Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Canning Hamburger

Jars of canned butter &; hamburger rocks.    

"Hamburger Rocks" are small chunks of cooked, dehydrated, fresh beef. They will store effectively for two or more years. Once rehydrated by soaking one cup of rocks in two cups of boiled water, the pre-cooked meat can be used in any recipe. It is delicious for tacos, spaghetti sauce, hamburger helper, tamale pie, lasagna, or your favorite recipe. It is very difficult to distinguish from fresh hamburger in a meal!

Regular ground hamburger turns into small "rocks," some "gravel," and a little "sand" when dried. Miles grinds rump roast and pot roast in a #2 Universal meat chopper using the 3-bladed cutter, and now we get almost all "rocks," very little gravel, and virtually no "sand." And the yield is higher too, as there is not as much fat to melt away. Still, be prepared to cry when you make the first batch, as 6 pounds of perfectly good roast will dehydrate into only one (1) quart of hamburger rocks!


1.Using a large skillet (cast iron is great), brown and fry 5 pounds of ground beef. When thoroughly cooked, transfer the meat to a colander. Rinse under hot running water to remove the fat. Then clean the skillet with paper towels to remove excess fat from the first cooking.

2.Place the washed meat back into the wiped skillet and fry it again over medium/low heat, stirring often until you see no more steam. Keep the heat/flame low once the rocks are browning up nicely.

3.Place the "twice cooked" rocks into an oven roasting pan. Turn the oven to 200 degrees F, stirring and turning occasionally as the meat continues to dry. One to two hours should finish the job. Remove from the oven and check for dryness. When cool, pack into zip lock bags or mason jars. Pack tightly, expelling as much air as possible. Store in pantry drawers or shelves.

Tip: Don't forget to buy and use mouse traps in your larder. Mice will make mince meat out of packaged foods before the uninvited house pests are even noticed by the family cat! Glass jars are the safest method of mouse-proof storage. Storing zip lock bags in heavy food grade 5 gallon buckets is the next safest alternative.