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At Home with UAEX

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Canning Meats

by Original Author: Michelle Carter, Bradley County | Adapted for Blog: Torrie Smith, Van Buren County

Where’s the meat?  Looking for a way to store meat without refrigeration or freezing? Canning meat at home can be done safely if proper equipment and procedures are followed.  It results in a flavorful product that can be stored for one year on your pantry shelf.  Although it takes some time, the steps are easy. 

  • Use a pressure canner, canning jars, and two-piece canning lids that include a flat piece and the ring. 
  • Follow the time, headspace, and pressure recommendations of a research-based publication  
  • Prepare meat by removing excess fat and cutting into 1 inch chunks. 
  • Choose the type of pack-raw or hot pack 
  • For hot pack, partial cook the meat to rare using browning, roasting, or stewing 
  • Packing tips: Loosely pack meat into jars, top with boiling liquid to 1 inch headspace, remove air bubbles, add additional liquid if needed. 
  • Clean the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel to remove any residue that could prevent a safe seal 
  • Top the jar with the flat piece of the lid, add the ring only finger tight. 
  • Load jars into canner prepared to manufacturer instructions, attach lid and process according to weight and time required based on jar size. 
  • Once the processing time has completed, turn heat off and allow canner to cool.  Jars can be removed once the pressure has reduced to zero on dial gauge canners. 
  • Once removed from canner, allow jars to rest 12-24 hours before removing rings and moving to pantry for storage 

For more information about canning: Check out this fact sheet for more information about canning meats. 
Contact your local Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at your County Extension Office for additional assistance.