Pressure Canning Is An Unexpected Method For Saving Leftover Turkey

There's nothing better than a full-table feast for Thanksgiving. But, when the day is over, you realize just how much food hasn't been eaten. You could try to stuff it all into your face before it goes bad but, by the time you're done, you may never want to look at turkey again. Why not save the leftovers for a future date by canning and storing your turkey with a pressure canner? Not only are you cutting down on food waste and saving your stomach from an iron-man-level digestion marathon, but future you will love having easy access to delicious turkey to pull off the shelf for dinner.

Before we get into it, remember that there are risks associated with canning food yourself at home. Whether you're an expert or a first-time canner, take a second to look over the USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning for helpful safety tips. When using a pressure canner, the main concern is that not all of the bacteria get killed in the process, which puts you at risk of serious illness. Be sure to adjust your settings according to the altitude of where you live and to properly vent the canner before you start. You can read more about canning safely at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

How to pressure can turkey

There are many mistakes to avoid and important details to consider when canning. A full canning guide won't fit in this article, but for those of you who are considering canning your turkey this year, here's the basic rundown. Because pressure canning takes quite a while to do, you'll likely do it the day after Thanksgiving. You'll shred your turkey meat into good-sized chunks separate from the bones, which you can use to make a delicious turkey bone broth to store your turkey meat in if you don't want to use water. The broth is better because it allows the meat to retain more of its flavor.

After you've placed the meat in the jar along with the broth or water, you'll wipe off the top of the jar with a bit of vinegar and then close the lid. You'll place the jars into the pressure canner and keep the pressure at 10 pounds for 75 to 90 minutes depending on where you live. Once the cans are sealed, you'll let them cool before drying them off and placing them on the shelf, where they'll last for up to a year.