Preserving Proteins Workshop
By Rosemary Orr UCCE Master Food Preserver
What is the best way to preserve proteins like seafood? Helen G. Morro Bay
This time of year, with the long days and warm weather I am reminded of camping in the mountains. One of my favorite memories is the time we canned trout at our friends' camp in the Sierras. The oily, tender trout meat and skin, perfectly salted, crunchy soft bones loaded with calcium, is hands-down the most delicious canned preserved protein you will eat. The camp's outdoor kitchen consisted of an outdoor gas cook stove, a pressure canner, and a big pot of boiling water. The ice chest was loaded with cleaned and cut trout, ready to be filled into clean jars. Once filled with trout and salt, the jars were carefully loaded into the pressure canner. It made sense to can fish this way, outside in the open mountain air.
At camp high in the Sierras or in your own kitchen, the only way to safely preserve proteins; fish, shellfish, meat, game, poultry, vegetables, beans, etc. is with a research-tested recipe and a pressure canner. Proteins are low acid foods with a pH of 4.6 or higher, and susceptible to bacterial growth. Many bacteria in foods are destroyed by boiling at 212℉; however, some bacteria like Clostridium botulinum can only be destroyed when the temperature in the pressure canner reaches at least 240℉. When canning proteins, the temperature of the canner needs to be kept consistent during the entire required processing time. Processing times will vary depending on the food and the size of the jar. When canning at high altitudes like the Sierras, canner pressures must be increased in accordance with tested recipes. Make sure you follow your recipe exactly.
To learn how to safely and deliciously preserve your next catch and other protein containing foods, check out the Master Food Preservers "Preserving Proteins" workshop on Saturday, June 24, 10:00am to 12:00pm at the UCCE auditorium at 2156 Sierra Way, in San Luis Obispo. At this workshop, you will learn how to preserve seafood, meat, and soups. Master Food Preservers will also teach making jerky and how to freeze meat and seafood to preserve quality. There will be a $5.00 fee to cover supplies. You must register online at: http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=19937