About the Recipe
Canning ham is NOT difficult in any way and when done correctly, it is completely safe. It absolutely requires you to use a pressure canner. Read that again. You must use a pressure canner. If this is your first time using a pressure canner, you may want to check out my detailed instructions here.
The first thing we want to do is cut all the ham off the bone. I cut mine into fairly larger chunks, so it didn’t fall apart during the canning process. You can also freeze the bone for some ham and bean soup in your future. Set your ham aside while you get everything else ready.
Once I had all the ham chunked up it was time to start filling the jars. Fill your hot sterilized jars with the cut meat. I packed it in really well, getting as much as I could in there while still leaving 1″ headroom. If you aren’t sure how to keep your jars hot, you can always run them through a cycle in the dishwasher. That’s normally what I do when I know I’m going to be canning that day.
Next you need to add liquid in with your ham. You can either pour boiling water over the meat or, if you’re as lucky as I was, your Mama saved you all the ham broth! I brought the broth to a boil on my stove and ladeled it over top of the ham, again leaving a 1 inch head space. I had enough of that precious broth left to do a quart of it as well. That broth will be a nice addition to my ham and beans that I make with that fabulous ham bone!
Make sure you wipe the rims of your jars before putting your hot lids and rings on them. I wiped the jar rims with a cloth with a little vinegar to help remove any of the greasy residue.
Now it’s time to process! Place the jars into the canner base making sure that there is space between them. Make sure you remember to add your hot water in your canner. Check your manual to see what your canner calls for, my canner requires 3 quarts of water. Put your lid in place. I highly suggest setting a timer so you know when the specified time is up.
Processing times are:
75 minutes at 11 lbs for pint jars
90 minutes at 11 lbs for quart jars
Make sure to read your manual as additional pressure is needed for high altitude, over 2000 feet.
When your timer goes off, turn the stove off. Actually, turn the stove off and walk away. Go take a much deserved seat for a while. You HAVE to leave the lid on and allow the pressure canner to return to normal pressure. I just let mine sit for quite a while. Once the pressure is down to normal you can remove the lid and take your jars out. I use the jar lifter to remove them. And I always set them on a kitchen towel then cover them with another towel. I don’t want them to cool down too quickly.
Besides the benefit of stocking up on ham when it is very cheap, having canned ham and stock on the shelf is a HUGE convenience. I can grab a can and have my ham pot pie halfway done, all I need to add is some potatoes and pot pie dough.