Canning Ham

Quite a few stores are clearing out their ham supplies this week. A few days ago, I happened upon a deal that was too good to pass up. I ended up buying 4 fully cooked holiday hams at a great price.

One of them ended up in my freezer, and the other 3 ended up in my pressure canner. From those 3 hams, I ended up with 19 pints of canned ham (not all of them were pictured here).

 

ham

 

Tools Needed –

Good Knife

Pressure Canner

Canning Jars. Lids, and Screw Bands

Ham

Hot water

 

Prep Time –

2 hours

 

Time from start to finish –

3-6 hours (depending on how many batches you need to do to get them all canned)

 

I have to add a little disclaimer here – I’m not a canning expert. I only started canning last year. Please refer to canning recipe books if you have any questions. The directions for this canned ham were in the recipe booklet that came with my canner. These instructions are just based on my experience of trying this out a few days ago. All of my jars sealed, and the ham from the jar we opened tastes great. I’m sure there are better, easier, and smarter ways to can ham; but this is how I did it and it worked well for me –

I washed and sterilized 20 pint sized canning jars. I also sterilized lids, screw bands, and all of the equpiment I was going to use.

I put 3 quarts of water in my pressure canner and put it on the stove, but didn’t start the stove.

I filled my (clean) teapot with water and let it start to boil.

I started with 3 fully cooked bone in hams that were about 7 lbs each. I cut up the hams into pieces, pulling it from the bone and taking off as much far as I could. This was the longest part of this entire process. It took me an hour to cut up all of the meat. I tried to cut the pieces very evenly, so they would heat at the same time in the jars. You could leave the fat on the meat, it might give it a richer flavor, but I personally don’t like the look of rings of fat floating around on top of my canned meat.

I filled up my pint jars with the cubed ham, being careful not to pack them too tightly, and leaving an inch headspace at the top of the jar.

After the ham was in the jars, I filled up the jars with boiling water from my teapot – still leaving an inch of headspace.

At this point, you could add a 1/2 tsp or tsp of canning salt to your ham; but I opted not too. I would suggest using canning salt instead of table salt if you add anything, since table salt could make the liquid turn cloudy.

After the jars are filled with ham and water, wipe the rims with a towel dipped in vinegar. This will get any excess grease off of the rims, helping to ensure a good seal. Then just add your lids, and screw bands.

I put them in my pressure canner and processed them at 11psi for 75 minutes.  Here is the chart for pressure canning meats if you are at a different altitude than me.  If you decided to use quarts instead of pints, you would need to process them for 90 minutes. Don’t forget – the time doesn’t start until the right PSI is reached.

 

ALTITUDE DIAL GAUGE CANNER           Pints and Quarts WEIGHTED GAUGE CANNER           Pints and Quarts
          1,001 – 2,000 ft.                   11 lbs.                   15 lbs.        
          2,001 – 4,000 ft.                   12 lbs.                   15 lbs.        
          4,001 – 6,000 ft.                   13 lbs.                   15 lbs.        
          6,001 – 8,000 ft.                   14 lbs.                   15 lbs.

 

All in all – it was very easy. The hardest part was cutting up the ham. I did have to sit in the ktichen and keep a close eye on the pressure canner, but it gave me a good chance to clean the kitchen, bake bread, and read a few chapters of my book. Now I have 19 pints of ham in the pantry. I can add ham to scrambled eggs, hash browns, casseroles, soups, salads, beans, or anything else I can think of. After accounting for the cost of the lids, each pint cost me $0.78. Canned ham at my local grocery store is $3.82 for a pint. I saved $57.76. Not too bad for a few hours worth of work.

 

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