Preserving Stock & Meat: Canning, Dehydrating, and Freezing Guide

Preserving Stock & Meat: Canning, Dehydrating, and Freezing Guide

How to Preserve Stock & Meat for Long-term Food Storage

Introduction

When it comes to long-term food storage, one of the most important aspects is preserving stock and meat. Stock and meat are valuable sources of protein and nutrients that can sustain you during prolonged emergencies or situations where fresh food is scarce. In this article, we will explore some effective methods for preserving stock and meat for long-term storage.

Canning

Canning is a popular method of preserving stock and meat for long-term storage. By canning, you are able to seal meat and stock in airtight jars, preventing the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Here are the steps to canning stock and meat:

Step 1: Prepare the meat and stock

– Trim excess fat from the meat and cut it into smaller chunks.
– Prepare the stock by simmering bones, vegetables, and herbs in water.
– Strain the stock to remove any impurities.
– Combine the meat and stock in a large pot and bring it to a boil.

Step 2: Sterilize the jars and lids

– Place the jars and lids in a pot of boiling water and let them boil for a few minutes.
– Remove the jars and lids from the boiling water and set them aside to cool.

Step 3: Fill the jars

– Ladle the meat and stock mixture into the sterilized jars, leaving some headspace at the top.
– Place the lids on the jars and tighten them.

Step 4: Process the jars

– Place the filled jars in a pressure canner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for processing time and pressure.
– After the processing is complete, remove the jars from the canner and let them cool.

Step 5: Store the jars

– Inspect the jars for any signs of spoilage or leakage.
– Store the jars in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

Dehydrating

Dehydrating is another excellent method for preserving stock and meat. By removing the water content from these food items, you can significantly extend their shelf life. Here’s how to dehydrate stock and meat:

Step 1: Prepare the stock and meat

– Follow the same steps as mentioned earlier for preparing the stock and meat.

Step 2: Slice the meat

– Slice the meat into thin strips for faster and more efficient drying.

Step 3: Dehydrate the stock and meat

– Spread out the meat slices and stock on dehydrator trays, making sure they don’t overlap.
– Set the dehydrator to the appropriate temperature and time for drying meat and stock.
– Check the trays throughout the drying process and rotate them if necessary.
– The drying process may take several hours or even overnight.

Step 4: Store the dehydrated stock and meat

– Once the stock and meat are fully dehydrated, let them cool.
– Place the dehydrated stock and meat in airtight containers or vacuum-seal bags.
– Store the containers in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture.

Freezing

Freezing is a convenient method for short to medium-term storage of stock and meat. While it may not be the best option for long-term storage, it can still preserve the quality of the food for several months. Here’s how to freeze stock and meat:

Step 1: Cool the stock and meat

– Allow the stock and meat to cool completely before freezing.
– Dividing it into smaller portions can speed up the cooling process.

Step 2: Package the stock and meat

– Place the cooled stock and meat in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
– Remove as much air as possible from the containers or bags before sealing them.

Step 3: Label and date the packages

– Use a permanent marker to label the containers or bags with the contents and the date of freezing.
– This will help you keep track of the storage time and maintain proper organization.

Step 4: Freeze the stock and meat

– Place the packages in the freezer, making sure to arrange them in an organized manner.
– Keep them in a single layer until they are fully frozen.
– After they are frozen, you can stack them to save space in the freezer.

Step 5: Thawing and usage

– When you are ready to use the frozen stock or meat, thaw them in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
– Avoid thawing at room temperature to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
– Once thawed, use the stock and meat within a day or two for best quality and safety.

My 2 Cents

Preserving stock and meat for long-term storage is essential for any prepper or survivalist. These food items provide valuable protein and nutrients that can sustain you during challenging times. Whether you choose to can, dehydrate, or freeze your stock and meat, remember to follow proper safety guidelines and store them in cool, dry places away from light and moisture. Adding these preserved food items to your emergency food supply will ensure that you have a reliable source of nutrition when fresh options are limited. Stay prepared and stay safe!

Prepping Tips:

– Rotate your stock and meat regularly to ensure freshness and prevent spoilage.
– Consider investing in a vacuum sealer for added protection and longer storage life.
– Label your jars, containers, and bags with the date of preservation to keep track of their shelf life.
– Store your preserved stock and meat away from chemicals, strong odors, and pests.
– Don’t forget to always follow proper food safety guidelines when handling and consuming preserved food items.