How to Pressure Can Ground Beef

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Since Julie put the “pressure” on for me to teach everyone about canning your own meat at the end of her post last week … here is a little intro to pressure canning for you!

For those of you who have followed our blog and our facebook page for a while, you may know that I tend to procrastinate on trying new things. I had my pressure cooker for almost a year before I got brave enough to try it (see why I love it so much now here, here, and here).

Well I won’t tell you how long I have had my pressure canner (*ahem* Grandma Lori bought it for me for Christmas last year *ahem*) … but I finally got brave enough to try it! Ground beef was on sale for $1.99 a pound for the LEAN kind which is pretty sweet. So I bought 20 pounds and forced myself to give it a shot.

Getting excited for my adventure!

Ok I have water-bath canned quite a few things before (you can see some of them here, here, and here) … but I was surprised that pressure canning was SOOOOOOO stinking easy! I want to cry that I have wasted a year of not being able to enjoy easy, convenient, cheap ground beef straight out of the jar.

Here is a quick picture tutorial for you, but it is so simply you can just follow the directions in your manual and you will be fine! I know it makes it easier to see someone actually do it though, so here ya go:

To get started, I cleaned all of my jars and poured hot hot water into them so that they could warm up while my ground beef was cooking. I read somewhere that this was a good thing to do, but I am not sure if it is entirely necessary. I didn’t want cracked jars though so I figured I’d do it to be safe.

I boiled five pounds of ground beef in my largest pot. I tried to break it up into small pieces while it cooked. This took about 25 minutes to cook completely. Then I drained out the greasy water. I immediately started another five pounds cooking.

While the second batch cooked, I spooned 5 pint jars full of the cooked beef. When the second batch finished I filled 5 more jars. It works out almost perfectly to be one pound of beef per pint. I LOVE that!

Once all the jars were filled with beef, I poured boiling water in them to fill just to the rim line. Then I just stuck on the sterilized lids and rings and put 10 jars in my beautiful new pressure canner. It was very exciting. I love that it can do 10 at a time! (Please excuse the monster box of Triscuits on the stove, I’m not exactly sure why they were there)

Next I followed my manual and poured in the correct amount of water and put on the lid. It was fun watching the pressure build up. I definitely had to keep adjusting my stove temperatures to keep it at the correct pressure level. I think if you had a gas stove this wouldn’t be as problematic. It only took about 5-10 minutes to get up to pressure and then I processed for 75 minutes (90 if you are doing quarts).

It took about 45 minutes before the pressure had subsided all the way and I was able to remove the lid. It is so fun to see my nice little jars all lined up to cool. I never ever use frozen ground beef in my recipes any more. This is just SO quick and easy!

This whole process definitely took a little longer than I expected mainly because of the time it took to release the pressure and cook the beef. So definitely make sure you have 3-4 hours set aside to get this done. You won’t be actively working the whole time, but don’t start it at 10 pm like I did 😉

The next thing I want to try is canned chicken. Can’t wait until it goes on sale!

p.s. Click here to read more about the pressure canner that I use. I love it!

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