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Home and Farm Food Preservation
Chapter V - Canning of Meats

Meats are seldom canned in the household, because of the great difficulty of sterilizing them without a steam retort, and because of the fear of serious or fatal poisoning from the use of improperly sterilized meat. Sterilization can be safely accomplished without special equipment if care is used. Chicken, rabbit, salmon, trout, fresh pork, and other meats of which there, for some reason, may be a surplus, may be preserved in attractive form in this way.

22. Preparation of Meats for Canning. Meats are canned fresh or after curing or after a preliminary cooking.

Chicken and rabbit are usually first cooked and canned in the boneless condition or in pieces as the meat comes from the roasting oven or fry pan. The fresh meat may also be cut in pieces to fit the containers and sterilized without previous cooking. By the last process the meat is not usually so attractive as where it is first cooked in some way before canning. A suitable sauce or gravy should be added.

Beef is usually corned before canning (see Recipe 129) and canned with a gelatin broth which sets to a firm jelly when the meat is cooked after sterilization.

Fish is ordinarily canned fresh after cutting to fit the can. Various sauces or oil may be used to fill the cans, especially with small fish such as sardines. Tomato sauce is also used extensively. "Kippered" fish is also canned. This is fish soaked in brine and smoked a short time. (See Recipe 139.) Salmon, tuna, shad roe, etc., are canned without added liquid.

23. Sterilization of Meats. Meats because of their low' acidity, high protein content, and the presence of spore-bearing bacteria, are very difficult to sterilize. Pressure sterilizers or intermittent sterilization are very necessary in order that fatal poisoning from botulinus bacteria may not result. Mrs. Thomas of San Francisco, now with the Extension Division of the University of California, has made experiments in which she sterilized chicken in a brine acidified with about five ounces of lemon juice per gallon. She found that the meat was easily sterilized in boiling water. The method has not been tested sufficiently, to warrant a recommendation for its general use. It seems very promising, however.

Meats should be sterilized under 10 to 15 pounds pressure for one heating or for 1% hours in actively boiling water on each of three successive (lays. The one-period method at 212 F. is not recommended.

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