Adventures in Canning VI: Turkey parts

Twigg

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I work a split shift and this gives me time to hit the local supermarkets during the day. I've got the timing down to a science; I show up right after the meat dept manager comes out with the "Big Yellow Discount Sticker" machine. [smile]

This is how I score fantastic deals like $1.00 off each on seven packages of fresh turkey thighs. I've found two turkey thighs will fit inside one wide mouth quart size Mason jar and I know our canner will hold seven quarts, so I grabbed all seven packages knowing I could run a full load through the canner.



The only thing is, in order to fit two thighs into each jar you need to de-bone them first. [thinking]
Its a lil'bit of work involved but believe me this is well worth the effort. I wanted to have more pictures of this part of the process but as soon as I began everybody seemed to have more important things to do someplace else. Guess they thought I was gonna put them to work...[laugh]

During this next part my hands were covered in turkey fat so I wasn't about to pick up the camera. [thinking]

De-boning a turkey thigh is easy ...as long as you have a small sharp knife. Simply make one incision on the backside, along the length of the single bone from the smaller end of the bone and slice the tip of the blade alongside the bone and finish around the larger joint. Lift the bone out, fold the thigh over itself skinside out and place in a tub until you're ready to fill the jars..

Now, you're supposed to use a big wide mouth funnel to put your items inside the canning jars but I can't get the turkey parts to fit through the funnel without cutting them into pieces so I take a paper towel and very carefully wipe down the inside and outside of every jat to get any smears of fat or liquids off the glass. I like to add 1 tsp of dried onion flakes and 1/4 tsp of Bell's Seasoning to each jar after filling; makes 'em taste like Thanksgiving Dinner!



After filling the jars, set the lids on top and screw the rings down until they are just finger tight then back off a little bit so the jars can seal during processing.



Next they go into the canner for ninety minutes, then I turn off the heat and let it cool down. When the pressure indicator drops (canners vary, know yours !) I'll have pictures of seven turkey dinners which can sit on a shelf without refrigeration for months and will be absolutely dee-licious when opened.

Bubbling hot turkey parts.


Did some quick math and here's a little over 13 LBS of shelf-stable meat.


The really nice thing I like about home canned turkey is it hold it's texture (and flavor) exceptionally well. Two thighs averages out right around two pounds of meat so this gives the three of us a good supper with enough leftovers for two people to have lunch.

Your appetite may vary.
[smile]
 
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Hiltonizer

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Great post, thanks. How do you think eating this compares to the canned stuff at the store?

We bought 25 cockeral chicks (white plymouths) this year for meat slaughter (educational experiment). We're down to our last half dozen and out of freezer space, even after having given a few away... and the rest need to go this week because they're crowing LOUD. They aren't particularly delicious without significant effort in cooking, so I was planning on canning the rest... but store bought canned chicken is horrendous.

That said, if anyone is in the Plaistow area I'll give you a live one if you want to have your hand at slaughter and prep.
 

NewGunGuy

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Okay so just a little question about the canning process, you said that you usually use a funnel to keep liquids or fat off the glass. How is that possible? Once you would start to fill they would touch the inside of the jar, or do you mean just keep it from the lip and threads of the jars. I would really like to get into trying to can my own stuff, even if it would be doing some jerky then cook in jar to seal for non refrigeration.

Charles.
 

Twigg

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Eating: Worlds apart from an commercially canned product, taste and texture MUCH better.
Need low sodium ? Don't add any salt.
Like it spicy ? Add a lil' bit rcayenne papper.
Got a picky eater in the house ? Don't add anything.

We "Raw Pack" all our meats. No additional liquids are added.

The meats can touch the inside of the jar but there is a possibility of a scrap hanging over the top when filling or rendered fat wicking up the sides interfearing with the seal. Using a funnel lessens this chance. I always wipe down the inside if the jar's neck and the outside of the threads just to be safe.

Canning meats is relativly easy you can use a regular pressure cooker but a pressure canner can hold more jars at a time. I'm not too sure about processing jerky. Jerky is a dried product and the canning process would cook it

I'll be making jerky soon, I just borrowed a food dehyderator from MrWeebles on this forum and will be posting my efforts.

Watch for it. [smile]
 

MisterHappy

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If you're going to start canning, the Ball Blue book:

http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Blue-Book-Guide-Preserving/dp/0972753702

Is considered a standard.

It's not rocket science, once you get the basics down (though the use of a pressure canner is required at times).

IMO, it's an excellent experiment/hobby for many and Twigg's posts on it are always educational and excellent. But...and it's a BIG but.....unless you have a big garden, when you factor in the costs on the equipment (remember that you need a new lid each time), the time and the energy involved, it may not be a net cost savings.

The above being said, I've made several batches of pickles this year, I tried a "dill pickled summer vegetable mix"....but that was so-so; and I'll make some apple jelly (half with a blast of cinnamon). For me, it's a sport...I know one guy that has a humungous garden, and every year he proudly shows off all the stuff he's made (musch of it excellent) while complaining that the entire month of August was devoted to getting all the crap into jars before it rots....

Start small, and read and ask questions.....
 

Twigg

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Reusable canning lids have been on the market for a while now, some members here have tested them and posted about them.

I'll do a search later when I have more time.

Mason jars can be found at yard sales but home canning is becoming more popular as people wise up on this. Same goes for pressure cookers which you'll need for meats and some other items. All you need for Waterbath Canning is big stockpot, nothing special. I second the mention of the Ball Blue Book, it's great as a reference and starting point. Keep in mind though the standards used by the .gov found in the BBBC are changing as they "work" to make things "safer" for us. What is recommended today might not be considered "safe" in the next edition.

If you try something and everything works for you, you're GTG.

Stick to the minimum processing times, adjust if necessary and you'll be fine.

Remember, everything you can store canned in a jar does not need refrigeration (untill opened) and this means less work for your freezer and a lower utility bill. [thumbsup]
 

Hiltonizer

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FYI..

Not sure if it's always the case, but last time I was in Tractor Supply Co they had Ball jars and lids the cheapest i've seen them anywhere, were even beating out Walmart by a few bucks a box. Of course I grabbed enough lids to survive TEOTWAWKI
 
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That is neat, I bought a pressure canner after a bumper crop of tomatoes this year. We have also canned peaches from the local orchard. I assume the turkey is ready to eat after it is canned?

Chris
 

PennyPincher

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I 'canned' spicy Italian sausage and breakfast sausage patties this weekend. The spicy came out good. Haven't tried the patties yet. Making pea soup today to can. Just need to decide if I am going to put it in quarts or pints. [smile]
 

Twigg

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I assume the turkey is ready to eat after it is canned?

Chris

Yes, can be eaten right out of the jar or put into a pie or heated in gravy.

I 'canned' spicy Italian sausage and breakfast sausage patties this weekend.

How did they turn out texture wise ?
I've tried canning sausage but they lost most of their texture when I tried them.
They were obviously well cooked but retained more than a little liquified fat, I triied piercing them to drain the fat and browning them but they fell apart in the frying pan.

*Think italian sausage jelly* Yuck !
 

PennyPincher

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First off I cooked them a bit before canning. Maybe too much. Put 4 in a pint jar and poured a little of the fat into the bottom of the jar. I thought they looked dry in the jar after canning. But I pulled 1 out and nuked it. It was fine but definitely softer than normal. Next time I put them in sauce and heated them up that way. Definitely soft but tasty. Kind of like they had been soaking in sauce for a long part of the day.

I also canned some of those Jimmy dean breakfast sausage patties. They fit perfect in a pint jar. Haven't tried those yet.

Yes, can be eaten right out of the jar or put into a pie or heated in gravy.



How did they turn out texture wise ?
I've tried canning sausage but they lost most of their texture when I tried them.
They were obviously well cooked but retained more than a little liquified fat, I triied piercing them to drain the fat and browning them but they fell apart in the frying pan.

*Think italian sausage jelly* Yuck !
 
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