Canning Ground Beef Questions

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GW54

Assistant Cook
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Nov 14, 2021
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3
Location
Oregon
Yesterday I tried canning ground beef for the first time. I think it went well but have a few questions. After 90 minutes of pressure the canner sat for an hour and pressure had released. I removed the lid and let it sit to continue cooling. The jars were bubbling and kept doing that for a couple of hours. Is that normal? Also, there was a fair amount of fat in the water of the canner. (outside the jars) Is this normal also? I am worried that something went wrong and my 12 lbs of beef is no good. The lids are slightly dished in and before bed I put the jars in the refrigerator. They were slightly warmer than room temperature when put in the fridge.
 

dragnlaw

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First off, let me say I've never pressure canned. I've only done canning with a water bath - so meat and vegies is out of the question for me.

But that being said, would your leakage come from filling your jars too full? That often happens with jams/pickles. It could also happen if processed longer than required (at least with a water bath that is true).

Then my next question is - why did you put them in the fridge? The whole idea of canning is that you don't have to refrigerate or freeze.

My thought would also be if the jars are properly sealed. With a lot of liquid escaping and possibly minute particles of solids, you must really make sure your lids have sealed. As long as they are compressed (sunk in) I would imagine they would be good. But I would also check them periodically in the pantry to make sure none have 'popped'.
 

GW54

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Nov 14, 2021
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3
Location
Oregon
Thank you for your response. We left 1" of space at the top of the jar which is what the directions call for. Maybe we had too much liquid mixed in with the beef?


The reason for putting them in the fridge is in case something did go wrong with the canning, as in loss of seal, we could still save about $60 worth of meat!


Even with all the fat that escaped the jars the lids seem to be slightly concave.
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
867
it's not unusual for jar contents to bubble for a bit after 'done'


to check the tops for seal - the dimple in the middle should be depressed.
if it does not appear so, press on the dimple. if it 'pops' going down = no seal.
 

karadekoolaid

Head Chef
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
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1,317
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Caracas
To be candid, I´d ask - why on earth would you want to "can" ground beef??
Do you have a secret recipe for something? Is there a shortage of ground beef where you live?
 

blissful

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Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,736
When I would can ground beef (which we still have on hand and my son eats it), oil that comes to the top of the jars, will leak out during canning.


Because oil does go rancid after a while, usually after cooking the ground beef in water, I would let it cool and put it in the fridge or outside overnight, then remove the fat as best I could, OR, pack the kettle in some ice in the sink until cold, the fat will solidify on top, remove it. THEN pack it in jars so there was less oil. Then pressure can.



If they are sealed (take the rings off and wash to jars in warm water/soap to be sure), then keep them and eat them. Remove as much fat as you can next time.



---
Yes it is normal for them to continue to boil after coming out of the pressure canner for a while, hour, or two.
 

GW54

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Oregon
Why can ground beef? Complicated answer! It is becoming harder to get meat due to drought conditions in the midwest and the supply chain bottlenecks. In a few months even if available it may be unnafordable. Usually we stock up some in a freezer but the local government is closing down power plants so electricity rates are expected to climb and also they predict within a couple of years the power grid will be so overtaxed, ( due to closing down production) that we should expect power outages a couple of times each month. So I think stocking up some meat with no power required is a good idea.
 

Kaneohegirlinaz

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Central/Northern AZ, gateway to The Grand Canyon
When I first saw this thread, I thought, why the ____ would you even want to can ground beef?

WELL!!

I went searching the WWW and found this:

https://www.homestead-acres.com/homestead-series-how-to-can-ground-beef/

Ya know, this isn't quite a wacky as I first thought!

In fact, today I just bought 7 pounds of ground beef at Costco and divvied it all up into 1 pound freezer bags and chucked them into the deep freeze.

I may be following your lead there GW.
I do not own a pressure canner, but I may be buying one in the near future.... Christmas is coming up soon, I could add that to my wish list to Santa ;)
 

blissful

Executive Chef
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One of the best things about canned food, pressure canned or waterbath canned, it is generally ready to heat and eat. If you come home after a long work day, you can throw a stew together in less than 30 minutes. The canned meat, the canned potatoes, carrots, peas, add a little flour to the meat broth, make a gravy-ish sauce, it's great to have in a hurry.



My son uses the ground beef for pizza, cutting a bun width wise, stacking it with pizza sauce, cheese, ground beef, some red peppers, microwave or broiler, and eat.



Cooked canned ground beef, a tomato preparation to make sloppy joes. Mac and cheese (or no cheeze sauce) with ground beef, a hardy meal.



When you can have 90% of the cooking done before you start, you can cook and eat in a hurry. (and if your electric is out, you can still use your canned products and heat over a fire or cook stove)
 

blissful

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Mar 25, 2008
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A few weeks ago I wasn't up to cooking, not batch cooking, not daily cooking, just not cooking at all, for about 5 days. The refrigerator full of ready to eat or heat and eat food was getting pretty scarce.
It's not that they can't cook, but, they weren't.
Last year I pressure canned a couple cases of quarts of vegetable soups, split pea, taco soup, vegetable soup with and without beans.



I told them to get some soups. They had previously turned up their noses at the canned soups. But they got hungry and I was starting to get more hungry and they brought some upstairs. Well, they loved the canned soups. Soup by itself, with toasted ww breads, over rice, with beans, with a side of potatoes. Ranting and raving about how good they are, they had no idea up until that point. Now I will have a hard time keeping those on the shelves. I've created a monster or two. ha ha.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
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near Montreal, Quebec
When I first saw this thread, I thought, why the ____ would you even want to can ground beef?

WELL!!

I went searching the WWW and found this:

https://www.homestead-acres.com/homestead-series-how-to-can-ground-beef/

Ya know, this isn't quite a wacky as I first thought!

In fact, today I just bought 7 pounds of ground beef at Costco and divvied it all up into 1 pound freezer bags and chucked them into the deep freeze.

I may be following your lead there GW.
I do not own a pressure canner, but I may be buying one in the near future.... Christmas is coming up soon, I could add that to my wish list to Santa ;)
I had a steam canner and I loved it. (ex-DH got it, grrrr). I had a hot water bath canner, but once I got the pressure canner, I quit using the hot water canner. I used the pressure canner for stuff that didn't need pressure. Every single jar sealed properly on the first try. It didn't need nearly as much water, so it wasn't as heavy to move. Ex-DH used it for pressure cooking. I think it's a great idea. BTW, as to canning meat, a friend of mine cans stew. It looks weird in the jars, because she doesn't put any thickener in the stew before canning it. That is the recommended method. Thickener is added just before you are ready to serve it.
 

Kaneohegirlinaz

Wannabe TV Chef
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
7,634
Location
Central/Northern AZ, gateway to The Grand Canyon
Why can ground beef? Complicated answer! It is becoming harder to get meat due to drought conditions in the midwest and the supply chain bottlenecks. In a few months even if available it may be unnafordable. Usually we stock up some in a freezer but the local government is closing down power plants so electricity rates are expected to climb and also they predict within a couple of years the power grid will be so overtaxed, ( due to closing down production) that we should expect power outages a couple of times each month. So I think stocking up some meat with no power required is a good idea.

All very good points GW.
Now, if I could only find more canning jars ...
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,736
Kaneoh, last year or the year before, on nextdoor.com (has your neighbors on it), or facebook (if you have local people on it), we put up an ad for jars and came away with hundreds.


Many people have jars they don't use, in boxes in their basement from 'aunt dolly' who died, 'we cleaned out her house and put the jars in the basement'. Some people are getting too old to haul them out, some people don't want to run a rummage sale because it's too much trouble.


Our ad was something like, we'll come and get your jars, paying you 30 cents a qt, 25 cents a pint, and 20 cents for smaller jars. We hauled them up from basements in boxes from as long ago as the 1960's, newspapers included. We put in the ad we didn't want bigger jars than quarts and no antique jars, just usable ones for canning, no mayo containers. We also offered $10 for a pressure canner for our niece, and beginning canning supplies for her since she has kids and was just starting out.
We came away with antiques (for the same price, blue jars), a pressure canner, beginning canning supplies, hundreds of jars. 13 families called us and called us back with more and more. I have no doubt there are more in my area even now but we are stocked up on them. Make sure you have your name, and phone number available for future pick ups on jars. Families talk and there are more jars in their storage areas.



It takes a bit of time to answer all the responses, make maps to find their houses, set up times to pick them up, but it works.
 

sadie33

Assistant Cook
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
36
Location
Madison
Yesterday I tried canning ground beef for the first time. I think it went well but have a few questions. After 90 minutes of pressure the canner sat for an hour and pressure had released. I removed the lid and let it sit to continue cooling. The jars were bubbling and kept doing that for a couple of hours. Is that normal? Also, there was a fair amount of fat in the water of the canner. (outside the jars) Is this normal also? I am worried that something went wrong and my 12 lbs of beef is no good. The lids are slightly dished in and before bed I put the jars in the refrigerator. They were slightly warmer than room temperature when put in the fridge.

I just canned ground beef for the first time too. I have been pressure canning for a few years, but mostly soups. A few months ago I did chicken both hot and raw packed so I figured I'd try beef.

I can't directly answer your question, but I can tell you how my experience was.

My jars did bubble for quite a bit and there was a film over my jars. I let them sit in my canner till the bubbling stopped. I took them out with my jar lifter and set them on a towel. Soon they all sealed and l let them sit there for 24 hrs. I then took a hot, soapy cloth and washed the outside of the jars and put them in my canning shelf. When you look at the jar, the meat has pulled away from the jar and kinda looks like a meatloaf sitting there. On the bottom of the jar is about 1 1/2" of clear stuff (I'm assuming some kind of liquid, though I added none) then there is a band of fat about 1 1/2" then above that nothing.

I hope this helps.
 

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