Canning That Hamburger!

I know this is not a crafty blog post but it's food crafting in the kitchen, maybe? Keep reading if you want to see how my husband canned an awesome deal on hamburger meat at our local grocery store.

The last deal we got on 'beef chub' was .99 cents/.lb 5 or so years ago at Winco in Utah. We filled our freezer up and it lasted for years! This time around, someone in Ridgecrest posted a deal for hamburger meat at Albertson's and I sent Tony down the street to stock up. It ended up being .83 cents/lb. Woohoo! Total score.

He separated 3 ground beef packs out per 'recipe' he wanted to use.

He cooked the meat in the Insta Pot. The fat drained to the bottom leaving the meat in the strainer.

At this stage the meat can be a little pink but that's okay because it will cook during the canning process.  The one thing you don't want is the meat to clump up when you put them in the jars because the clumps prevent it from fully cooking under pressure.

This is the cooked hamburger meat with the fat drippings separated out in to the red bowl.

We were going to use the fat for something else, like broth, but we ended up not doing that.

The jars need to have enough water to cover all the meat. Leave the standard amount of head space in the jars.

Made lettuce wrap flavoring and sloppy-joe flavoring.

Taco mix flavoring.

Labeled and ready to put in the stove top pressure cooker for canning. 

Here's what we would do differently next time:

- The lettuce wrap flavor didn't turn out so we wouldn't do that one again. Tony didn't like the taste. He has liked this flavor in the past when we cooked it differently. Maybe it needed more seasoning.

- We would not cook the meat in the Instant Pot - the meat turned out really mushy. I think it was because we didn't brown the meat on the stove.

- When you take the meat out of the jar to use it in a recipe, do not add any water! The meat does not look like it has water in it when you dump it in to your pan, etc but once you start using it, water appears everywhere!


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