How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf Life

by Tommy Grant

As a prepper, ensuring the long-term shelf stability of your food supplies is a paramount concern. One essential protein source that deserves your attention is sausage—an incredibly versatile ingredient that can elevate various meals, from breakfast to dinner.

Pressure canning is a valuable preservation technique that ensures food safety and extends the shelf life of various ingredients, including sausage. By canning sausage, preppers can eliminate the need for refrigeration, minimize waste, and maximize the efficiency of storage space.

Canning sausage is not only a convenient way to store protein-rich food but also ensures its longevity and safety. By following these clear and concise directions, utilizing the necessary equipment, and implementing proper safety precautions, you can be confident in preparing and preserving delicious sausage varieties for future use.

Equipment Needed

  • Glass canning jars with lids and bands
  • Pressure canner
  • Wide-mouth funnel
  • Jar lifter
  • Magnetic lid lifter
  • Spatula or bubble freer
  • Skillet or griddle

Related: 7 Deadly Canning Mistakes Even Smart People Make

Sausage Canning Safety Precautions

  1. Ensure all equipment is thoroughly cleaned and in good working condition.
  2. Follow proper food handling and hygiene practices.
  3. Use only fresh, high-quality sausage.
  4. Discard any sausage that shows signs of spoilage before canning.
  5. Always follow approved canning methods and times for your specific altitude.
  6. Never consume canned food with an unusual odor or appearance.

Canning Sausage Links

If you do not buy sausage from a store for canning to preserve long-term, you will likely be using butchering bags like these – or your butcher will. They hold one pound of meat.How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf Life

1. Prepare sausage links: Take a portion of raw meat, about the size of a half-dollar coin, and shape it into a link by gently squeezing it in your hand.

For more uniform links like those found in stores, you can roll them back and forth on a cutting board. The key is to make the links similar in size and weight.

How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf Life

2. Brown the sausages: You can brown the sausages in an air fryer or a cast iron skillet. The browning method won’t affect the canning process; just ensure they are thoroughly browned.

3. Prepare the canning jars: While browning the sausages, get your pressure canner ready. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting to warm and sterilize the canning jars. Typically, I use 200 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the jars in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf LifeNow, I know some folks are adamantly opposed to putting canning jars in the over because they are afraid of them bursting or “blowing up” and hurting someone. If you have concerns at all, skip this step and clean the jars as you see fit.

4.  Fill the jars: Once the sausages are browned, place them into Mason jars.

Related: Highly Nutritious Foods You Can Grow In Mason Jars

Wide mouth jars work well for links. Use tongs to transfer the browned sausages to the jars, allowing excess grease to drip onto a paper towel for a minute.

How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf LifeFill the jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles using a bubble freer or a plastic spatula. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth, and then apply the lids, screwing on the bands until they are finger-tight.

5. Load the pressure canner: Place the filled jars of sausages into the pressure canner. You can add hot or boiling water beforehand or bring the water to temperature after putting the jars in. Never place a cold Mason jar into boiling water, as it might crack.

Different pressure canners have different mechanisms for locking. Ensure the lid is securely attached before processing.

Our pressure canner is vintage and has an old-fashioned metal locking ring that must be manually tightened after the lid is placed on the top of the pot to firmly attach them together.How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf Life

6. Process the jars:  Follow the recommended processing time based on your altitude and the manufacturer’s guidelines for your canner. for the recommended time according to your altitude and the manufacturer’s guidelines. Once processing is complete, turn off the heat and let the pressure naturally return to zero.

7. Cool and Check Seals: Carefully remove the jars using a jar lifter and place them on a towel-lined surface. Let the jars cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

Check the seals of the jars; any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days. Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place.

A root cellar is an excellent choice for this purpose, as it provides consistent low temperatures and keeps the jars away from light. If you don’t have one, here is a cheap and easy way to build a root cellar in your backyard.

Canning Crumbled Sausage

Cook crumbled sausage completely until browned. Remove excess fat by draining the sausage on paper towels. Allow the crumbled sausage to cool completely before canning.How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf Life

To can crumbled sausage meat, simply follow the same instructions provided for the sausage links.How to Can Sausages for 10+ Years Shelf Life

By following these step-by-step instructions and adhering to safety precautions, you can successfully can sausage links and crumbled sausage to add to your pantry.

During disasters when access to fresh ingredients is limited, canned sausage becomes a valuable lifeline. Experts agree that having a diverse range of preserved food options is essential for emergency preparedness. Canned sausage serves as a reliable, protein-rich ingredient that can sustain individuals and families during difficult times.

With its versatility and protein-packed nature, canned sausage can enhance a variety of meals, providing comfort and sustenance to individuals and families when resources are scarce. Start canning sausage today and enjoy peace of mind knowing you have a reliable protein source in your emergency pantry.

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