Canned Bacon | How-to Can Bacon
The following ‘how-to’ article submitted by ‘DoubleTap’, is his experience of canning bacon. Many people successfully can bacon at home. With that said, canning of ‘cured’ meats is not officially supported by The National Center for Home Food Preservation. “The only tested, safe recommendations that are currently known to all reputable authorities are for fresh (as opposed to cured) meat home canning. These recommendations were researched and developed from the 1930s to the 1950s, which is the last time the US government decided to invest a small amount of money in home meat canning research (they were reviewed in the 1980s to ensure that they were still valid.)”
Okay, with that out of the way, here’s the article:
I have come to love pressure canning meat. I regularly do Chicken, Beef, & Sausage. Being able to have the meat put up and shelf stable really puts the mind at ease.
Recently I’ve thought to try canning Bacon. What a great thing to have stored away. Commercially canned bacon can be quite expensive, and like all commercially prepared foods, you don’t have control over what’s included.
Doing your own gives you that control and knowledge of what’s in the food you eat. Plus, if the food supply chain were to break down completely, imagine being able to have your own supply of good bacon put up. Not to mention it’s potential for barter. Jar of Bacon for a bottle of Bourbon anyone?
Use Thick Cut For Canning Bacon
I started off with some 2-pound packages of Thick Cut Bacon. Make sure you use thick cut, as I’ve read that the regular tends to disintegrate more easily during the canning process.
I used parchment paper. It just happened to be the right width so that the bacon fits perfectly across. I measured roughly 18 inch sheets for length.
I laid out the bacon strips on the parchment paper and got roughly 10 or 11 slices per sheet, depending on the width of the slices.
Then I took a second piece of the cut parchment paper and covered the bacon.
Fold The Bacon
Since I couldn’t find my yard stick, I used a dowel to help with folding the package in half.
Roll The Bacon
I then started to roll the bacon onto itself, keeping the roll as even as possible, tucking in when needed. Don’t roll it too tightly, but snug enough to be able to fit into the wide mouth quart jars. I ending up with a nice rolled pack of bacon.
Bacon In Jars
After sterilizing my jars, I was able to slide the bacon rolls right in. Put them in so that the open part of the parchment paper is facing down. This allows the bacon fat to collect in the bottom of the jar and can be used after the bacon is gone. If you can’t fit it in, try rolling just a bit tighter, not too much, or unroll and remove one slice of bacon.
I used four of the 2-pound packages and with either 10 or 11 slices per jar, ended up with 6 jars of bacon goodness. Some might question the cost versus only having a smaller amount per jar, but I’m thinking about just having bacon in the storage just in case. Plus you can always use it for a quick BLT if you don’t have any fresh packages around.
Canning Bacon Processing Pressure and Time
I processed the jars in my Pressure canner, using the regular procedures, at 11-lbs pressure for 90 minutes. I then let it cool naturally, listening for that happy popping of the lids after I took them out of the canner. You can see that the bacon fat drains to the bottom of the jar. That will harden as they cool down and can be used later on as well.
[ Ken adds: The potential issue with canning cured meat is that the curing changes the density of the meat. And the changed density was never tested for safety by the NCHFP. Logically (maybe) that heat penetration may be slower, perhaps necessitating longer processing times. But again, they simply never tested this, and people do it all the time. With that said, processing an additional 10 to 20 minutes may be considered… Anyone else out there with experience processing canned bacon to shed light on this? ]
My only regret when documenting all this was that I forgot to take a picture of the BLT’s I made the next day to test it out. The dear wife walked into the kitchen and asked me if I was really making a 3rd sandwich. A few minutes later she walked back in and caught my hoovering the bacon crumbs off the plate J
My All American Pressure Canner that will Last Forever
What does the finished product look like? Is is limp or crisp from the jar? And finally do you fry it or use it straight from the jar? Sorry for all the question.
It’s kind of limp but it’s fully cooked. I just threw it in a Fry pan and it crisps up. It rocks!!
It’s limp, you still need to do a quick fry to get crispy, but it is shelf stable.
Reminds me of the fully cooked packages bacon you can buy in the grocery stores. You still have to crisp it up even though it is fully cooked.
Thanks for the tutorial!
Been wanting to try this, might use some home smoked bacon i made recently.
Its just that when i start cutting it somehow it ends up in the frying pan!
I can bacon all the time! So good! Only difference is that I cut my slices in half, place them in the parchment in the middle, and then fold the long ends up over the bacon, then roll it up. I might try your method with two pieces of parchment and them letting more fat drip out into the bottom of the jar. And if you are loosely rolling your bacon I’m not sure extra time would be necessary. Might not hurt for an extra 10 minutes maybe. I got my ‘lesson’ from The Paratus Familia Blog years ago. Enola Gay doesn’t seem to be posting anymore, but her site is still up. Excellent information there.
I can bacon every year. Just that way in the above article.
We buy our bacon from a local farmer and he cuts his thick and it works great.
I do not fry it first before canning. I do pressure can it for 90 minutes no matter the size of the jar. It comes out of the jar cooked. I will put it in a frying pan to heat it up and drain the grease off. The texture is between limp and crispy.
By the way–you can also pressure can ground sausage (w/o the sage). I do brown my sausage first so it isn’t lumpy.
Excellent article. Can bacon. You can do it.
Love the Jimmy Dean Sausage rolls. I usually cook 15 rolls about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way, drain and end up with 14 Pint jars. Any left over magically turns into sausage gravy and biscuits that night….
WE are finally down to a few jars (2) of bacon canned in 2012, Got a hog this July so have a few # to can this year.
In the smoker now be ready to can in a few days. Storms pandemic who cares I got Bacon and eggs and BLTs. Same with sausage and pulled pork. Come spring it will be BEEF
awesome tutorial with helpful pictures. thanks!
Thanks Double Tap for the article. I am going to try this if I get 5 extra minutes. Lol
Seems like I am always running in 3 different directions at once, if I am lucky. Lol
I agree Grandee , no Sage in sausage unless you are cooking and eating fresh.
When we make sausage to smoke or cure no Sage. Turns bitter and ruins the hard work.
I agree with Kula. Anytime the bacon is out, it goes into the frying pan. If ya could eat it raw I probably would.
Got ta figure out how to make a bacon IV,,,
While eating a BLT made the mistake of saying to the wife that I think I want to raise pigs. She said only if she could get goats first. Too many animals. Will stick to my chickens for now.
The otherhalf canned bacon a year or two ago.
Don’t ask me her process, because I didn’t pay attention to details. (Go figure, right?)
Anywho, she used thickcut and it turned out to be mostly pieces and small chunks. She was disappointed. Good, none the less.
We used it for camping.
I will show her this process, in using the double parch.paper wrapping process and let her try again!
(She pressure cooks. I do the water bath stuff.)
Years ago a person who loved to pressure can meats did it somewhat similar. She also stated if your bacon crumbs then you can use it soups, salads, or anything you require bacon flavoring to enhance.
Thank you, Double T for the instructions and photos(love photo’s).
Ken, thank you as well for placing this on your site for all those who love bacon and were afraid to ask. Can it be canned?
Guess so, DT is on his 3 BLT, but do not tell Mrs. DT 🙄🤗
Bacon crumbs? Never had a problem finding a place for them. My TUMMY!! Lol
Thanks. I have to agree, Thanks Ken for sharing. I’ve learned so much from you and others here over the years, I really love to be able to share what I can. Just saw some info on Canning Butter. Think that will be my next endeavor after my current solar project.
great information thanks doubletap and ken .
Double Tap, your procedure looks very much like the way Yoders do it, using the parchment paper. I can a great variety of things, but have not tried this. Nice presentation, I am going to try it. My only long term experience with canning processed meat, is canning left over ham, after the holidays. I make rolls smearing them with a little clove and brown sugar. I use pints, so they can be used for eggs or beans, without a half a quart left over. I noticed that several mentioned not adding sage to their meat. I totally agree and never add sage to anything until I warm it up after opening the jar. While herbs are great, in canning they tend to build. You can add more in you taste test before serving, but you can’t take them out again.
Abigayle, or anyone else out there who has experience with this…I’m making a ham tomorrow that’s already spiral sliced. There should be lots of leftovers, so I’m wanting to can them. I know how to can chunks of meat, but I’ve never done sliced. You said that you make rolls of your ham. So, you just take a slice and roll it up? That’s what I was planning on doing, putting several slices in a jar, making sure not to pack them too tightly. Just wanted to see if you or anyone else had any extra advice on this.
Years ago I canned my bacon as you show here. It’s ok, but the quart size jar needed and you (I) needing to have it browned again doesn’t work for me.
I then decided on a different method.
Place in freezer just long enough to
harden the bacon. Chop the thick sliced bacon into chunks. I tend to like 1/4” to 3/16” pieces.
Fry to slightly less than what you like.
Place in 1/2 pint jars and pressure can as required. You will get 3/4 lb. of bacon in a jar. I use it in so many dishes. Fast and easy. Stores in a much smaller container. It’s awesome. Clean up is a one time endeavor as you all know cleanup sucks.
Question on canning bacon. I have at least 6 pounds of it and I’d like to can it.
But why the parchment paper? Obviously not to catch the grease, as most of it runs to the bottom of the jar. Is it to catch the water? To keep the pieces separate? What’s the purpose, other than “It’s always been done this way”?
The Parchment Paper is to keep the slices separated, if you do not use the Paper it will all cook together into one solid glob and you’ll not get the slices separated.
Been there done that;
Experience is a good instructor at times HAHAHAHA
The way I do it is, cut the bacon in half and stuff the jar as full as you can get it. I do pay attention to head space, because the bacon shrinks down a lot, and I don’t want the top exposed. I’ve done ends and pieces and strips the same way, never tried the paper, because I just could see no benefit in using it.
The end results are, for me, are just fine. I just pull the strips out, flatten them out, heat and eat.
BUT, I do have a question for you on another topic. I got 100 dozen eggs, am drying them now, saving the shells and crushing them after drying. Is there something I can add to the shell to hasten the process of breaking them down into a usable form for fertilizing my garden?
I use vinegar to release the nutrients from eggshells for my hydroponics. I tried using it as a human calcium supplement, but it tastes DISGUSTING.
Try with lemon juice – same thing but tastes better.
Stand my Ground, Adding live chickens or live pigs to broken eggshells will have those eggshells processed for the garden in about 24 hours. 😆
Anybody know any tricks for bottling hotdogs and having them still taste like hotdogs after processing? I’ve done them before and they tasted funny after processing. I opened the first bottle as soon as it cooled and the taste was just weird. I expected the strange texture, but I didn’t expect the taste to change.
Do I need to put water in the bottles?