Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Experiments in Canned Meat, Part Three: Ground Beef

I wanted to make soft tacos for a quick lunch today but I didn't have any ground beef thawed. No worries! Time for another experiment with my home canned meat.

I grabbed a pint jar from my storage room.

I popped the lid off and plopped the contents in a skillet.

Just like the canned chicken, it was less than appetizing in appearance.

I had added quite a bit of water to each jar when I canned the meat. So what happened to all the water? 

I don't know if you can see in this photo, but there are little bits of gelatin glistening on the meat. I'm familiar with gelatin forming when you cook meat on the bone, but I've never seen such a thing with ground meat.

Sure enough, when I heated it up the gelatin melted, producing quite a bit of liquid. I drained the meat before adding taco seasoning and proceeding with my recipe.

Taco meat, seasoned and ready to go

The verdict:

Thumbs up! We all enjoyed our lunch and you couldn't really tell anything was different with the meat. It was softer in texture and the beef was definitely broken down into small pieces, but it tasted fine. Hubby Dear and I agree that we much prefer canned ground beef to canned chicken.

I should mention, however, that as I was cooking lunch Hubby Dear groaned, "Ugh! What's that smell?"

He was in an adjoining room and the distinctive smell of canned meat filled the air as soon as I started to cook the beef.

Yes, it smells a little bit like canned dog food at first. That part takes some getting used to. After it is cooked and seasoned it doesn't taste like dog food, though, and that's what's important!

I'll definitely continue to can ground beef. The jury is still out on canned chicken, but I plan to try another approach with that soon.


  1. Thanks for posting this! One of my goals this year is to learn to pressure can. Oh, and I think that canned corned beef smells funny at first, too... :-)

  2. Glad to hear this is normal. My canned beans had a funky smell when I first opened them but it didn't last long. I am new to canning and was unsure. We made burritos with the canned beef and I smashed the beans down w a mixer for refried beans. They were awesome!