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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Home Canned Barbeque Pork

There are many reasons for canning meats, poultry and fish. Quite often an excess of meats coincides when the freezer space is as well so canning is one method of being able to preserve the excess for later use. Jars of homecanned meats are convenient foods to have on your pantry shelf. They are already cooked so all you need to do is heat and serve. Canning allows you to take advantage of hunting and fishing but also allows you to take advantage of meat sales. Just as in other home canned foods, you can control the ingredients and tweak the flavours so it is a win-win situation.

A couple of question from my readers:

  1. How many 6 quart baskets are there in a hamper? A. A hamper is 5/8 of an Imperial bushel or 32 quarts. There are 20 quarts in a hamper or 3 1/3 - 6 quart baskets.
  2. Do you have a food preservation schedule for home use? A. I do not use an actual schedule because I follow the growing seasons for the heavy preserving season of May to October. Anything that can be canned or frozen outside of the growing season is fit in. For me this means starting with asparagus. Each crop lasts a certain length of time so that gives me a time frame to work in. For example strawberries start mid-June and generally runs for 11 days. During the time frame, I will focus on that crop but will also be doing other preserving.
  3. Can vegetable beef soup be canned? A. Yes, vegetable beef soup and most soups can be canned providing they do not contain rice, barley, noodles, thickeners or dairy. The hot soup should be ladled into hot jars. Wipe the rim and adjust the two piece lids. Process in a pressure canner at 10 lb pressure 60 minutes for pints, 70 minutes for quarts.
As you know from my previous post, pork shoulder roasts are on sale for $1 per pound which is a very good price. My husband picked up a 16.4 lb piece that had not been cut into roasts yet for $16.40. The regular price would have been $53.97! I processed the first batch of roasts into canned shredded barbeque pork (read more here) and while the results were good, I was not pleased with the amount of fat in the jars. The focus of this batch of canned shredded barbeque pork was fat reduction.

Pork Roast Prep

This pork shoulder came cryovac sealed and was not cut into roasts. Since the meat contained a couple of bones, it was actually more convenient for cooking. I placed the pork shoulder into a large roasting pan fat side down. I knew I would be defatting later so fat side down made sense. That way I could lift meat later leaving as much fat and bone undisturbed as possible. The shoulder just fit the roaster!

The pork shoulder was prepared much the same way as the pork shoulder roasts. The nature of this cut is it will be fatty. The fat is needed for the long and slow cooking process. It keeps the meat tender while adding flavour so I did not cut any fat from the meat prior to cooking.

I rubbed Blazin BBQ Rib Rub into the surface of the pork shoulder. Then topped with Spanish onion slices. The onions add both moisture and flavour. Unlike the first method I used, the sauce was not added until the pork shoulder was about half way through the cooking process. The pork was cooked at 200ºF for 6 hours then the temperature was raised to 250ºF and the meat was allowed to cook for another 2 hours.


Once the pork was cooked, I removed it from the oven. The pork was transferred to the lid of the roaster while the sauce was strained into a large saucepan. Using tongs and forks, I carefully pulled as much meat from the fat and bones as possible. I ended up with a large saucepan of strained sauce (1) two large baking pans of shredded meat (2). Both were allowed to cool then were refrigerated overnight.

The fat congealed on the surface of the sauce (1) that had taken on a jelly like consistency and yes the fat was that yellow having picked up colour from the sauce. I carefully removed as much fat as possible from the top of the sauce. There must have been a good almost two cups of fat, all that would not be going into my finished product!

The two baking pans of shredded meat were reshredded using forks. Any obvious pieces of fat were removed. The pans were covered with tinfoil then to heat in the oven set to 250ºF not only to heat for the canning process but also to allow and fat to melt out. While I knew this would not remove a lot of fat, any fat removed would be a good thing. Once the meat was heated, I brought the sauce to a boil then prepared for canning. The meat was put into hot jars leaving 1-inch headspace and hot sauce was ladled onto the meat leaving 1-inch headspace. I wiped the rims, adjusted the two piece lids then pressure canned at 10 lb pressure for 75 minutes (500 ml jars).

Comparison in the Jars

The end result was 7 - 500 ml jars of shredded pork barbeque roast and one gallon vacuum sealed freezer bag. In comparison to the first batch (1) the second batch (2) had considerably less congealed fat in the jars when they cooled. I had two concerns after the first batch cooled. The first was the amount of fat left in the final product. Lowering the fat for a healthier product was something I really wanted to do. The second concern was the aesthetics. A large amount of congealed fat in the jars simply does not look good. Reducing the fat in the finished product gave a much nicer result.

Overall, I'm pleased with the results of the defatting process for barbeque pork. The extra defatting steps did add more time and work so processing could not be done the same day but at the price, I have no complaints. This is something I'm willing to do to get a lower fat finished product. Any step that will result in a healthier homecanned version is always of primary concern for me. Now I have the method worked out for canning barbeque pork and have another pork should weighing in at 16.95 lbs, I will do up another batch using the defatting method.

9 food lovers commented:

cube said...

Bagels, fresh bread AND and BBQ pork... you're awesome!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi cube :) Thank-you for your very kind compliment!

Nedekcir said...

Will the same process work with other meat, like beef and chicken?

I would like to try this in the summer with chicken of beef.


Garden Gnome said...

Hi Nedekcir and thanks for visiting. Yes both beef and chicken can be canned. There are posts in the archives showing how to do this. HTH

BBQ said...

The blackened, somewhat charred pieces of brisket ends that cannot be sliced. A prized menu item from some area restaurants. Also referred to as "brownies." Always be attentive to your meat to avoid this burnt ends.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi BBQ and thanks for visiting :) There should be no charred pieces on the barbeque pork when prepared this way for canning. I also did not use a brisket as I canned barbeque pork not beef.

Sharon said...

I am so glad I did a search for any tips before I started! I'm going to adapt your defatting process for cubed pork roast, since I already cubed it! Thanks for the tip. Off to cook my pork for canning tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Actually, pork fat (lard) has gotten a bad reputation. It's actually better for you than butter fat. The stuff you can buy at the store is another beast all together though. Store bought has additives that make it bad for you. Nitrates are added to store bought lard. I save all the rendered fat from my cooking and can it in small jars for future use in frying and baking. Using the rendered fat from a turkey (for example) when making the pie crust for turkey pot pie or chicken fat, makes it so much better tasting, and better for you.
I would also recommend leaving the fat cap on the top when roasting. I'm doing one tomorrow that I cut the fat off of, but will have to baste the butt in my home rendered lard every hour as a result. (Going for something different on my B-Day) The fat cap on top self bastes the meat and keeps it nice and moist. Same reason I cook a turkey or chicken upside down for the first 3/4 of the time before flipping it right side up, so the dark meat with all the fat in it self bastes the breast meat.

Garden Gnome said...

That may be Anonymous but when home canning, fat is removed for both aesthetics and to lessen the chances of seal failures. It also reduces the fat in the product for later use meaning it is healthier for you. I too save fat but I freeze rather than can it. Sorry, but I don't agree with the cooking of a turkey or chicken upside down. When properly roasted, the breast meat will be tender anyways without ruining the look of the bird.