CANNING BACON FOR LONG TERM STORAGE!!
OPENING YOUR CANNED BACON AND COOKING IT UP!!
ANOTHER WAY TO CAN BACON!!
A few years ago, I ran across several sites that told how to can bacon. All the sites had exactly the
same wording, so I don't know where the recipe originated, nor if it is "approved" by the FDA as safe.
I have varied the instructions a little to make it easier and less messy, but it works and keeps just as
well. In fact, I think it cooks up better.

I use wide mouth quart canning jars.

It takes a little over a pound of bacon for each jar.

You'll need some parchment paper. I found it at the grocery store in the section with foil, plastic wrap,
etc.

Prepare the jars and lids as you would for canning anything else --- Wash and boil the jars to sterilize.
Bring the bands and lids to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Keep everything in hot water until ready
to use. This is from my memory, so go by the instructions in a canning book if this isn't exactly right.

Pull off about 3 or 4 feet of parchment paper. Depending on the width, I usually cut mine in half
lengthwise. You're going to roll the bacon slices up in the paper and put them in the jar, so you want
the paper about as wide as the jar is tall. I found that it doesn't really matter if the paper is a little too
short or too long. To be honest, I think you could just stuff the bacon in the jars without the paper and
it would be fine. You just wouldn't have nice slices when you're cooking it. But, I'll tell you about
cooking it later.

I also found that it works better to cut the bacon to about the same length as the jar is tall so that it
fits to about 1" below the rim. You can hold a stick, string, ruler, slice of bacon, or whatever you want
to use as a guide for cutting your bacon. After the first few, you won't need it. You'll be able to just
eyeball it. It doesn't have to be exact, but if it's too long, you'll end up wasting space stuffing ends in
the jar. You'll get more bacon in each jar if they fit better.

OK, here's my method:
1. Prepare the jars and lids.
2. Get your parchment paper ready.
3. Trim bacon ends (or do this as you go, if you prefer)
4. Starting at one end of the parchment paper, lay a strip of bacon across it, roll it, add another strip,
roll, and keep going. I ended up laying out strip after strip of bacon, with a little space in between,
then rolling it up that way. If your paper is too short, just add another in by overlapping a little.
5. When your roll is about the same size as the jar opening, either continue wrapping the rest of the
paper around, or cut it off. For my last jar, I end up adding piece after piece of leftover paper.
6. Now, just stuff your bacon roll in the jar. That's it. When they're all full, wipe the rims clean, put the
lids and bands on the jars and can them.
7. Process in a pressure canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. Check a canning book if you
are in the higher elevations.

As I'm rolling the bacon, I use up my ends. You may prefer to use them separately for bacon bits or
something.

When you're ready to use the bacon, the entire roll will come out at once, but it is a little messy. I have
a metal bowl ready to put the paper in. There will be liquid left in the jar. Over a skillet, I just start
unrolling the bacon. Fry it up as usual. This cooks differently than fresh bacon. It does get crisp, but it
rarely stays in nice long strips. It sort of crumbles as you cook. That's why I said that I don't know if it
really matters about rolling it up in the paper, as you're not going to really have strips when your fry it.
It does stay in larger pieces than just crumbles, though. If you don't want it crisp, it is more likely to
stay in strips. Since it's already cooked, you just need enough cooking to make sure it's safe to eat. I
would think it would be fine with all the salt, but I don't eat it without lots of cooking, just to be safe.
Since we don't have electricity or refrigeration, it's really nice to open a jar of bacon in the middle of
the summer. This is a treat that we never had before. We sometimes used to buy canned bacon from
Costco. I think it was from Hungary. Pretty good, but very salty, and expensive. But, it fried up more
like regular bacon than this. I haven't seen it around in years. Just as well. This is much cheaper, but
bacon isn't healthy anyway. Just a treat we enjoy once in a while.

The instructions I've found online are a little different. I tried this, but didn't like it. In my opinion, it's
extra work, much messier, more cleaning up, and the bacon ends up falling apart even more when
you cook it.
But here's what they say: Prepare the jars and paper, but don't trim the bacon. Lay the bacon on a
baking pan and pre-cook in a 350 degree oven until the strips are about 2/3 their original length. Don't
cook until crisp or they will crumble when you're canning. Then place the limp (and dripping) bacon on
the paper as I told you about earlier. Roll it up and place it in the jars. Pour the grease from the bacon
into the jars. Do not fill more than 2/3 full of grease. Process at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes.
Higher elevations should use 11 pounds of pressure. (But, if memory serves me, I think you would
use more pressure if you are really high, but can't remember for sure. Check a book.)

Again, I don't think this is approved by the FDA, and this is just for informational purposes. I'm not
suggesting that anyone else do this. It may not be safe, so you should check with the U.S. extension
office for FDA information before canning anything. I'm just passing on what we have done.

Oh, forgot to tell you about the paper. Lots of the grease will stick to the parchment paper as you
unroll it. You could just throw it away, but I put it in a metal bowl, then set it on the warming shelf of
the woodburnig cookstove, or on the cooler side. The grease will melt off. Then I carefully squeeze
the melted grease into the bowl and pour it back into the bacon jar. I use the grease when I cook
beans for extra flavor. I know. Not healthy, but it is ever so tasty!

Jenny