Friday, September 18, 2015

It's a Matter of Canning Chili.....encore post

It's a matter of ...... Chili!

Note from LRH:

This is a repost of a very popular post about canning your own Chili.  I hope you find it helpful and will try it.  It's great to have on a cold winter's day.

How to Can Chili At Home:

My son seems to like chili, but only on his terms.  That means, when the moment strikes.  Well, since we are concentrating on chili this week, I wanted to determine whether it was worth the time and resources to can my own chili for him, as he seems to like mine....when the moment strikes. 

Here is a picture of a national brand taken on 6/10/10.  The chili is on sale for $1.79 and supposedly is regularly priced at $1.99,  The LRH did peak under the tag, and it still said $1.79...but was  'regularly $1.99' go figure.

I used a recipe entitled Chili Con Carne from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  (Please see the link provided for the recipe).

The recipe begins by instructing you to soak your bean overnight.....who has time for that?  Who can remember to do that? The answer is ....certainly not me!  So, I used the quick soak method.  I brought the beans to a boil, and then turned the heat off.  Leave it for an hour.  As it turned out, on my day off, the hospital called and asked me to come in to do a specialized evaluation.  I seem to be the only one in the county who does these these types of evaluations right now.  So, I left my beans, went to the hospital, did the study, and came home.  It was about 1.5 hours in total time.

When doing this, the soaking water will look terrible.  Drain the water and wash your beans.  Here are the beans in the colander.

I choose to use extra, extra lean beef as I hate to pay for something I am going to have to discard.  I also sliced my onions and put them in.  The recipe also calls for chopped peppers, but Rooster Jr. has a severe dislike for peppers, so I omitted them.

Put in all your dry seasonings.

The recipe calls for crushed or whole canned tomatoes.  This is my Tomato concoction that I make every year.  I can make spaghetti, salsa etc from it.  I will be using 2 quarts of them.

Pour the tomatoes into the meat mixture.

Incorporate the tomatoes and beans into the mixture.

After simmering for 30 minutes, place into jars and wipe the rims prior to putting on the lids and rings.

You must process these in a Pressure Canner and not in a Hot Water Bath Canner as the Chili has protein.  For Pints (at our altitude), process 75 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.

Let the canner cool naturally, because the Chili has protein, you cannot rush this process.  Take the jars out of the canner and listen for the "pop" that let's you know they are sealed.

Now, let's talk money and time:

First, let's talk about time.  I picked  a day when I was going to be around my home most of the time.  I did not babysit this process.  I cut, cooked, bottled a few minutes at a time.  Most of the time was needed to soak (and you now know I didn't even stick around for that to occur), simmer, and process.  This is time I didn't have to spend in the kitchen, even though I would wander through to make sure everything was working as it should.  I cleaned, organized, and did work on my computer.  I even had to take my son to the Insta-care when he returned home from a High Adventure camp-out because of a little mishap he had while he was away.  I let the canner cool during that period.  (If you know my son, please don't mention this to him, he hates it when 'I let everyone know things'....he's so funny).  So, I hope you see that I didn't have to devote a tremendous amount of direct time to the process, however the cumulative process did involve hours.

Now, let's talk money.  I calculated the cost of each pint (without the cost of power, or jars/lids as I already had them) to be just under $1.00/pint.  The pint is roughly equivalent to the 15 ounce can of Chili.  The most important part of this to me was the value of knowing how to do it, knowing how to use my Food Storage Staples, and also to possibly save ~ $.79/jar. The overall savings for 10 pints is $7.90.  This is equivalent to a 55% savings.

Finally, let's discuss convenience.  My children love to open a can of soup after school, or for a quick snack.  It is also nice to have a quick meal on those nights when Dance lessons or Soccer games run really long!  It's ready and all you need to do is heat it up.

So, here is another way to stock up on one of the focus items for this week.   Pull out your Pressure Canner, or ask to borrow one from your friend or neighbor and try it!

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