Letter Re: Getting Started with Home Canning

I am acquiring the equipment necessary to pressure can (in jars) meat and produce. A bumper crop from a home garden or a freshly killed animal will be lost quickly if not frozen, dried or canned. I don’t want to make jerky stews, casseroles or burgers, so I’m going to add canning skills to my quiver. After doing some reading, I’ve discovered that nearly anything can be canned! I’ve found people canning burger patties, meatballs, butter, cheese, and bacon in additional to all the normal things you’d expect to see in jars.

There are tons of books out there with terrific recipes and instructions, but the USDA has a basic instructional e-book online. This same book sells for $10 on Amazon but the electronic version is free.

Also, for those who are thinking about it but have never done any canning, an important stocking-up reminder: The jar lids are not reusable. The metal band can be reused (it is removed after the jar has cooled), but the lid is single-use only. I’m planning to buy several dozen metal bands and several hundred lids. – Matthew R