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#264603 - 10/25/13 03:02 AM Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line?
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line?

Having a quantity of Canned meat products for Emergency preparedness is very useful but the quality and the cost can vary quite markedly.

There is SPAM and there are some lower cost imitations offering the same salty fattiness, although the taste and texture consistency may vary quite a bit.

There is Canned Corned beef (mostly originates from Brazil), quality and taste can vary from something thats inedible to something that is acceptable even in a Sandwich with pricing that can vary from £1.50 to £3.00 a can in the UK.

Then there are canned hams and chicken. Again some are quite good usually over 85% ham/chicken content down to the barely 60% ham by content (bulked out with fillers and water etc). I have seen even seen 52% ham content!

We are now getting to the Canned meat balls and hot dogs and other unspecified meats such as Pates etc usually of the mechanically recovered chicken etc spinning in an industrial concrete mixer machine type. This I think is getting into real survival food territory. These products can actually be quite expensive for what they actually are and won't even compare to canned fish such as Tuna, Salmon, Pilchards, Mackerel and even Sardines or anchovies (although now I will now pay more for Atlantic sourced fish over Pacific) in quality protein bang for the buck.

Cost is important factor when bulk stocking a larder for preparedness, I would forget the cheap stuff and look out for the higher quality meats when on offer.

Overall though I would say the quality of canned meat products have slowly declined over the years.



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (10/25/13 04:05 AM)

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#264605 - 10/25/13 04:14 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
You are playing roulette with processed canned meat. Who can really say what is in those cans?

Yeah, I keep a stock of Spam, mostly because I grew up eating the stuff and it is so full of calories it is worth consuming, but no substitutes.

My recommendation: skip the middleman and can your own meat. It is not that hard, and in the long run it will save you money and be better for you.

I have 300 pint jars on the shelves. I wait for good prices on fresh meat, or I go catch it or hunt it, and I can it up. I know what is in the jar, and that is a huge deal. I control the sodium, which is a big deal. I eat it regularly. It tastes good. I learn a valuable skill set and acquire vital equipment and supplies, and that is priceless.

Do yourself a favor, limit your commercially processed meats and can your own.

But if you gotta eat commercially canned meat, Spam is definitely the best.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#264607 - 10/25/13 04:18 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Bingley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1272
I wanted to do a review of a number of canned meat products, but it never materialized. Maybe I'll check to see if I still have my notes.

Some canning companies such as Werling and Grabill are regarded by fellow preppers as qualify companies. I sampled about two boxes of their stuff, and I didn't notice the problems that Liath complains about above (watering down the nutritious stuff). Maybe there is a similar company in the UK?

Now, what I discovered is that even from one single company, different product lines can vary in palatability. This has to do with individual preference as much as with the product itself. So I'd suggest trying everything first before ordering them for your cupboard. I'd say I'm quite comfortable with having certain products from either of the companies named above for my short-term preparation.

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#264609 - 10/25/13 12:13 PM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2760
Loc: USA
I'm no expert but I'm told that you have to follow specific techniques to can meat safely at home. A good place to start would be http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/clay53.html.

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#264610 - 10/25/13 03:28 PM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1454
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I keep kicking a deceased equus, but the Wendy DeWitt video and pdf is definitely worth looking at if you plan on home storage, ... she is the "pro from Dover"

http://allaboutfoodstorage.com/wp-content/uploads/EVERYTHING-UNDER-THE-SUN-2010-word.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOLuIApyNPc

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#264618 - 10/26/13 02:05 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
UncleGoo Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 340
Loc: CT
Spam, tea, and toilet paper: they're not luxury items, they're necessities.
_________________________
Florida Cracker, Cracker Pony...oh, look: key lime pie!

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#264620 - 10/26/13 03:18 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: chaosmagnet]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yes, there is a distinct process involved, and once learned, it is an immediately useful skillset, as you can start putting up quality food anytime you want. There are even recipes for making home made Spam.

I've canned all sorts of meat products, from ground beef, chicken, salmon, moose chunks, sausage, hot dogs, corned beef hash, turkey, shrimp, chili, bacon, and even meatloaf (an accidental discovery).

As with anything worth doing, it takes an investment in time, effort, and money. The return on investment is high, and if you are reasonably diligent about it, you will save enough from canning your own than what you'd pay for inferior commercial product from the store to cover the investment in no time.

Wouldn't you rather eat something you made from scratch, knowing what is in it, instead of the mystery meat in a can?
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#264623 - 10/26/13 07:38 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: benjammin]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 911
Loc: Germany
I am a little skeptic about actually saving money when canning your own meat. You might spend more money than you would have done on the industrial product. It is still worth the effort.
Even if you come out even, you know what is in the can and you control the process. The canning industry tends to optimize return on investment. Sometimes that leads to cutting corners and shifting the process from "save" to "we will likely get away with it". Sometimes they also put in some meat from animals they don´t declare on the package. This year buyers of industrial meat products had the opportunity to taste horse meat. What a pity they got to know that from the press.
_________________________
If it isn´t broken, it doesn´t have enough features yet.

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#264627 - 10/27/13 04:13 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
It depends on how good a deal you can find on the raw product. I've canned fresh sockeye that cost me $2.99 a pound. I put up 30 lbs of it at once, and I can guarantee that the cost per pound was way less than what you'd pay for canned sockeye salmon at Costco. That's even factoring in the amortized cost of the jars, lids, and the canner (the cost of which goes down every time I re-use them).

Normally ground beef sells up here for around $3 a pound for 80/20. I found a great deal on cross rib roasts (lean and a bit tough if you cook it past medium rare) for $2.29 a lb. The ration was like around 93/7 lean to fat, and I ground it myself then canned 30 lbs of it. Ground meat in 8 oz foil pouches costs about $2.50, or $5 a pound, and is full of other things besides lean meat.

Then there's the deals I get from others for moose meat, deer meat, salmon, and so on for helping them grind/can their stuff using my equipment and know-how. The cost on that meat is very low comparatively.

But you're right, it is tough to compare commercially canned meat products to home canned cost-wise. I don't factor in my labor costs, which if I billed my standard rate would probably make the home-canned stuff exorbitant. But since I am doing something I enjoy that helps me relax and forget my troubles, I sort of write off the labor part of the bill. After all, I wouldn't factor in labor costs in my fishing trips vs. picking up a fish or two at the store.

I guess if I were to make it a business venture, my home canned meats would be sold at a premium, as would my sausage and baked goods. But then I know some people who would be happy to pay a fair price.

Home canned will always trump store bought. I don't ever have to worry about the mfr taking shortcuts with my product.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#264630 - 10/27/13 06:46 AM Re: Canned Meat Products - where do you draw the line? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1982
Loc: Great Plains
The only minor issue is that jars are much more fragile than cans, but I think you can use cans with a bit more equipment. I agree- quality-wise the stuff you do at home blows away the stuff you buy.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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