Author Topic: How long will a jar of canned ham last?  (Read 3708 times)

Offline Movinfr8

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How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« on: December 21, 2010, 07:40:43 PM »
Bought 2 more hams today, and a dozen more jars. I opened one of the jars last night and WOW! that is some great tasting ham!! Better than when I put it in the jar! I don't think it's going to last too long, but how long will canned meat last? SPAM lasts basically forever, but I don't know what to expect out of my own?!?!

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 05:16:54 AM »
We are finishing off my Mother in Laws last 6 or 8 quarts of deer meat (Just made stroganoff last night with it).  It is delicious and was canned in Jan of 2007.  I don't know what the upper limit is for storage though. 
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Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 07:26:59 AM »
If properly canned and properly stored - dark and cool area - your canned ham and other meat should last for years.  I've heard at least 5 years if not more - just keep an eye on it and make sure you rotate the older stuff.  I can a lot of meat and have never had any go bad. Canned ham sounds yummy!
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Offline Diver55

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 09:58:04 PM »
Can I cann any meat? any game? any cut? just curious before i make the investment for a decent pressure canner? do i just use mason jars?
Thanks

Offline Prag

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 07:01:45 AM »
Can I cann any meat? any game? any cut? just curious before i make the investment for a decent pressure canner? do i just use mason jars?
Thanks


We can beef, chicken, turkey, pork sausage, ham/pork, and venison.

Just make sure you invest in a good canning book, like Balls or Jackie Clay's Growing and Canning Your Own Food and strictly adhere to the guidelines and you'll be good to go.

But I'd suggest "studying up" on it a bit first and see if you think it's right for you.

I find canning one of the best and most rewarding ways to preserve food, especially meats.

We dehydrate lots of vegetables, but I find veggies like green beans taste better to me if canned rather than dehydrated.


Personally I think skills such as canning and dehydrating for food preservation are essential in prepping, but that's just my bias.  :)


There are some very good threads on here on TSP related to canning as well.


Good Luck in your decisions.


To the OP: I agree that properly stored and canned meats should last a good long time, several years at least...at least that's my plan...that and making sure I keep them rotated.
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Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 07:14:51 AM »
I'm trying to figure out the best way to can kilbasa. I love the stuff and have been able to get some really good sales on it.
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Offline Prag

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2010, 02:22:33 PM »
I'm trying to figure out the best way to can kilbasa. I love the stuff and have been able to get some really good sales on it.


I've canned smoked sausage and kielbasa. I cold packed them and added water to about 1" headspace.

The texture once processed is more akin to "commercially canned sausage", kinda soft, near mushy, but still very good flavor and texture for soups.

I try not to can any sausage with sage, as the canning process dramatically enhances the sage taste.

This is just my limited experiences. But it serves our purposes.

I'd be interested in others experiences as well.
Prag


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Offline Diver55

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2010, 11:49:11 PM »
Thanks Prag, I like jackie, I'll check out her book.

Offline Prag

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 07:17:57 AM »
Thanks Prag, I like jackie, I'll check out her book.

You're welcome.

& Good going. I think you'll be glad you did.
It's a darned good ready, and that comes from an old "gun-guy"!  ;)
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Offline sdcharger

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 02:19:27 PM »
Sorry, this is the only canned ham I have in my preps:



So what type of ham do you can?  Is one type better than another?

TKS for more information.

Offline Prag

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 02:43:44 PM »


So what type of ham do you can?  Is one type better than another?

TKS for more information.


I can whatever I have on hand that we aren't planning on eating right away.

I personally can turkey, chicken, pork roasts, ham chunks, beef, venison and sausage (as I posted above)...
but I don't know if any particular type of ham cans better than another.
We have some DAK hams in our stores.
I will tell you one thing with certainty...our home canned meats taste incredibly better than the "store canned" ones.


I also "mix" the meats in other dishes or "Meals-in-a-jar" ...

I took some fryers out of the freezer earlier this week and made a stockpot full of chicken soup.
I canned 18 pints of the soup this morning.
Last week was turkey gumbo.

We have a ham in the freezer we'll probably cook in a couple of weeks.
The "leftover" ham will be canned in chunks and with beans or a soup.

Imagination is the only limiting factor.  :)

Just my $0.02 worth...
worth less today than yesterday... ;)
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Offline endurance

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Re: How long will a jar of canned ham last?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 02:49:52 PM »
There are three things that happen over time with stored food:

1)  Contamination-bugs or bacteria
2)  Protein breakdown
3)  Fat oxidization

With proper canning, contamination is absolutely a minimal risk.  With dry stored items, like grains, bugs are a risk mitigated by removal/displacement of oxygen.  Anaerobic bacteria can still exist in dry grains, but they generally won't thrive if kept dry and cool, thus pose a minimal risk with proper storage.  Improperly canned products are lethal from the day you buy them off the store shelves.  Never even think about eating anything from a damaged (the can's seal) or swollen can.  All the cooking in the world will not make it safe; the bacteria produces toxins that cannot be destroyed by the heat of cooking.

Protein breakdown occurs in all foods, but the more refined the food, generally the faster this will take place.  Wheat stored properly can store for decades, flour and pasta for years.  Even if there's no bacteria present, proteins and amino acids deteriorate with time and the result is a loss in vitamins and nutritional value, but the calories remain in tact.  With something like canned meat, you're starting out with something that is nutrient rich, but over 4-5 years, you are going to see meaningful losses in the nutrient value.  Think about vitamins like a radioactive half-life.  Fresh out of the garden probably exceeds what the USDA nutrient list outlines.  Canned and on the shelf for a year is probably half that (or less due to high temperature cooking).  On the shelves for two years and you cut it in half again.  It may not be that linear, but you get the idea.

Fat oxidation is another constant.  It's why you can't just buy 5 gallons of oil and be set for life.  Generally oils have a lifespan of 18 months to three years, depending on storage conditions and what kind of oils you're starting out with.  Some breakdown faster, some are more robust.  Frequent changes in temperature will speed oxidation and cooler temperatures will slow oxidation.

I'd say three years is the top end of what I'd target and that would be if I could control the temperature to under 60-65F as a rule.  You could probably safely eat it after that, but the taste is likely to deteriorate as the proteins breakdown and the fats oxidize.  I've eaten 10 year old MRE meat entrees and while I didn't get sick, I really did not enjoy them.  You're still getting calories, but the fats are unusable by the body, the vitamins are gone, and it's just not going to be that appetizing.  Will it provide you with calories?  Yes, but you can throw out the nutrient values shown on the can after five or ten years, they won't mean much.

*My source on this is from memory from my two semesters of Nutrition and Sports Nutrition in college about five years ago.  I had a great professor who had no problem with my unusual questions about long term storage and did her homework when I asked something she didn't know.
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