Pork Chops!

My Canning Cellar

May 22 2022 • 5 mins

Welcome to my canning cellar, where my goal is not to tell YOU how to can, but rather tell you how ‘I’ can. I am an advocate of following guidelines such as stated by the National Center for Home Food Preservation, and I’ll put the link in the show description, although I also explore other canning groups and websites to study and sometimes copy tried and tested recipes. Like me, please do your own research to be sure you are confident in the safety of your home canned items.
What I used for equipment was my digital pressure canner, a serrated knife, a cutting board, a dutch oven pot, a strainer with another pot to strain into, a canning funnel, a dish towel, and I used pint canning jars.

My husband and I rarely eat pork, so the several packages we had, had been in the freezer for a few months and I wanted to clear some things out of the freezer. I had 7 bone in pork chops of different sizes, and I let them thaw out in the refrigerator. Once thawed, I sliced the meat from the bones and trimmed off most of the fat. I cut the pork in strips about 1/2 inch wide. I think the best part about eating pork chops on the bone is being able to use my teeth to get all the meat off the bones, but using a knife on the raw chops didn’t have the same result, it was very hard to get right down to the bone and also in-between some sections. So I covered the bones that still had meat left on them with water, and let that come to a boil and then let it simmer for half an hour. I strained the broth and ended up with me two full pints, plus a half pint of broth to which I added the boiled meat that then easily pulled off from the bone. The broth came out light in color, and it should be a nice addition to another canning project, I’ll probably use it in baked beans.

I raw packed the meat slices I cut off from the bones into pint jars and I did not add any liquid because raw packed pork makes its own juice.

The pork was cold, so to avoid shocking the jars, I packed the meat into cold jars, to one inch headspace, wiped the rims with a hot wet cloth, put on the lids, finger tightened the rings, and put into cold water in a pressure canner. I let the pressure canner heat up both the water and the filled jars without the canner lid on while my pork broth was still simmering as I was going to do all 6 pints in one batch, and just as I do cold food, cold jars, cold water, I had to do the hot food into hot jars into hot water.

Normally plain broth does not need to be processed as long as meat does but I wanted to do just the one canner full. I ended up with 3 pints of meat, one pint of broth with the boiled meat, plus the two pints of pork broth all processed together for 75 minutes, and for my elevation I used the 15 pound weight.
I  thought I had packed it fairly tightly but like some of the meat that I have canned, it shrunk.  I am still working on always finding that sweet spot of meat to headspace ratio after processing, which hasn’t easy when the jars are quite full before processing.

I learned that the reason for specific headspace is that when processing times have been determined, it allows for that certain definitive headspace. Extra headspace is not accounted for in those processing times. If too much headspace is allowed, not only can the food discolor,  the jar may not seal properly because there will not be enough processing time to drive all the air out of the jar.

There was no water added to my raw pork, because there’s a lot of water in pork. A 4 ounce cut of pork will turn into 3 ounces once it’s cooked. A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards.