Canning Bacon By Jomer

Having seen  a few You-tubes on how to do home canned bacon i figured I'd give it a try.
To keep from having to write a lot, I'll share with you one that will teach you the basics.

The first improvement i made from the video was i bought the restaurant bacon that comes in a 10 pound box for $28, (on 2/12/12 i visited Sam's club and 2 restaurant supply stores, all had 10lb bacon and the price range was $28.24- $28.89) the type that already has the bacon on the parchment paper. i found that taking 3 full sheets wouldn't fit in the jar. But, by removing 3-4 strips of bacon the roll was then small enough to fit in the wide mouth quart jars.  Because the bacon is already on the parchment paper, it made the canning prep go much faster and saved me the cost of buying it.

How to...

 I placed a piece of parchment paper on half of the bacon to prevent it from sticking together once folded over onto itself.

i tried filling the jars 2 ways, some with the folded end up and some with the folded end down.. (i get back to you on which worked best for removing the bacon).

The next thing i tried, and which seemed to work much better, was canning the bacon in wide mouth pint jars.. to do this i used thick cut bacon, which i then cut the slabs in equal thirds.. (the slab was just over 11 inches long so i cut the slabs into three-  3 3/4 inch lengths). I then cut some parchment paper 40inches long and 4 inches wide. i left about 2 inches of space on each end of the parchment and filled the rest with bacon strips (yummy 3 feet of bacon).. you notice there's about 1/8 inch gap between each strip, these gaps will fill in as you roll the bacon into a tight log.

once the bacon was rolled up...

How to continued...

I placed the rolls in the pint jars. you notice the bacon at 3 3/4 inch leaves just enough head space in the jars.

I pressure cooked the bacon for 95 minutes at 12psi. (because i was canning at a 2,000 foot elevation it is recommended you make a altitude adjustment. The Ball Blue Book often says add 2lb psi and 5 minutes). Yes you will need a pressure cooker/canner to can bacon or any kind of meat, and I suggest using one that has a pressure gauge.

This is what the quart jars looked like after removing them from the pressure cooker. Notice the difference in parchment paper, the center one is one I rolled using the parchment paper bakers often use. It is cheaper but also thinner than the store bought rolled paper.

The pint jars after they have cooled. Notice the juice layer under the fat layer.

In conclusion:

I really like the pint jars over the quart jars. With the quarts i was able to fit in 19 ounces of thin cut bacon and in the pints i was averaging 14 ounces of bacon per jar. 

They say the canned bacon is good for 9 months to a year, maybe more. I know i can get that shelf-life keeping it in the regular freezer, in my deep freezer 2 years.  But this is nice because it's already cooked, it just needs to be fried or baked to make it crispy. It will also be great for camping trips because no refrigeration is needed (except for the leftovers once opened... yeah like there will be left overs... haha).

Before you attempt to do this please get a Ball Blue Book of home Canning (buy 2 or 3, they are a good barter item) or some other canning book. Read the general overview on canning! There were some basic canning steps I did not cover (sterilizing your canning jars, water bathing the lids, etc.).

Don't be afraid of pressure cookers. The new ones have triple blow out points so they will not explode. However i did read that you should avoid buying a pressure cooker at yard sales/garage sales etc, because if they have been dropped there could be a unnoticeable hair line crack.