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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Canning, Preserving and Dehydrating / Illustrated Guide to Canning Meat - Wild or Domestic
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    Illustrated Guide to Canning Meat - Wild or Domestic

    Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:34 pm
    Forum Host

    Canning is the perfect way to preserve food for later use without the addition of chemicals and additives found in commercially preserved foods. While many people will freeze meat in order to preserve it for later use, not many have considered the convenience of canning meat. Canned meat can last for many years when it has been properly handled and stored, giving it a longer shelf life than frozen meat.

    As with all things, the higher the quality of your meat, the better your canned product will be. Lean meats, or meat with the fat trimmed, will be ideal for canning.

    When preparing meats for canning, never use any canning method but pressure cooking and for the times recommended. Keep your meats cool while you prepare them (unless you are canning cooked meats) and handle your food as quickly as possible to reduce risk of contamination.

    The procedure for canning venison comes from the University of Georgia Extension. This procedure can be applied to a variety of meats such as bear, beef, elk, pork, sausage, rabbit, veal, poultry and venison.

    Firstly, remove excess fat, trim and soak strong-flavored wild meat for 1 hour in a brine consisting of 1 tablespoon salt per quart of water ratio.

    Rinse; cube meat.

    There are two ways to can meat, hot pack or raw pack.

    For raw pack, fill jars with raw meat pieces, leaving 1-inch headspace. Do not add liquid. Add 1 tsp salt per quart. Process 75 minutes pints or 90 minutes quarts in a pressure canner (see below), adjusting for altitude**.

    For hot pack, precook the meat until rare by roasting, stewing or browning in a small amount of fat and fill jars.

    Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart.

    Fill jars with boiling broth, meat drippings, water, or tomato juice, leaving 1-inch headspace.

    Put on lids and screw on bands.

    Put 2 to 3 inches of hot water in the canner. Place filled jars on the rack, using a jar lifter. Fasten canner lid securely.

    Pints should be pressure cooked for 75 minutes and quarts for at least 90 minutes, and this is true whether you are canning cooked or raw meats. You will gauge your processing time from the point when your pressure cooker reaches 10 pounds of pressure (or 11 pounds if you are using a dial gauge canner). The time and pressure used should be adjusted for your altitude**. Don't forget to let your canner vent for the required time.

    After the canner is depressurized, remove the weight from the vent port or open the petcock. Wait two minutes, unfasten the lid, and remove it carefully. Lift the lid away from you so that the steam does not burn your face.
    Remove jars with a lifter, and place on towel or cooling rack, if desired.

    Cool the jars at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Jars may be cooled on racks or towels to minimize heat damage to counters. The food level and liquid volume of raw-packed jars will be noticeably lower after cooling. Air is exhausted during processing and food shrinks. If a jar loses excessive liquid during processing, do not open it to add more liquid.

    Once your jars have cooled for 24 hours, test the lids. They should be concave and not move when pressed. If they do not meet these requirements, your seals are not secure and you must reprocess or cold-store your canned meat. Do not re-tighten lids after processing jars. Wash jars, label and store.

    If a lid fails to seal on a jar, remove the lid and check the jar-sealing surface for tiny nicks. If necessary, change the jar and add a new, properly prepared lid; and reprocess within 24 hours using the same processing time. Headspace in unsealed jars may be adjusted to 1-1/2 inches, and jars could be frozen instead of reprocessed. Foods in single unsealed jars could be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within several days.

    **As altitudes increase air becomes thinner, and this affects both pressures and boiling points in home canning. Using the water bath process times for canning food at sea level may result in spoilage if you live at altitudes of 1,000 feet or more. Water boils at lower temperatures as altitude increases. Lower boiling temperatures are less effective for killing bacteria. Increasing the processing time or canner pressure compensates for lower boiling temperatures. Select the proper processing time and canner pressure for the altitude where you live. For more specific information regarding altitude in your area, contact your County Extension office.

    Please feel free to add a comment, make a suggestion or share a story. icon_smile.gif

    Last edited by Molly53 on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:26 pm, edited 3 times in total
    Upthecreek Paddles
    Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:22 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Thanks for the info, Molly, it is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Hunting season is upon us (You know, that time of year when that hormone courses through men's - and some women's - veins that make them wild eyed and frothing at the mouth at the thought of taking to the woods, fields or lakes.) and I've promised my Reason for Living that I will cold pack this year. Now, depending on what he brings home, we'll just see what I've gotten myself into!!!! icon_eek.gif
    Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:56 am
    Forum Host
    This was very good. Hunting is on here too, and hubby hopes to get some venison! This was very helpful!
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