Canned sausage is a tasty addition to weeknight pasta sauces and casseroles, and a great addition to slow-cooker meals towards the end of cooking.
The broth from the jars is a tasty addition to a collection of stocks for soup in tubs in the freezer.
Canning sausage is a great space-saver in the freezer where you are suddenly hit with an abundance of sausage to preserve, and little freezer space to do it with.
Jar size choices: Either half-litre (US pint) OR litre (US quart)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 75 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes.
The half-litre (US pint) jars shown in the photo each accommodated about 350 g (3/4 lb) of sausage pieces. After the canning process, a jar of that size will yield about 250 g (8 oz) of sausage pieces.
- Cut link sausage into 3 to 10 cm (1 to 4 inch) pieces. OR
- If it's loose sausage meat you have, shape into 10 cm (4 inch) or smaller patties or balls.
- Brown lightly in frying pan.
- Drain off excess fat (it might go rancid in storage.)
- Pack hot into ½ litre (US pint) jars or 1 litre (US quart) jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Fill with boiling water, boiling stock or boiling tomato juice, leaving 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
- Processing time: ½ litre (US pint) jars for 75 minutes OR 1 litre (US quart) jars for 90 minutes.
The canning recommendation directions have the expectation that the sausage pieces or patties will be going hot into the jar. A delay of a few minutes would be fine while they are being drained of grease; just not stone cold.
To be clear, if you are canning "link sausage", it is fine to leave the "casing" on.
No matter what you read on the Internet, do not do a raw pack. The meat would clump together and cause heat penetration issues. And, do not do a dry pack. It is highly risky; the heat penetration and movements in the jar with just air would be very different from what was tested with a liquid to ensure your safety. You must brown the meat to prevent clumping, and you must have a canning liquid in the jar.
Guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|1/2 litre (1 US pint)||75 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||90 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.
When you go to use canned sausage, drain it. It will be soft and pale, though some of the browning you did will remain.
If you wish to crisp it back up, just turn it into a hot frying pan (lightly sprayed or with a bit of oil) for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It will look like the sausage pieces in the picture below.
Recipes for cooking with home canned sausage
Will vary based on sausage meat used.
Ground or Chopped Meat: Bear, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Sausage, Veal, Venison. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 5-6.
Pork Sausage. In: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Daleville, Indiana: Hearthmark LLC. Edition 36. 2013. Page 60.
Pork Sausage. In: Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 100.