New to canning.

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    Hello, all. I’ve just begun prepping and stumbled across this website recently. I decided to try my hand at canning to preserve some food and have done two sessions, but I’ve got some questions I’m hoping someone with a little more experience can answer.

    I’ve only done meat so far. In my first session, I tried raw packing some chicken and beef. The chicken seemed to turn out fine. I did whole chicken breasts and added salt and water. The beef I cut into cubes and put in the jars. Directions said not to pack too tightly, so I made sure to avoid that. I also didn’t add any liquid since it said the meat would provide its own while cooking.

    I definitely didn’t overpack the beef because when I pulled the jars afterward, they were between half and three-quarters full from having cooked down during the pressure-canning process.

    During my second session, I did some sausages and hamburger patties. From what I read, it seems it’s fine to do these kinds of meats, but it was suggested that you brown them first. I did this, then added the meat to the cans and added tomato juice to some and water to others. I then pressure-canned the jars for 90 minutes at a little over 11 pounds of pressure (mostly because I couldn’t find a way to adjust the heat to keep it at 11 or below.) They all seemed to turn out fine and the lids have sealed. However, after I was done, I was reading a little more about canning, and the threads I saw said that I should have added boiling water to the patties.

    My two main questions are this:

    1. From my first canning session, are the jars of beef ok? They sealed, but there’s a lot of headspace in them now, and the top of the beef is exposed to the air in the jars.

    2. From my second session, is the food ok even though I didn’t add boiling water and juice to the meat? It doesn’t seem like it should be such a big deal since they all cooked at 240+ degrees for an hour and a half and the meat wouldn’t have been to boiling temperature when I added it from the pan. Why does it need to be boiling water added?

    I appreciate any help and advice anyone can provide.

    Thanks,

    Todd

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