When you open a jar of home canned ground beef that has been stored in a cool storage place, it will probably look as though there is no water in the jar, but don’t trust appearances — you know there is, you put water in the jar for canning.
While it would be fine to tip the jar, beef and water and all, into a soup, you wouldn’t want that water going into a spaghetti sauce, or casserole.
Consequently, to use the ground beef we want to drain the water off, but we can do it in a way that preserves the water because that’s not just water, it’s genuine thick rich beef broth that can be saved for other uses (and that stores nowadays will charge you a couple bucks a tin for.)
Starting off, the first thing you notice is the fat at the top of the jar. The top of a jar of home canned ground beef may look like it’s all just a layer of solid fat, but it’s not. What you are seeing from eye level in the picture above is actually just a very thin layer of fat that got pushed to the outside of the neck of the jar. Given that the ground beef in that particular jar above is extra-lean ground beef, it may be surprising that there’s any at all there, but there’s about 2 teaspoons of fat there.
Open the jar of home canned ground beef, empty it into a large microwave safe bowl or jug. You may need to use a rubber spatula or spoon to get it all out.
Zap for 1 minute in microwave on high. You can do two minutes if you want, but 1 minute should do it. We want to heat it just enough to loosen the liquid.
Drain in a sieve, and use.
From the above photo, you will see that about 100 ml (½ cup / 4 oz) of water has come off, and, there’s our 2 teaspoons of fat risen to the top.
Skim that fat off — you can add it to a tub of beef fat in the freezer for roasting potatoes in, or discard.
Freeze the broth for soup or sauces.
This is really just about 2 minutes work in total. Contrast that with the time required if you had instead just pulled a block of frozen ground beef out of the freezer. Dinner would be a little further away.
And no, you cannot dry can ground beef .
Here’s information on how to can ground beef.
Have you compared taste differences between home canned ground beef vs store bought keystone brand and/or Mountain House freeze dried ground beef? If so, what is your opinion? …. cost wise it may be cheaper for Keystone and or MH…. cost of beef, gas/electric, time…. ?
Hi Cynthia, no we haven’t but we’re going to put your question out there for others to see and comment on.
I find that the texture of canned ground beef, while not as good as fresh cooked, is way more appealing to me than the freeze dried stuff. Flavor too. You have more control over additives and chemicals that go into your home canned beef. Maybe can a small batch and do a taste test. If you’re stocking up for an emergency situation, the broth in the jar and moisture in the meat are going to help stretch your water supply. My current issue is trying to figure out how to safeguard my canned goods in the case of earthquake, as that is the main threat in my area that I am trying to prepare for. If I can’t figure that out, we will lose a lot of our emergency food supply. If camping or bugging out, I’d definitely go with the dried food so you don’t have to haul heavy canned goods. Also takes up less storage space.
I dehydrated hamburger by frying then rinsing the burger with hot beef broth. I then cool Beef broth and skim off the fat and freeze to use again. I have rehydrated the burger a year later with beef broth and it tastes and has consistency of just cooked hamburger. FYI
Though I do can hamburger for use in recipes, I do like the dehydrated better.
I have not tasted freeze dried beef, however I do dehydrate hamburger (fry it then pour boiling beef broth to rinse off fat). The canned burger is fine in dishes such as tacos with seasoning added. The dehydrated burger tasted and looked exactly like hamburger to me after a year. Definitely cheaper to dehydrate than buying freeze dried.