Your shelves are full of canning jars with ground or cubed elk.... what do you do with it? Make supper of course!Click here for information on cooking with home canned wild meats.
Canning Venison was on my mind for many years.... but I put it off. I canned vegetables, fruit and jam. I never considered the possibility of canning our meat as well. It just didn't occur to me.
It seemed as if it must be much harder than canning other produce. Why, did I feel this way? I don't really know. It is just the preconceived notion that I had.
Boy was I wrong. We are a family of active hunters, my husband and sons provide a freezer full of meat. This enables us to keep our grocery budget low. Whatever they bring home is cut up or ground. Before I started canning meat most of it went right into the freezer, and we often made jerky and sausage.
We process our own wild game from the field to the freezer or jar. Part of having tasty wild game is proper preparation of the meat.
If you need information on caring for your game Great Venison Cooking has some well done video tutorials on field dressing and quartering.
When we expanded our garden, I started really focusing on not taking up too much freezer space.
I did some research on canning meat and what I found surprised me. It seemed too easy. Could it really be that simple? I tried it, and guess what?? It is!
We usually have a good supply of both venison (mule deer) and elk. Elk is our favorite by far so; I decided to start with canning venison. That way if it did not turn out well I did not use our favorites.
That first year I started with 14 quarts (that's 2 canner loads) of cubed venison.
My boys, including my husband, declared that they like the canned venison over frozen. I agree! It is much more tender, and it is MUCH more convenient.
I encourage you try it. When dinner time comes open a jar of meat and start preparing right away. No defrosting. You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
Can you answer a question, please? I canned some pork in a pressure canner--first attempt at canning meat. Don't know what I did wrong but only about 1/4 of the cans sealed. And because of that I don't trust the ones that did. If, when I open them, there's no bad smell, is it still possible for the meat to be unsafe?
If you are certain you followed the correct processing method (pressure canner) and the correct pressure and time, then the jars that sealed should be good. It is possible the ones that did not seal you may have had some grease or something interfere with the lids.
Not having a bad smell does not necessarily mean that there is no spoilage. Botulism is something that you can't see smell or taste. You really need to rely on your processing methods. Hope that helps!
I have attempted to share safe preserving methods. However, I make no promises. You alone are responsible for your health. Be aware of current safety recommendations.
See my Full Disclaimer here.