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Jackie Clay

Q and A: canning nuts and canning meat

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Canning nuts

I read everything I could about canning nuts and brown rice, including what I found in an older Stocking Up book I have. I heated the rice in the oven and put it in hot dry jars, put on lids, and placed them in the pressure canner with a couple inches of water. Then I put the lid on, turned up the burner just above half way (electric stove), put the rocker on, and let the pressure go up to 8 lbs.(I’m at 3000 feet) I reduced the heat, but it still hit 9 lbs. After 10 minutes, I removed the canner from the burner and let the pressure go to 0. A couple of minutes later, I removed the lid and removed the jars. I found that there were droplets of moisture inside the jars. That doesn’t seem to me to be a good sign. What did I do wrong and what can I do to keep moisture out of the jars? I did not do the exhaust step (wasn’t mentioned in anything I read). I won’t try any more rice or nuts until I figure this out.

Sylvia Gist
Polson, Montana

Every time you use your pressure canner, you need to exhaust steam which drives air out of the canner before you shut it down to build up pressure. Did you use previously simmered, yet dry lids? Sometimes you need to let them sit a minute so the moisture on them heat-dries before putting on the jars. I’ve never found droplets of water inside my jars of dried food like nuts and rice so I’d just give it another try. If there were only a couple droplets, I’d just keep an eagle eye on the jars; they’ll probably be fine. If the droplets don’t go away, you’d better open the jars and try again to prevent mold from forming. I hope you have better luck next time. (I don’t think the pressure going to 9 pounds had anything to do with the moisture problem.) — Jackie

Canning meat

I am newly returning to canning for my self but have the benefit of helping can for my family while growing up on a ranch. I currently have about 200 # of meat in my freezer that we have been using since late 2010. We butchered a beef and I then got an elk so had more meat than my family could eat in that time. I am wondering if I could can that meat (mostly burger now) still and then keep it for safe for eating for another year. The meat tastes fine, smells fine, and only occasionally has a small spot of freezer burn.

Troy Long
Arvada, Colorado

If the meat smells and tastes fine, you sure can put it up by canning it. Be sure to cut off any parts that show freezer burn because it gives foods an off taste that you can’t get rid of. I can up a lot of plain burger and also taco-seasoned burger and find it is very handy to have around. Canned meat also frees up freezer space. — Jackie

2 Responses to “Q and A: canning nuts and canning meat”

  1. momma Says:

    About the rice–
    Couldn’t you oven can it just because it is a dry product? It’s not like canning veggies or meat. It can simply be kept in jars with lids just screwed down, so I wonder if you couldn’t just oven can it?
    And, doesn’t pressure canning kill mold spores anyway?
    I’m just curious about that? I would wonder if the pressure canning heat and pressure itself wouldn’t kill mold spores. Of course, the rice would still be soggy and icky, but would it mold?

  2. jackie clay-atkinson Says:

    Momma,

    Yes, you can oven “can” rice. I used to do it with nuts but they didn’t keep as long as they do when you can them; they get rancid faster because of the oil where rice doesn’t have the oil.
    Yes, pressure canning should kill mold spores; good point. And probably the rice wouldn’t have absorbed so much moisture to make it yucky.

    Jackie

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