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Crotchety Old Member
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The wife and I have learned over the past few years, to can our own food. Lately while making our plans, she decided that there were a few things she did not want to be without while sailing out. Butter, bacon, and a few other things.

This video is of how we canned bacon.

Canning - Bacon - Sailing Vessel Footprints
 

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I have read that the canned butter out of New Zealand/Australia is supposed to be really good. I have always wanted to try canning but have never done it.
 

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Crotchety Old Member
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Discussion Starter #3
I have read that the canned butter out of New Zealand/Australia is supposed to be really good. I have always wanted to try canning but have never done it.
We canned butter, too. Need to do a view about that. The butter came out really good, and should last for months to years. Great way to store things. The bacon came out crumbly, but tasted like bacon. Will probably use it in salads and mixing with eggs.

We've done beans, chili, carrots, tomatoes, chicken, pea soup, and probably some other things I've forgotten.
 

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I have friends that can. The New Zealand butter is supposed to be better than fresh US butter. I have not found any locally though.

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There's plenty bacon from San Pedro all the way until just before Indonesia. No need to can it really. But it will be nice to have the canned 'out there '.

Cannot bacon be cured and stored unrefrigerated for months? Maybe some smoked or cured ham cuts could be taken instead...prosciutto?
 

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Yes, bacon is usually cured, both sugar and salt cured, then smoked and will last for many, many months. Salt pork was a staple of life for the Union and Confederate armies of the United States during the US Civil War. It was usually carried in a pouch and not refrigerated. It did, however, go rancid after a few months of being transported in a canvas pouch, but this was mainly from contamination as the troops waded through swamps and forded rivers, thereby washing off the salt and allowing various forms of bacteria to infiltrate the meat. So, they just cooked it longer to kill the bugs, then soaked their hardtack biscuits in the grease to make them more palatable.

Many years ago, when I was a young kid in the US Navy, I frequently hitchhiked home along US Route 17 and 301 from Norfolk to Baltimore. Along the way I often saw signs for sugar cured hams and bacon, and those hams and bacon slabs were displayed by hanging them on twine and suspending them from a wooden beam in the stores. One day I decided to buy a slab of bacon and a large ham. The taste was incredible.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
 

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Yes, bacon is usually cured, both sugar and salt cured, then smoked and will last for many, many months. Salt pork was a staple of life for the Union and Confederate armies of the United States during the US Civil War. It was usually carried in a pouch and not refrigerated. It did, however, go rancid after a few months of being transported in a canvas pouch, but this was mainly from contamination as the troops waded through swamps and forded rivers, thereby washing off the salt and allowing various forms of bacteria to infiltrate the meat. So, they just cooked it longer to kill the bugs, then soaked their hardtack biscuits in the grease to make them more palatable.

Many years ago, when I was a young kid in the US Navy, I frequently hitchhiked home along US Route 17 and 301 from Norfolk to Baltimore. Along the way I often saw signs for sugar cured hams and bacon, and those hams and bacon slabs were displayed by hanging them on twine and suspending them from a wooden beam in the stores. One day I decided to buy a slab of bacon and a large ham. The taste was incredible.

All the best,

Gary :cool:

Yes, I have had dry cured, and hung hams and they are really good, but I have not seen dry cured bacon in 30 years or so. Not sure if you can buy it anymore. Hams yes, but I imagine they would not do much for your blood pressure.

Welcome to the 21st century.
 

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In the 90's on a small boat without a refrigerator, we canned a variety of foods before setting off for a year of cruising. At that time we chose to can because we didn't like commercial canned goods. Also being a vegetarian, I was concerned about food additives. In the end we found some of our canned foods to be really useful and others not so.

So much is readily available everywhere these days and we rarely use canned foods anyhow. We tend to stock more dry provisions like rice, other grains and lentils.

With so many boats relying on refrigeration today, the art of canning tends to get lost. And there also is the issue of storing the canning jars. If I was to can again another time, I would can local foods that wouldn't be available down the line... like fruit jams, salsas or chutneys. I also think home canned meats would be a thousand times tastier than commercial products.

Robyn
 

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Old soul
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I've never canned, but I do dehydrate all manner of foods for our journeys. I dry all manner of fruits and veggies, plus various types of meat. I built a solar dehydrator now that we're transitioning to full-time cruising.

I'm interested in learning about canning as well. Another thing to add to the education list :eek.
 

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I grew up canning with my dad. I'm growing a garden right now specifically to can enough food to last me until next summer. I've got enough tomatoes going to make spaghetti sauce, salsa, whole and crushed canned tomatoes (great for soups), canned green beans, peas, potatoes (if kept in a cool, ventilated place, red potatoes will keep six months without doing anything to them. Yukon Golds last a little less time). I've got squash to can, cucumbers for pickles, tons of peppers to dry, to grind into paprika, chili powder, jalepeno powder (by the way, the best chorizo I've ever had was something I made, using homemade jalepeno powder in place of crushed red pepper. The taste was ten times better!) Also have onions and garlic. I might even get a few more chickens to cut them if I can come up with a decent way to can them. I know you can buy canned chicken in stores just like canned tuna and other fish. I think I'll make some basic soups from chicken and veggie stock and can those too.

On his first voyage, Captain Cook took ten pounds of onions for every man on board, and twice that amount of potatoes I think. Onions are a super food and carry a lot of antioxidants and build the immune system. I'll try to do the same since I eat a lot of onions. I also plan on doing a little gunkholing and devoting several days periodically entirely to gathering food like oysters, mussels, clams, crabs, fish, etc. I think I could steam crabs, oysters, and mussels, put them in a light salt brine, and can them aboard, so long as I bring a pressure cooker with me. I also want to transition my home brew to brewing aboard. Being able to brew a beer that is craft brew quality for $2.50 a six pack is hard to beat. And it's fun and gives you something to do.
 

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Wide mouth Mason jars are more general purpose. They can can most anything but really shine when packed with salmon.My 20 liter pressure cooker sits idle in the basement and needs a new ower. Canning oysters is a waste of time but clams and crab/prawns #1. Look in the supermarket for the foam mesh covers on papayas.perfect for protecting your precious in the bilge. (when I was a kid, heard about an Aborigine from Aus, He'd built a boat on the beach in Gibson's BC. Filled it with really big glass jars of lemon juice and salmon fillets. In Mexico replaced the fish with abalone steaks for the return to salmon land. Just to show it's all been done before and we're not off the chart.
 

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islander bahama 24
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We canned butter, too. Need to do a view about that. The butter came out really good, and should last for months to years. Great way to store things. The bacon came out crumbly, but tasted like bacon. Will probably use it in salads and mixing with eggs.

We've done beans, chili, carrots, tomatoes, chicken, pea soup, and probably some other things I've forgotten.
The trick to the bacon is paper on both sides to keep it from sticking to its self and thick sliced to prevent crumbling
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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I admire and respect the folks who really know what they are doing with canning but mainly have avoided it myself. Our US FDA has done a lot of lab work with actually testing canning and doing bacteriological, etc. testing on the results, because folks also routinely used to kill themselves--and others--with home canning.

Problem #1, the bacon is not immersed in fluid, it is being "dry" canned in the jars. So there's some question of how much heat is getting how far into the jar, and how uniformly. The FDA also warns against using 1/2 gallon jars almost completely, because in that case even with sauces, they've found the contents do not heat evenly, leaving the center of the jar to grow toxins. So, who confirms those pint or quart jars need or get how much heat? All the way through them?

Despite Blue Bell Ice Cream and some other national lapses and recalls...at least here in the US, pre-cooked bacon in shelf-stable plastic packs is readily available. It is pretty much the same product, bacon that has been interleaved with wax paper, then placed in a sterile poly bag and heated with some precision until almost completely cooked and very carefully and certainly sterilized. Perhaps that is only available in the US market...but no jars, no canners, no...was that really a one-burner "Korean bbq" butane stove? Just asking, I know they don't really blow up boats all the time.

Seeing bacon aging for up to three years hanging in a charcuterie, I just have to wonder about all the canning fuss for it. I'm still reluctant to be part of a canning experiment, especially after I've seen the pretty colors of botulism blooms in garlic that I'd put up in olive oil. Who knew, you need more stuff to prevent that.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I've been canning garden veggies for years. Having a garden almost makes it mandatory because for a few weeks in our VERY short summers there is way more than one can possibly eat or give away. That's a problem with gardens. Right now if anyone wants a salad, I have LOTS of free lettuce! :) Most of my friends have veggies to give away at the same time. I have never canned meat (requires a pressure canner which I don't have) but would like to do that for boat stores. A buddy up the road from me does a lot of dried and smoked food. Those methods look great as well for boat use.
 
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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Isn't free lettuce the way you start to make lots of canned hasenpfeffer? (G)
Really? I'll check it out. I didn't think lettuce was good for much other than salads and on sandwiches.
 

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I admire and respect the folks who really know what they are doing with canning but mainly have avoided it myself. Our US FDA has done a lot of lab work with actually testing canning and doing bacteriological, etc. testing on the results, because folks also routinely used to kill themselves--and others--with home canning.

Problem #1, the bacon is not immersed in fluid, it is being "dry" canned in the jars. So there's some question of how much heat is getting how far into the jar, and how uniformly. The FDA also warns against using 1/2 gallon jars almost completely, because in that case even with sauces, they've found the contents do not heat evenly, leaving the center of the jar to grow toxins. So, who confirms those pint or quart jars need or get how much heat? All the way through them?

Despite Blue Bell Ice Cream and some other national lapses and recalls...at least here in the US, pre-cooked bacon in shelf-stable plastic packs is readily available. It is pretty much the same product, bacon that has been interleaved with wax paper, then placed in a sterile poly bag and heated with some precision until almost completely cooked and very carefully and certainly sterilized. Perhaps that is only available in the US market...but no jars, no canners, no...was that really a one-burner "Korean bbq" butane stove? Just asking, I know they don't really blow up boats all the time.

Seeing bacon aging for up to three years hanging in a charcuterie, I just have to wonder about all the canning fuss for it. I'm still reluctant to be part of a canning experiment, especially after I've seen the pretty colors of botulism blooms in garlic that I'd put up in olive oil. Who knew, you need more stuff to prevent that.
The FDA wouldn't approve of most things virtually everyone does in kitchens at home. When you grow up in a sterile environment and everything has to be wiped down with lysol and bleach and you have to wash your hands before and after doing anything at all, your immune system becomes so weak that you have to live that way for the rest of your life, and you become deathly afraid to eat things that the rest of the world wouldn't think twice about. I was once told that every child ought to eat a pound of dirt by the time they're 8. Kids should grow up playing outside, putting bugs and dirt and rocks in their mouths, and learning about the world around them. And I argue that anyone that didn't grow up that way missed out on a great childhood. I'm not a slob by any means, but I don't wash my hands ten times a day, I don't wipe my counters down with bleach or lysol after cooking, I cook dinner in the same cast iron pan I made eggs in that morning without washing, eat veggies that fell on the floor, etc. And I don't get sick. I don't get head colds, I don't get the flu, under cooked meat doesn't bother me nearly as much as most other people... it's great. Let your body do it's job. Nature designed your immune system to keep you safe from foreign bacteria, and most people are so afraid of bacteria from watching the news and hearing about some dude that did so and so that everything must be sterilized and you weaken your immune system every time you don't exercise it. Liken it to a person's legs that has been in a wheel chair for years. It couldn't support anything if it really had to. Any part of our bodies need exercise and use to be as strong as they can be, whether its muscle, tissue, liver, kidney, immune system, etc.

I'm not condoning unsafe practices or eating raw chicken and the sort, but let your body do its job once in a while. I've never heard of people dying from eating their homemade canned food, and I grew up around canning and around other families that did the same. Being afraid of canning your own food is so ridiculous. It's all natural, has no hormones and preservatives and all the other crap that's added to food these days. Replacing your immune system with cleanser in a bottle and eating all the genetically modified "food" from farms half way across the country or world will make our bodies more fragile and create more problems that it intends to stop. Getting an upset stomach once in a while (I'm not talking about wildly vomiting or sitting on the toilet for three days... that's what happens when you have no immune system though) is a drop in the bucket compared to all the lengths people go these days to live sterile. Then having a sick child sneeze in your face accidentally keeps you out of work for a week, when your body would have not had a problem with it at all had it not been for your overly cautious sterile practices.

Again, let your immune system do what it is intended to do. Don't dismiss a practice that has been in place far before the FDA even existed. People lived healthier lives 100 years ago than we do now, and our diets and daily habits are the reason so many people get sick and fat so easily these days.

*end rant* Sorry for so many words.
 

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Family was self sufficient off the land and sea since '49. Spent 10 years coasting on Thane ,canning everything edible, from abalone /deer to veggies and fruit. If I couldn't find it wild ,traded at the farmers market for canned pinks. Plant stuff is 60 minutes at pressure ,fish,90 min. Never had a bad jar of anything. but always check the concavity of the lid. Got a big garden and a freezer in the basement now,so easy.
 

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Family was self sufficient off the land and sea since '49. Spent 10 years coasting on Thane ,canning everything edible, from abalone /deer to veggies and fruit. If I couldn't find it wild ,traded at the farmers market for canned pinks. Plant stuff is 60 minutes at pressure ,fish,90 min. Never had a bad jar of anything. but always check the concavity of the lid. Got a big garden and a freezer in the basement now,so easy.
Yup, it just needs to be properly cooked, and the jars have to seal well. If they don't seal, just toss it in the fridge and use it first. The seal is the most important thing.
 
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