Understanding Meat Canning


Canning and preserving  meat is an amazing hobby that is beneficial and fun. It can help you save money on food, capture foods when they are at their peak ripeness and help you fill your pantry with foods that you love. Canning is completely safe to do at home when you follow all the necessary guidelines and it is also just a fun, satisfying pastime. There is nothing quite as pleasing as a cupboard full of newly canned foods!

If you have been wanted to try canning foods, now is the time to do it. Think of what food you would like to preserve and then dive right in! Start with basic water bath canning and then work your way up to using a pressure canner. Or, dive right in and start pressure canning like a seasoned canner! No matter what you choose to create first, you are bound to be successful when you follow the steps in this guide. One key to canning that you always should follow is to have fun!

So, grab those canning jars, take out that big canner pot and start cooking some food to preserve! You will have your shelves filled with beautifully preserved foods in no time.

Glass jar filled with dried strawberry slices

Canning your own meat is a deeply satisfying activity. When you take a look at your canned foods and you realize that you were able to do it on your own, it will fuel the motivation you need to turn this into a regular habit. If you choose to can your own food on a regular basis, you will notice a decline in the amount of money you use to buy produce and other canned foods. Home canning will also influence your eating habits in a positive way. The foods that will be preserved will be far healthier than the preserved foods that are sold in supermarkets.

It’s funny how we always crave our favorite fruits and veggies during their off-season. Not being able to satisfy those cravings can be quite frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Canning and preserving your favorite food can give you a way out. Canned and preserved food can taste just as good as when you first preserved them. The best thing about this is that the process is quite straightforward, and a lot of things can be canned and preserved, such as jams and jelly, fresh fruit and vegetables, and meat and pickles. And all this can be done without adding any artificial preservatives.

As time goes by, though, the number of mistakes you make will decrease, and eventually, you won’t need this guide to assist you. You will be able to come up with creative recipes of your own! This all has to start with the first steps; the first steps are that you are giving this a chance.

Whether you are new to preserving or an old hand, there is a recipe in this book that will inspire and amaze you. You will have no problem finding a simple method for dishes like spicy apple chutney to spread on your pork chops to delicious mango chutney to spread on a fresh piece of bread. Store these delicacies in the refrigerator in jars or sealable containers in the freezer or eat the batch in one sitting with your favorite people! One thing is for sure; chutney is a delicious preserve.

Don’t let your fears stop you from trying out this great method of preserving your own food. It is a highly rewarding experience that is capable of benefitting you for years to come. Read the topic about preserving your fish.

History and Development of Canning Meat

Neatly arranged meat cuts on trays in a butcher's display

The need to preserve food dates as far back as the first years of the Napoleonic Wars. The French government offered the hefty reward of 12,000 francs to the inventor that could produce an effective way of preserving large quantities of food for a prolonged period of time. The requirement resulted from the need to support Napoleon’s military campaigns. The winner of the contest was Nicolas Appert in 1809.

He noticed that unless the seals leaked, the food cooked inside a jar did not spoil. Acting on this observation he developed a method to seal food in glass jars. The reason that the food did not spoil, was discovered 50 years later by none other than Louis Pasteur who noticed and recorded how microbes affected the food spoilage.

Glass jars presented a challenge, as there were a lot of problems involved in their transportation. The solution was given by Peter Durand in 1810 who devised the familiar cylindrical wrought-iron canisters (the root of the modern term cans). Durand’s cans solved the fragility problem of the glass jars and they were also cheaper and faster to manufacture. However, glass jars still remain as a good option for canning high value products at home.

Durand’s cans may have solved the glass jars’ inadequacies, but they presented another problem. Not everyone could use a bayonet to open a can up. Sometimes it was necessary to smash the cans with rocks to open them up. This necessitated the development of a can opener which didn’t happen until 1840, largely due to the fact that the factory and the know-how of Nicolas Appert were all but destroyed in 1814 by the coalition soldiers invading France.

The next step was the development of the famous tin can. It would seem that the entire canning concept was something that the French could be identified with (in a similar fashion that the Fins were identified with driving and the Brazilians identified with soccer), as another Frenchman, Philippe de Girard was the one who thought of the method and developed it with the assistance of Bryan Donkin and John Hall. The product was dubbed as a tin can because the material used was tinned wrought iron.

Tin cans became a massive success. Initially amongst the military forces of the British Army and the Royal Navy and then commercially. It is indicative of this success that by the mid-19th century, canned food became a status symbol for the middle class.

This success was mitigated heavily after the Franklin expedition disaster in 1845, which vividly demonstrated that canned food may entail serious health hazards. In this case it was the lead solder that was used for sealing the cans and that was proved to be extremely poisonous to humans. The situation was remedied through various improvements and side inventions, and by 1860 the increase in urban populations demanded for increasing quantities of canned food. At that point, the time required to cook food in a sealed can was reduced from six hours to thirty minutes.

The next major advancement in the canning technology occurred during World War I. In the beginning the food contained was cheap and of low quality. The majority of the cans contained the then famous ‘Bully Beef’ which was actually very cheap corned beef. To improve the morale of their soldiers the British begun purchasing food of higher quality and then created the staple of all military forces even to this date: the complete meals.

As incredible as it may seem, the last major development that occurred around the 1900s remains the same until today. And this is the double seeming technique which completely sealed the cans and made them totally airtight and allowed for the food inside to remain uncompromised for a period of at least five years, even at the worst of storing conditions.

The only change that has happened during the manufacturing stage of a can recently, is the substitution of steel and wrought iron with aluminum compounds, which made the can production faster and cheaper.

While it is possible to manufacture metal cans at home, it is preferable to either purchase readily made ones that have observed the safety precautions, or use glass jars if you want to prepare and can your own canned food and keep it stored to be used in case of an emergency. Get more detail about utilization of natural antimicrobials in preservation.

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