Today I spent the day canning breakfast meats.
I canned bacon a few weeks ago by just stuffing the jars with the raw bacon and then processing (blog to follow). In an emergency situation, the bacon IS fully cooked and could be eaten without further cooking. But the texture is like raw or boiled bacon, not crispy and I wanted bacon I could just open and make sandwiches with. So I thought I would try a different method.
I used quart jars for the bacon.
I won't continue to tell you how to get your jars ready.
You can look at the post on canning butter if you don't know how.
We wanted the bacon flat and just cooked enough that it was lightly brown, but still flexible.
Mom started frying the bacon on a panini maker, but it was too slow.
We decided to put it on racks in the oven.
That worked GREAT!
Here is the oven with two cookie sheets full of bacon.
Next, I laid out the bacon on a piece of parchment paper.
I put the edge of the bacon up on the top edge of the paper.
I put a little more than a pound of bacon, all lined up.
This photo only shows about 1/2 pound.
See how the left piece of bacon is offset about a bacon's width?
I next folded that edge OVER that piece of bacon
to hold everything in place when it gets rolled.
Sorry I didn't take better photos.
Next, I cut a sheet of parchment in half lengthwise
and laid it over the cooked bacon.
I did not take a photo of this, and you could skip this step,
except where there is no parchment,
the bacon will stick together when you can it.
So it's up to you.
Then, I turned up the bottom half of the parchment.
This bended about 2 inches of the bacon up.
I smoothed it out with my hands, lightly pressing it into place.
Next, I folded over the top about 2 inches
so the entire mess would fit into a quart jar.
Then, with mom's help, I rolled it from one end.
This is a photo of someone with a roll of Yoder's bacon in their hand.
My roll of bacon looks exactly like this one.
Then I just slipped this roll into my jar,
put on the lid and ring, and placed it in the canner.
I processed it at 12 pounds pressure for 90 minutes.
The bacon grease that we took off the bacon was put into a quart jar
and will be kept in the refrigerator for seasoning beans, soups, and gravy.
If I can more bacon this month,
I'll add to the jar and seal it.
Below is what the bacon jars looked like after coming out of the canner.
One of my jars did not seal.
We'll have that bacon in the morning for breakfast and I'll post photos so you can see what it looks like.
But from the looks of it, the bacon stayed nicely in place and browned up.
We should be able to take it right out of the jars and make sandwiches without having to cook it further.
I figured I saved quite a bit of cash doing this myself.
The only comparable canned bacon I know of is Yoders.
Mine doesn't look much different from this out of the jar!
The huge difference is in the price...
Yoders 9 ounces of bacon = $16.50 or $29.33 per pound!!!
DIY bacon 16 ounces = $3.49 per pound
Jar and lid = $.95
Total for DIY bacon per pound = $4.44 per pound
That's a savings of $24.89 per pound!!
* * *
Farmer John Sausages
Next, I wanted to try canning some breakfast sausages.
I used the same technique,
rolling them up in parchment so they wouldn't stick together.
They were raw, by the way, not cooked.
They were raw, by the way, not cooked.
Then I put them in a pint jar and pressured them with some hot dogs I was canning.
They REALLY browned up nicely!
And there's a nice layer of grease,
so these can be used to fry eggs, or make sausage gravy.
What you see in this jar is 1 pound of Farmer John sausage links in a pint jar.
I bought 8 pounds.
I think with the rest of it,
I will cut them in smaller pieces and can them in 1/2 pints
to use in making breakfast gravy or scrambles or omelets.
It will be a better use of my jars and storage area.
But the bottom line is that it canned up fine.
* * *
Hot Dog Weiners
My last project of the day was canning some hot dog weiners.
Again, two of the jars did not seal.
When I opened one to find out why, the lid was covered in grease,
so I think the dogs expanded so much, they pushed the lid up and greased the rim.
Grease is really a big problem.
I'll have to watch the other jars carefully this year,
to be sure the seals don't break.
The dogs really blew up and look funny in the jars,
but this is because they're under pressure.
They also browned quite nicely on the outside.
Here's what they looked like rolling them out of the jar.
They stuck together lightly but were easy to separate.
The canning definitely changed the texture.
They're very tender, and weird looking.
But the flavor is excellent!
They'd be find in sandwiches, ground up to make a sandwich spread, or in beans.
Here they are separated.
The pressure sort of "squared them up."
I will do this again, maybe cutting them up into pieces
and putting them in a smaller jar also
for beans and weenies.
This isn't something I'd eat every day,
but it will be good for food storage.
Beans and rice can get boring,
and tossing in a few weiners might give things a bit more flavor on occasion.
When TSHTF, anything more than rice and beans will be a treat!
* * *
Well that's it.
I had a full day!
We also went shopping and stocked up on evaporated milk and fruit
and a few other necessities.
Tomorrow, I go to Fresno to Trader Joe's for tuna.
If you haven't tried their tuna, you're in for a treat.
It's the tuna we ate as a child, not the shredded mess they pack in cans today.
I buy it by the case!
I'll be reposting some of my prepping posts in the next few days.
I've removed them from the Camino posts as much as possible
to make things flow a little better.
So for the people who are interested in Camino posts,
those are getting revamped and I"m adding a lot of photos.
You may want to check back every week to see the updates.
I'm half way through the Spring Camino walk.
Then I"ll do the Welsh posts.
Then I"ll be caught up! HOORAY!
Ok.. that's all for now.
Stay warm, get prepared ...
there's hard times ahead.