Canning Venison: Cubed & Raw Pack

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

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. And it tasted great!

Any meat must always be processed in a pressure canner.

Cooked cubed venison in a glass bowel.
Canning Meat and Meals Course to learn how to can meat safely at home.

This Page Includes:

pressure canning guide

Canning Venison (Cubed & Raw Pack): Extended, Step-By-Step Directions

Gather Your Canning Supplies:


  • venison (or other meat specified above)
  • canning salt (optional)

How to Can Venison Cubed (Raw Pack)

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

Sharon's son helping cut venison into smaller pieces for canning.

Add canning salt. I’ve seen it recommended that you add 2 tsp. per quart. I tend to like to only lightly salt our meat, so I only use 1 tsp. per quart.

Do not add liquid! This was the hardest part for me to get, but when you are canning venison, you really don’t add liquid. The meat will produce its own juice.

Sharon using a wooden spoon to release air from the jars packed with raw venison.

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 1-inch headspace.

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 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 using the chart below.

Canning Venison Processing Times:

  • Quarts – 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Pints – 1 hour 15 minutes.

Recipe Card

Canning Cubed Meat – Raw Pack

These directions will work for canning meats such as beef, elk, or pork. Remember Raw pack is just how you fill the jars. You will still process these in a pressure canner.
Print Recipe
Packing quart jars with pieces of raw meat.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time:2 hours


  • Meat  Cut into cubes or strips.
  • Canning Salt Optional. Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoons per pint or 1–2 teaspoons per quart.


  • Start by preparing your jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. This includes more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.

For a Raw Pack

  • Trim excess fat or gristle from the meat.
  • Slice meat across the grain into 1” thick pieces. Cubes or strips are fine.
  • Add canning salt to each jar.
  • Pack raw meat into jars, leaving 1” headspace. Don’t add liquid. 
  • Remove bubbles, wipe the rim clean, and place on seal and ring.
  • Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to below directions.  


Processing with a Pressure Canner
Place the jars in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below) This is when pressure will start to build.  
When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below) that is when you’ll start your time.  Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
Processing Instructions (Raw Pack) 
Process pints for 1 hour 15 minutes or quarts for 1 hour 30 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  
Altitude Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
Altitude –  Weighted Gauge   
0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds  
1,001-8,000 ft – 15 pounds  
Altitude – Dial Gauge   
0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds
2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds 
4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds 
6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds 
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Wisconsin Extension
Servings: 2 pounds of meat per a quart jar

Canning Venison (Cubed & Raw Pack): Tips & FAQs

How to Use Home Canned Venison

“I was given some venison and moose meat canned. What are the preparations to put it on the table,in a heated form? I’m really new to this. Any advice?”


Bert, your meat can be used in casseroles and 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. I heat it to a simmer, then add a bit of water or broth if it is too dry, then add some cornstarch or flour to thicken a gravy. Then I serve it 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.

Adding Butter to Canned Venison?

“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 Crockpot and it always turns out very good.”


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 instead.


Why are My Jars of Canned Meat Greasy?

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?


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, and 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.


How Long Does Canned Venison Keep?

“How long will canned venison keep?


As all home-canned goods, canned venison is best used within a year. (Again, this is just a quality issue, not so much a safety issue. If you must can a LOT of venison and don’t use it as fast as you thought, just make sure and pull the older jars to the front so you remember to use them first.)

Can You Can Venison in a Water Bath Canner?

“Can you can venison without a pressure canner? Like in a water bath canner instead?


No, no, no! Canning venison (or any meat, for that matter) without a pressure canner IS NOT safe.

Meat canned in quart jars that are sitting on the countertop.

A Note About Liquid

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 okay.

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.

Related Pages

canning venison ground

Ground Venison

Home canned ground venison can be used for tacos, chili, casseroles, and more.

Canning Meat

Canning Meat

Canning meat creates shelf-stable food for emergencies or quick meals

Canning Venison Hot Pack

Canning Venison: Cubed, Hot Pack

Canning venison using a raw or hot pack? Either way, you must use a pressure canner.

Pin This to Find Later:

Pressure Canning Venison

Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Wisconsin Extension

Page last updated: 7/9/2021

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Cindy Ellenburg
Cindy Ellenburg
7 months ago

Hi I’m wondering if I can put powdered garlic powdered onion powdered Sage powdered smoked paprika in with my venison when I can

8 months ago

5 stars
I have a quart jar that is only half full. Is that OK to can with the other jars?

1 year ago

5 stars
Great article! If I do the raw pack method could I add a little beef broth to each jar I have in the fridge to give it flavor? Or will the deer produce Too much of its own juice to allow that?

william sheese
william sheese
2 years ago

I put a one inch square of beef fat in the bottom of my quart jars but no salt. If you use the seasoning packets for tacos sometimes it gets too salty. Been doing this for a few years

Michael Q Reed
Michael Q Reed
2 years ago

My wife cans venison every year without a pressure canner and we’ve never had a problem with it you just need to make sure you cook it long and hot enough.

2 years ago

5 stars
Always check your site for canning directions. I share you with my friends that ask for help. Greatly appreciate you emails also!

3 years ago

Hello, my husband got 2 deer this past fall. It was butchered, wrapped and then frozen. Can this meat be canned?

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia

Hi, Julia!

Great question – yes, frozen meat may be canned. This page provides more details:

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Mrs. Wildy
Mrs. Wildy
3 years ago

Hi! We are just beginning to get into canning. One of our favorite recipes is venison braised in apple cider.
Can we add apple slices peeled to our cans of venison?