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    11 Reasons To Start Canning Meat

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    11 Reasons To Start Canning Meat

    Raising livestock for meat and dairy is a standard part of homestead survival. While some of us start with smaller animals like chickens, ducks, and rabbits, graduating towards the larger animals like pork and beef is a great way to feed the family on a larger scale.

    Canning is a time-honored and important tradition that allows homesteaders to preserve what they grow in a shelf-stable environment. While most of us are familiar with canning fruits and vegetables, there are also other foods that are easy to scan on the homestead.

    Preserving meat through canning is a great way to store shelf-stable protein for your pantry and if you ever need it in an emergency.

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    1. Ingredient Control

    When you preserve your own meat using the canning process, you control every aspect of ingredients. When purchasing protein at the store, you don’t have control over what ingredients were used as well as the quality or quantity of ingredients.

    Canning your own meat is a great way to control and adapt your food to your family’s preferences. You can lower the sodium, add in different flavors, and create your own stock using food that you pick out yourself.

    2. Better Protein

    Despite what culture wants to tell us, there is a huge difference between the taste of meat purchased from the grocery store and the taste of meat grown on your own land. Just look at the difference in eggs between free-range hens and those kept in cages their entire lifespan. The difference is often so shocking that many new homesteaders vow never to purchase certain kinds of meat again.

    When canning your own meat on the farm, you know exactly where and what that animal was eating. You know if they had adequate water, plenty of room to roam, and were overall a content animal. As homesteaders, we take pride in raising grass-fed beef and choosing what ingredients our animals eat.

    3. Less Cost

    Many homesteaders have figured out that they can raise their own meat while also raising meat for others. This makes homesteading a great option as the money raised from meat sold to friends and family can often pay for the expenses to raise the meat and cover the cost of your own animal.

    While there is work involved, many of us enjoy raising animals on the farm, or we wouldn’t be homesteading in the first place. Canning your own meat allows you to use this low-cost protein that would otherwise cost a few dollars a pound at the store.

    4. Limited Waste

    When canning your own meat, you can pick and choose what cuts of meat you want to include in the recipe. Many homesteaders want to use every last part of the animal to honor the animal’s life and get the most use out of it. Canning your own meat allows you to use those less popular cuts like neck bones, hooves, and scrap protein that may otherwise go to waste.

    5. Use Nutritious Organs

    When processing many animals on the homestead, you often have other animal parts, like nutritious organs, that could go to waste. Canning your own meat allows you to use the delicacies of an animal, like the heart, liver, and feet that your family may enjoy. Harvesting your own meat gives you the option to use every part of the animal that is otherwise wasted.

    6. Helpful in Emergencies

    We all just walked through a global pandemic that created some major food insecurities. Canning your own meat allows you to have control over food access for your family. Stocking the pantry with canned meat helps put you at ease if ever there is an emergency that limits your food ability.

    7. Valuable Lesson

    Raising and harvesting your own meat on the homestead is a valuable lesson to teach children. Not only do you show how to care for an animal properly, but you also teach how you can use that animal’s life to further your own. While the process of harvesting is often a somber situation, it is an important skill to teach children and family if they ever need to use it to feed themselves in the future.

    8. Family Fun

    Canning is often a lot of work that can be made quick and fun when you get a group of people together. Many homesteaders have fond memories of sitting around a table processing and food for the family. Not only do more hands make light work, but you can also help provide for multiple families as each person shares the work and the end product.

    9. Save Freezer Space

    Another reason to can your own meat is due to logistics and energy. It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to keep a freezer of meat cool for an extended period of time. Canning your own meat allows you to use power now that can be used much later down the road.

    Saving freezer space by canning meat enables you to use that space for temporary storage and leave the long-lasting shelf-stable food in the pantry. A small amount of time and energy spent canning meat equals a large amount of available food on the shelf that can last years.

    10. Create Easy Meals

    Many of our families have go-to meals that we always seem to eat every week. Canning your own meat for meals allows you to store up future favorite meals that are easy to make. When you are low on time or energy, just open a can of ground meat, like taco meat, and heat it up to enjoy. Canning your own meat also allows you to make easy grab-and-go meals using ingredients that your family loves.

    11. Reduced Trash

    When canning your own meat with glass jars, there is little to no container waste. The glass jars are bought brand new and can repeatedly be reused as long as they are in good condition. You don’t throw out the jar once you’ve used it, but simply wash and dry it for the next canning session. This cuts down on waste that you would typically incur when purchasing a metal can or container of meat at the store.

    Canning your own meat is an essential and time-honored tradition that can save you a bunch of time, money, and energy.

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      5 thoughts on “11 Reasons To Start Canning Meat”

      1. When canning Italian Sausage, do you pre-cook or raw pack? Add water?

        I’ve canned both bacon and breakfast links, but never thought about It. Sausage.


        • For Italian sausage, I just chop it up into bite-size chunks, brown it a little, drain the fat, and pack it in the jars with about an inch of headspace. Yes, add some boiling water.

      2. Few white Americans eat organ meat now a days. Many want other people to believe that they are wealthy. So they believe that organ meats are cuts only “POOR” people eat. During the Great Depression; cow tongue was a meat you’d serve to guests for Sunday dinner. When you eat beef chili; can you identify which cut of beef was used?


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