Monday, March 2, 2015

A Life Changing Direction For Us and Canning Meat Safely

We were all ready to go on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and had our paperwork, medical, dental and etc. etc. all finished up.

I can say Dave put on the paperwork that we would go where ever we would go. Well, last Wednesday we were called to meet with the Stake President and Dave was called to be the First Counselor to the new Bishop to be.

We are not disappointed in the least because we are willing to be and work for the Lord wherever he wants us to be.

This last 1 March 2015 the changeover in the ward went well. Dave was very happy to have 6 of our children plus spouses and grandchildren come to see him called to be part of the Bishopric. We took up a large section of an area. :)

I really dislike thieves :(. We had our credit card number stolen and for a week have been trying to get that straightened out. All it took is ordering something through Amazon for it to happen, first time that has happened with using them. 

As for the weather we did get 2 inches of snow a few days ago, which is pretty well gone and it is snowing today.

I handed out a paper for Canning meat safely. If you go to the link at the bottom it has pictures.

Canning Meat Safely
Let’s go over 23 things you need to know to can meat safely!
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 1. First and foremost, you absolutely must use a pressure canner.  Meats are low acid foods and require temperatures higher than boiling to kill dangerous bacteria. Pressure canning is the only safe method of canning meat.
A pressure canner is NOT the same as a pressure cooker, by the way. There are, however, pressure cooker/canners, such as the All American brand, which will do both. Never try to can in a standard pressure cooker.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 2. Always follow an approved recipe for canning meat. Never try winging it on your own. There is a science behind the processing times and pressures necessary for killing bacteria. The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving is a great resource for tested and approved canning recipes.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 3. Make sure your canner is in good working order. Before you even get started canning, go over all of the various parts of your pressure canner to make sure nothing needs to be replaced. It would be a bummer if you had a malfunction in the middle of processing your jars.
Turn the lid upside down and inspect all of the holes for blockage. Clean the vent by running a string or pipe cleaner through it to clear the airway. If you have an older model canner with a dial gauge, have it checked at least once a year for accuracy. Your county extension agent should be able to help with that. If your canner has a rubber gasket, make sure it isn’t cracking or otherwise damaged. Replace anything that needs to be replaced before you use the canner any more. A faulty gauge could mean you aren’t reaching the correct pressure which puts you at risk of food poisoning.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely  4. Only use jars in tip-top shape. Older canning jars are fine to use as long as they aren’t damaged. Always look over your jars before you begin canning, making sure there aren’t any nicks, chips, or cracks in the rim of the jar or elsewhere. Even the tiniest chip in the rim of the jar can prevent the lid from properly sealing.
Also, don’t try to reuse old spaghetti or mayonnaise jars when pressure canning. I have had success using these types of jars in the water bath canner, but they might not hold up in a pressure canner.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 5. Proper sanitation is a must.  As with any time you are preparing food, it’s important to be careful not to expose your meat or equipment to bacteria or cross-contaminates.
  • Always begin with fresh meat, or meat that has not been thawed for longer than 2 days.
  • Keep meat as cold as possible until you’re ready to start canning it.
  • Remove any bad or bruised spots from the meat before canning.
  • Wash your jars and lids in hot, soapy water. You can run the jars through a dishwasher if you’d like. Keep them hot until you’re ready to fill them with meat.
  • Sanitize all cutting surfaces before you prepare your meat.
  • Wash your hands well before handling the food, and after touching raw meat.
  • Process meat as soon as the jars are filled. Only fill enough jars for one canner load at a time.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 6. Remove as much fat as you can from the meat. Trim the fat and gristle from chunks of pork, beef, chicken, venison, etc, and drain as much grease as possible from meats that you brown before canning. Fat can actually climb the sides of the canning jar and interfere with the lid’s seal, potentially causing seal failure down the road and spoiling your meat. Get as much of that fat removed as possible. If you notice a layer of fat on the top of your meat after your jars have cooled, don’t be alarmed– a little is okay. Just be sure to check the lids to make sure they’re still properly sealed before you consume the contents. You should not be able to remove the lid easily without the use of a tool to help pry it off.
Note: while you’re trimming the fat you should also cut the meat into uniformly sized pieces, so that they are all heated equally.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 7. When filling jars always ensure proper headspace. Every approved canning recipe includes a specified headspace- the amount of space between the food and the rim of the jar. For meats this is typically one inch.
It’s important that you measure headspace closely. If too little headspace is allowed, the food may bubble out of the jar during processing, leaving food or grease on the rim of the jar and preventing a proper seal. If there is too much headspace, any meat sticking out from the liquid in the jar could possibly discolor, and/or the lid may not seal properly because all of the air wasn’t driven out of the jar.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 8. Don’t over-pack the jars. Packing meat too tightly in the jars can cause them to boil over during the canning process. When filling jars with raw meat, a loose pack is recommended for best results. Firmly tap the bottom of the jar with the palm of your hand, or place a towel on the counter and tap the jar on the towel to cause the meat to settle. Never press or cram meat into a jar.20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 9. Remove air bubbles before canning. When canning meat in a brine or hot liquid, use a plastic or wooden utensil such as the back of a wooden spoon to poke around in the jar and remove any air bubbles trapped between the pieces of food. This will ensure that your jars are heated adequately throughout and allows for proper headspace.
Don’t ever use a metal utensil, steel wool, or wire brushes on canning jars. These will scratch the glass and cause etching, which can weaken the jar and potentially cause it to break during the canning process.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 10. Clean the rim of the jar well before affixing the lid. Any particles of food or droplets of grease remaining on the rim can prevent the lid from sealing properly. It’s imperative that the rim be wiped clean and every particle removed. I’ve found that using a cloth dipped in white vinegar is the best way to cut grease and ensure a tight seal.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 11. Never reuse metal lids. It can be tempting, especially if they appear to be in good condition. But standard metal canning lids are not designed to seal more than once. Even if you do get a good seal after 24 hours of cooling, there is a good chance the seal will fail several weeks or months down the road, exposing your meat to air and causing it to spoil.
If you’d like to save money on lids, invest in good quality re-usables such as Tattler Canning Lids, which are designed to be used indefinitely.
(Screw bands are okay to reuse as long as they aren’t rusty or bent.)
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 12. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your specific canner. This is extremely important. Not all canners work exactly the same way, so it’s important that the steps you take are as directed for your particular pressure canner. If the canner you have is quite old, you might be able to find directions for it online. Or you can contact the manufacturer and request a manual if you don’t have one. If it’s so old that you can’t find a manual, it’s time to upgrade to something safer.
13. Be sure to adjust pressure at higher altitudes. If you live above 1,000 ft in elevation, you will need to add 5 extra pounds to the pressure called for in the recipe. For instance, if the meat recipe you are looking at says to can it at 10 lbs of pressure, you will need to increase that to 15 lbs of pressure*.
*Exception: If you are using an older model with a dial gauge use the following guidelines:
  • 0 – 2,000 ft : 11 pounds pressure
  • 2,001 – 4,000 ft : 12 pounds pressure
  • 4,001 – 6,000 ft : 13 pounds pressure
  • 6,001 – 8,000 ft : 14 pounds pressure
  • 8,001 – 10,000 ft : 15 pounds pressure
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 14. Properly vent the pressure canner before you start timing. Most models need to allow steam to release or “vent” for 10 minutes before adding the weight and starting the timer (please refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions).  It’s important that the air is driven out first so that you don’t have air pressure as well as steam pressure inside, which would give you a faulty gauge reading.
20+ Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely 15. Wait until you’ve reached the proper pressure before starting the timer.People mistakenly believe they can begin timing the canning process once the lid has been secured on the canner. Do not begin the timing process until the canner has had a chance to vent for 10 minutes, you’ve added the regulator weight, and the pressure on the pressure gauge is reading the appropriate pressure for your meat.Once the canner has reached the correct pounds of pressure according to your manufacturer’s instructions, you may begin counting processing time. Each specific recipe will tell you exactly how long you need to can your meat for, and at how many pounds of pressure.
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 16. Never walk away from a pressure canner while it’s over a heat source. This kinda falls under #11, but is worth re-emphasizing. You must keep a constant eye on the pressure gauge, and an ear out for the regulator weight (or “jiggler”), and adjust the heat accordingly. Allowing a pressure canner to greatly exceed the proper pounds of pressure can result in the lid blowing off the canner. Yes, it would be extremely hard to do this with all of the safety features built into newer pressure canners, but it is still a possibility. Keep an eye on it!
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 17. Never remove the pressure canner’s lid until the pressure has fallen back down to zero. Becoming impatient or forgetting to pay attention to the pressure gauge and removing the lid prematurely can cause a serious accident. Once the pressure has dropped to zero, remove the weight and allow the canner to rest for 10 additional minutes before removing the lid. Always remove the lid away from your face as there will be hot steam escaping.
Never try to cool a pressure canner down quickly; allow the temperature to drop naturally.
20+ Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely 
18. Use care when removing the hot jars from the canner. Never lift the jars by the lid, as this can cause seal failure. Never place a hot jar on a cold surface or in a cold draft or the glass will crack.
20+ Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely 19. Always test the lids to make sure they’ve sealed properly. Once you’ve taken the hot jars out of the canner, allow them to cool for 24 hours before testing the lids. Never assume the lids have sealed without testing them to be sure. Unscrew the band and gently pull up on the metal lid. It should not come off. If it does come off, you need to put that jar in the fridge to be eaten right away, or freeze it. You can also reprocess the meat in a clean jar with a new lid, but the meat might not have a desirable texture and you will lose more nutrients as a result of the excess processing.
20+ Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely 20. Remove bands and wipe lids clean before storing.  Once your jars have cooled and you’ve tested the seals, remove the bands from the jars and use a clean cloth to wipe the lids clean. Oftentimes, grease or food particles which have escaped the jars during the canning process will adhere to the lids and cause rust to develop over time. Rusty lids compromise the safety of your canned meat.  Wipe the lids clean and dry them thoroughly.
You can store the jars without the bands, but if you prefer to keep the bands on your jars wash and dry them before screwing them back on. Be forewarned, bands left in place may become corroded, making the jars difficult to open.
20+ Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely 21. Properly store your home canned meats. Canned goods need to be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Light hastens oxidation and destroys vital nutrients. A damp environment will cause the metal lids and bands to rust and corrode, potentially ruining a good seal and spoiling your food.
It is best not to stack jars directly on top of each other. Instead, put a piece of cardboard between layers. This will help prevent damage to the lids on the bottom row.
20+ Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely 22. Examine home canned meat before consuming it. Although botulism cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, there are still a few things to look out for to make sure your canned goods are safe to eat.
  • First and foremost, it is imperative that the meat was canned for the appropriate time and at the correct pressure using a pressure canner. If there is any question whether or not it was done properly, don’t eat it.
  • If the lid is bulging, leaking, swollen, or otherwise damaged, throw the contents away.
  • If the jar is cracked or otherwise damaged, throw the contents away.
  • If the jar spurts liquid or foams when opened, throw the contents away.
  • If the meat is discolored, moldy or smells bad, throw it away.
  • It’s best to follow the rule: “If in doubt, throw it out.”
20+ Things You Need To Know To Can Meat Safely 23. Always re-heat meat for 10-15 minutes before consuming it. Bring it to a boil over the stove, or you can add the meat to a baked dish and heat it thoroughly in the oven.

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