Beef meatballs are delicious, quick additions to pasta meals, or soups.
Freeze the broth from the jar; it’s great for soups.
Quantities of ground beef needed
On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need about 500 g (1 lb) of ground beef per half-litre (US pint) jar of canned beef meatballs.
Jar size choices: Either half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 75 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes
Serving size: 100 g (3.5 oz)
Fat: 10 g
- Ground beef
- Herbs and seasonings
- Mix ground beef with dried herbs and seasonings of your choice such as oregano, marjoram, parsley, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt or salt sub, etc.
- Form into meatballs anywhere up to 7½ to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) in size.
- Spray a skillet with cooking spray or heat a small amount of fat or oil in it.
- Brown the meatballs in the skillet in batches; transfer the browned meatballs to a covered bowl or pot to keep hot.
- Pack meatballs loosely into half- litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart) jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Top jars up with a boiling liquid (water from a kettle, stock, or tomato juice) maintaining 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Debubble; adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
- Processing time: half-litre (US pint) jars for 75 minutes OR 1 litre (US quart) jars for 90 minutes.
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canners. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|1/2 litre (1 US pint)||75 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||90 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information on canning meat.
- Do not add any breadcrumbs, flour, or any starch to the meatballs. Do not add any egg or cheese, or any dairy.
- You don’t need to thoroughly cook the meatballs in the skillet; just brown them so they won’t clump and form a huge solid dense mass in the jar that would interfere with safe heat transfer.
- You could also bake them in the oven until they are brown on the outside but still rare on the inside.
- You may use a microwave to bring to a boil any canning liquid such as stock or tomato juice — be careful when moving heated liquid from a microwave.
- In talking about seasoning for meat patties or balls, the Ball Blue Book says, “Spice it up three ways! For mild seasoning, add salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil. Give it the Italian touch with basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Add some heat for zesty, using garlic powder, paprika, anise seed, fennel seed, dried red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.”1.
This recipe comes from the USDA Complete Guide (2015).
- Ground or Chopped Meat. In: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 5- 6.
Nutritional information based on extra-lean ground beef being used.
Serving size: 100 g (3.5 oz), drained (about one-fifth of a half-litre / US pint jar, if 500 g / 1 lb went into the jar.)
- 180 calories, 65 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 4 points
- Weight Watchers SmartPoints®: 5 points
* Nutrition info provided by MyFitnessPal.com
* PointsPlus™ and SmartPoints™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® and SmartPoints®registered trademark.
Do you have to use liquid in the jar?
Regardless of what you may see elsewhere on the Internet, there is no dry-pack option that is guaranteed to be safe. The recommendations were developed with a liquid in the jar to ensure a safe and even distribution of heat.
But it’s the work of seconds to drain the jar when opening it, and you get what is essentially free, fat-free and added-salt free beef stock to freeze for use in soups, stocks, gravies etc.
Blue Book, 37th Edition, 2014, page 99 ↩