How to make and can soups and stews with meat at home - easily! With step by step photos, recipe ingredients and costs

This month's notes: August 2014: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries tomatoes, corn and most vegetables are being picked in most places; strawberries are finishing or done; Peaches are in and early apples have started. Find a local blueberry festival and blueberry picking tips here. See how easy it is to make strawberry jam or strawberry-rhubarb jam! Make your own homemade strawberry ice cream including low fat, low sugar and other flavors))  Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions!

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Canning Homemade Meat Soups, Stews, Stocks and Broths - Easily!

Click here for a PDF print version (coming soon!)

Making and canning your own meat -based or meat and vegetable soup, stew or stock is also quite easy. Just scroll down this page to see how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated. These directions work equally well for a variety of types of soups: vegetable, dried bean or pea, meat broths, poultry broth, or seafood broth soups can all be canned. The only special equipment you need is a pressure canner and canning jars with new lids. Caution: Do not add noodles or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk or other thickening agents to home canned soups.  And if dried beans or peas are used, they must be fully rehydrated first.  If you want to can soups that contain only vegetables or vegetables with meat broth, see this page. Also see this page for how to can tomato soup or tomato-basil soup

Ingredients and Equipment

 

  • meats and/or vegetables
  • Vegetable broth, tomato juice or water
  • Caution: Do not add noodles or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk or other thickening agents to home canned soups.  And if dried beans or peas are used, they must be fully rehydrated first.
  • Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)- Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see this page. It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!). The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty good price:
  • At least 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • 1 Pressure Canner (a large pressure  pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars after filling (about $75 to $200 at mall kitchen stores and "big box" stores, but it is cheaper online; see this page for more information).  For low acid foods (meats and most vegetables, you can't use an open water bath canner, it has to be a pressure canner to get the high temperatures to kill the bacteria. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.- and it helps support this web site!
  • Ball jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $7 per dozen 8 ounce jars including the lids and rings)
  • Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They may only be used once.
  • Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. They may be reused many times.

Optional stuff:

  • Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at big box stores or it comes in the kit at left)

Step 1 - Collect and wash your ingredients

Select, wash, and prepare vegetables, meat and seafoods as appropriate for each type; generally just washing under running cool water.

Step 2 - Wash the jars and lids

Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used.

NOTE: If unsanitized jars are used, the product should be processed for 5 more minutes. However, since this additional processing can result in a poor set (runny jam), it’s better to sanitize the jars.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.  Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot jam.

Step 3 - Cook meats (if you are including meat)

Cover meat with water and cook until tender.

Step 4 - Cool and remove bones, ligaments, etc. (if you are including meat)

Cool the meat and remove any bones or inedible pieces.

Step 5 - Cook the vegetables

Cook the vegetables (simmer until soft in boiling water, or steam). For each cup of dried beans or peas, add 3 cups of water, boil 2 minutes, remove from heat, soak 1 hour, and heat to boil; drain.

Step 6 - Combine

Combine the solid ingredients (meat and vegetables) with meat broth, tomato juice, tomatoes, or water to cover.

Step 7 - Get the lids warming in hot (but not boiling) water

Lids: put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids.

 

 

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home, at the best prices on the internet!

 

 

Step 8 - Boil for 5 minutes

Boil the combined mix for 5 minutes. Caution: Do not thicken with any starch, flour or other thickeners.

Salt to taste, if desired.

Step 9 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Fill jars halfway with the solid mixture (the bottom of the pan). Add remaining liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. . Then put them into the boiling water canner!

This is where the jar tongs come in really handy!

Step 10 - Let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes

Put the heat on high and let the steam escape through the vent for 10 minutes to purge the airspace inside the canner.

 

Step 11 - Put the weight on and let the pressure build

After 10 minutes of venting, put the weight on and close any openings to allow the pressure to build to 11 pounds.

 

Step 12 - Process the jars in the pressure canner (NOT a standard water bath canner)

Once the gauge hits 10 pounds, start your timer going - for the time in the charts below, generally 60 or 75 minutes.  Adjust the heat, as needed, to maintain 10 - 14 pounds of pressure, again, as appropriate for your type of canner

Note: the charts below will help you determine the right processing time and pressure, if you have a different type of canner, or are above sea level.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations below according to the method of pressure canner you have.

Recommended process time for vegetable soups or soups with vegetables and meat broth in a weighted-gauge pressure canner

  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints 75* min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 90* 10 15
* Caution: Process 100 minutes if soup contains seafoods.

 

Recommended process time for vegetable soups or soups with vegetables and meat broth in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot Pints 75* min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90* 11 12 13 14
* Caution: Process 100 minutes if soup contains seafoods.

Note: This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009 and Reviewed November 2009. The Ball Blue Book uses longer processing times, but this is the most recent recipe from the USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation, while the Ball Blue Book appears not to have been recently updated. 

It is important to learn how to operate your pressure canner by reading the owner's manual that came with your particular canner. If you cannot find your owner's manual, you can obtain find one online: Here is where to find some common manufacturer's manuals:

or by contacting the company that made your canner. Give the model number to the manufacturer, and they will send you the right manual. Click here for more information about pressure canners and a variety of models you can order.

Step 13 - Turn off the heat and let it cool down

When the processing time from the chart above is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure canner to cool and the pressure to drop to zero before opening the canner.  Let the jars cool without being jostled. After the pressure drops to zero (usually, you can tell but the "click" sound of the safety release vents opening, as well as but the gauge.  Let the pressure in the canner drop to zero by itself. This may take 45 minutes in a 16-quart canner filled with jars and almost an hour in a 22-quart canner. If the vent is opened before the pressure drops to zero OR if the cooling is rushed by running cold water over the canner, liquid will be lost from the jars. Too rapid cooling causes loss of liquid in the jars!

Step 14 - Remove the jars

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool on a wooden cutting board or a towel,  without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok. You're done!

Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last up to 12 months. But after about 6 to 8 months, they get darker in color and start to get runny. They still are safe to eat, but the flavor and texture aren't as good. So eat them in the first 6 months after you prepare them!



  This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 1994.

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs
    to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter
    - to remove lids from the pot
    of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid
    - disposable - you may only
    use them once
  4. Ring
    - holds the lids on the jar until after
    the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
    - to fill the jars

You can get all of the tools in a kit here:

Home Canning Kits

Features:


* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner and "Ball Blue Book" of canning.
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!



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Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward
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Click here for more information, reviews, prices on Amazon.com for Canning and Preserving For Dummies

The Ball Blue Book of Preserving

This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information from Amazon.com about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving


Summary - Typical Cost of Making Homemade Jam - makes 8 jars, 8 oz each**

ItemQuantityCost in 2006 SourceSubtotal
Berries (strawberries) 1 gallon$8.00/gallon Pick your own$8.00
Canning jars (8 oz size), includes lids and rings 18 jars$7.00/dozen Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores $10.00
Sugar 4 cups$2.00Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores$2.00
Pectin (low sugar, dry)1 and a third boxes * $2.00 per boxGrocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores$2.70
Total $22.70 total
or about $1.25 per jar
* pectin use varies - blackberry jam needs very little, raspberry a little more, strawberry the most.

** - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars and reduce the cost further; just buy new lids (the rings are reusable, but the flat lids are not)!

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FAQs - Answers to Common Questions


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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

Home Canning Kits

Features:

Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!