Canning Turkey

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    We kept 4 turkeys for our own use this past thanksgiving… two 12 pound heritage birds and two 35-pound broad breasted. (They were all 20 weeks old, so that gives a pretty clear view of why a heritage turkey is much better eating than a franken-bird).

    The heritage turkeys were brined, vacuum bagged and went into the deep freeze.

    The franken-birds took more work:

    1. Remove the breast meat, cut into cubes and can in quart jars, using pressure canner. One teaspoon non iodized salt and one cup broth per quart. 15 pounds pressure for 120 minutes.

    2. Remove the wings, legs and thighs from the carcass and put eveything into a Butterball turkey fryer, set to simmer with 4 gallons water.

    3. Simmer until the meat falls off the bones.

    4. Discard skin and bones. Skim off the fat. Add chopped carrots, celery and onions.

    5. Strain the broth to remove all meat and vegetables, then can the broth in quart jars using pressure canner. 75 minutes at 15 pounds.

    6. Vacuum pack and freeze the meat and vegetables in one-pound bags.

    Ended-up with a dozen quarts of broth, a dozen quarts of cubed breast meat and 10 one-pound bags of meat/vegetable mix.

    We use an All-American 921 canner. Works great. We do use distilled water in the canner to eliminate the mineral deposits on the jars during the canning process.

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