Canning venison is so easy, I wish I had started years ago. These directions will work for canning beef, elk, or pork as well.
I will NOT go into how to butcher your deer. If you would like instructions on how to do that, check with your county extension, as they may have ideas for you.
If you have your meat butchered commercially, check with your butcher and let them know how much of it you would like cubed.
Or just have it processed into roasts. See if you save on processing costs by cutting it up yourself.
The page provides instructions for canning venison using a hot pack canning method. This simply means the venison is cooked before being put into your jars. If you like a raw pack, check out this page. Remember, raw pack does not mean not processed. The pack method is simply referring to how you fill your jars. Any packing method MUST be pressure canned.
The first time I tried canning venison, I could not believe it was so easy. I thought surely there was something I was missing. Nope, nothing missing. Our meat tasted great!
My husband and sons butcher our deer, with me helping as a wrapper, canner and freezer. Jerky is a team effort. My husband and I make it, the boys eat it.
For us, doing it ourselves saves on costs, and we know just what we are getting and how our meat is handled. And remember, any meat must always be processed in a pressure canner.
Gather your canning supplies and start your canner heating. You want the canner hot but not boiling by the time you are done searing the meat in preparation for going in the jars.
Cut away any bruised areas, gristle, and excess fat. Usually with venison, fat is a non-issue, but if you are canning beef, you might have more fat to remove.
Next, slice across the grain into strips about 1-inch thick. Then, slice these strips into cubes. Place cubes in a large pan and brown. Doing this in batches is the best. You want to brown the meat. If you do a bunch at a time, it will tend to gain more liquid in the pan and it seems like they boil and not sear. Save any broth that is created to add to your broth in the jars.
Once your meat is heated through, put into hot jars. Use a slotted spoon and leave the drippings in the pan.
Add canning salt to your jars if desired. I use 1 tsp per quart. I have seen it recommended to use 2 tsp/quart.
Add salt according to your taste. You can choose to leave out the salt, but salt really does add to the flavor and quality, so I do recommend it.
Top off your jar with either boiling water or beef broth. You can also use bouillon if you choose. A tea kettle makes adding your liquid super easy!
Leave 1-inch headspace.
Wipe the rims of your jars clean. This is important so that any grease or food will not interfere with the lid sealing to the jar. Place the ids and screw bands on finger-tight. Finally, place jars in your preheated pressure canner.
Follow pressure canning instructions, using the processing time below.
Don't forget to adjust the pressure requirements for your elevation as needed.
How long is canned venison good for?
Generally, home canned food (including venison) is good for 1 year. However, this is more of a quality issue. After one year, the food starts deteriorating quicker, but it is still safe. My recommendation is to plan on canning enough for a year.
But if a year goes by, don't throw it away! Just make a plan to use it up soon. Always rotate your stock so you are using the older jars before the newer and don't end up with jars several years old. All this is assuming you have used proper pressure canning methods and are checking the seals to be sure they are still secure.
How do you use canned venison?
Use canned venison like any other canned meat. Simply heat it up and eat it with some gravy and mashed potatoes, or use it in stews, chili, casseroles, or other recipes.
Here are some recipe ideas:
Simply Canning School includes a section on Canning Meat, and another on Cooking with Home Canned Foods. There are more recipes and ideas there! Learn more about the membership here.
Can you can venison in the oven?
No, canning meat in the oven isn't safe. Actually, it's not even recommended for canning other foods either. You can read more about this topic on my Oven Canning page.
Can you can venison without a pressure canner?
No, venison is a meat...and ALL meats should be canned using a pressure canner, as there is the risk of botulism. Learn more about canning safety here.
Use the following pressure according to your elevation:
|Adjustments for Pressure Canner|
|Altitude in Feet||Dial Gauge Canner||Weighted Gauge Canner|
Page last updated: 12/18/2019.