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Old 12-07-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
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Canning homemade chili

Hi, I have a chili recipe that I have made for years and the family loves it and I am wanting to can it. The recipes I read on the Ball website is just a basic boring chili, I don't want to start a " my chili is better than yours or chili should just be meat and no beans" war. I'm not entering any competitions just wanting to can what we enjoy.

My recipe has three types of beans, onions, celery, corn, tomato's peppers, garlic and meat. The recipes I read are sort or boring so canning my own is what I'm interested in.

I have an All American PC and the included booklet has a recipe and mentions not to thicken the chili but my recipe is thick.

What are your recommendations for canning homemade chili?

Thank you in advance for your replies

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Old 12-07-2014, 12:44 PM   #2
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Hi, John. Welcome to Discuss Cooking

My recommendation is to follow the recommendations from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, which are probably the same as what came with your pressure canner. Their method for canning chili with meat is here: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/chili_con_carne.html

I would suggest that you thin your chili for the canning process and thicken it when you're ready to use it. If it's too thick, I imagine the pressure within the jars could build up too high and possibly break them.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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Thank you for the link and welcome.
I usually cook it for about 3 to 4 hours would you suggest thin it after I cook it or just not cook it as long as I normally do? The flavors all mend pretty good at that length of cook time, since I have never canned it before do you think the flavors will still come together as well with such a short cook time as indicated by NCHFP?
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #4
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Some of this is going to be trial and error. I can only guess since I don't like or make chili I will say, though, that some of the flavor development in foods like soups, stews and chilis happens during resting in the fridge after the cooking is completed. More flavor compounds continue to develop.

I would cook it the day before you can it, and use the times specified in canning recipes because they're tested for safety. If you're using ground beef, it doesn't benefit from several hours of cooking time. This way, it will be thinner when you can it and then you can simmer to thicken when you're ready to use it.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:56 PM   #5
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I would cook it less and can before it's all the way done. Pressure canning will finish the job. Too thick and you run into density issues and the center may not get to the 240F that's needed to kill botulism. Make it thinner than you like...it will thicken during processing.

Also...be sparing with your seasonings and adjust after you open your jar...the canning process can make herbs and spices taste different/bitter/weird. Ask me how I know.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thanks Bookbrat, How sparingly on the seasoning? I normally measure then add to taste as it cooks but then again I have never canned it before.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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John, all I can say is Less. Anymore I don't season any of my canned mixtures. After putting the usual amount of thyme in some beef stew, and making our usual spicy pizza sauce, both of which came out nasty, I started just canning the components and simmer it a bit with the seasoning.

I can plain tomatoes, peppers and onions together and beans separately, mostly so I can use them for a variety of recipes. I'd say try a small batch and go a little light on the seasoning and see how you like it. You can always add spices, but when you have to take away you wind up with way too much chili. Again...ask me how I know, hehe.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:25 AM   #8
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It's fine not to season basic ingredients like tomatoes or onions but you absolutely must season a finished product like chili or stew at the beginning of the cooking process. You can't assemble, cook and can chili and add the seasoning later.

I freeze my chili. Just made a huge batch last week. I freeze it flat in quart ziplock bags.
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