*Canning Smoked Sausage*
As a science project while I was canning bulk sausage I tried a jar of smoked sausage. Not the real stuff that Granpa had in the smokehouse and that lasted for several years, but the commercial stuff you have to keep frozen or refrigerated. It worked out well, so hereís my experience and recommendations.
Start (as always) with good quality product. In food and computers: Garbage in = Garbage Out!
I slice the sausage a bit thinner than ľ inch, but thickness is a personal preference item. I donít recommend cubing the sausage since slices without a full circle of skin on them tend to break up from the pressure canning process. Full rings maintain their shape very well.
Iíve found that five pounds fills eight pints reliably. If you try crowding five pounds into seven pints the jars tend to overflow during pressure canning. While they still maintain a seal I always worry about the safety of such jars.
After packing (and it takes some packing) the slices into prepared jars, I fill with boiling water leaving about one inch of headspace and close with a lid and ring.
I process at 10 pounds (higher at higher elevations) for 75 minutes, cool, inspect, and label as with any canned item.
When it cools youíll find a layer of grease collected and cooled at the top. We scoop it off and use it to make gravy.
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