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How to Can Your Own Meats

By: David Armstrong

Revised and edited by Samuel Hoffman

 

 

-Poultry

 

If you talk about canning chicken, most people will look at you like you’re crazy; however, chicken and all other poultry have a great ability to last if canned properly. There a few simple rules to observe that will make the canning and storage process go smoothly. Chicken will be used as the example here.

 

  • First, the knobs of each long bone should be snipped off before packing the chicken pieces into jars, if he legs and/or thighs are being canned bone-in. This allows heat to completely penetrate the bone and kill any microbes present.

 

  • *NOTE*

If the knobs are not cut off, the jars of chicken will initially seal and appear to have been successfully canned, however, after a period of time, you may hear the “pings” of jars loosening their seal. This is from bacterial growth originating in the bone when it is not cooked thoroughly. The seals may even hold until the jar is opened, at which time, it will become very obvious that something has gone wrong.

 

  • Chicken breast should be canned without the bone, and cut into bite sized chunks.

 

  • *NOTE*

If you do not take out the bone, the small bones of the breast will more than likely cook to the point of disintegrating and have to be picked out before eating, unless you have no objection to eating bone paste. Cutting it into small pieces will ensure it is cooked thoroughly.

 

  • Canning wings, ribcages, backs and necks does not work very well due to the large amounts skin, fat, and small amounts of meat. The chicken pieces mentioned above can be canned with skin on, but that won’t bring much taste to the party. What usually happens is that the meat will fall apart from the heat of cooking and float around the jar in pieces.

 

  • *OPTIONAL*

The skin, bones, backs, ribcages and other parts which are not canned for meat can be can be made into Chicken stock, which is strained, jarred, and canned alongside the pieces. To make chicken stock, simmer the extra pieces in a large pot filled with water for several hours on high heat. Add carrots, celery and onions, and other desired vegetables for flavor. After several hours have passed, strain the liquid from the pot into a jar and can that the same way you would can the chicken.

 

  • The chicken pieces should be loosely packed into jars to about 2 inches from the top. This will ensure that liquid will cover all the chicken. No water should be added, juice will drain from the meat form a broth that will usually cover all pieces. The jar lids should be screwed on securely, but not too hard, as some air must be allowed to escape during cooking process.

 

  • The quart jars with bone in and boneless pieces should be pressured for about 60-80 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. Pints Jars should be pressured for about for about 60 minutes, also at 15 pounds of pressure.

 

  • After the pressuring is complete, remove the cooker from the heat and let the entire cooker cool to room temperature before opening. If this is not done, a rapid change in internal heat or pressure may cause the liquid in the jars to “boil off”.

 

 

 

 

The Bottom Line

 

  • Chicken legs and thighs can be canned with bone in (the bone does add some flavor), or deboned, both without skin, as long as the knobs are cut off the ends of the long bones.

 

  • Chicken breast should be canned boneless and cut into small pieces to ensure even cooking.

 

  • Let the pressure cooker cool to room temperature before opening.

 

  • Legs, thighs, and breasts can well and the remaining pieces and parts make good stock which has the ability to be canned easily.

 

  • Do not “hot water bathe” the poultry. Pressure can at 15 pounds only.

 

 

 

-Beef (or land animal meat)

 

If you say “canned meat”, the first thing to pop into peoples’ heads is spam, potted meats, andViennasausages. However, almost every meat can be canned. Canned beef can be the base for beef stew. Chipped Beef can be poured over potatoes or toast, or used in casseroles. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

 

  • For the purpose of this instruction, “Meat” will include the flesh of any land critter, Bovine, sheep, goat, deer; if It moves on the ground, it will still can using the same basic steps.

 

  • Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and pack into jars. The jars can be packed to 1 1/2 – 2 inches from the top of the jar. No water needs to be added, as liquid will cook out of the meat and cover the solids after being pressured. The jar lids should be screwed on securely but again, not too hard, because some air must be allowed to escape during cooking process.

 

  • If you are canning small game or other small animals that make deboning impractical, ensure that the knobs are cut off of the long bones and make sure that all other bones are cracked or broken to ensure complete cooking.

 

  • *NOTE*

Discard the heads and spinal columns of any animal (except fish) being canned. Have    you ever heard of mad cow disease?

 

  • The quart jars should be pressured for 60-80 minutes at 15 pounds, pints for 60 minutes at 15 pounds.

 

  • After the pressuring is complete, remove the cooker from the heat and let the entire cooker cool to room temperature before opening. If this is not done, a rapid change in internal heat or pressure may cause the liquid in the jars to “boil off”.

 

 

The Bottom Line

 

  • Use lean cuts with as little fat as possible, fats can become rancid over time, and though they are usually not completely inedible, it may not taste all that great.

 

  • Do not leave any large bones in the meat. Larger animal bones take too long to cook and by the time the bones have completely cooked, the meat may resemble paste. If they are not fully cooked, it wouldn’t take long to realize that the jars have gone bad when the smell drives you out of your kitchen.

 

  • Cut boneless meat into bite sized pieces. Small pieces cook faster and more evenly than one large piece.

 

  • Bones can be boiled into stock and canned (process for making stock is listed above in the poultry section. The same rules of making stock apply to beef and other meats).

 

  • Do not “hot water bathe” the meat. Pressure can at 15 pounds only.

 

 

 

 

 

-Fish (any fish)

 

  • If you talk about canning fish, most people will immediately think of tuna or salmon. Any fish can be canned. It can be filleted or packed into jars with bones in, and the bone in process will take a little longer in the pressure cooker for the bones to cook completely.

 

  • *NOTE*

Make sure that you only put the pieces of the fish that you want to eat in the jars (meaning if you don’t want to crunch a bone or bite into a head, make sure to cut those out before canning it). It will be much harder to get them out after the fish has been cooked.

 

  • The jars can be packed to 1 1/2 – 2 inches from the top of the jar. No water needs to be added, as liquid will cook out of the meat and cover the solids after being pressured. The jar lids should be screwed on securely but again, not too hard, because some air must be allowed to escape during cooking process.

 

  • The quart jars should be pressured for 60 minutes at 15 pounds, pints for 45 minutes at 15 pounds.
  • Fish is not as dense as red meat or poultry and will cook faster so pressure times can be reduced.

 

  • After the pressuring is complete, remove the cooker from the heat and let the entire cooker cool to room temperature before opening. If this is not done, a rapid change in internal heat or pressure may cause the liquid in the jars to “boil off”.

 

 

The Bottom Line

 

  • Only can the parts of fish you want to eat, you may not like the flavor that the unwanted parts will bring to the table.

 

  • Fish is a lighter, less dense meat, and over cooking will result in fish soup and not firm meat.

 

  • Fish fillets need not be cut into small pieces, however if you are canning whole crosscut sections of fish, they should be cut into slices no thicker than about 2 inches to ensure even cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

-Hamburger, Sausage and Bacon

 

These meats are usually overlooked in canning due to the ready availability of refrigeration and their abundance at the grocery stores; however they can be successfully canned for long term unrefrigerated storage. When canned, they do loose some quality and versatility but when refrigeration is not dependable or available for whatever reason (such as an E.M.P. event), they do store well for long periods of time.

 

Hamburger and Sausage

 

  • Lump or bulk hamburger or sausage should be packed into wide mouth pint jars to about 1 1/2 inches from the top of the rim. No liquid is needed, and you may be surprised at how much water is added during the manufacturing process. When cooked, the lump of burger or sausage will reduce in size and liquid will fill the void.

 

  • If other size jars are used, the same fill procedure is followed, just keep in mind that the contents will have to be removed in pieces.

 

  • If ground-up hamburger or sausage patties are to be canned, only wide mouth pint jars can be used and a piece of paper can be used to separate the patties.

 

    • *NOTE*

Regular brown paper grocery bags work great as separators. They are food grade and readily available and at grocery stores, and will survive the canning process intact. Cut them into circles that are the same diameter as the jar. When removed from the jars, the patties can be browned in a skillet and eaten in the same manner as fresh.

 

  • When the jars have been packed to about 1 1/2 -2 inches from the top, the jar lids should be screwed on securely but again, not too hard, because some air must be allowed to escape during cooking process.

 

  • The quart jars should be pressured for 60-80 minutes at 15 pounds, pints for 60 minutes at 15 pounds.

 

  • After the pressuring is complete, remove the cooker from the heat and let the entire cooker cool to room temperature before opening. If this is not done, a rapid change in internal heat or pressure may cause the liquid in the jars to “boil off”.

 

 

Bottom Line

 

  • Ground meat patties such as hamburger and sausage must be packed into wide mouth, pint sized jars or the patties will have to be broken up to remove when being used.

 

  • Separators must be placed between the patties or they will cook into a solid mass when pressured, brown grocery bags, cut up into circles that are the same diameter as the jar, work well as separators.

 

 

Bacon

 

  • Bacon can be canned as slices or ends and pieces. If slices are to be canned, they must be trimmed to the vertical length of the jars to be used. The ends of the pieces should be about 2 inches from the rim of the jar.

 

  • Place the slices on a sheet of brown grocery bag, cut to the width of the slices, and roll the paper up so that all slices are separated by brown paper, no bacon slices should be touching or they will fuse together during cooking.

 

  • Place the roll into the canning jar and do not add any liquid, the fat and liquid that is cooked out of the bacon will be sufficient.

 

  • The ends and pieces of the bacon should be packed into the jars to about 2 inches from the jar rim, but keep in mind that when ends and pieces are canned, the mass will cook together and form a lump, but the lump can be separated and used as seasonings and ingredients in other dishes. Slices can be browned in a skillet and served in the normal manner.

 

  • When the jars have been packed, the jar lids should be screwed on securely but again, not too hard, because some air must be allowed to escape during cooking process.

 

  • Quart jars should be pressured for about 60-80 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure, pints for about 60 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.

 

  • After the pressuring is complete, remove the cooker from the heat and let the entire cooker cool to room temperature before opening. If this is not done, a rapid change in internal heat or pressure may cause the liquid in the jars to “boil off”.

 

 

Bottom Line

 

When canning bacon slices, a separator must be used to keep the slices from touching, any slices that touch will be fused together during the cooking process.

 

When canning bacon ends and pieces, the pieces will cook into a solid mass and will have to be  physically separated or “dug out” of the jar to be used.

 

 

 

 

 

-Common Problems:

 

Cracked Jars:

 

Usually cracked jars are caused by the lids being screwed on to tight to allow air to escape during the cooking process. If the jars are placed too close together so that they “clatter” against each other during the cooking process, this can cause jars to break. If you must pack the jars very close together, pieces of cardboard can be placed between them to dampen the contact.

 

Liquid “boiling off”:

 

If the jar lids are to loose, liquid could boil out and escape into the cooker during cooking. Cooking at to high temperature could also cause the contents to boil off.

 

The most common cause of boil-off is when someone gets in a hurry and puts the pressure canner under cold water to relieve the pressure when canning time has been reached. This causes the pressure in the canner to reduce faster than the pressure in the jars. A large pressure difference between the canner and jars will encourage boil off. Be patient and take your time.

 

Failure to seal:

 

If the rims of the jars or lids are not clean or if particles get caught between the rim and lid during the cooking process, this can cause air leaks and thus, failures to seal.

 

Chips on the jar rims can and usually will cause failures. If chips are found on the rim, do not use the jar for canning. It can still be used to store non perishables such as salt, sugar, flour, etc.

 

 

This post was written by David Armstrong, an expert in canning, food preservation, and general survival. He is an ex-military man who served our country well. Thank you, David, for your putting your wisdom onto this blog.


Productivity. We hear that word a lot at work or school, but we never really take into account the full meaning of it, do we? Being productive is making good use of your time, not wasting it or doing something unproductive. In a survival situation, productivity will determine your quality of life, or if your life will even continue.

Here are a few ways you can be productive in a home survival situation:

1) Chop wood for the winter**

2) Hunt

3) Fortify your home by barricading windows, building fences, etc**

4) Learn new skills that are useful in a survival situation such as gardening (having books that teach skills are invaluable in such a situation)

5) Forage for food

6) Plant a garden*

7) Find other water sources and ways to clean them, if needed

8) Organize all of the supplies that you have so that you know what you have. Go through every part of your house (attic, basement, every drawer, etc) and organize all of it. You never know what you could find, and you may come across something of great use.

9) If you have a working radio, search for any radio station. If you find one, it will more than likely be a government station and could be a beacon of light in a dark time.

10) Dig and build a latrine. Instructions on building a latrine will be posted in a later post.**

Bullets with one star (*) require slightly more rations, while bullets with two stars (**) require considerably more rations.

 

That’s just a few of the things you could do with your time that would make your life better in a catastrophe. I’m sure you can find more useful things to do if you put your mind to it.  Always having something to do will also help keep your mind stable and you will feel more accomplished, boosting your morale. Morale is everything in a survival situation. Never lose hope.

 

In any survival situation, looting will be a problem, especially in highly populated areas. Unfortunately, the worse the disaster is, the more looting that will take place, and the more daring looters will be. We must prepare to defend ourselves and our businesses against looters for a disaster situation, especially for E.M.P. and other high-threat disasters.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT LOOTING (in an indirect way):

“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.” (Romans 14:20-21, NIV). This applies to looting or stealing, but the looting one is more relevant here. It says “food” but this applies to anything you take. If it causes someone else to have less, or hurts them even in the slightest way, don’t take it. It would be different if a whole city was deserted and there was no one to claim the stuff left behind, but the chances are, that isn’t the case. God says that you will be better off without it. He will provide for you, especially when you follow Him closely. The more you follow God, the more you will be provided for. Trust me, stuff provided by God seems considerably better than stuff taken from others.

HOME DEFENSE

In a long term disaster survival scenario (like E.M.P.), looters will be tempted to loot your home for any supplies you have. It will almost always happen at night. It is surprising to know that most lootings occur from people you know. People who know you have supplies or that you are undefended will be the ones most willing to show their darker side. That’s the thing about disaster survival: the hardships of it show peoples’ true character. Someone you may have known as a ‘good person’ may actually have a dark side in them that you couldn’t have imagined out of them. Lootings from people you don’t know can be more dangerous, though. When looted by a total stranger, they have no ties to you, and no value for your life. We have to be prepared for such events.

If a serious disaster happens, it is crucial to turn your house into a fortress. This means boarding up your windows, installing good locks on your doors (a pad lock or bolt lock will work, or preferably both.). A simple chain lock or knob lock will not be enough, as they are easily broken or picked. If you have a tall fence, you can fortify it with barbed wire (which is relatively cheap to buy). If your fence is made of wood, it will easily be broken, so fortifying it will be pointless. A cheap, highly effective fence can be built out of cinder blocks and mortar, but with our modern concern for lawn beauty (which will no longer be a concern in a survival situation), many people will not put these fences up, and some city ordinances and neighborhood regulations will not allow it. It is always good to keep some building materials on hand at all times.

If you know you are going to be looted, then you have the defensive advantage against your attackers. The problem is, we will very rarely overhear someone saying, “I’m going to loot (your name)’s house tonight”. How you may discover they are looting your house otherwise I do not know. So the problem arises: the attackers have the surprise advantage over you. How do you fix this? You must expect a looter, every night. You must get in the habit of preparing your house for battle every night in a survival situation. Once the habit is made, you will always have the defensive advantage. Here are some of the following habits you should follow:

-Lock ALL of your doors and windows. Your windows should be boarded up anyways, but if you are caught without boarded windows, at least they will have to smash the window to get in first, waking you up. What I mean by ALL your doors is bedroom doors (or anywhere someone is sleeping) as well. This means that if the thief came in silently, he wont be able to enter your room and get a surprise attack on you without waking you up or coming uncomfortably close to it. A smart thief will try not to wake you up for as long as they can, so even a simple lock may be enough of a deterrent to stop them. Also lock anything with valuable goods in it (gun safes, pantries, etc.).

-Sleep with a weapon next to you or under your pillow.

-patrol the house before you go to sleep. Make sure everything is locked and nothing is out of the ordinary. You may also want to patrol your yard with a flashlight or spotlight. A thief who sees you doing this will likely assume you are expecting him and will leave you alone.

-Have a plan for your other household members (if any) laid out. Tell them what to do if a thief comes in. You can even have a code word if you want. If you and your family (or roommates, etc) Have a plan, you are much better off

TO BE CONTINUED

New Survival Store!

I have built a survival store through amazon! I put items in the store that I see survival uses for. Click on the link in the Blogroll, or click the link below:

http://astore.amazon.com/ultimprepaand-20

I will update this store frequently, and make sure that things are constantly in stock and helpful. The store itself is run through amazon, so you are buying amazon products. If you can’t trust amazon, then you probably don’t trust anything on the internet.

If you have any questions please comment or email me.

 

I am deeply sorry for my recent inactivity on this blog. I had been away from my computer for a while. I will try to start posting at least one post a day. To all of you regular readers, thank you for reading. Thank you to everyone who comments and subscribes, as you are the livelihood of this blog. I hope to monetize this site soon, so that I can benefit from all of the work that I put into this blog. Thanks to everyone who reads what I put a lot of work into writing.

God Bless All of You!

How I’m Preparing

Every now and then I will post about what I’ve done to prepare. You don’t have to prepare the same way I do, as you may be preparing for different types of disasters than I am. My main focus on disaster preparation is E.M.P., as preparing for it can also prepare you for almost any other kind of disaster. The following is a list of things that I have recently done to prepare for disasters:

-Cleaned and oiled my guns

-Stashed some canned food, batteries, shotgun shells, and matches

-Purchased a military survival guide, standard issue for the U.S. Army

-Backed up some of my most important computer files on a flash drive and printed up a physical copy of some of them

-Sighted in the scope on my high powered pellet gun

These are just some ideas that you may want to try. If you have any ideas on how to prepare in general, comment.

So tell me:

How have you prepared recently?

Comment to tell me and everyone else what you did to prepare! Thanks!

The Start of a Nuclear War

This entire category is a scary thing to understand. People don’t understand the dangers that lurk around them at every moment. Many people live happier lives this way. If you do not wish to gain understanding of the true danger that lurks in the shadows of world leaders’ minds, if you feel you are not strong enough to read this, then I suggest you don’t. It is not something that is inevitable, but it is likely.

A worldwide nuclear war would effectively bring an end to the civilized world. Life as we know it would cease.

Here is an excerpt from my book, The Ashes of a Ruined World:

“…The world was on its highest tide, for from this point on, it could only deteriorate. Nuclear warfare laid waste to the world. But it was not the end of the world as most had expected. There were survivors spread out across the planet. People are just stubborn like that. These people were all the world had left, no longer known as civilians, but are now unknown and foreign to their own planet. One would think that such a massive destruction would teach people what they did wrong, that it would show them the wrong in their ways, but it didn’t. Instead, it deteriorated their conscience, and replaced it with a survival mechanism. Those with out this natural mechanism in the brain normally didn’t make it too long in the wastes, which is what the world is referred to nowadays. The only way people survived the blasts and destruction was by living underground, for three years. There was still plenty of radiation left over, enough to kill off the masses, leaving very few behind. The bodies of the remaining people had done what they were designed to do. They had to adapt to their environment, and over the course of years, had a natural resistance to radiation. The human body is truly an amazing thing.”

The nuclear war’s start could come from anything. A terrorist with a nuclear capability. A small nuclear capability with a grudge against some countries. Some crazy guy who detonates a nuke and frames another country. There are countless possibilities for a war to start. The result will be generally the same. As soon as one nuke goes off, the world will be up in arms. A nuclear weapon hasn’t been detonated since 1945, where the first nuclear bombs were dropped over Japan (besides nuclear testing).

Nuclear weaponry will always be alive. No matter how many activists are against it, no country will ever give up all of their most powerful weapons. If a country did get rid of it’s nuclear capabilities, it would become weak, and other countries would see this weakness and possibly exploit it with their own nuclear weapons, thus giving up nuclear capabilities could actually cause a nuclear war instead of prevent it.

We are trapped in a nuclear world. Dangers lurk around us at every moment. The deep, dark place in the back of world leaders’ minds exists, and if it opens… well lets just hope it doesn’t. For any of them. No one wins with a nuclear war, but there are ways to survive it. The world would not be the same, and may never be the way it once was again, but it could come back stronger, better than before. It could take many years, maybe even decades, but we can restore the world no matter what happens, and if we can’t restore it, then God can.

If you have read my view on the Biblical book of Revelations, you will understand why I think that these verses point to a nuclear war. If you have not, I highly recommend that you do so, because this post may seem confusing otherwise.

“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” (Revelations 6:12-14, NIV)

There are many signs in this that point to the use of a nuclear weapon that I can see. First off, John says that “There was a great earthquake”. When an atomic weapon goes off, you are definitely going to feel it. then, he says, “The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red”. I think the sun was being blacked out by the smoke of the nuclear weapon. He says that it was like sackcloth made of goat hair, meaning that you could see through it slightly, as you can see through smoke. The moon turning blood red could be the result of radiation from previous nuclear weapons. Radiation in the atmosphere could change the way things outside of the atmosphere look. Then John says “and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind”. To John, multiple nuclear missiles coming down from space (most nukes are launched from space satellites, called ICBMs). When he compares it to a strong wind, he may have felt the wind from the nuclear blast but was not in range of the blast’s harmful affects. Then he says “the heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place”. If you have seen what a nuclear blast looks like, it creates a mushroom cloud, appearing to “roll up”. On top of that, the only man-made thing I can think of that could remove a mountain or island would be a nuke.

Please comment if you have any questions or anything to add!

So all of my regular readers know about and understand the threats of E.M.P. If you do not, or are even slightly unsure, please check out some of my previous posts about E.M.P. for a full explanation. Now many have been wondering, “Is there any defense against this horrible E.M.P. threat?” Well yes, there is. There are ways to save our modern days’ complicated electronics from being decimated by an E.M.P. wave.

How? By something called a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a screened metal box, insulated on the inside to prevent any inside objects from touching the electrically conductive outside screen. What happens is that electrical currents, even one as quick, subtle, and high powered as an E.M.P., travel around the box, and not into it. This box is the most powerful and important preparation for E.M.P.

To build a Faraday cage, you must first build a box, preferably out of wood. Make the wooden box big enough to house all of your important backup electronics, and make the box’s wood as close together as you can and seal the wood with wood glue (wood glue is sold in almost every hardware store). Make an opening top lid with hinges. On the outside of this box needs to be continuous metal, meaning that all of the metal must connect when the box is closed. You need to make the metal on the outside of the box either sheet metal or screen metal (like th stuff on screen doors). The military uses screens to build Faraday cages, and this type of metal is preferred. Try to find the screening with the smallest openings in the screen, but other screens will work too.

The screens for the sides of the box need to be cut to the size of the faces of the box. The screens for the top and bottom need to be cut slightly larger, and need to have the corners cut off in squares (so that the screen resembles a plus sign). This is so you can overlap the screen over the sides of the box, ensuring that they are touching.

Place the screen around the wooden box in a manner that when the box is close, ALL of the screen faces touch each other at all points on their edges. Attach the screen to the box by staples or glue, or even better, both. Put the screens for the sides of the box on first. Then fold the the four flaps on the top and bottom (created by cutting the corners off of the top and bottom screens in squares) over the sides of the box. This creates a continuous metal surrounding around the box, and you now have an effective Faraday cage.

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