S Tonin wrote:Seconding what Lauren said about bones and seasonings.
Two of the best resources for pressure canning (detailing methods, times, and pressure adjustments for altitude) are the National Center for Home Food Preservation and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The All-American company also has their own cookbook with a lot of recipes; the version I have is out of print and costs >$40 on Amazon and isn't worth that, in my opinion. You can probably find a bootleg pdf online, if that doesn't conflict with your morals.
The #1 thing I pressure can is stock (so much easier to open a jar than to wait for it to thaw), followed by ground beef. I brown my beef dark, since it gives it a really good flavor. Usually I cook the meat in the afternoon/ evening, then scrape it into a stock pot and cover it with at least an inch of water, then put it in the fridge (or outside if it's cold) overnight--it's much easier to get the fat off that way. The more fat, the shorter the storage time (it does go rancid after a while and I've noticed a degradation in flavor after a year) and the higher the chance of not reaching the correct internal temp to kill botulism (fat is an insulator and heat flows through it differently than water); this is why canning butter isn't recommended. Some fat is fine, but something like chunks of pork belly would be dicey. Anyway, after I skim the fat off my pot of meat, I just heat the whole thing to boiling and use the water in my jars. I've also canned ground turkey the same way, even though it's not accepted as "safe"; when I asked a few different Master Food Preservers the consensus seemed to be that it was something that hadn't been lab tested when the guides were written, so it's not something they could recommend because whatever (liability, probably). I usually do everything by the book because I don't want botulism and I don't want to lose food I paid money for, but this is one instance where I feel comfortable coloring outside the lines.
I've also canned meatballs (without egg or breadcrumbs, just beef and a little seasoning) and country-style sausage balls and patties. Brown 'em off, throw them in a jar, cover with boiling water, and process according to the USDA guidelines. The juice makes a decent gravy with just some cornstarch and butter, and a little powdered milk makes it even better.
For cubed red meat, I prefer hot pack for two reasons: 1, it's easier to get all the air pockets out, and 2, I think the flavor and texture are better. Never underestimate the Maillard reaction. I generally do cubed chicken raw pack, unless I'm using leftover cooked chicken to can soup. Canned raw-pack chicken looks gross (at least, grocery store meat, I can't afford farm-raised and can't have my own chickens because bears), but once you take it out of the jar and break it apart it's fine. When I can soup, I generally portion raw ingredients into the jar and cover with stock, or even just plain water. You can always dress it up before serving it.
I'm not sure about all spices, but I've noticed garlic powder, thyme, and cumin seem to be amplified by pressure canning. Delicate herbs (tarragon, parsley, etc) just get destroyed by the heat.
Oh, and if you're using a dial gauge canner and notice you need to babysit it (turning the heat up and down to maintain pressure), you can get a rocker weight to regulate the pressure. Finding out about this was a game-changer for me.
I've seen YouTubers dry-packing hamburger patties, bacon, and raw meatloaf, but I personally wouldn't do any of those things. Dry-packing is dangerous because air, like fat, is an insulator and won't create the same internal convection currents that liquid does, which is essential for even heat penetration. I mean, botulinum toxin is neutralized after five minutes of being heated to 212F (after the jar is opened), so your mileage may vary on what risks you're comfortable taking. BexarPrepper on Youtube does a lot of those things I wouldn't do, if you're curious. Linda's Pantry does everything by the book, and she covers a lot of soups and meal prep shortcut recipes (like canning casserole bases that just need noodles added).