Bacon is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think about survival foods or items that we can stash away in our emergency stockpiles. We tend to focus on items that have a lot of nutritional value that will contribute to our overall health during a prolonged crisis, and for good reason. Stockpiles are meant to nourish us. However, there’s nothing wrong with including some comfort food as well, and bacon is one addition that can warm bellies and soothe jittery nerves.
Let’s take a look at a simple method that you can use in order to safely add bacon to your long-term stockpile.
The first step is to inspect and prepare your pressure canner, jars and lids. For this recipe, it’s best to use new lids and bands instead of recycling older ones. You also want to make sure that the rims of the jars are not cracked or damaged as well. Remember that any defect can weaken the seal and cause the bacon to spoil while in storage.
Place the jars, lids and bands in a large stockpot filled with hot water, and keep it over low heat until you’re ready to start canning the bacon.
Next, cut a piece of parchment or butcher paper into a strip that is two feet long and one foot wide. Lay it on your counter and start placing the strips of bacon on top. Make sure that each strip is barely touching the next until the entire surface is covered. However, you don’t want to crowd the bacon or let it bunch up in layers, otherwise it may not cook properly. Trim any excess paper so that the ends of the bacon extend slightly over the edges.
Place a second sheet on top of the bacon before trimming as well. Next, take a yard stick, or any type of rod, and lay it across the center of the parchment lengthwise. This will help to hold everything in place as you carefully fold the paper and bacon in half over the rod. Next, carefully roll the paper and bacon from left to right, but roll it tightly so that it will fit into the mason jar. You should be able to squeeze about a pound of bacon into each jar that you want to process and store.
Next, wipe down the rims of the jars, to remove any debris or grease, before attaching and tightening the lids and bands. Don’t add any liquid whatsoever to the jars, because the bacon fat will provide you with everything that you need. Place the jars into the canner, bring up the heat, attach the lid, and let it vent for 10 minutes before sealing everything up and starting the processing timer. Process at 10PSI, adjusting for altitude, for 90 minutes.
When finished, vent the canner again before removing the lid. Place the jars on the counter and let them cool at room temperature overnight. Inspect the jars and lids for damage, and make sure that each one has sealed properly. If you come across any defects, you can re-process them with new jars or lid assemblies. Label and date the ones that you plan on storing, and keep them in a cool and dry place until you’re ready to eat the product. You should be able to achieve a shelf-life of up to a year as long as the seals remain intact.
When you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is open the jars, remove the bacon, and fry up the strips until they are crispy. Try this for yourself, and see how adding a little bit of bacon to your stockpile can provide you with some tasty comfort food in the midst of a crisis.