Do you can meat?

I finally canned the last of the pureed tomatoes from last year and thought I was ready to put the canners away until harvest time again, until something that's been nibbling at the back of my mind made itself known.

With the power outage earlier this winter, there was the threat of losing the food I'd so carefully put away in the freezer. Good, grass finished beef, some wild meat, some organically raised chickens, some trout from the stream. If it had all gone, I don't know what I would have eaten. I have maybe 6 jars of home canned trout, the same of chicken soup and that's about it as far as canned meat goes.

That would have been a very limited diet and wouldn't have lasted long - maybe two weeks or three if I stretched it.

So... on my mind: Canning meat. I want to can up some of the ground meat, especially. Meatballs? Or "hamburger stew." Or... ? Any ideas? Have you canned beef or chicken? How did it go? I'm still a little leery of it, but having eaten both the soup and the canned trout with no ill effects, I have a little more courage now.


  1. Anonymous6:05:00 PM

    I have never canned meat. I have a pressure canner that says pretty much that pressure canning is the only safe way (no boiling canning)to can meat.

    The instruction manual I have with my canner gives directions for the hot pack method for canning meat: almost cook the meat through, then fill the jars, leaving one inch headspace. Cover the meat with broth, water, or tomato juice, then process at 11 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes (pints) or 90 minutes (quarts).

    If you live at higher altitudes you need to process the cans for the same amount of time, but at a higher pressure: 2K-4K ft, at 12 lbs. pressure. 4K-6K ft, at 13 lbs. 6K-8K ft, use 14 lbs. pressure.

    Apparently you shouldn't can meat with table salt. If you want the meat to be salted, you need to use canning salt.

    Like I've said, I've never canned meat. I just figured that I'd have a massive bbq if we lost power!

  2. Strange how the Internet takes you on these little journeys. I was just over at Lehman's Country Life reading on window quilts and found my way here... and you're asking about canning meat. That's my newest passion!

    Yes, I can to make sure I don't lose a freezer full of meat in an outage, for frugality and for quick meals. You need a pressure canner, though, because meat is a low acid food. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy. I recommend you look up Jackie Clay. She answers lots of questions about canning on the Backwoods Home site.

    BTW, I just canned 17 pints of shredded pork and very soon I'm going to give meatballs a try.

    Good luck.

  3. Stacie, I would have to have a massive BBQ, too, if I lost power right now! I don't want to waste the meat I have. I would only use a pressure canner for meat. I'm too leery of canning mistakes, although I've canned vegetables and fruits for years.

    Katherine, the internet does things like that. :) I'm glad you came by. I'll look up Jackie Clay. Let us know how the meatballs turn out? I think I'd like to do that.