Remember back in November when turkeys were on sale for a ridiculously low price? You bought a a couple extras, didn’t you? A 28-lb turkey will yield about 7 qt jars of meat plus 7 pts of broth. That’s a lot of ready-to-heat meals from one turkey.
But what if you didn’t buy any extra turkeys?
No problem. You can still can pork roasts or a nice big ham. Those are often on sale this time of year. Or you can cook up your favorite soup or a big put of chili. The nice thing about pressure canning is you will always have a nice selection of ready-to-heat meals on hand.
Wait! Did you say pressure canning?!?!
Don’t worry. Pressure canning is not that hard. Start by reading the owner’s manual of your pressure canner. Follow each step as directed. If you are a visual learner, there are lots of Youtube videos that will walk you through the process of pressure canning. After pressure canning a couple batches you will be a pro.
Most people are intimidated by pressure canning. You’ve all heard the stories of exploding pressure canners, right? But there’s really nothing to worry about. Today’s canners have safety release valves that the old canners did not have. If you follow manufacturer’s instructions, there’s really nothing to worry about.
Every winter I’ll can a couple turkeys in January, a couple batches of beans in February. And then I usually do two or more batches of soup in March. That’s when potatoes, carrots and onion are on sale. I’ll add whatever meat has been on sale that month—usually hamburger or pork roast.
Read this post if you want my take on the best pressure canner to buy.
Why learn to pressure can?
Water bath canning is the simplest form of canning. But it can only be used for high-acid foods: pickles, jams, fruits and tomatoes. For everything else—vegetables, soups, meats—you must pressure can. Refer to my Canning FAQs for more information on safe canning.
But summer-time canning can be hectic. That’s when we are flooded with food that needs to be canned. There simply isn’t enough time to learn something new. So that’s why we take a month during winter to master pressure canning. There’s still plenty of foods that are on sale which makes this an economical thing to do.
Ready to get started?
If you’ve shopped some good sales, by the end of the month you should have a shelf-full of tasty ready-to-heat meals. That makes this month’s goal economical in both time and money.