Canning Whole or Minced Clams
Meat, poultry, and fish are low acid foods. They must be processed in a pressure canner to assure safety. Use the processing time and pressure (PSI) that is specified for each type of game.
Note: Individuals using a weighted-gauge canner at altitudes less than 1000 feet may use 10 PSI instead of 15 PSI for the canner pressure. This will improve nutrient and quality retention. Check with your local county extension office or Soil Conservation District for altitude information.
Following are some general guidelines for canning meat or poultry:
- Can only good quality meat, poultry, or game.
- Chill home produced meat at 40° F or below soon after slaughter to prevent spoilage.
- Keep all meat clean and sanitary. Rinse poultry thoroughly in cold water, then drain.
- If meat must be held for longer than a few days, freeze it for maximum quality retention, store frozen meat at 0° F or lower until canning time.
- Thaw frozen meat in a refrigerator at 40° F or lower until most of the ice crystals have disappeared. This may take several days for large cuts of meat.
- Trim gristle, bruised spots, and fat off meat before canning. Excessive fat left on the meat will melt and rise to the top during processing. If the fat comes in contact with the sealing edge of the lid, the jar may not seal.
Broth may be prepared by placing bony pieces in a saucepan and covering with cold water. Simmer until meat is tender. Discard fat. Add boiling broth to containers packed with precooked meat or poultry.
- Keep clams live on ice until ready to can. Scrub shells thoroughly and rinse, steam 5 minutes, and open.
- Remove clam meat. Collect and save clam juice.
- Wash clam meat in water containing 1 teaspoon of salt per quart.
- Rinse and cover clam meat with boiling water containing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per gallon. Boil 2 minutes and drain.
- To make minced clams, grind clams with a meat grinder or food processor.
- Fill jars loosely with pieces and add hot clam juice and boiling water if needed, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.
- Dial-gauge pressure canner
Half-pints — 60 minutes 11 PSI Pints — 70 minutes 11 PSI
- Weighted-gauge pressure canner
Half-pints — 60 minutes 15 PSI Pints — 70 minutes 15 PSI
- Preserving Fish Safely: Canning, Freezing, Pickling
- Canning Fish
- Pressure Canning Process video — National Center for Home Food Preservation