Canned luncheon meat may find its way into your kitchen in its conventional form. Enthusiasts of canned meat will tell you, however, that it’s possible to create anything from exotic meats like canned crab meat, to wild boar meat.
Spam meat may not be your cup of tea, to state it lightly. You can use organic meat if you’d like to, and retain the flavor, tenderness and nutrition in canned form for long-term storage, as well.
Canning meat yourself does require some tools and information to do correctly. You don’t want to use a spam can that’s been left over from used foodstuffs, and you may wish to use a meat cuber or a meat saw. These appliances and containers cost many, but as you’ll find out, there are other ways to enjoy all of the same benefits, with less effort and greater cost savings.
A brief history of canned meat products
Pork luncheon meat is likely the most popular product of its kind in some households, with the exception of canned beans and beef jerky. Many of us grew up with aunts, uncles, mothers and other family members who are aficionados at canning everything from fruit and pickles, to gator and elk meat.
Canned beef goes all the way back to the 1800’s. It was soon discovered than canning isn’t a perfect way to preserve meat, as it does break down and will eventually spoil. When done properly, you can expect your meat to last for up to 5 years, at most.
During the First World War, canning was used as a means of preserving and distributing meat both at home and commercially, with the advent of the massive tin industry, and the use of pressure canners and cookers.
Today, we’re not so concerned about using canned luncheon meat for Army rations, as we are about using it as a practical way to store everyday food. In terms of survival comestibles, canning has been far surpassed by technologies such as dehydration and freeze drying, but it still has its place.
How to create your own canned luncheon meat
In our humble opinion, canned meats are best made at home. Let’s say you’re making canned rabbit meat as an example; you know when it was made, which ingredients were used and how it was processed.
The process of canned meat is relatively simple, when you have the tools. You can use a set of meat claws to shred your grass fed meat, or a meat hammer to tenderize it for a softer result. Next, cook your meat and have it hot and ready for the next step.
We recommend the use of glass mason jars, because they’re easily accessible and have a screw-on lid. Place your meat in the jars, leaving 1 inch of space below the lid, and fill with boiling hot water or broth. You can also use tomato juice, as its natural acid content will help tenderize elk or wild boar meat, for example.
Place your filled and fitted jars in a pressure cooker and heat at 11 pounds of pressure. Adjust between 75 minutes for pint-sized jars, and 90 minutes for quart-sized jars.
Economic and healthy methods of preserving and storing your luncheon meat
A meat dehydrator is the most economical method of storing meat, when compared to canning and freeze drying. All you need is a dehydrator and airtight containers, like vacuum-seal bags. There’s very little nutrient loss and spoilage, as 90-95% of your meat’s moisture content is evaporated, leaving the meat and its flavors behind.
You kitchen dehydrator might also come with some very convenient and reliable features. Using an automatic timer and adjustable thermostat, you can make any dry food recipe you can image, with the press of a button.
A meat dehydrator for jerky is an excellent tool for preserving and enjoying your source of nourishment!