There really is nothing like a juicy, flavorful homemade sausage to add boldness and spice to your meal. Even though the process of making sausages from scratch can be a bit long and involved, the end product is certainly worth the time you put into it. However, one of the most terrible situations is when all your hard work in making such a fantastic sausage goes to waste. Homemade sausages simply do not keep well in the refrigerator or freezer. After spending so much time laboring over a tasty homemade dish, the last thing you want to do is to have to throw excess sausages away.
This is where home canning processes come in. Leftover homemade sausages can be canned easily, allowing them to be preserved for many months to come. This way, your sausages will never go to waste again. You can even prepare an extra-large batch of these sausages in preparation for many future meals. Homemade canned sausages are perfect for sandwiches, pastas, and more. Furthermore, the process of canning your own sausages is much simpler than you would think. By adhering to the following guidelines, you will be able to quickly and easily can and preserve any sausages.
STEP ONE: GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
When canning homemade sausages, it is important that the sausages are as fresh as possible. Use the freshest meat you can find as you are preparing the sausages, and after the sausages are cooked, proceed with the canning process as soon as possible. The sausages should be cased at a length between three and five inches to allow easy storage and ample sterilization once inside the pressure canner. You will also need a considerable amount of liquids (such as meat broth, water, or tomato juice), additional flavorings of your choosing, extra salt, quart-sized canning jars, and a pressure canner machine.
STEP TWO: SANITIZE YOUR INGREDIENTS AND MATERIALS
The sanitation process is probably the most vital aspect of home canning. All ingredients and materials must be thoroughly sanitized when making your own canned products to prevent the growth of bacteria in your food. First, be sure that your sausages are completely cooked, as this will ensure that any meat-borne bacteria are killed. If you wish to flavor your sausages with extra ingredients, such as herbs, garlic, or onions, clean these vegetables thoroughly in a boiling water bath. Next, sanitize your jars, either in the dishwasher or by boiling them. Finally, boil the liquid that you are going to can your sausages in.
STEP THREE: PREPARE YOUR JARS
As your meat broth, water, or tomato juice is beginning to boil, add your prepared sausages to the jars. This would also be a good time to add any other special ingredients that you wish to flavor your sausages with. For instance, fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary would make a lovely addition. After the liquid has begun to boil, remove it from the heat and immediately transfer it to your jars. Each jar should be filled to about one and one quarter inches from the top. Add about one to two teaspoons of extra salt to each jar. Finally, seal the jars tightly, ensuring that each one is safely closed.
STEP FOUR: INSERT THE SAUSAGES INTO THE PRESSURE CANNER
For health safety, sausages must be canned using a pressure canner machine. These machines can be purchased for anywhere between fifty and two hundred dollars at major kitchen appliance retailers. If your machine has a dial pressure canner gauge, adjust the machine to distribute 11 pounds of pressure. For weighted canner pressure gauges at elevations up to one thousand feet, set the machine to 10 pounds of pressure. For weighted canner pressure gauges at elevations above one thousand feet, adjust the machine to distribute 15 pounds of pressure. You should let the pressure canner run for at least ninety minutes in order to ensure proper sterilization.