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Post by Rohn on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:42 pm

Don't know if anybody else does this or not but we are buying several turkeys while the price is down. We are going to can them for use throughout the year. I also will be butchering turkeys sometime before Thanksgiving and two of them are mine. Canned turkey is good. Just like any other meat you just open a can and heat it up for a quick meal.
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Post by Farmfresh on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:00 pm

I have not canned the turkey, but I have stocked up on those turkey deals at this time of the year.

If you take the turkeys to the store butcher shop they will cut them in half for you on their big meat saw free of charge.

Sometimes I store them as a cut half, but usually I take them home and keep parting them out. It is easy to do with the turkey still mostly frozen if they start cut in half. I store a leg, a thigh and a wing in one pack for the BBQ grill or easy meals for hubby and I. Then usually I bone out the breasts and cut them into tenders. This makes nice freezer packs that are easy to store and fast and easy to cook for meals. Not too many of us can eat even a half of a turkey for normal meals.

The bones are not wasted either. I roast the boned out carcasses and then turn that into a rich turkey stock with a bit of celery, onion and garlic. Sometimes I do can that stock, but often I freeze it in 2 cup portions or even in ice cube trays. It is great to have stock cubes to toss in to your potatoes or veggies when you are cooking. Really adds a ton of flavor.

I have even been burying the bones in the garden. I bury deeply near where I plan on growing tomatoes the next year as they really appreciate the extra calcium.

Parting out those cheap holiday turkeys can give you many meals for a very reasonable price.
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Post by Rohn on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:17 pm

Parting out turkeys is a good idea if you have the freezer space. If we can them we free up freezer space for other things.
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Post by Farmfresh on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:50 pm

That is very true!
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Post by gramaki on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:52 pm

What good info!
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:27 am

I've canned (raw packed) turkey a few years ago in pints. It does make for some quick & tasty meals. I even canned the organ meat as a treat for the dog. Wink

Rohn how do you can yours?
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Post by Rohn on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:38 am

We bake them and debone and pack into quart jars with 1 teaspoon salt. Fill can with up to 1 inch with broth and pressure can for 1hr and 15 minutes at 10lbs pressure.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:17 am

I'm thinking next time I'm going to do it that way because the raw pack left a lot on the bones.
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Post by 12acrehome on Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:49 am

hmm, sure quicker than freezing, thawing, and then heating it up.

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Post by carla on Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:25 pm

Thank you all for the great ideas. I like the freezing the broth idea also. Think I will try this.

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Post by carla on Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:25 pm

I'm assuming this can be done with chicken also. Does anyone know of a way to can ham?

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Post by Farmfresh on Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:46 pm

I am not sure of the times, but I know that you can pressure can almost any meat.

I do know that a friend of mine wanted to can hamburger though and found out that because of it being ground meat that it canned much better and much safer as meatballs.
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Post by Rohn on Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:03 pm

carla wrote:I'm assuming this can be done with chicken also. Does anyone know of a way to can ham?
We have done chicken the same way. I have not ever canned ham or ground meat.
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Post by gramaki on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:29 am

I really want to try canning meat, I've never done it but my grandmother and great-aunts did it. I bought a new pressure canner this summer but didn't use it yet.
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Post by Farmfresh on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:28 am

My only complaint about canning meat, and I have done chicken and beef, is the amount of time that it takes to process it.

After that, however it is sure great to have canned chicken or other meat for making super quick meals. I usually pressure can my old laying hens. I roast them up low and slow in the oven covered with water in the pan, de-bone them and then can both the hens and the broth they produced in the oven. They make great fast chicken and rice casseroles, soups and wonderful chicken salad later.
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Post by Rohn on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:43 am

I agree FF that it does take a long time to process the canned meat. 1hr and 15 min @ 10 lbs pressure.

I am going to be butchering 14 chickens on Thursday and may be bringing home a couple of them. They are old laying hens so they will be tough. I will probably end up canning them.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:56 am

I've canned turkey, chicken, ground beef in tomato sauce & bean soup with diced ham. I wasn't thrilled with the ground beef but the rest were wonderful. I've also canned beef stew and beef vegetable soup with cubed beef chunks that we really enjoyed. I've even canned my shredded beef sloppy joes for quick dinners.
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Post by kerrig on Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:32 pm

I have a new pressure canner that my ex-mother-n-law bought me a couple years ago. I wanted one to start canning some of our venison to make room in our freezer. I have been scared to try pressure canning though. I don't know why except I'm afraid of the canner exploding. But I am going to get started soon. I have 20 pumpkins that I want to can up for pumpkin desserts this next year. I have 6 gallon freezer bags of tomatoes that I didn't have time to can that are in the freezer. I want to make those in to something also. Then I have a turkey in the bottom of the deep freeze that's been in there a few years. If it isn't bad I would like to can the meat and the broth. I don't know enough about canning to do the stock and I don't know how you would get all of the bones out.
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Post by Rohn on Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:53 pm

We have never canned pumpkin. We just cook them and run them through our food mill then my wife measures them out in a muffin tin and freezes them. Once they are frozen she pops them out of the tin and into a plastic bag they go. They are kept in the freezer and she takes out what she needs for yummy stuff.
Tomatoes don't need pressure canned, water bath is fine for them.
Turkeys or chickens are cooked enough to debone and pressure canned. At least that is the way we do it at our house.
Pressure canning is safe as long as you keep watch on your gage and don't let it get too much pressure built up. You have to keep adjusting the heat up or down to keep the pressure where it needs to be. When the time is up turn off the heat and let the canner cool down until the pressure gage reads 0 before opening it up. It is not hard to do and not dangerous if you just keep watching the gage.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:04 pm

Well my first suggestion is the purchase a Ball Blue Book for step-by-step canning directions, they are around $10 and most Walmart/Target carry them in store.

Now for the turkey, you have 2 options
1) roast the turkey then can the meat with broth
or
2) cut it off the bone and raw pack the meat in jars with broth and pressure can it. I've done the raw pack and it wasted a lot of meat because I'm not very good with a fillet/boning knife. Well, the meat wasn't wasted because I roasted the carcass and made stock out of it. After roasting it I had a couple of pint jars of meat bits that were canned to add to soups along with the a bunch of jars of stock.

How do you plan to use the meat afterwards?  If you want larger pieces for serving then you'll need to use wide mouth jars and cut the pieces to fit into the jar as either slices or a large chunk/chunks.
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:22 pm

Another thing you need to do is contact your University of Illinois Agriculture extension office to determine your area's height above sea level for the proper psi to safely pressure can at. My area requires 11 psi because I'm 1000 ft above sea level. They can also send you canning information.

Now for canning pumpkin--------it MUST be canned in chunks ONLY! It's been changed from canning puree because the risk of botulism is higher because the puree is too thick to get hot enough to kill the botulism toxins. After canning chunks of pumpkin you can just drain them and puree before continuing with your recipe. Save the canning liquid to use as the liquid called for in your recipe.

Rohn is right about tomatoes, they don't require pressure canning unless you are adding ingredients to them that require pressure canning like meat in a spaghetti sauce.
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Post by Farmfresh on Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:09 am

Pumpkin and other squash also dehydrate VERY well.  Just cook it and mash it onto a dehydrator tray or slice it and blanch it then dehydrate it.  Either way it is fast and easy to use in any recipe when you are done.
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