Monday, April 4, 2011

Canning Taco Meat

This weekend I bought some ground chuck on sale and came home and canned up a batch of taco meat... which can be used for tacos, of course, or chili, fajitas, taco salad, even hot dog chili. Here's how I did it...

First I washed my pint jars (a pint jar will hold about one pound of meat, so that works nicely for the two of us, my DH and me!)... then I put the jars in a pan of water to sterilize and the lids (rings and flats) in a saucepan to simmer, heat, and sterilize.
I add water to a baking pan set across two stove eyes... I line the bottom of the pan with a dish towel to keep the glass jars from tipping over and hitting together, reducing any chance of breakage.

Place the jars upside down, bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for at least 10-15 minutes.

I put my lids (bands and flats) in a saucepan and bring them to a simmer 
While the jars and lids are heating, I prepared my ground beef, browning it...
Then adding my spices... for each pound of ground beef add
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt

Mix well...

Now it's time to fill the hot jars with the yummy mixture! It's smelling good enough to eat by now.

Fill the jars, leaving an inch of headspace (I usually stop about where the threading on the jar starts)

Next I wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth to remove any and all residue (Tip: dampening the cloth with a little vinegar helps to remove grease)

Next, put the lids on the jars and tighten.

This little magnetic wand gadget for removing lids from the hot water is a wonderful invention, saves fingers! I love it!

When all the jars are filled it's time to process them. I got out my trusty pressure canner and added hot water (about three inches, check your canner's instruction booklet), then I put my jars of taco meat in, taking care not to jostle or clink them together. 

I processed the pint jars, (again use the directions in your brand of pressure canner's instruction booklet), at 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes (this is for 1,000 feet above sea level and below). Quarts would be processed for 90 minutes.
Bring to 10 pounds of pressure

70 minutes is one hour 10 minutes
After processing, I allowed the pressure to drop to ZERO on my canner (don't force it down by cooling it, let it cool on its own or you could cause the glass jars inside to break), then removed the canner lid carefully, it was still very hot and steam is released when the lid is removed.
I removed the jars with a jar lifter and placed them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... 
Jar lifters are a great invention too!
Then I sit back and listen for the "ping" of successfully sealed jars (it's a beautiful sound!) and pat myself on the back for a job well done.

I leave the jars sitting undisturbed for about 12-24 hours, then recheck the seals... if they're still sealed, I then store them in a cool dark place.
 Finished product... Tacos anyone?

Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. A friend suggested I read your blog as I continue to expand my canning skills. Thanks for sharing such great recipes. I haven't canned meat yet (done tons of veggies, soup, jams, jellies and butters though) wondering if you drain your ground beef before adding your seasoning, do you add any water and could I use ground turkey instead of beef with similar results?
    Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for reading Jill! In this recipe I did not drain the meat since it was very lean and I did not add water, but you could or a little tomato sauce would be good. Ground turkey would work well too with good results. ~~Granny

  3. Thank you. One final question, how many pounds of meat for a run of taco would be 9 lbs for pints, right? My yields never seem to match up with what the directions say for a specific weight of produce so I'm just double checking.

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  5. Yeah, it's hard to judge sometimes, especially adding ingredients, but basically a pint will hold a pound, so that's the way I figure it... sometimes I have extra and I'll either do two or three jars alone, or we just eat the extra for supper! ~~Granny

  6. I found this BLOG in a search and all I can say is, AWESOME! I love Taco Meat!!!

    Can you tell me, could I do this the same way but use the powdered Taco Mixes in the store (like McCormick or Taco Bell) seasonings?

    Thank you for sharing and hope to hear from you here or via email. :>)

    Kathy Walker
    SE Missouri

  7. Kathy, yes, you can definitely use powdered taco mixes and thank you so much for reading. Good luck with your canning! ~~Granny

  8. We have a large family. Can I do this in quart jars (we usually do 2 lbs of ground beef at a time) and what adjustments should I make? Thanks so much for your wonderful blog, I found you on HT.

  9. Tammy, you certainly could can taco meat in quart jars. You would need to adjust the time for pressure canning to 90 minutes instead of the 70 minutes for pints, but otherwise same procedure. Thanks for reading. ~~Granny

  10. i am going to try this with venison.. any suggestion on the spice i should use besides taco? would like to be able to use it in different recipes

  11. Rosie... you can add any spices you like... or just can the ground meat without spices and add them later with whatever recipe you are using. ~~Granny

  12. I have been wondering about canning meat and have read different things about it. This is Great, thanks for the info. You said that you do not drain the meat and you do not add liquid to the jars before processing, correct? Does the liquid that appears in the picture come from the heat of processing the jars? One more question. Have you ever canned Hot Dogs or do you have any information on canning Hot Dogs? Thanks so much for posting this info. It is just what I have been looking for.

  13. How long should the Taco Meat/Ground Beef keep if stored in a dark cool place?

    1. Carl, I did not drain the meat (although you could if you use a high fat ground beef), and do not add liquid to the jars, the meat produces some liquid during processing. I have not canned hot dogs, but have canned bratwurst, I would use the same process for hot dogs

      Taco meat should keep at least a year if stored in a cool dark place (probably more like 2-5 years, but at least a year, easily)

      Thanks, ~~Granny

  14. Great recipe! Would I need to add an liquid to the jars before processing?

    1. No extra liquid needed Maureen, the recipe has plenty already. ~~Granny

  15. Can you can Quarts as well? I have 7 in my family and I am just not sure if it will be enough for all of us??

    1. Sure Mike, process quarts for 90 minutes. ~~Granny

  16. Thank you for this recipe granny.. I have this in the canner going right now..

  17. Hi Granny, thank you for sharing your knowledge, I am making my taco meat right now. Next I am doing chicken with taco seasoning. I am brand new to canning, 2 weeks now, and I love it. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with newbies.

    Happy canning!

    1. As long as they stay sealed, they're fine... I don't think you'll have any problems... might wanna keep an eye on the jars for a few days just to be sure. ~~Granny

  18. Hi Granny, thank you for all your tips. They are a huge help! What is the shelf life on something like this?
    Thanks again!


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