Are you tired of constantly cooking fresh meals every day? Do you wish you could have a delicious, home-cooked meal without the hassle of cooking every day? Canning pulled pork is a great solution that can save you time and effort in the kitchen.
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Canning pulled pork is a simple process that involves cooking the pork, shredding it, and then preserving it in jars. This method allows you to enjoy the flavor and tenderness of freshly cooked pork for months to come. Plus, it’s a great way to preserve excess meat from a large roast or to prepare meals in advance for busy weeks.
Not only is canning pulled pork a convenient option for meal prep, but it’s also a great way to ensure that you always have a tasty protein option on hand. Whether you’re looking to meal prep for the week or simply want to have a quick and easy meal option available, canning pulled pork is a great solution. Keep reading to learn more about how to can pulled pork and start enjoying the benefits of this delicious meal prep option.
Understanding Canning Pulled Pork
If you love pulled pork, canning it is a great way to preserve it for later use. Canning pulled pork is a simple process that involves pressure canning the meat in jars. Here are some important things to consider when canning pulled pork.
Benefits of Canning
Canning pulled pork has several benefits. First and foremost, it extends the shelf life of the meat. Canned pulled pork can last for up to 2 years, which means you can enjoy it long after the original cooking date. Additionally, canning pulled pork is a convenient way to store the meat. You can easily grab a jar of pulled pork from your pantry and use it to make sandwiches, tacos, or any other recipe that calls for pulled pork.
When canning pulled pork, safety is of utmost importance. It is important to follow proper canning procedures to ensure that the meat is safe to eat. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:
- Always use a pressure canner to can pulled pork. A pressure canner is necessary to ensure that the meat is cooked at a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria or other harmful organisms.
- Follow proper canning procedures, including sterilizing jars and lids, filling jars with the correct amount of pulled pork, and processing jars for the correct amount of time.
- Only use high-quality, fresh pork when canning pulled pork. Do not use meat that is past its expiration date or that has been previously frozen and thawed.
By following these safety considerations, you can ensure that your canned pulled pork is safe to eat and will last for a long time.
When it comes to canning pulled pork, selecting the right ingredients is crucial for achieving a delicious and flavorful result. In this section, we’ll cover the two main components of your pulled pork: the pork cut itself and the essential spices and seasonings that will give your pork its signature taste.
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Choosing the Right Pork Cut
The best cut of pork for pulled pork is the pork butt, also known as the Boston butt. Despite its name, this cut actually comes from the upper shoulder of the pig and is well-marbled with fat, which makes it perfect for slow-cooking and shredding. When selecting your pork butt, look for one that is well-trimmed with a good amount of fat still intact. This will ensure that your pulled pork is juicy and flavorful.
Preparing the Pork
Before you start canning pulled pork, you need to prepare the pork. This involves cooking the pork, shredding it, and seasoning it. Here’s how to do it:
Cooking the Pork
The first step is to cook the pork. I put mine on the rack in my electric turkey roasting pan (fat side up). I didn’t add any water or spices to it. You need to cook the pork until the internal temperature when measured with a meat thermometer is 170 degrees F. I cooked it at 300 degrees, and it took approximately 6 hours for my 16 pounds of pork to cook completely.
You can cook it in a variety of ways, but braising it in a crock pot is another popular method. To do this, place the pork in the crock pot and add enough liquid to cover it. You can use water, broth or added flavor. Cook the pork on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
Step by Step Canning Video
New to pressure canning and want to watch me prepare this recipe? This video shows you complete instructions for canning pulled pork.
Shredding and Seasoning
Once the pork is cooked, it’s time to shred it. You can do this using two forks or a meat shredder. Remove any excess fat or bone, and shred the pork into bite-sized pieces.
Next, it’s time to season the pork. You can use a pre-made seasoning blend, barbecue sauce, or create your own homemade barbecue sauce. Some popular seasonings for pulled pork include garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Mix the seasonings together and sprinkle them over the shredded pork, stirring to coat evenly.
To the season the shredded pork I added:
- 4 c. ketchup
- 1 c. mustard
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 3 tbsp. liquid smoke
- 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice.
You can add hot sauce if desired. After stirring it all up, adjust seasonings to taste. If necessary, add a little water to get a nice sauce like consistency. A lot of the water will evaporate during the canning process.
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Now that your pork is cooked, shredded, and seasoned, you’re ready to start canning it. Follow your recipe for canning instructions and enjoy your delicious pulled pork anytime!
Jar Selection and Preparation
Before you start canning pulled pork, it is important to select the right type of jar. Glass jars are the best option for canning, as they are non-reactive and do not absorb odors or flavors. Make sure to choose the appropriate jar size for your pulled pork. Pints and quarts are the most common sizes for canning pulled pork.
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Once you have selected the jars, wash them thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse them well. You can also run them through a quick rinse in the dishwasher. Inspect each jar for cracks or chips. Discard any jars that are damaged, as they may break during the canning process.
Filling and Headspace
When filling the jars with pulled pork, leave an appropriate amount of headspace. This is the space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. The amount of headspace required depends on the jar size and the type of food being canned. For pulled pork, leave 1 inch of headspace for pints and 1.5 inches for quarts. You can easily measure the headspace with this inexpensive canning funnel.
After filling the jars with pulled pork, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue. Place the lids on the jars and screw the bands on until they are fingertip-tight. Do not overtighten the bands, as this can prevent air from escaping during processing.
Pressure Canning Process
Canning pulled pork is an excellent way to preserve it for later use. Pressure canning is the most recommended method for canning pulled pork. This section will guide you through the pressure canning process for pulled pork, including operating the pressure canner, processing times, and altitude adjustments.
Operating the Pressure Canner
Before using the pressure canner, ensure that it is in good condition and the sealing ring is not damaged. The pressure canner should be clean and free of debris. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pressure canner.
Add water to the pressure canner according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is normally 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of the canner. Then, place the jars of pulled pork into the canner, making sure they are not touching each other or the sides of the canner.
Processing Times and Altitude Adjustments
The processing time for canning pulled pork varies depending on the altitude you are at. At sea level, the processing time is 70 minutes for pint jars and 90 minutes for quart jars. For altitudes above 1,000 feet, add additional processing time as follows:
- 1,001-3,000 feet: add 5 minutes
- 3,001-6,000 feet: add 10 minutes
- 6,001-8,000 feet: add 15 minutes
- 8,001-10,000 feet: add 20 minutes
Always follow the recommended processing time for your altitude to ensure the safety of your canned pulled pork.
Storing and Using Canned Pork
Once you have canned your pulled pork, it’s important to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat. You can store your canned pork in a cool, dry place such as your pantry. Be sure to label your jars with the date of canning and the contents to keep track of freshness.
Canned pork can last up to 1-2 years when stored properly. However, it’s recommended to consume it within a year for optimal taste and texture. It’s also important to check for any signs of spoilage before consuming, such as mold or an off smell.
Creative Recipe Ideas
Canned pulled pork is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are some creative ideas to get you started:
- Add canned pork to beef stew or vegetable broth for added flavor and protein.
- Use canned pork in place of chicken in chicken broth for a unique twist on classic soups like split pea or bean and ham.
- Mix canned pork with garbanzo beans and spices for a quick and easy curry.
- Use canned pork in tajines or braised suppers for a hearty and flavorful meal.
- Use the broth from canning pork as a base for cooking other recipes that call for broth.
When cooking with canned pork, be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s heated to a safe temperature of 165°F. You can also use canned pork as a convenient and delicious protein source for meal prepping or quick weeknight dinners.
If you’re looking for more in-depth information on canning pulled pork, there are several books and websites that offer detailed instructions and nutritional information. Some popular resources include the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, the National Center for Home Food Preservation, and the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.
Related Article: Canning Beef Stew
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I safely can pulled pork using a pressure canner?
Canning pulled pork requires the use of a pressure canner to ensure that the meat is properly preserved and free from harmful bacteria. Before canning, it is important to follow a trusted recipe and to properly prepare and sterilize your jars and equipment. It is also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pressure canner to ensure that it is used properly and safely.
What is the shelf life of home-canned pulled pork?
Home-canned pulled pork can last for up to 1-2 years if stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It is important to check the jars for any signs of spoilage before consuming the meat. If you notice any discoloration, mold, or strange odors, do not consume the meat.
Is it possible to can pulled pork with barbecue sauce?
Yes, it is possible to can pulled pork with barbecue sauce. However, it is important to follow a trusted recipe and to ensure that the sauce has the proper acidity level to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Adding too much sauce can also affect the quality and texture of the meat.
Which cut of pork is most suitable for canning and yields the best results?
The best cut of pork for canning pulled pork is a boneless pork shoulder or butt. These cuts are flavorful and tender, making them ideal for slow cooking and canning. It is important to trim any excess fat from the meat before canning to ensure that it is properly preserved.
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