Canning bacon involves laying strips of raw bacon side by side between two sheets of parchment paper. Fold the paper plus bacon slices lengthwise in half, then roll inwards to fit into wide-mouth quart jars. Leave 1-inch headspace, and process in a pressure canner for 90-100 minutes.
Guide to Canning Bacon in a Pressure Canner
- Wash canning jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water and rinse well.
- Sterilize canning jars by placing them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and place them on a clean towel upside down.
- Lay the raw strips of bacon on an 18-inch piece of parchment paper. Adjust the width to fit your required pounds of bacon.
- Cut another piece of parchment paper to the same length, and cover the bacon slices.
- Place a yardstick on the package’s middle and fold the bacon slices with the paper lengthwise in half.
- Roll the package inwards unto itself while tucking in the bacon ends. Make the roll fairly tight, enough to perfectly fit wide-mouth quart jars.
- Place the rolls into sterilized jars without liquid upside down, leaving 1-inch headspace. Make sure the open part of the parchment paper faces down so that bacon juices collect at the bottom of the jar.
- Take a clean paper towel and soak it in vinegar. Wipe the lip of the jar rims.
- Place the clean canning lids on top of each jar, add the canning rings, and screw until fingertip tight.
- Put 2-3 inches of water in your pressure canner per the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the canning rack inside and load the cold-packed jars onto the canning rack.
- Place a lid on your canner and bring water inside to a rolling boil. Remove the pressure regulator to allow steam venting for 10 minutes.
- Close the vent and allow the pressure to build to a pressure based on the canner type and elevation:
Processing pressure and time for bacon in dial-gauge pressure canners:
|Altitude (ft)||0 – 2,000||2,001 – 4,000||4,001 – 6,000||6,001 – 8,000|
|Pint jars (85 mins)||11 lbs||12 lbs||13 lbs||14 lbs|
|Quart jars (100 mins)||11 lbs||12 lbs||13 lbs||14 lbs|
Processing pressure and time for bacon in weighted-gauge pressure canners:
|Altitude (ft)||0 – 1,000||1,001 +|
|Pint jars (85 mins)||10 lbs||15 lbs|
|Quart jars (100 mins)||10 lbs||15 lbs|
- Process the cold-packed quart jars for 100 minutes or pints for 85 minutes.
- Once time lapses, turn the stove off. Let the canner cool until the pressure reaches zero.
- Open the canner’s lid away from your face. Remove the jars from the hot water using a jar lifter and place them 1 inch apart on a draft-free, cushioned, heat-resistant surface.
- Leave the jars to cool in a draft-free location for 12-24 hours.
- Remove the screw bands from the jars and inspect the seals.
- Sealed jars have lids that don’t flex up and down when pressed. Refrigerate and use any unsealed jars within 3 days.
- For sealed jars, label the bottom of the jar with the date of processing and the contents to keep track of the shelf life. Store the jars in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Is Canning Bacon Safe?
Home-canning bacon may be safe if the meat is prepared, packed, and processed appropriately. However, few research-backed recipes exist from reputable sources, including the USDA.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, cured meats have a shorter shelf life due to high-fat content and curing salts. The fat concentration may prevent heat penetration when canning meat, making freezing another excellent method of preserving bacon.
How Long Does it Take to Pressure Can Bacon?
Since quart jars are the most suitable jar size, pressure canning bacon requires a processing time of 100 minutes. If using pint jars, the processing time is 85 minutes.
Do You Have to Cook Bacon Before Canning It?
If using the hot pack method, you must precook your bacon strips by browning them until they are partially cooked (but not crispy) before packing them into hot canning jars. For cold packing, cooking is unnecessary.
What Kind of Bacon is Best for Canning?
When choosing bacon for canning, look for thick cuts with minimal marbling from grocery stores. Less fatty cuts are ideal for canning recipes because excessive bacon fat makes heat penetration slower and may lead to underprocessing.
Do You Have to Add Liquid When Canning Bacon?
Cold-packed bacon should be canned dry without liquids because meat cooks in its juices during canning. When hot-packing bacon, you may add a few tablespoons of bacon grease or add boiling water, beef stock, or tomato juice to provide adequate cover. Ensure 1-inch headspace remains for both cold packs and hot packs.
How Long Will Canned Bacon Last?
Per the USDA, the shelf life of canned bacon on your pantry shelves is 2-5 years. Despite canned bacon being made shelf stable, it’s best to eat it within 1 year for the best taste and texture. Use opened jars of canned food within 3 days and keep open jars refrigerated.