When you are canning meat products remember these things:
- Learning how to can meat 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.
Learn how to can meat ground, with or without seasonings. Packed in water, broth, or tomato juice.
Learn how to can meat cubed or in strips – hot pack. This recipe also works with beef, elk, or pork as well.
Learn how to can meat cubed or in strips – raw pack. Super simple! This recipe works with beef, elk, or pork.
These canning chicken directions work for rabbit, duck, goose, turkey, or wild game birds too. Canned chicken is great for homemade soup or casserole recipes.
Real, homemade chicken broth is so good for you. Use it as often as you can.
Combine ingredients, simmer until the kitchen smells wonderful, serve with homemade bread, and add a dose of love!
Use this method for canning most fish…works for canning salmon too!
Smoking and canning instructions for fish are here.
Adapt your recipe to make it safe for home canning. This is a delicious (and convenient) option for learning how to can meat!
I Discuss Canning Meat in This Facebook Live Video:
My Canning Meat Story…Preconceived Notions
Canning venison was on my mind for many years, but I put it off. I canned vegetables, fruit, and jam, but I never considered the possibility of canning our meat as well. It just didn’t occur to me.
It seemed as if canning meat must be much harder than canning other produce. Why did I feel this way? I don’t really know. It was just the preconceived notion that I had.
Boy, was I wrong. We are a family of active hunters, so 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 too.
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 how to can 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.
How to Can Meat – FAQs
Why Did My Jars of Home Canned Meat Not Seal?
“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 canning) and the correct pressure and time, then the jars that sealed should be good. It is possible on 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!
Why Did My Jars of Home Canned Meat Not Seal?
“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.”
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, so botulism is a risk. Even if the jars seal, that does not mean the contents inside the jar are sterilized.
Even a water bath 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 homemade 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 in 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 canning ham, bacon, 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, chilis, tacos, and stews. One way we like to use our meat is to just heat a jar of cubed beef or venison and add a white sauce and seasonings like onion/garlic. I like to use cream cheese! Then I serve this over mashed potatoes with a side veggie. It is a super fast meal.
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Page last updated: 5/27/2021