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Canning Venison Cubed and Raw Pack

Canning Venison is so easy I wish I had started years ago. These directions will also work for canning meats such as beef, elk, pork or venison.

The first time I tried canning meat I could not believe it was so easy. I thought surely there was something I am missing. Nope, nothing missing.  It tasted great!

Any meat must always be processed in a pressure canner.

Venison Recipes

Your shelves are full of canning jars with ground or cubed elk.... what do you do with it? Make supper of course.


Gather your canning supplies


  • Venison (or other meat specified above)
  • canning salt

Canning Procedure

Cut away any bruised areas, gristle, and excess fat. (If you are lucky enough to have any fat on your deer) My kids all help in processing our meat. Here my 6yo is cubing meat for canning. And yes, he is closely monitored of course.

Slice across the grain into strips about 1 inch thick.

Then cut into chunks the size you desire. You can divide into lengths to fit your jar, or cut into cubes.

Pack into hot jars, leaving 1-inch head space.

Add canning salt if desired. I've seen it recommended that you add 2 tsp per quart. I tend to like to only lightly salt our meat. I only use 1 tsp per quart. Do not add liquid! This was the hardest part for me to get.

When you are canning venison, you really don't add liquid. The meat will produce its own juice.

Use the handle of a spoon or something to get out some of the large air bubbles.  You won't be able to get it all out.  But occasionally you'll notice a large gap.  Just poke something in the jar to release those spaces.  Fill jars leaving a one inch head space. 

Wipe the rims of your jars clean.  This is important.  You don't want any grease or meat particles left or it will interfere with the seal.  Just use a wet paper towel and wipe around each jar rim. 

Place the warmed lids and screw bands on finger tight.

Place jars in your preheated pressure canner. Do your best to make sure the jars are not touching each other. For my canner this is a tight fit so sometimes it takes a little maneuvering.

Follow pressure canning instructions using the processing times below.

Don't forget to adjust the pressure requirements for your elevation.


Canning Venison - Process
Quarts - 1 hour 30 minutes
Pints - 1 hour 15 minutes

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15


Questions from my inbox:

Question: I was given some venison and moose meat canned. what are the preparations to put it on the table,in a heated form? really new to this, any advice?

Answer:  Bert your meat can be used in casseroles, for things like chili or spaghetti sauce.  Anywhere you would use cooked meat you can just substitute the canned meat. 

One of the ways I use meat is to just dump the jar in a pot.  Heat to a simmer.  Add a bit of water or broth if it is too dry, then add some cornstarch or flour to thicken a gravy.  Then serve with mashed potatoes and a side vegetable.  You can also use those packaged gravy mixes too for convenience.  I've used the brown gravy mix before. 

I do have a book with some of my recipes here.  Venison Recipes

Question Hello Sharon, I have a question regarding canning Elk meat. I was wondering if you could put butter in with the meat for some flavor? I put butter in with roasts in the crock pot and it always turns out very good.

Answer Hi Brandon,  I would not put butter in your elk before you can it.  Now I realize that meat is going to have some fat in it inherently and elk usually does not have very much.  But recommendations are to not add any fat or oils to your food before canning.

 You can certainly add it when you open the jar to use it though.  You are right adding that extra fat does help wild meats.  I also often add bacon grease instead of butter or if I have bacon ends and pieces I sometimes add that. 


Question Hi Sharon,  I bought some of your canning books and today I canned some chunks of beef in qt. jars.  I thought I did everything right, but when I opened the canner to take them out there was a little bit of oily water on top.

Does this mean my jars were not tight enough?  I tightened them as much as I could with my hands.  but I am not as strong as I used to be.  they all made that ping sound ..... are they sealed? 

Answer: Hi Toni,  it is not unusual for the water and jars to end up greasy or oily. As the jars and food heats up in the canner it swells,  this sometimes pushes some of the liquid in your jars out.  Just remove the rings and wash your jars off and store.  They are safe as long as you know you processed correctly and the lids sealed.

Other Canning Venison methods


Not adding liquid was the most surprising part of canning venison for me.  You really don't add liquid. The meat will produce its own juice.

Sometimes the juice will not fill the jar or completely cover the meat. That is ok.

If you are concerned about this try looking at canning venison hot pack directions. You'll get a more consistent appearance with more liquid in the jars with that method.

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2018

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Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA, you are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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