Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chili for Canning

I hardly ever find ground beef on a decent sale any more. At least not the "old" sale prices. New "sale" prices are the old regular prices. So I picked up some 80/20 ground beef for 2.99/lb. so I could make some chili since we had some the other night and I only have one quart left. I have a simple recipe that cans well. I figure it cost me $18 for the ingredients and I got about 9 quarts. At $2 a qt. that is pretty economical and better than Nalley's canned chili. 7 qts. are in the canner and the rest is in the pot simmering to soften up the beans so DH doesn't crack a tooth tonight at dinner. My family likes a milder chili, so of course, tweak the following seasonings to suit your families taste. The following is a great chili for topping potatoes or rice, or to enjoy with all the fixings.


2 # pinto beans, soaked overnight
6 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 envelopes dry onion soup mix
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/3 C chili powder
1 TB ground cumin
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 TB Tabasco or hot pepper sauce
1/3 C brown sugar
1-106 oz can tomato sauce, plus 1-15 oz can
2-3 C water

Drain and rinse soaked beans and cover with fresh water. Bring to a gentle boil  for 20 min. Meanwhile, brown ground beef with 2-3 tsp salt in a large stock pot, then drain. Return meat to pot. Chop onion and garlic in a food processor, or by hand. Add to drained beef in pot. Heat through and add chili powder, cumin black pepper, Tabasco, brown sugar, tomato sauce and 2 cups water. Simmer. Drain simmered beans and add to pot with the rest of the chili. Stir and simmer for 20 min. Add another cup of water if it seems too thick. It will thicken when it is canned, so it needs to be not too thick. Ladle into hot quart jars, cap and seal. Process in a pressure canner for your altitude (15# for me) for 1 hour and 30 min. Return to 0 pressure and remove from canner. Now I have 7 qts. for easy quick dinners, and chili for dinner tonight!


  1. i do the same thing every year...can chili..of course i use a different recipe but it is still pretty basic...i use chopped tomatoes and a can or two of cheapest tomato soup instead of tomato sauce. i use lots of chili powder instead of hot sauce and i have never used any kind of sugar. i also use chopped smooshed garlic and instead of instant onion soup mix i use two small finely chopped onions...aint nothing better than having chili for supper without having to cook it from scratch on those busy days. by the way, any chicks from those eggs you took inside? if not i am sorry. if so, then hurrah!

    1. Enjoy your chili!

      Bad news about the chick eggs... after 3 days, nothing, so we disposed of them. The hens are laying in that same corner again, but BO isn't interested in setting. I don't blame her after what happened this last time. Maybe she will drum up some courage again soon, and we will put her and the eggs in the nursery pen adjacent, but safe from evil chick eaters!

  2. I'll have to try this with a few spice alterations .. I've always followed the Ball Blue Book of canning and canned the beans and meat separately.

    1. I have a very tattered and well used Ball Blue book, and if you can put beans and meat into a soup, why not chili? Their Bean Soup and Ten Bean Soup recipes both have beans and meat, and both foods require 1 and a half hours of pressure canning. I have been canning chili and bean soups for years and have never had a problem. But only try it if you feel safe doing so.

  3. I'm new to canning, so I haven't gotten this far yet, but it's a great idea to put up your own chili. We enjoy it year round, but it's heat intensive and it's not fun to make, even in a crock pot, when it's 100F+ outside.

    You're so right, ground beef is very expensive anymore, but I've noticed that chuck is often a loss leader at around $2/lb. I wonder if grinding at home, or even just braising and then shredding with the spices might be more cost effective? We use beef liver in ours as well, which reduces the amount of the more expensive cuts and sneaks in the nutrient power punch which I don't think I could pay my kids to eat otherwise. Chili powder, ftw! It covers a multitude of not so great.

  4. It's funny you should mention grinding your own meat at home. My DH and I were just having that conversation yesterday, especially after hearing about the "pink slime" (see Link) that is going into the ground meat at our grocery stores, but also the school lunch program. We were wondering what cut would be cost effective. Maybe mixing chuck with sirloin. I don't know, what do you think?

    Speaking of shredding meat with spices, I cook up a chuck roast with chili seasonings and shred it and have canned the leftover meat. It is delicious and I bet it would be good to use in chili as well.,0,1330346.story

  5. i figure with high prices these days i just go ahead and use ground round instead of chuck...and there is less fat to drain off if canning. i am with you rose on canning meat...been doing it for years and years and have never had a problem using recommended times and pressure requirements in the canning books...i am of the feeling that anything you can buy in a can or jar at the grocery store, can be preserved and canned at home just as easily. many cookbooks of the 1930's thru the 1950's are good cookbooks for canning recipes...and if you ever go to estate sales, antique stores etc.. these are real bargains if you can find them.

    1. Do you ground the round yourself? Do you add fat to it? It is so lean, I use it as stew meat to can. I think you're right about food that we buy in a can, why not can it ourselves? I have canned ham, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, meatballs, butter and even cheese. The food police will hate me!

    2. i generally purchase most of my meat for the deep freezer from the military commissary-lower cost and when i buy meat that is all i buy. i dont grind any meat myself anymore mostly because i dont raise or butcher myself. every now and then, if the price is right i will buy a huge hunk (quarter) of meat and slice, dice and grind- but prices have just been way to high to do that for quite a while now. lol, yeah, the food police dont like me either..and neither does my local grocer-i think they cringe when they see me coming cause they know i onlly visit the produce, dairy and meat and i ask questions expeccting knowledgable answers...

    3. if i get a good deal at the meat market, i do my own grinding, dicing and slicing...but have not been able to do that for awhile..prices are outrageious.. when cooking with ground round i do cook it up in a little bit of olive oil (not much). i think the food police have me being watched too...i can everything-including the leftovers.


Your thoughts are welcome!