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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Canning Bacon, Weiners, and Sausage Links

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 time.

 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.

Yoder's bacon looks like this out of the can:

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.

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.

And remember,



  1. In my 40+ years of canning experience I have found raw packing meat developers it's own "canned" flavors. If I pre-cook (fry,bake,grill,smoke etc) I just brown lightly (remember you MUST PRESSURE COOK MEAT to be safe) I then roll all my meat in parchment paper. I don't add any liquids (they will naturally come out as pressured) pre-cooked meats like hotdogs etc are lightly browned but processed at 45 min at 15# of pressure or they are way over cooked and don't taste good. Pepperoni,summer sausage etc are pre cured so I cut them to the size of my jar within 1" headspace. I drop them in boiling water for 5 min and drain this removes a lot of excess grease. I roll in parchment and pressure for 45 min at 15#. They can be eaten from the jar or heated if you want a crispier texture. I have plenty of jars so I do most of my meat this way, wild and domestic. Roasts, fried steaks poultry tastes like I cook it but canned. The grease method works also and that is what I grew up on. We were really rural and couldn't get to town often and being trained by by generations of great cooks that never poisoned anyone to my knowledge. If you feel more comfortable trusting your fate to a government that changes the rules daily,that is your right to freedom of choice. We must all do what is best for us and our families. I choose to trust my ancestors, my experience, common sense, and cleanliness in processing our food. I really appreciate places like this and the information you share without judgement. Food preservation is ALWAYS a good skill to know and improve on.

  2. Thanks for your great comment, Granny. We ended up tossing the wieners because though they tasted good the day we canned them, after a day they tasted pretty bad. I'm sure they were overcooked. Luckily there were only a few jars. Your tips about dipping them in boiling water and then a shorter processing time are interesting and I'll try them next year! I agree with your comment about trusting our ancestors and the changing rules of government. If I listened to the gov, I'd go nuts! Our family, for instance, lives into their 90's and 100's eating meat, and without drugs for what the doctors claim is high cholesterol. I believe, if anything, they're making people sick with all the GMO and antibiotic-filled food and I try not to eat anything out of a box or package unless I package it myself! Anyway, thanks for the tips. I'll try them :)

  3. Just a thought, over the years of learning to get it right...the meat that was not payable to eat was then dehydrated and turned into protein powders. Make sure the are COMPLETELY DRY. I then vacuum seal them to make shelf stable. They add great flavoring to my homemade bouillon powders. I also dehydrated my end of freezer life veggies and then make my vegetable powders out of them. Great for adding flavor boost to your food. My powders come in very handy for making my spice blends, soups, broths, and I make up enormous batches of flavored Immunity boosting broths to keep on hand for family or friends when someone's not feeling well. I can my end of freezer meat too. Make sure it is thawed completely and then can as normal. This way there is no food wasted and you get the best of all worlds. Preserving food can be fun and challenging but the time and effort is worth it and really gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment! Love your blog keep up the great work and keep it going! You're teaching us old dogs great stuff!

  4. I can hot dogs in 1 1/2 pint jars...1 pound fits nicely and I add no liquid so that do not swell...I tried adding liquid one time and had what appeared to be one large hot dog with the swelling

  5. I am just really getting into canning meat. My grandmother was a canner (I'm 65 so that tells you how long ago lol), and I have always canned veggies and fruit. The tips were perfect, because I can bacon. Thanks

  6. Love your blog! Very happy to find it as you cover lots my family's interested in and, in many cases, doing ourselves, too. Wanted to suggest you might want to review the savings on canning bacon, tho. Yoder's bacon is weighed after cooking so a more equitable comparison might be to compare how much the pound of uncooked bacon you prepared actually yielded after it was lightly browned. Would guess it would be anywhere from 4- to 8-ounces... Of course, you also get the great bacon fat to use as well!


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