Home Canned or Frozen Hamburger Mix

This is a recipe that I have canned for years.  It is a combination of a couple of recipes from the "Farm Journal Thrifty Cook Book" from 1974 and the “Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cook Book” from 1964.   I like to can it to have it ready on the shelf, to use with no thawing, whenever we want a quick meal.  I also like making the cooking mess one time for a number of meals.  
It can also be frozen in freezer bags or containers.  I can it in half pints for the two of us; double the recipe to can 7-8 pint jars.  A pint jar is 2 cups of meat mixture, a half-pint is about 1 cup.
It can be easily doubled, and I have used either tomato paste and water, or tomato sauce and water, or even plain tomato juice for the canning liquid.  We like the celery in this mixture, if you leave it out, double the onion, or have a smaller yield or follow Ilene Jones suggestion and substitute green peppers, diced.
The chili sauce is my personal addition, it is certainly optional.  Actually, I add whatever other seasoning I want when I use the mix; the taste is fresher, and the mix is more versatile.  I can use it in either Italian or Mexican-flavored dishes that way. 

                Hamburger Mix - 2# beef
  1             cup  Celery -- finely chopped  
  1             cup  Onion -- finely chopped
  2             pounds  Ground Beef
  2             teaspoons  Salt
     1/4      teaspoon  Pepper
     1/4      Cup  Chili Sauce (optional)
  12           Ounces  Tomato Paste -- more or less
  1 1/3      Cups  Water or broth from mixture
 Or Substitute for Tomato Paste and Water the Tomato Sauce and Water Below
  15            Ounces  Tomato Sauce
    1            Cup  Water or Broth From Mixture
Cook beef in large kettle until red color disappears, don't break up too much.  Drain broth and skim fat if necessary, measure and add water to yield enough liquid.  Add other ingredients to beef and bring to a boil.
Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
Divide mixture among 7 hot half pint jars with 1" headspace. Remove bubbles with plastic knife and wipe jar rim carefully with hot wipe before sealing.  Cover and seal, place in pressure canner (with 2-3 quarts simmering water, check your canner book for amount for your canner), exhaust steam 10 minutes, process in pints or half pints 1 hour and 15 minutes at 10# at 1000’ or less altitude.
Let pressure drop of own accord (30 minutes), open canner, remove jars to clean towel and let cool and seal, setting apart to allow air to circulate.  Remove rings and wash jars carefully.  Store in a cool, dark place.
Can also be canned in pint jars for the same time, or frozen.  A half pint of mix contains ¼ pound of ground beef, or a ½ pound in a pint.
Yield:  "7 Half Pint Jars or 3 pints and a half pint”

Use in recipes, or heat the mix and spoon between split buns.  Also can be spread over horizontally sliced French bread, topped with Italian seasoning and  mozzarella cheese and baked 20 minutes for French Bread Pizza.  
Use it in any recipe you would brown ground beef and a little onion for, and simply continue with the recipe, substituting a half pint for 1/4# ground beef or a pint for a 1/2# of beef.  Use several jars if you need a larger amount.

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Easy Pantry Chili

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Skillet Macaroni Lasagna

Instant Pot Beefy Mexican Rice


  1. OH! Thanks! What a great idea!!! So even with the addition of chili sauce you use it for Italian as well as the Mexican. I love being able to have quick meals, especially this time of year! We're enjoying a beautiful overcast, breezy & cooler day today (all the doors & windows are open!), but tomorrow it's supposed to be 98!!! Thanks, again!

  2. Hello, Sue! I found your site a few days ago and have been avidly reading ever since. Thank you so much for your recipes and for sharing your way of life.

    Yesterday, I canned your hamburger mix. What a great idea! I did 1-1/2 times your recipe because I wanted a little more. So, 3 lbs of hamburger, 3 tsp salt, etc. I found the mixture to be VERY thick, and next time I think I will just use the tomato sauce and not tomato paste and water. I ended up with four half pints and three pints. This morning when I went to wash my jars, one half pint and one pint had lost their seals. I was surprised at this. Everyone loses a seal once in a while but twice from one batch is not common, and I have been canning for a very long time. There was a bit of leakage because I saw it in the water in the canner after I opened it, which happens often enough, but I rarely lose a seal. Anyhow, I put those two jars in the fridge and will use them soon. The other jars are clean and labeled. I will watch them carefully, but as long as I don't lose the seal I won't worry because I did process them for the full 75 minutes at 240 degrees, 10 lbs of pressure.

    I'm looking forward to trying some recipes with this mix! Thanks again so much for making it available.


    1. Sorry you had a seal failure...hope you like the product, I use it all the time, as you can see.
      I would think the rest of your batch would be good if you processed them as you say. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    2. Just saw your comment today. I just left a comment on your cheeseburger chowder, which uses this hamburger mix. (We love it!) All the rest of the seals are fine so far, and I am very happy with the product. I will definitely make this again. Thanks so much for posting it!

    3. You should try the other recipes too, most of them are from Farm Journal and were printed with the hamburger mix recipes. They work perfectly.

  3. I made this a few days ago and used a jar to make lasagna last night. It really is delicious. One of our local stores has hamburger on sale this week. I plan to can a few more jars to have on hand.

    1. Glad you like it as much as we do...it saves time and mess too when you're ready to make a meal.

  4. I made this last week and liked it so much that I have canned around 20 jars. I have ordered a copy of the Farm Journal. It hasn't arrived yet, but should in the next few days. Thanks for the recpes. We have used the mix in spaghetti and chili,so far. It has been great.

    1. Glad you like it! We enjoyed this in one-pan spaghetti yesterday...so easy!


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