My favorite thing to can is chicken. My second favorite meat to can is hamburger. Both are super easy to do and a great way to put shelf-stable meat in your pantry.

Recently, I cooked up four pounds of hamburger. For the inquiring mind, I have heard that you can put raw hamburger in your jars but that the texture is off – kind of like the nasty little bits of meat you get in SpaghettiOs. Shudder. So, I cook my hamburger first!

Start by cooking your hamburger

I saw this hamburger chopper on a You Tube video and was intrigued enough to buy it. It works so much better than a spatula to break up ground meat while you’re cooking it.

Once the meat is cooked, drain it, and rinse it with hot water (to remove more of the grease), especially if you are using a grade of 80/20 or below. Then it’s ready for the jars.

Pack the meat into the jars

Pack the cooked meat into the jars. Add boiling water, leaving 1″ headspace. There are other things you can add (for example, meat broth or tomato juice) but I prefer the water as the other options didn’t add enough to the finished product to warrant the added expense.

Remove the air bubbles and adjust the amount of meat and/or water as needed to maintain the 1″ headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt per pint jar (1 teaspoon per quart jar). Wipe the rims with a paper towel dampened with a little white vinegar (it does better than water to cut through any stray greasiness).

Remove bubbles, leaving 1″ headspace

Put on the lids and rings and put them into your pressure canner.

Bring the canner up to pressure and then process for 75 minutes. Leave the canner sealed until the pressure has release naturally – at least another hour.

The finished product

I got 5 pints out of four pounds of hamburger. That works out to just under 1 pound of hamburger per pint. That’s the perfect amount for tacos, casseroles, soups, stews, or anything asking for a pound of cooked ground beef.

Now, anytime I need a quick meal, these are waiting for me. No defrosting necessary.

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