Thursday, December 16, 2010

Night Canning

A couple of weeks ago, I bought 140 lbs of ground beef and chicken tenders.  I had three pressure canners going at one point.  Two of them, my big ones, I used outside on my Camp Chef stove.  I have two Camp Chef stoves. One with two burners and the other has three burners.  I've also used my turkey fryer burner on which to can.  

Below you'll see a couple of pictures of my late night.  Actually I think it was only about 8 or 9 pm when these were taken.  You can see the jars of beef and chicken behind the steam from the first picture. It was quite chilly outside.  That did help the jars cool down quite fast.

This picture is of my Presto pressure canner.  Sad story:  The canner had 13 minutes left to process.  I asked my 11 year old son to go out and check on the pressure gauge for me.  He came back and said it was close to 15 lbs pressure.  I told him to turn it down a bit.  Well, he turned it down too much and the pressure went below 10lbs pressure, so we had to start the WHOLE THING over again.  Brought it back to 10lbs pressure and set the timer for 75 minutes.  UGH!!  

The rest of the sad story is that I ruined my canner.  With it being on the heat for nearly three straight hours caused it to bow out and I had to throw it away.  It was a great canner.  I highly recommend the Prestos.  I got that one specifically because it's made to go on glass top stoves, which I have.  So, I'll have to get another big Presto before the next big canning venture.

This picture is of my All-American canner cooling down after a batch.  The beef next to it are also cooling and because it's so cold outside, you can see the steam rising from them.

I do recommend having some sort of alternative way of cooking and canning.  If the power goes out, the meat I have in the freezer won't be lost because I'll be able to thaw it and put it in the jars and can it.  Plus, just being able to cook something hot and soothing in case of an emergency will be quite a blessing.  Make sure you have plenty of propane to run it.  

I canned 40 lbs of the chicken = 33 pints.
Canned 40lbs of ground beef = 43 pints (3 didn't seal)

I froze the other 20 lbs of chicken.  Cooked up 20 lbs of ground beef and put in freezer in 1 lbs freezer bags.  Made the other 20 lbs into meatloaves.  I think I got nine meatloaves.


Rose said...

Wow! I am envious of your multiple power burners for canning! I love to can our own food, but I have 2 propane burners on my stovetop that I think are in the 5,000 BTU range, and therefore, require at least an hour to preheat the water to boiling before canning in a WB, and it is slow to heat my PC.

Today I canned 13 pints of beans (7 black beans and 6 pintos) and still have in the PC 7 Qts. of soup starter (potatoes, carrots, celery and barley).

I am always looking for tried canning recipes. I have canned all summer, and am looking to can some sausage or beef patties next.

Thanks for posting your experiences, I will be checking your blog often.

Happy canning and prepping!

BerginMania said...

Thank you Rose. And GOOD FOR YOU! I just love canning all sorts of things. It's such a great feeling looking at all those sweet little jars full of food.

I like your idea of the soup starter. I'll have to look into that.

Cyn said...

Wow I am amazed by how organized you are and how much you can at once! I whine. I am not as organized. I would love to have a juicer but storage is such a problem here. Awesome blog!

BerginMania said...

Thank you Cyn. I'm definitely not organized. :) I have 7 children to feed so I'm always looking to can hard and heavy all in one day so I can feed the little sweeties a little easier. :)

I'd buy a steam juicer anyway. No doubt you'd find room for it. Certainly there's something else you can get rid of. The juicer is absolutely worth it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very cool! I stumbled across this blog by accident! I've always wanted to learn to can, and have asked all my friends if they know anyone that can teach me. I'll be subscribing to this one! I have what is going to be a somewhat stupid question, but I'm very curious...if you can beef, do you store that in the pantry? And, how long does it store for? Thank you very much! LOL!

BerginMania said...


You're adorable. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. They made my night.

I can ground beef and beef chunks all the time. I have a large family so we usually go through them within a year. If not, I try to rotate them through in about two years.

Technically, if the lid is still properly sealed you can eat it whenever. Meat is something I try to stay my max of two years on though. Just to be on the safe side.

Let me know how it goes. Hope to see you around again.

BerginMania said...

Pink--sorry, yes. I just store it right in the pantry. Once you've processed the meat, it is all shelf stable for at least two years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I'll probably have a zillion more questions! LOL! My Grandmother used to can, but I was little and never learned. One of these days, I'm going to give it a go! Hugs, Cindye

loves2spin said...

Where do you buy your meat? I canned chicken for the first time a few weeks ago, and it is just lovely to have for quick meals.

Wendi said...

I get my meat in North Philly at a whole meat place. It's called Quaker Valley Foods.

I usually get my chicken for about 1.25/lb. It comes in 40lb boxes.