Canning Meat

with Sharon Peterson

Canning Meat

When you are canning meat products remember these things.

  • It is not as hard as it may seem!  Really, it is super easy.  Don't be intimidated.  
  • Be sure to trim away any gristle, bruised areas or excess fat.
  • Meat MUST be processed in a pressure canner. The processing times may seem long, but the investment of time now is so worth it in the end.
  • Preserve cooked in a broth or dry raw pack.
  • If meat is raw packed, it will provide its own juice.

Canning Venison

Venison Ground

Ground with or without seasonings. Packed in water, broth or tomato juice. 

Venison - hot pack

Cubed or strips - hot pack. This recipe also works with bear, beef, lamb, pork, veal and venison

Venison - raw pack

Cubed or strips - raw pack, Super Simple! This recipe works with bear, beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison.

Canning Chicken


These canning chicken directions work for chicken, duck, goose, turkey or wild game birds. It is great for home made soup or casserole recipes. 

Homemade Chicken Broth 

Real homemade chicken broth is so good for you. Use it as often as you can.

Homemade Chicken Soup 

Combine ingredients, simmer until the kitchen smells wonderful, serve with homemade bread, add a dose of Love!

Canning Fish


Use this method for canning most fish... including canning salmon.

Smoked Fish 

Smoking and Canning instruction here. 

Canning Soup

Canning Soup

Adapt your recipe to make it safe for Home Canning. 

I talk about Canning Meat in this Facebook Live

My Canning Meat Story... preconceived notions.  

Jars of home canned meat.

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.

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!

Question from Janice:

Hi, love your site, very informative.  My question is - does pressure canning broths lose any nutrients?  I make beef bone  broth and how I put the jars upside down after filling them on the counter for 12 hours.  They do seal, but I feel that I need to pressure can them.  What are your thoughts on this?   Thank you


Hi Janice,  so glad you asked this question.  Absolutely, if you want to store your broth on a shelf, you do need to pressure can it.  It is a low acid food and botulism is a risk. Even if the jars seal that does not mean the contents inside the jar are sterilized.

Even a waterbath is not enough, when you are canning meat or any vegetable you must process in a pressure canner.   Here are some articles on home canning safety that might be of help.

I do think that pressure canning will affect the nutrients in your broth somewhat. The pressure canner reaches a high level of heat.  I have not done research to know just how much you will lose.  I have to say that home made bone broth is still going to be much more nutritious than any commercially canned products, so I do still make and preserve my own. You don't lose all nutrition, just some.   I'll have to look into this more and see if I can find any research that gives more nutrition information.

Freezing is another great option as well.  I'm sure that the nutrient loss is even less than the processing. 


What meats can be canned? 


Just about any fresh meat can be canned. Bear, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Sausage, Veal, Venison, Chicken, Turkey, Rabbit, Fish, Tuna, Clams and Oysters.

However there is no accepted testing that has been done on cured, brined or corned meat.   So unfortunately no ham, no bacon, no corned beef, hotdogs...  or any other variety that I may have missed. It has to do with the nitrates. 

If you'd like to learn more about canning meats, there are canning meat recipes for members of Simply Canning School.


How do you use canned meat?  


Good question!  This meat is precooked.  So it is not going to be like taking out the ground beef and making a hamburger.  Nor will it be like cooking up a steak.  It is perfect however for casseroles, chili, tacos, stew.  One way we like is to just heat a jar of cubed beef or venison add a white sauce and seasonings like onion, garlic. I like to use cream cheese!   Then serve this over mashed potatoes with a side veggie.  It is a super fast meal.  

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The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

See my Full Disclaimer here.

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