Unfortunately, the problem of unstable electricity supply in South Africa is getting bigger and no solution seems to be in sight. There are alternative power sources available, but the cost of each of these is too big a burden for most South African households. Fortunately, there are other ways of preserving food so you won’t lose everything in the fridge and freezer the next time an extended power outage comes around. 

At Centigrade Refrigeration we understand that not all our clients are in the market for fridges and freezers so we’ve stepped out of the proverbial box to look at other ways to provide South Africans with real solutions to current problems. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at food preservation and the role a custom Centigrade solution can play in aiding our clients to still eat the way they love to. 

 If you take a look at the average home’s pantry, you’ll see lots of rice, beans, pasta, canned veggies, dehydrated fruits, and so forth. If you take a look at their daily diet, you’ll see lots of beef, steak, chicken, and other meats. See the problem?

People love to eat meat, but unfortunately, they have a tendency to only store it in the fridge or freezer. What are they going to do for meat if the power grid goes down and the refrigerator no longer works? 

This week, we’re going to take a look at canning meat. Now, you might be wondering how we can help with that, so let us explain. If you’re going to start preserving your food in ways other than your fridge/freezer, you’re going to need somewhere to put it all. You’ll find that you might have enough space to start with, but soon your preservation stash will spill out from the kitchen cupboards to the wardrobe in the spare room, then the garage, and where do you go after that? 

It’s simple! You’re going to need your own, custom-designed Centigrade pantry to store all your food. This solution starts from as small as 1.8m x1.8m to almost as big as your dreams. The best part of this solution is that you can start small and add onto your existing solution as your food stash grows. 

Now that we’ve solved your space issues, let’s learn about canning meat. 

During canning, food is preserved by being sealed in an airtight container, with an expected shelf life of around two to three years at a minimum. It’s definitely one of the more popular and well-known ways to preserve meat, but it’s also one that will take some practice to get right, and you’ll want to be very careful so you don’t end up with botulism. 

Now before you go out and buy the butchery, there are some things you’ll need before you can start safely canning meat. The most important thing you will need is a good pressure canner. This is not a pressure cooker, so don’t get the two mixed up. A pressure canner is specifically designed for canning goods under pressure. The pressure canner works by heating water and trapping the resulting steam in a pressurized container, which raises the temperature to 115 degrees Celsius or higher, killing any and all bacteria. It might sound intimidating at first, but pressure canners are perfectly safe once you know how to use them. 

The other thing you’ll need is good quality glass canning bottles, you know, those old canned fruit bottles we all grew up with. Quality is vital when it comes to choosing the right bottle as inferior bottles will break under pressure. We recommend Consol Glass Preserve Jars with Ring and Dome Lids. Ring and dome lids are essential for pressure canning. 

What Meats Can Be Canned?

Most type of meats can be canned at home, including beef, veal, pork, lamb and venison. You can also can poultry and small game like chicken, turkey, duck, goose and rabbit. Most types of fish and shellfish can also be canned, but they’re a little more particular when it comes to home canning. 

The only safe way to can meat is with a pressure canner that reaches temperatures from 115 degrees Celsius! Boiling water bath canners used for pickles, jams and relishes are NOT safe for meat canning as it does not reach temperatures high enough to kill bacteria! Your instant pot will not work for canning, and most countertop pressure cooking appliances don’t work either.

Basterfield has the correct type of pressure canner and more information can be found here: https://basterfield.co.za/product-category/catering/pressure-equipment/pressure-canners/

Now that you know where to begin, you’re well on your way to preserve meat and having all the meat your family loves on hand during the next phase of loadshedding. 

Next time, we’ll learn about Curing Meat, so be on the lookout for our next post. 

Happy Canning!

Raw Pork
Raw Beef
Raw Chicken