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Canned Meat Question

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Hi, this if my first post here. I can lots of venison every fall and I just started canning other meats last fall as well (learned from my uncle when I was a kid). My question is, what is the oldest canned meat you've opened and ate and basically, how does it compare to recently canned meat. Was there a noticeable difference in taste with the stuff older than a few years?





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The food safety people will tell you that 1-2 years is a safe window. Beyond that, the lids will start to deteriorate and bacteria can get in and then you have a smelly mess.


I've known people to eat home canned meat 6-8 years out and they've said it was fine.


All my meat has been done this past year in 2008.

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I haven't heard any reference to deteriorating lids under normal conditions, but stability of the canned food "is" an issue that is constantly referenced by the food safety people in using published and tested recipes. The more stable the food (mixture) the longer its chance of not losing quality over extended time periods. Single item canned foods (like meat) will tend to last longer than a complex mixture in a salsa. Peaches have known to be good a dozen years later with only small changes in texture and syrup.





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Thanks for the replies. I would like to can and just leave it for future unforeseen needs, but if the consensus is that only a few years is the average safe window, then I guess I'll try to get 2 or so years ahead and then start to rotate.

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>>>I would like to can and just leave it for future unforeseen needs..>>>


Midwesterner, it's always a good idea to rotate foods. remember, the purpose of food storage is *Not* to create a "food museum" where it all goes on the shelf and you look at it! The food you store will be more nutritious if you rotate it--and you'll enjoy the fruit of your labor if you are home canning!

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Very wise advice. I do need to hear that now and again. We've kind of come up with a system for rotating the stuff like canned goods. Funny how I know how to can meat, but have no idea how to can say corn, or any vegetable for that matter. More to learn that's for sure.

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I would like to can and just leave it for future unforeseen needs......then I guess I'll try to get 2 or so years ahead and then start to rotate.

Not a good idea, as already stated. Home canned and commercially canned/boxed foods need to be rotated on a regular basis so that your stockpile is always as fresh as possible and guaranteed to be eatable.

It does you no good to have a crisis and dig in to your shelves to find 5 year old (or more) food that has lost its texture and taste, or totally gone bad.

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Yep, definitely need to rrotate. The best way to get a 2 year supply on shelf and still rotate properly is to can more than you eat, but still be rotating out while you go (don't tyr to can 2 years then start eatin git). It will take longer to build up a supply this way, but safer and better way of making sure stocks are fresh. Well, "fresh", since that of course is the whole point to canning is that it's not fresh, ti's canned. smile

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I understand, I learned to can because it was the only economical way I could see to store meat for a family of six.


From there I've branched out to canning jam (YUM!) but I haven't canned vegetables. It is more space efficient for me to dehydrate vegetables.


I also don't can fruit other then jams, store brand is too attractively priced. Maybe if I can grow my own fruit I will home can it.

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I feel same way. My canning is almost excuslively meat, soups, stocks, etc. Only veggie I've canned is potatoes. Once i bought too many, once it was a good sale. smile Veggies I dehydrate, fruit I buy canned. Love having premade soups/stews/entrees in jars on shelf though. Come home from long day of work, just open a jar and heat it up. And costs less, tastes better, and is much healthier than trying to buy same commercially canned.


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When we were filling the canning shelves last weekend DH said, "So can I eat this now?" I told him he could always 'eat' it but I really wanted to get a count before he started eating so I knew what we realistically went through in a year. He could understand, but now that he has 'free reign' to have all these yummy snacks and food at his disposal, he hasn't touched it yet. I do know he's gone through at least a dozen pints of applesauce in the past 6 weeks. smile


I too echoed that a full pantry is indeed a beautiful thing but what is more beautiful is using it up and enjoying every bite! The fruits of your own labor are indeed sweet and delicious. yumyum


I too, started with the canned meats this summer but realized that I really didn't like commercial corn, beans, soup, or canned fruit. In canning it myself, I could control the sugar, the quality, and have a really superior product.

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Yeah C4C, I suspect I will expand more as the year goes on. need to start hitting the farmer's markets here when stuff warms up. But in townhosue, and can't even do patio gardening due to HOA rules (plus it faces north and doesn't get much sun due to deck over it), so limited to waht i can get at store most of time. Town is pretty well surrounded by farms though. Mostly sweet corn, so if nothing else, should be able to put up some great corn. Course, I generally just dry it. LOVe snacking on dried sweet corn, better than candy.

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