or chips.
  • Lids and rings: You'll need new lids for each canning session, but you can reuse rings as long as they're in good condition.
  • Tongs: You'll need a pair of tongs to remove hot jars from the canner.
  • Other tools: A funnel, ladle, and jar lifter can be helpful.

Chapter 2: Preparing and Processing Meat

Meat can be a great candidate for pressure canning, but it's important to know how to prepare and process it safely. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose your meat: You can pressure can beef, pork, chicken, and more. Choose fresh meat that's free from blemishes or bruises.
  2. Prepare your meat: Cut the meat into pieces that will fit into your jars. Remove any visible fat. Brown the meat in a skillet if desired.
  3. Fill your jars: Add the meat to your jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
  4. Add liquid: You'll need to add liquid to your jars to help the meat cook evenly. Use either water or broth. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of liquid.
  5. Clean your jars: Wipe the rims of your jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food or liquid.
  6. Process your jars: Place your jars in the pressure canner and follow the manufacturer's instructions for processing times and pressure. For example, beef usually takes 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
  7. Store your jars: Once your jars are processed, remove them from the canner and let them cool. Check the seals before storing them in a cool, dry place.

Chapter 3: Preparing and Processing Fish

Fish can be a bit trickier to preserve using a pressure canner, but with the right techniques, you can create delicious and nutritious canned fish that will last for up to a year. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose your fish: You can pressure can salmon, tuna, and other fish. Choose fresh fish that's free from blemishes or bruises.
  2. Prepare your fish: Remove the skin and bones from your fish. Cut the fish into pieces that will fit into your jars.
  3. Fill your jars: Add the fish to your jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
  4. Add liquid: You'll need to add liquid to your jars to help the fish cook evenly. Use either water or broth. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of liquid.
  5. Clean your jars: Wipe the rims of your jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food or liquid.
  6. Process your jars: Place your jars in the pressure canner and follow the manufacturer's instructions for processing times and pressure. For example, salmon usually takes 100 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
  7. Store your jars: Once your jars are processed, remove them from the canner and let them cool. Check the seals before storing them in a cool, dry place.

Chapter 4: Safety and Troubleshooting

When it comes to pressure canning meat and fish, safety is of utmost importance. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your pressure canner.
  • Check your canner for damage before each use.
  • Use only jars and lids designed for canning.
  • Don't reuse lids or jars that are cracked or chipped.
  • Don't alter processing times or pressure.
  • Adjust processing times for altitude if necessary.

If you run into any problems during the canning process, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • If a jar doesn't seal, refrigerate it and use it within a few days.
  • If the liquid in your jars turns cloudy or discolored, it may indicate spoilage.
  • If your jars bulge or leak, it may indicate bacterial growth.

Conclusion:

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can become a pro at pressure canning meat and fish in no time. Whether you're a seasoned homesteader or just getting started, with the right equipment and knowledge, you can create shelf-stable versions of your favorite cuts of meat and types of fish that will last for up to a year. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and experience the joy and satisfaction of preserving your own food at home with Denali Canning!

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