Canning Sausage

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In Middle Tennessee,

It’s Pronounced



But in Oklahoma, we say, “Sausage” like you ‘orta’! I love sausage. There is absolutely nothing like it. And, yes, it has to be made with pork. I’ve made turkey sausage before and I’ve added olive oil to give it some ‘crisp’ on the outside, but heh, it was turkey. That just isn’t real sausage.

My favorite brand of sausage, if I haven’t made my own, is Tennessee Pride Country Sausage. Yes, I was born in Oklahoma and I live in Oklahoma, but I had a stint in between there in Tennessee. “Tennessee Country sausage is the best part of the meal”, don’t you know? It is very lean and has a wonderful flavor. Best of all, we get it here in Okie land!!

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Working in the meat department in Blaine, Tennessee, (and yes, we acted this stupid) I learned to make my own sausage. We ground enough hogs to feed Ireland. I remember when I was expecting my first child, we and our friends, who raised hogs, killed several hogs to put in our freezers and I spent the afternoon grinding, seasoning and wrapping nearly 200 lbs of sausage and curing and hanging the hams and bacon. I was in those first three months of morning sickness and I must say, it took me years to be able to smell sage and brown sugar again. I got ill to put it mildly.

My mother-in-law taught me how to can that sausage (sorsage as she called it) and I have been doing it ever since. Either homemade or store bought, sausage does very well canned. It keeps a lot longer than in the freezer and it is so easy to pull out in a pinch. As a side note, the Ball Canning book says not to add sage to your sausage because it could become bitter in the canning, but I have NEVER had that problem…and how is it sausage without sage??! What’s the last 4 letters of sausage? Sage! When I make my own sausage, I use sage from our garden that has been dried and hand rubbed. I have been canning Tennessee Pride sausage for a couple of years, which has sage in it, and it tastes wonderful too.

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I canned sausage just before Christmas when I found it on sale. I try to do this once a year to last us and so it takes quite a few runs and a full afternoon but one run only takes about an hour and 45 minutes total time (preparation and processing). You can make your own sausage into patties or if you are using packaged sausage, slice the packages into patties. I am using a serrated knife here with tiny teeth. A straight knife just makes mess of soft sausage. Also, you can freeze your rolls slightly to make them easier to cut. But a serrated knife is still needed.

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Place the patties into skillet. I add a 1/4 cup of light olive oil because Tennessee Pride is so lean.

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Brown patties on both sides. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the sausage fully cooked as you would if preparing to serve it.

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Carefully stack patties into sterilized and hot canning jars. Leave a 3/4 – 1 inch head space. Here, I am using half pint jars because there are just two of us, but when the kids were all home, I packed the patties into pint jars. I can get around 4 – 5 small patties per half pint jar. For larger jars, you can make your patties larger.

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Pour drippings into jars, over sausage, leaving 1″ headspace. If you don’t have enough drippings to fill this high, it is ok. Just fill as much as you can as you see I’ve done in this photo. When the sausage is lean, it is hard to get alot of drippings. That is why I added extra oil in the cooking. Remove all air bubbles with a knife or canning spatula.

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Wipe the rims of the jars with a hot, wet rag to remove all oils.

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Add lids that have been simmering in nearly boiling water. Add rings and tighten slightly. I tighten and then back off just a smidge.

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Place jars in pressure canner that has 2 to 3 inches of hot water in it. Pressure can at 10 lbs pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes. For quarts, pressure for a hour and 30 minutes.

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Remove jars from canner and let them cool. For those of you who have not canned before, you will hear a ‘pinging’ sound as the lids seal. All lids should look concave – sucked down toward the inside of the jar – if they are sealed. If the button in the center is still popped up, the jar has not sealed. When the jars are cool enough to handle, remove the rings and wash jars and rings in hot, soapy water to clean off any oils that might have escaped in the canning process.

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Allow the jars and rings to dry thouroughly and then replace rings to store. It is not required that you replace the rings, but they do protect the edge of the seal from bumping.

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When you are ready to use your canned sausage, just open and place patties in a preheated skillet and include drippings from the jar. Fry the patties to give a little “crust” to each side. The preheated skillet helps to give a nice sear to the outside.

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Serve as you would fresh sausage and chow down!

Happy Canning!

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21 Responses to “

Canning Sausage

  1. "Mrs. B" says:

    Oh WOW! Good job. I can do this. Thanks for teaching me!

  2. You bet you can do this!! It’s one of the simplest things to do! :-)

  3. CathyRose says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I am definitely going to do this. I know my husband would be thrilled to have some of this in the pantry!

  4. Vicki says:

    This looks easy enough and I think that even I could do it…thanks. =)

  5. He will definitely love it, Cathy. Keep him some biscuits in the freezer that he can zap and cans of sausage and he’s good to go!! :-)

  6. Your welcome, Vicki! Thanks for reading the blog!

  7. Gail Becker says:

    I had no idea you could can sausage! This is something I’d like to do in the future. It’s been many years since I canned with my Gram. I would like to start doing but have smooth cooktop stove & don’t know how to use pressure cooker. When I do start I’ll have to get all the neccessary items. Thank you for sharing this! Your directions are very easy to understand,too!

  8. Glad that you found the directions to be simple. Yes, a smooth top stove is not the thing for canning. However, you can purchase burners that use propane to use outside if you really decide to get into canning. Great for the summer to avoid heating the kitchen!

  9. [...] The Vintage Kitchen Antique mixing bowls and sauerkraut crock Martha Stewart has a really neat site for women in business where they can share their accomplishments, new products, business ideas, accounting help and countless other types of discussions. One of the women has started a forum about the vintage lifestyle and I decided to join these lovely ladies. Jolene encouraged me to do a post about some of the things that I have from the vintage kitchen. I thought that would be fun and so I grabbed the camera and just started taking pictures. Of course, that led to the vintage lighting and furniture and everything else, so I got a boatload of photos. These are things that have been in my family for generations or that we have picked up along the way. I have used many of the items in my kitchen just for the fun of it and it makes me feel a bond with grandmothers and great-grandmothers as I imagine them standing in their kitchens, hands grasping the very same utensils. Hope you have fun scrolling through yesteryear! The country kitchen had a butter churn for all that sweet cream carried in from an early morning milking And if they were lucky, they could afford a Daisy Churn with paddles and a handle that turned for faster butter. And of course, that butter was put into butter molds to shape into blocks for the table Sometimes the cream was whipped with sugar to top some dessert and a jadite beater bowl with accompanying hand mixer was just the thing for the job. Juicers were a necessity for juicing oranges, lemons and limes. These glass juicers are made of jadite, Vaseline Depression glass, and clear, pressed glass. When turned, a cherry pitter clamped to the table, pressed the stones out of fresh cherries that were dropped into the hopper. Ice cream was served with this wooden handled dipper and this hand beater did a number on the eggs! A Foley Food Mill pressed potatoes, peaches, cooked apples and anything else that required mashing. This particular mill was used for pressing ripe persimmons for persimmon pudding. The modern food processor of the day was not electric! Different drums were placed inside the mouth of this utensil depending on whether the cook wanted grated, sliced or zested. The food was fed through the hopper with the turn of the handle. This nut chopper was my grandmother’s and I still use it. You turn the handle and the nuts are grabbed by sharp teeth that cut them and then push them through more blades. The potato ricer to the left is from my husband’s family as is the wooden handled potato masher in the foreground. Other choppers were used to dice onions, garlic and other small veggies. Wooden rolling pins, as today, were common and cherished. But glass rolling pins were not uncommon either. They were great for buttery pastry dough because they were filled with ice and water , capped and provided an icy cold surface to roll out the dough. The clear glass rolling pin was my grandmother’s. The jadite is not antique, but is a replica of an old rolling pin. Syrup dispensers haven’t changed much over the years, except for the telltale wooden handle of the vintage ones. A red, glass refrigerator dish brightly colored the refrigerator. Of course, no household could do without a waffle iron and for the early 20th century, wood cookstove, a Griswold cast iron model was just the ticket with its tall base for perfect waffles. And perfectly seasoned, this was the first “nonstick” cookware! In the ‘50’s Mirro introduced a handy cookie press with all kinds of wonderful shapes to create beautiful cookies. I grew up turning out cookies at Christmas, sprinkling colored sugar balls and sugars on them to decorate. An aluminum cake decorator came in handy too. Blue Atlas and Ball canning jars were sealed with zinc lids to hold meats and goodies from the garden. There was no Tupperware or Rubbermaid back then and for the early “ice boxes” and newer electric Frigidaires, glass refrigerator dishes provided safe keeping for leftovers. These are made of Agite Jadite. And for those with special kitchen cabinets first created in Nappanee, Indiana, called Hoosier, tea, coffee and sugar were kept in special glass canisters. This original Hoosier style cabinet called a Boone Cabinet – circa early 1920′s – was kitchen central for the lucky cook. The large sifter holds an enormous amount of flour and actually pulls out on jointed arms over the floor to make it easier to load the flour. The white jars with red caps are vintage spice jars. The doors are decorated with the original cuts of agite glass and the open cupboard below can be hidden with the tambour door that smoothly rolls down. This is what the cabinet looked like before I refinished it and put it back together!! The pile of sticks is the tambour door in pieces. I am rather proud of that project. Mr. Fix-It wasn’t convinced that I could fix it. [...]

  10. Sam says:

    What is the shelf life of the canned sausage? Thanks!~

  11. Hi Sam,
    According to the Ball Blue Book of Canning, the shelf life of any of the meats is 1 year. However, I will tell you that while I rotate my canned goods, I must have missed a jar of sausage that I pulled several weeks ago. It was three years old and tasted good as new! :-)

  12. [...] A Shout Out and Atta-Girl! I’d like to give a shout out and kudos and ‘atta-girl’ and ‘way to go!’ (can you think of anything else?) to reader, Debbie, who sent in this photo of her first attempt at canning chili. It was such a success that she is moving on to canning soup for her very large family. Congrats, Debbie!! We are so proud of your success and eagerness to plan ahead for your family. If you have a success story or ideas that you would like to share, please email us with your pictures and story. Again, congrats, Debbie!! Happy Canning! MB [...]

  13. [...] A Few Fries Short Of A Happy Meal – About As Sharp As A Marble ~~~ You get the picture – not hitting on all cylinders. You know? Mr. Fix-It got this video by email today from a friend – also a male – with the accompanying comment which kinda ruffled my tailfeathers, “You just don’t find good wives like this anymore.” Well, yeah. Thank goodness for suffrage! What gets me is that this lady looks happy. She obviously took that part about “love, honor and obey” seriously!! I can just hear that guy from the movie shorts of the ’30′s, in his nasally voice intoning, “And here we have Mrs. Not-Too-Smart and hubby having a lovely Saturday afternoon in the park. After games they’ll be hitting the bar for a couple of “shooters”. And then again, maybe they went there first!” [...]

  14. [...] The Accidental Discoverer! Or “You Are What You Wheat” You know me by now. I can’t leave anything alone. I have to tweak it, experiment with it and see how many ways I can change it before I can be still. And “IT” can be a recipe, a sewing project, a painting, dehydrating/canning or the directions to a new movie theatre in Oklahoma City. My motto is, “Waste Not, Want Not” and though some might try to convince that this statement comes from the Bible, (Like “God helps those who help themselves,” right?) I’m pretty sure it came from my dad – or Benjamin Franklin – or that Wesley guy. Whomever coined it, it is ingrained in my chromosomes. Therefore, when I made my most recent batch of bread for the week, using a combination of 3 parts Prairie Gold Hard White Wheat flour to 1 part barley flour, I wound up with my usual 1/2 cup of wheat germ sifted out of 5-6 cups of the flour after a round of four siftings and did not want to waste it. Yes, I sift the fire out of my freshly ground flour to add air and lightness and to take out some of the heavier germ/hull which makes bread heavy. Mr. Fix-It likes his bread to carry him off like a magic carpet of the mouth. He says, “Open Sesame” and it floats right in! Anyway, I had all of this germ and I didn’t want to throw it away. I continue to toss that 1/2 cup of germ in with the other 1/2 cups of germ in a freezer bag to store in the freezer. I have always known that I will use it for something like on salads, in peanut butter or to sprinkle on top of risen bread loaves for crunch and appearance, but that won’t use up as much as I have! It was then, with my Okie Pioneer spirit, that I hit on an idea. Here it is in pictures. Oh, and by the way, it worked!! I brought 1 cup of water to a boil and added a pinch of salt and 4 tbsp of the wheat germ, and stirred then until everything was smooth. I boiled the mixture for 6 minutes until it was nice and thick, uncovered, stirring occasionally. You got it!! Cream of Wheat!! And it was good too, especially with butter and brown sugar. I now have a new breakfast favorite with 4 grams of fiber to boot! See, I could have survived in those pioneer days!! Happy Experimenting! MB [...]

  15. [...] A Root Canal Has Nothing To Do With Panama I know. Everyone says, “I hate going to the dentist.” But not everyone says it in the screaming, overemphasized, “I HATE GOING TO THE DENTIST!!!!” way that I say it. Most people, though they are uncomfortable with instruments, drills and hands in their mouths, suck it up, grit those teeth on their good side and stoically march to the dental chair with the air of one heading to an execution. I, however, hold each side of the doorway moulding with fingers of steel, while wedging my feet at each corner of the bottom of the door frame and dare anyone to push or pull me through. There is no screaming. There is no crying. There is just a resolute, “uh-uh – not gonna do it.” I believe the beginning of this abnormal relationship with dentistry began when I was six years old. It was at that time I determined, with what little deductive reasoning a first grader may possess, that [parents = gift after dentist = pain → parents = good such that dentists = mean]. My first journey into this equation involved the fact that my baby teeth were falling out in God’s time and not Man’s time. Because Man’s time is the guage most depended upon by the medical community, it was decided that a few of my teeth had to go, in order to make room for those adult teeth which God’s time had not even produced yet. That encounter gleaned me a small, shiny, red bike with training wheels. A few years later, my final “dental trip-equals-gift” experience also included removing baby teeth but I had progressed to the fourth grade and wasn’t so easy to bribe. I had graduated to a full meal at my favorite McDonald’s Hamburger restaurant and the movie, FLIPPER, on the big screen. It was later that I realized that my parents and my dentist were in cahoots and I no longer cut my parents any slack. In the summer after eighth grade – at that awkward age of 14 – my parents took me to a dentist who then sent me to an orthodontist. I had no clue what that was, but because the dentist didn’t do anything to me except clean my teeth, I figured this new kind of doctor couldn’t be all bad. The orthodontist ‘ummed’ and ‘ohhhed’ as he pulled my cheeks back, pushed my gums and tapped different teeth. My parents tried to squash the tendency to lean over to look at what he was observing. Finally, the awful verdict was issued and my parents checked me into a hospital to have MORE teeth extracted and wires put under my gums around hidden canines with a prognosis of 5 years in braces. My parents let me start high school, the angst of every budding teen, with stitches in my gums, unable to smile and with lips the size of a cartoon character. Several weeks later came the inevitable ‘railroad tracks’ which then became my nickname. And to make matters worse, there was no prize, no gift, no bribe to lift my self-esteem. Evidently, I had “grown up”. To add to my misery, I had to stretch tiny little rubber bands from a metal hook attached to the wire under my gum on each side of my upper mouth to a metal hook on a band around a bottom molar on each side of my lower jaw. These rubber bands were no bigger around than the end of a large pencil and so the pressure on them was enormous. Teachers and friends alike had to pay attention where they were standing in proximity to my face because when I spoke, it was not unusual for my mouth to shoot a rubber band with the accuracy of a slingshot. “Humiliation” became a new variable in dentistry for me. I wore those braces through my first year in college and today, as a result of all that effort and humiliation and thousands of dollars, I can smile with a mouthful of fewer teeth, visible canines and pearly-not-so-whites that look like a row of dominoes after a minor earthquake. Then came the extraction of four wisdom teeth which also had to be done in the hospital because it was in the stone-age, also known as the ‘70’s. The young man who was next in line for surgery, lying on his gurney outside the surgery room door, could hear the surgeon grunting and yelling because my mouth was so small and my teeth were so big. That evening, this same young man came to my room to see how I was doing (and to brag that he was getting a steak from Steak and Ale), only to find me with a swollen face, bruised cheeks, mouth split at each corner and begging for morphine. Two dry sockets later, I vowed that dentistry was akin to torture. My disgust for all things dentist was established for life. Fast forward to last week. I had broken a tooth – I’m talkin’ 2/3 of that sucker was gone. I wasn’t crazy about our family dentist office and I figured it was time for a change. So, I found a new dentist, in the Yellow Pages, whose sole attraction was the words, “Comfortable and Stress-Free.” Comfortable and Stress-Free is good! And they really are gentle at OKC Smiles in Oklahoma City. I loved the office workers. Those people were so nice and they made great effort to make me feel comfortable and welcome. I got my teeth cleaned without the usual bleeding gums, swollen cheeks and uncomfortable throb throughout the next day. I was not the least bit perturbed about this dentist working on my teeth because the atmosphere was so relaxing. That is, until I was informed that the broken tooth would involve a root canal. A root canal? I had heard of those things and nothing about them had been good. In fact, I had heard horror stories about them and so, when my new dentist friend informed me that he does “sedation dentistry” my answer to his question of , “Do you want to be sedated?” was, “How stupid do I look? Ok, don’t answer that question. Yes.” I was given a little blue pill and sent home with directions to take it one hour prior to my next appointment. Oh yes, and Mr. Fix-It was to be my designated driver. On the day of my major surgery – ok, so when it comes to dental work, I like to exaggerate – Mr. Fix-It and I headed out the door to drive the nearly hour it takes to get to my new dentist. I had taken the pill and was happily waiting for it to kick in. Halfway to the office, Mr. Fix-It realized that he didn’t know where he was going and turned to ask me directions. My chin was slumped against my chest. I was snoring. He managed to wake me to get spotty information and attempted to find the dental clinic. He was smart – or just lucky, but he found it and helped me out of the car. I did not hold to the door frame or refuse to enter, but obediently shuffled into the plush waiting room to sit down with Mr. Fix-It at my side. From that point on, all I have is Mr. Fix-It’s version of the story. According to him, my head lolled downward and to the side when, all of a sudden, I hiccupped. I didn’t just do a little hiccup. I let loose with a high-pitched, body-wrenching, air-gulping hiccup and my head flew backwards. My chin then dropped back down onto my chest and I hiccupped again, going through the same motions of head pitching backward and then slumping forward. This continued as my dear husband, who is supposed to be my advocate and protector, could not contain himself and exploded into gales of laughter. Another patient, a man, entered the waiting area and sat down across from us just as I let loose with another jarring hiccup. He looked embarrassed for me and Mr. Fix-It said, “She’s sedated. She gets these hiccups sometimes.” I let loose with a big one. Mr. Fix-It giggled loudly. Thankfully, the nurse ushered me to the dental chair and got the hiccups stopped. My kindly dentist did his work, determining that I did not need a root canal after all. Tooth temporarily capped, I was carefully monitored for blood pressure and heart rate and the hiccups commenced again. Mr. Fix-It assured me that they reverberated throughout the entire building. I am wondering what the office personnel are saying about that day. Do they have conversations that begin with, “Did you hear that lady….?” or “Was that hilarious or what?!” I have to go back to have the permanent cap affixed. I am not sure I can show my face. All I know is that dentists and I have a very strained relationship. However, I think that if this new one will still have me, I will stay in his care because I have to admit that my experience there has been the most pleasant of any. I will say, though, I don’t think I’ll be taking any of those little blue pills again. As I told Mr. Fix-It, while still in an inebriated state, I think, next time, I’ll take some of that “Noxious Oxide” instead. Somehow, I have a feeling that my inserting “noxious” for “nitrous” is a harbinger of things to come. Happy Flossing! MB [...]

  16. [...] God’s Artwork In Photos Way back when I was in college – back when those guys with the triangle hats were signing our country’s documents – I was part of the ‘art scene’ on campus. Though I started out in mini-skirts and knee socks with clunky shoes topped with shiny buckles (ok – so it was the ’70′s; we just thought it was 1776), I quickly understood that there was a reason why art students ‘grunged out’. Good clothes didn’t last too long in a welding bay, a bronze and aluminum foundry, a painting or ceramic studio or a woodworking shop. Overalls and t-shirts became my wardrobe of choice and if I had donned a headband, beads and sandles, I would have fit the part perfectly. As it was, lowly overalls was as grunge as I was willing to stoop. My major was painting and my minor was sculpture and everywhere around me was color. I memorized color wheels, color schemes, color theory and color mixing and learned to use color in everything from a brush stroke to convincing the public to buy a soft drink, through commercial art. The study of light and color was fascinating. I honestly do not know how anyone who has studied the world around them, through the discipline of the visual arts, can doubt that there is an artist who is so much greater than they. To attempt to put something on canvas, one must take it down to its tiniest attribute and then build up to the whole. The sheer complexity of a blade of grass is incredible. It isn’t just a streak of green – it is a series of hundreds of greens, yellows, browns and even reds and blues, creeping through lights and darks and crevices and shadows. If a painter can reproduce that image onto a canvas, imagine the sculptor who created it for real! I’ve been playing with my camera and taking photos of some of those creations that show off God’s great palette of color, found in the fields and in our flower gardens. He understands the idea of complimentary color and monochromatic color because…oh yes…He made those too! And He created this land we call Oklahoma that is a mixture of hills and prairie that most Okies call “God’s Country”, where so many colorful florals can be found. I hope you enjoy the photos and that they give you a moment to just smile and relax. In The Pasture In The Garden Happy Flower Gardening! MB [...]

  17. [...] I Guess You Could Say The Drought Is Over? Well, most of the nation knows that Oklahoma has been in severe drought conditions. In fact our governor, along with the Texas governor, has been asking for prayers for relief. Triple digit temperatures have made life really, really difficult, but as most Okies do, we’ve all been making jokes and pushing on. And then, prayers were answered at the first of the week and we have had a couple of really nice rains. Then came this afternoon. Oh my. Wasn’t ready for this. With no warning at all, this storm blew up and handed us 70 mph winds with hail ranging from pea sized to over golf ball sized. I got a video and I will admit with some embarrassment that at first I was fascinated, then the big stuff started coming and I was groaning in consternation at the thought of the roof and then…well, yes…I nearly dropped the camera and started squealing as the wind began pelting me with larger than golfball sized hail under the roof of the porch!! It was like getting hit with fast balls!!! So here’s the video and yes, the roof is damaged as are the vehicles. There was no time to get the vehicles to protection. One of those big ones will kill you if it hits you in the head!! Here’s a couple of still pictures My lantanas are shredded, as are the rest of the flowers that have survived the drought They’re pretty big and I will tell you, the insurance agent is NOT going to be happy – either with the roof or the cars. Happy Rain Storms! MB [...]

  18. Bob Leibold says:

    Pressure canning does notg make the sausage mushy?

  19. Hi Bob. It makes it soft, but then you “fry” it up to make it crisp on the outside and soft on the inside just like fresh sausage.

  20. robinD says:

    thank u i have been looking for a reciepe to can sausage..i can all other meats and was told for years u could not can sausage..poo poo..thanks again

  21. […] mother in law was the first person to introduce me to canned breakfast sausage. It blew my mind that you could patty up your sausage, cook it, can it, and open it any time you […]