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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Meat and Fish > Canning Meat

Meat and Fish

Canning Meat

William Schafer, Food Technologist — Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Revised 2010 by Deb Botzek-Linn, Extension Educator — Food Safety; reviewed 2012 by Suzanne Driessen, Extension Educator — Food Safety.

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:

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.

Meat Ground or Chopped (beef, bear, lamb, pork, sausage, veal, venison)

Procedure

  1. Choose fresh, chilled meat.
  2. With venison, add one part high-quality pork fat to three or four parts venison before grinding.
  3. Use freshly made sausage, seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper (sage may cause a bitter off-flavor).
  4. Shape chopped meat into patties or balls or cut cased sausage into 3 to 4 inch links.
  5. Cook until lightly browned. Ground meat may be sautéed without shaping. Remove excess fat.
  6. Fill jars with pieces. Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.
  7. Adjust lids and process.

Recommended Processes

  1. Dial-gauge pressure canner
    Pints — 75 minutes 11 PSI
    Quarts — 90 minutes 11 PSI
  2. Weighted-gauge pressure canner
    Pints — 75 minutes 15 PSI
    Quarts — 90 minutes 15 PSI

Meat in Strips, Cubes, or Chunks (bear, beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison)

Procedure

  1. Choose quality chilled meat. Remove excess fat.
  2. Soak strong-flavored game for 1 hour in brine water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart and rinse.
  3. Remove large bones. Cut into 1 inch wide strips, cubes or chunks.

Hot pack:

  1. Precook meat until rare by roasting, stewing, or browning in a small amount of fat.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired.
  3. Fill jars with pieces and add boiling broth, meat drippings, water, or tomato juice (especially with wild game) leaving 1 inch headspace.

Raw pack:

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired.
  2. Fill jars with raw meat pieces, leaving 1 inch headspace. Do not add liquid.
  3. Adjust lids and process.

Recommended processes (hot and raw pack)

  1. Dial-gauge pressure canner
    Pints — 75 minutes 11 PSI
    Quarts — 90 minutes 11 PSI
  2. Weighted-gauge pressure canner
    Pints — 75 minutes 15 PSI
    Quarts — 90 minutes 15 PSI

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