How to Can Meat Step-by-Step

 

When you can get meat at a killer deal--can it!
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

I think if the real Suzy Homemaker had to can 100 pints of meat, or anything, she would be haggard and worn.  However, modern day technology and science makes the tasks of our ancestors a proverbial cake walk.  I often tell my students that I truly am the laziest preparedness person they will ever meet. If there is an easy way to do something, I find it. I work full-time nearly 6 days a week and have to manage my physical and emotional energy wisely. I assure you that if canning meat was a real torture, I certainly wouldn’t be doing it.  So today, I’m going to hold your hand and walk you through this task step by step.

Why? Because it’s too easy and too cheap for you NOT to be doing it. I find that it’s about a quarter of the price of canned meats—even those at Costco. Not only that, but there is a distinct difference in taste between the commercially canned meat and that which you can yourself. Seriously; I’ve NEVER tasted store-bought canned chicken that’s as moist and tender as the meat I can myself. It’s truly a delight!

When your freezer is full--it's time to can meat!
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Why I love to can my own meat

Oh yeah, and another reason why I love canning meat is because my freezer is always FULL but I hate to miss out on buying loads of meat when it hits a rock bottom price just because I'm out of room. I mean really, I’m going to wish I had it later, right?  So, when I can the meat instead of trying to find room in my freezer, I’m only limited by the number of jars I have on hand. Considering I can get those in abundance at Goodwill or at Salvation Army type stores; that really isn’t an insurmountable problem.

Just to answer a few anticipated questions initially; no, you do not have to add water to your canned meat. The meat, just like our own bodies already has sufficient moisture in it.  However, I do so because I look at it as “free” broth that gets a deeper flavor over the years; so why not?  Also, yes, you are able to can any kind of meat. I even can bacon! You can even can shrimp, halibut, ground beef, turkey, and steak.

Try to keep the meat in as big of a piece as possible so you don't have limited uses for it once it's opened.
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

I try to keep the meat in as big of a piece as I can so that I don’t get pigeon-holed into a specific use for the meat. For example, when I bottle pork sirloin, I keep it as large a piece as possible so that I can use it as a small pork roast with potatoes and carrots or I can cut it up for Pork Guisada. This is also why I do not pre-season my meat with ANY seasoning, though a pinch of salt is fine, it's not necessary.

Here’s what you’ll need to can your meat:

  • A pressure canner. (I use an All-American brand. They are currently about $200 bucks on Amazon.com)
  • Clean Mason jars with NEW lids (it doesn’t matter which brand you use, Kerr, or Ball. I don’t think I’ve even seen the actual brand “Mason” is quite some time).   I prefer to use the large mouth, pint size jars since 1 pint usually holds a pound of meat and that’s what most recipes call for.
  • A sharp meat knife

    All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop
  • Paper towels
  • White Vinegar (dampen your paper towel with it when you clean the rims of the jars.
  • A butter knife
  • Meat (with or without the bone in it. Your meat does NOT have to be cooked unless it’s ground meat. In which case you should brown it and then pack it.)  When I’m bottling fresh fish, I take out the major bones as much as possible, but I don’t bother with the tiny ones. They tend to disintegrate in the jar through the pressure canning process.

Make sure the meat and fluid only come to the bottom rim.
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Open the jars and lay the lids off to the side while you work with your meat.  Cut your meat to the desired size and place it in the jars. I prefer to only handle the inside of the jars once I’ve started packing them so that I don't get any fat or oil on the rims as that can compromise the seal. Fill the jars up only to the bottom of the screw rim area on the jar—no further. This is known as "head space/head room."

Use a butter knife to remove any air bubbles
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Once you’ve filled all of the jars with meat, pour in enough warm water to fill in the gaps of the meat packing. Remember, you don’t want to fill the jars any higher than the lowest point of the screw portion of the jar. (If the jar is not a wide mouth jar, then I actually stop right at the bend on the top of the jar, which is just below where the screw joint begins.)

Once you’re done filling in all of you jars with water, then go back with a butter knife and slide it down the inside of the jar. Doing so will allow more of the water to fill in the air gaps of the meat in the jar. I press the meat in a bit towards the center of the jar while I’m doing this to encourage better filling.  Inevitably when you’re finished with this process, your jars will need a tad bit more water. Fill accordingly.

Use a paper towel and white vinegar to wipe off any excess fluid
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Once you’re finished filling the jars, take a clean paper towel, moisten it with vinegar, and then wipe the outside screw rim of the jar as well as the top rim. You want to make sure that there are no meat pieces, oils, debris, or fat on that section as it will compromise the jar sealing properly. Place the lid firmly on each jar and screw on "finger tip tight." You don't want to man-handle these tightly closed at this point.

Add water up to the bottom rim
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Place one of the racks that should be a part of your pressure canner set at the bottom of your pan. This is a must as the jars should not come in contact with the bottom of the pot. Fill your pressure canner 2 to 3 inches with water. (see your instruction manual for your particular canner)  (Using warm or hot water will result in it taking less time for your canner to come up to full pressure. ) Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. This will prevent the calcium/hard water stains on the jars and in your canner.  Place the filled jars on the bottom rack inside your pressure canner, giving each jar just a bit of wiggle room. (NEVER put your jars directly on the bottom of the canner; always use the rack.)  Then place your second rack on top of that layer of jars and top it with filled jars as well.

Bottom layer of jars in the pressure canner
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Place the lid on the canner according to manufacturer’s directions WITHOUT the pressure weight. Turn the burner on High. Allow steam to exit pressure valve for 5 minutes, then place the pressure weight on your pan, according to manufacturer’s directions and in consideration of your altitude.

Uncovered pressure valve
All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Bring your pressure canner up to the appropriate pressure measurement (based on the kind of meat you’re cooking and your altitude) and then adjust/lower the heat to hold that pressure without needing to extract much heat or steam from the pressure weight valve. (This should take anywhere from 60-90 minutes.).

Make sure you adjust your pressure weight to your altitude requirements. All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Upon finishing the pressure canning, remove the pressure canner lid according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Yummy canned chicken All Rights Reserved 2012 Preparedness Pro/Kellene Bishop

Wipe off all of the jars with a clean, dry cloth and tighten the lids (as they will loosen in their grip during the canning process). Label the contents of the jar simply by writing on the flat part of the lid.  I label it with the kind of meat in the jar as well as the month and day it was canned i.e. “Chx Brst 1/10” (translation: chicken breast, January 2010—thanks to all of my years waiting tables) Store in a cool, dry, place. Your canned meat will now store easily and safely for 3 to 5 years and you will love the taste!


Tags: 

© 2013 Of COURSE this post is Copyright Protected by Preparedness Pro. All Rights Reserved. NO portion of this article may be reposted, printed, copied, disbursed, etc. without first receiving written permission by the author. This content may be printed for personal use only. (Then again, laws are only as good as the people who keep them.) Preparedness Pro will pursue all violations of these rights just as vigorously as she does any of her other freedoms, liberties, and protections.


Comments

What size (how many quarts) pressure canner do you have? It looks like it holds 18 jars (two levels with 9 on each)?

it will do 15 jars of pints or quarts total. All American only sells the one size as best as I can tell.

Kellene - they sell about SIX different sizes, ranging from a 10.5 quart to a 41.5 quart. Guess which one I have? ;)

I had no idea they sold that many different sizes. I have "model 921" and that's about all I know about the "size". Sorry, I'm really dense when it comes to knowing "quarts" and such about my pans that I use.

do tell, which one MZ

Strange. Model 921 is 21 quarts which can only hold 7 quert jars. Are you sure you don't have the 930 or the 941?

Yup, I got it right off of the box and the lid. I couldn't make up that kind of geek lingo. ha ha

I know you said we could can "Bacon" isn't that a processed meat? Or is it a certain type of process used? Did I miss something?

Thanks for the info. I absolutely think that canning meat is the best thing ever!!! It makes dinners so much easier, especially when you are time constrained. Plus I love how moist it is.

When you use your chicken, do you use the broth for the liquid in the recipe or drain? When I would precook my chicken, I would refrigerate the broth, then skim off the fat then process just the broth, straining if necessary.

I would never drain broth. I would at least save it for another recipe if it wasnt' to be included in whatever I was making.

Hi Kellene, I like to use a little bit of vinegar on my paper towel to wipe the rim before adding the lid and screwing it down, this makes sure there is no grease on it to prevent it making a seal. Also I think you should tell people to let the jars sit and cool for 24 hours in a none drafty place and not move them as this can cause the seal to break, then wipe clean (again vinegar works great to cut any grease that escapes) before writing on the lid.

I agree that having the meat precooked in jars is just great, and makes dinner very easy. I have also started to make some dinners up and I just have to dump the contents into a pot and add a thickener if needed. Check out this site,
if you haven't already, she has some interesting recipes.

http://creativecanning.blogspot.com/

I'm curious how cheap your chicken is and if it is boneless as well as skinless. We regularly have it for $1.99 but some times we can get it with the bone and skin for cheaper. Not sure how much the savings are till you get rid of the unwanted parts.

Oh and I plan to pick up the 30 quart model any day now. Ebay has them for 262 shipped.

I just bought some dark meat this week for 99 cents a pound. The max I'll pay for boneless is $1.49 a pound. I just wait for the sales.
Kudos on your new purchase!

Yeah boning and filleting are skills. I know the premise, I've read how it's supposed to be done. My efforts have been less than successful. A good thing though is even if you really screw up all that stuff can go in a soup pot or stock pot. Thank goodness, canned and frozen as well.
Todd I like the thigh meat on Chix for almost everything. Much more flavor than most white meat. I can get it here in Idaho anywhere from $.88 to $1.29 per pound.
I don't like skinless chix, all the flavor is in the skin and the fat on it. I am sure a whole chicken is cheaper by the pound than a skinless breast no matter where you are. Also If you have bone in you get all that extra flavor from the marrow. Most Chickens in supermarkets are less than 4 months old. Yes they are tender but they also lack in flavor.
I still have a way to go for canning. But I have the whole freezing, curing and smoking thing done. I'm very proud of my jerky and Smoked salmon
Still needs some tweaks for flavor but basics are covered and the food is safe.
No one needs a dysentery or a bout of food poising in a emergency situation.

For anyone who hasn't tried this, canning meat is truly the easiest canning you will do. The jars do not have to be sterilized first although I do run them through the dishwasher just to be sure that they are clean. The flavor of canned meats is luscious - moist and tender. Fast food of the highest quality!

I look for recipes that call for cooked meat or I adjust the recipe to the point where the meat would have been cooked and then do what the recipe requires from that point on. My family loves that we have meat read for really tasty meals made very quickly. Try it.

If you don't have a pressure canner, check with friends to see who has one that you can borrow and get them to can with you to make it even more fun. 80 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts (two boxes from the meat department) is an easy days work for two people and provides about one chicken meal per week for ten months for two families if you each take home 40 jars.

I won't claim to to be be smarter than Kellene she has proven time and again I'm not. But Bacon is brined "cured" then slow smoked. It's not a raw product in the traditional sense.
Now I'm new to canning but Bacon is not just thin strips of pork.
Does the fat have something to do with it's preservation?
My Mom told me the used to store cooked bacon in lard. and she is a real throwback for history "Grapes of Wrath" would have been a move up. She said it so matter of fact. Like everyone did not know this?
I'm not trying to troubleshoot you. If bacon is good to can, you have done it yourself with no ill effects I trust you. I would really love to have some additional options with salami for storage. I Just really love dry salami and Sausages and would like a good long term storage solution for them, besides freezing.
I can certainly understand I don't know, never tried it and all the canning folks say these items don't can well.
Is a a better option for "Dry Salami" to be stored a different way? Somewhat like cheese. I never would have known about the wonders of cheese wax,or eggs and mineral oil. Though as much as much as I study history I should know better.

Jamie, you are absolutely correct. I did simply the actual substance of bacon. However, the fat is indeed a preservative. In fact, in the olden days in European nations, rubbing down meats with thick layers of fat was how they stored their meat for long periods of time. However, in spite of the brining process and the occassional slow cooking, bacon is not considered a "processed" meat unlike salami, hot dogs, pepperoni, etc.
When I can bacon, I roll each strip up in small "cinnamon roll" shaped pieces and then stack them in the jar. You can also bottle ground sausage after you brown it and rinse it. I don't know how to store the dry salami yet.

Ive use the cheep cooking

Ive use the cheep cooking bacon to quality slices . Parchment paper cut to 1 1/2 length of bacon some do double but to pricy. place bacon top of the sheet, fold rest of paper over the bacon, fold again then roll it. place in the jar and process like normal meat. can play with the size of parchment to fit the jars. also some times we don't need the whole pack ill do the mini sizes :). when want them just fry them up like normal and the paper is great for fire starter saturated in fat. or make squares place in fridge and rub your Teflon as flavoring and light greasing.

this will keep the bacon uniform. and easy to ply apart. and i love rolling them and layering them to. but i get to greedy and end up cooking it all lol like that. ty for sharing.

This is great! I have ham and turkey in my canner at this very minute. I love it for super fast meals. Thanks for all the tips.

I got into canning turkeys several years ago when my husband's family raised turkeys commercially. Last year we put it in gear and canned a lot of various types of meat. My favorite is sirloin tips, that's a roast in a jar as far as I'm concerned. The meat is so wonderful and tender and moist. I've done ground beef, sirloin tips, chicken, pork, turkey, and sausage and it's wonderful. Not only that, it's a great feeling to see the meat sitting there on the shelf for a busy day or prepared for a leaner time. I'm still in hoarding mode and looking at it mostly but I've used some when we had a houseful over the holidays and it was so easy!

I looked up the 30 qt All American pressure cooker that sells on Ebay for $262 and it holds 19 pt jars or 14 qt jars. It is 19 inches tall and I'm wondering, do you have to have a powerful stove to use one that big? I have a basic gas stove, and it takes a long time to get water for spagetti boiling in a large pot. Maybe this won't be an issue with a pressure cooker, but I didn't want to order something too big for me to use.

Another question. Is canned meat gray looking? My husband doesn't like "gray" meat. I cooked some pork in a crock pot once, and he wouldn't eat it because he didn't like the way it looked. I'm sure he'd eat it rather than starve, but we are going to have to rotate through our inventory.

I have a flat top stove, Cindy. I just put it on high for the first little bit until I do the 5 minute vent. Then I put on the weight, and about 10 minutes later I'm at the appropriate pressure weight. I then reduce my heat to about 2.5 and it maintains pressure the rest of the cooking time. So I don't believe that's "a powerful stove" needed. I thinkthe key is in the quality of the workmanship of the pot.
My canned meat isn't grey looking in my opinion as shown by my photos.

New to canning meat here.

New to canning meat here. Questions-1 Must I debone first? 2. I don't understand what is meant by "and then adjust/lower the heat to hold that pressure without needing to extract much heat or steam from the pressure weight valve. (This should take anywhere from 60-90 minutes.). Hold that pressure for how long? Do you mean hold it at that pressure for 60-90 min? 3. I have a glass top stove but usually use my huge propane outdoor turkey deep fryer with my canning pots instead of the deep fryer pot. Which would be best for meat with a pressure cooker? (I use this set up for all my water bath canning)

I have used nothing but a

I have used nothing but a glass top stove for the past 10+ years in canning. The earlier generations of the glass top stoves had problems maintaining temperatures for pressure canning. So I suspect that that is why it's still listed as a warning in the instructions on canners and pressure cookers. Canning outside is fine BUT you've GOT to make sure you maintain pressure and temperature and sometimes the wind causes it to deviate. I watch my temp and pressure very carefully during my meat canning. (I don't want to kill anyone), so outdoors is not ideal for me. Your instruction manual will explain better than I have regarding how long you can what items in what size jars. When you pressure can you MUST maintain the heat and pressure for 60 or 90 minutes or even 110 minutes depending on your altitude, what you're canning, and what size jars you're canning in. While you're pressure canning, you don't want too much of the liquid to escape so you want to turn your heat down just enough so that the pressure is maintained without your pressure weight making too much of a fuss with its hissing and rocking. If it's constantly hissing and rocking then you've got the heat up too high and you're allowing way too much liquid to expell via the steam. Hope this helps!  You may want to check out my canning hamburger video on our YouTube channel. Just look for "Preparedness Pro."

 

I'm sorry to tell you this,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but it probably WILL damage the pot because the Presto is a really cheaply made brand. I often advise against getting it, let alone relying on it to save one's life someday. Did you watch the YouTUbe video I did on pressure cookers and on pressure canners?? I specifically tell people "NO PRESTO" cookers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rLP67uZKqU  and tell them what they need is metal to metal contact for their pressure canners here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4MDfhrN9Sw Presto doesn't match that criteria. I'm sorry. Please dont' kill the messenger.

I have 2 different sizes of American Canners.
One that holds 7 quart or 16 pt and another that
holds 4 quart or 7 pint..having both sizes gives me options of doing large amounts...11 quart or small amount 4 quart.
The nice thing about these canners is no seal to ever replace or leak.
Metal against metal. Have had these canners for 10 years.

What is the reason processed meats cannot be canned? I have canned fully-cooked hams (purchased after the holidays when they are on close-out at give-away prices) and the results have been great. Why not sausages and wieners? Why not raw ground meats?

I'm not critiqueing your column, just have never seen any previous admonition not to do so.

Steve

I'm actually changing my

I'm actually changing my opinion on that over the past year in terms of processed meats as it does seem to turn out well and cooked sufficiently. Sometimes the smoking or processing that they put in such meats can give it an off taste that's difficult to overcome, however, I've been canning high quality meats from Zaycon over the past year and have done fine. The trick though is that I dry can it. I've long been canning ground meats, by the way. In fact, you can go to our YouTube page (Preparedness Pro) and see step by step instructions on there. Also, you can look up canning bacon as well as canning sausage on here as I've provided detailed instructions for those as well.

I haven't canned in 30 years

I looked at the 41.5 quart canner on Amazon. It's metal on metal. No gasket. If memory serves, I have to put vaseline on the edges to form a seal. And, if memory serves, the pot gets so hot the vaseline melts when you put it on?

Am I right and has that changed?

Jamie & Kellene:

Re: dry salami - When visiting delis on the east coast and Europe, I often have seen 'dry' salami hanging all around the meat counters. Salami, as I understand, can hang for many years in a cool, dry place. You don't need to do anything to them. Just let them hang. You might see a little bit of powdery mold on the outside of the casing, but that is of no consequence. Salami is very durable. My grandmother use to travel, by plane, from New York to south east Texas. She never got off the plane that she wasn't carrying a beautiful, whole salami under her arm. She always carried it on board. I don't know if I was more glad to see her or the salami!

I haven't started canning yet so I have a few questions...
After you've canned the meat, is it cooked or partially cooked?
Can you can meat in a non-pressure cooker like other things that just take longer to get done?
Can you can potatoes?
Thanks, keep up the great stuff.

Steve, I have no experience canning fruits or veggies, so sorry, I can't help you out there. I do have canned potatoes though, so I imagine that it's possible
Yes, the meat is fully cooked when you're finished pressure canning it. And tender, and delicious, etc.

The book STOCKING UP by Rodale Press or the book Putting Food By Ruth Hertzberg
are both excellent resources for dealing with food storage including dehydrating, freezing, root cellar, etc. These books will answer many questions as well as expand your horizons of foods to store and how to.

I got my All American canner from ebay. I wish it could talk, I would love to know the family I got it from and their history. Anyway, the vaseline is mainly used on the new ones to help the lid to come off easily not to make a seal. When I first got it I used the vaseline, but in the past two years I haven't used it and have had no problems getting the lid off.

I have always bottled chicken and pork without filling jars with water (raw pack). The juices from the meat while being processed seem to fill the jars right up. Have you ever tried that before or heard of a reason why water should be added? I do add water when I bottle ground beef because it is browned before I process and therefore already cooked. Any thoughts? Also, what's the best way to bottle turkey? I tried once (raw pack) but had a hard time getting the meat off the bones. Should I cook the turkey first in the oven and then bottle the meat? What about a pre-cooked ham?

As I shared in the article, it's not necessary to add more water, however I do because it's "free broth"
You can bottle meat with or without the bones. In the case of a large turkey, personally I'd prefer to cooking it first in the oven and then canning it.

I am getting setup to use the burner for my turkey frier for canning, to keep as much heat as possible out of the house. Also we intend to process our own chicken that we grow, so we don't have to wait for chicken to go on sale. It probably costs more but, no steriods or other chemicals.

Jake, if you grow fodder

Jake, if you grow fodder (sprouted barley or wheat) your price per chicken drops dramatically. I estimate our chickens costing me about $4/chicken at the end of 6 months. We have them in a tractor that is being moved daily onto fresh grass. We canned some venison and grassfed beef roast before and that was some of the best meat I have had in a long time.
Turkey frier is a great idea, I use it to brew my beer and do canning in the summer when it is around 100 degrees here in GA. Just make sure that you have a burner that doesn't have a timer or you have to come back and reset it every 15 minutes ( ask me how I know that ).

This is great. We just picked up a lot of chicken breasts from Publix and I was just thinking about how to go about doing this!

Thanks!

HELP! I really would like that canner, but my canning book says you have to move it off the heat when the processing is done (to a different burner - especially with my electric stove). Is it possible to move that big pot full of canning jars, or should I start strength training now???

To be forthright, I have no idea why what would be required. You're right. That's a ridiculous task of strength! (geesh, no wonder more people don't can things!) When I'm done canning my jars under full pressure, it's usually about 10:00 at night and I sure as heck don't want to hassle with it. So I simply turn off the burner and let the pressure reduce naturally. The pressure is coming down. The worst that happens is that my meat cooks a little longer. So what? It's still nice and moist. And in fact, I look at it as even safer to eat. In the morning I safely remove the lid, wipe off all of the jars, tighten the lids and put them away.

I have not canned any meat yet. Makes me a bit nervous, but then tomatoes used to do that. Anyway, my husband has me can on a burner outside because he says my flat top stove will crack under the heat and weight. I sure would like to can meat in the house during the winter. How long have you been using your flat top for canning? Any issues?

Also, I've never left any bands on after the seal has popped and jars cooled. My experience is that the bands tend to rust over time. Is there a reason you do this?

I'm thinking I'm gonna be one of your biggest fans!

Janet, I have been canning meat for nearly 10 years. I never knew any different about a flat top stove vs. another kind until the last couple of years. But I have NEVER had any problems with it and it's not because my stove is some hoyty-toyty brand. I use my Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker on it and my heavy duty All American Pressure Canner on it. No problems, considerations, or stress in nearly a decade.
Regarding the use of bands--on rare occassions they do rust if you do not properly wipe off the lids after canning. I use them so that I provide one more stronghold to the lids staying on, but for no other reason.
Glad to have you with us!

Hi Kellene ~ Wow, I'm really inspired by this to start canning meats. However, every canning guide I read says that home-canned goods are only good for one year. Could you please comment on this (if you have the time!). I note that your blog says 3-5 years.
Many thanks for all you do!

I'm positive that the one year guideline is perpetuated by folks covering their butts, that's all. I KNOW that there are hundreds of thousands of folks in the U.S. right now who have canned goods on their shelves that have lasted significantly longer than one year. Also there have been several studies by a handful of universities and the U.S. army that would dispute the one year only criteria.

We have some green tomato

We have some green tomato relish that we put away in the summer of 2010 and it is still delicious. I have some venison that we put away in 2009, and we ate it last week. So the one year guideline is definitely a butt-cover up. As long as you followed the time and pressure guideliness and your seal is not breached you should be pretty good. As the final test, sniff it, if it smells bad, don't use it.

I've heard/read that canned meat lasts 5-8 years. I wish I could remember the source. I hope that's right or I'm going to have to eat LOTS of meat in the next little while.

I assume that the next time I have a ham, spiral, half, with bone or no bone, I can take the meat and put it in a jar (no bone in jar), process and have ham for soup or casseroles. Correct?

Yuppers! But you can also have a bone in the jar if you choose. Personally, I would can the meat in one, and the bone with broth in another. Ham bones are so great for so many soup dishes. I also can drumsticks whole so that I can have "fried chicken" whenever I want too.

I can the whole pieces and when I open the container, I just fry them lightly in some butter. You'll never have more tender fried chicken. I have a friend who fries them up (more like sears them) before pressure canning. Either way is great.

LOL been married for 30

LOL been married for 30 years lol husband just recently watch me cook lol he had no ideal i use canned chicken thighs, u can use drummies or drumsticks lol. i pat dry them down well, and then dip in batter; more flower fror soft more cornstarch for the crunch. then dip them to get a coating aka pretend a skin is on lol. and a quick deep fry or pan. you just want to cook the batter and heat the meat. from husband all i heard was "that's why there's no skin on my bird" lol its fantastic and juicy try thyme in the batter and a cut pc of celery in the deep fryer while cooking the chicken. also good with canned steaks- fried

I read Jackie Clay's blog over at Backwoods. She has been canning for YEARS. She sez that you can have canned meat (bottled) even 10 years later and there is no discernible taste or loss of nutrition. She also tells people a lot of instructions on how to can vegetables, meats and fruits. Search the back issues (most found on line) for any info you might want. The site Is:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/JackieClay/

After reading this article I finally gave it a try. EASY,EASY,EASY. 8 pounds of chicken. I can't believe I waited this long to can meat.
Thank you for the nudge that got me started. :)

I've canned chicken about 4 times now, and beef twice. I looked at your end results and they look nothing like mine - I did raw pack on the chicken, added extra water, and when they're done, the jars come out missing several inches of liquid - and the chicken is SOOOO dry! What am I doing wrong? I have to can at 13 lbs pressure, but usually maintain about 14lbs. Could that be it? And I can tell that the liquid leaks out of the jars because it's all over the inside of the canner when I'm done - jars too full maybe? Any ideas? Thanks.

you're always going to get some of it leaking out during the pressure process. That's why you don't get to hear the "Plink" sound until after you're done canning sometimes when you've wiped them off and they are cooling. Also, be sure that you use the butter knife technique that I do to make sure you're getting as much liquid down around the chicken also. The difference of one pound of pressure should not be affecting the texture of your meat. So try the knife technique and make sure your jars are screwed on tight before and after you've pressure cooked them.

I got together with a couple of friends last Friday and canned some chicken, my first ever. Thank you for such clear instructions. I'm still a bit scared of the pressure cooker, but I feel empowered!

woohoo! I'm so excited for you!! You'll love the pressure cooker even more, my friend.

I didn't remove the fat from my hamburger when I canned it last night will it ruin the meat? It was my first time canning ground round and the grand babies came over. I forgot a step, what's a man to do?

I do that step to make the meat healthier. But I've never read that you MUST do it. I can bacon, sausage, and other fatty meats.

Thanks Kellene I didn't want to serve bad food. The hamburger was 93% fat free. Not too worried about the fat for health reasons.

I did it! I canned my first chicken. Why haven't I done this before??? I do believe it is easier than the veggies. A whole new world has opened up. It's still cooling so I don't even know what it looks like, but I wanted to brag. Your site made it look so easy. Also, I used my flat top stove and I think it is actually safer than when I use the water bath canner for pickling. With the WB there is some splashing and that is probably what makes the tops crack.
Thanks so much!

Can you start out with frozen meat? I buy my chicken frozen. It isn't a big deal to defrost, but just wondering!

You could have a problem with the glass breaking if you did that. I wouldn't want to risk it, personally.

I just canned some boneless pork chops. After everything was done, I pulled out the jars, and they were a little greasy. And so was the water - just a bit. But I am worried. Should that have happened??

Not to worry Anji. That happens quite often for a myriad of worry-free reasons.

Hi there, I have canned meat before and have never had any problems. This last time though, the chicken on one of the batches came out with the broth a bit brownish. the county extension office calculated my psi to be 13 on my canner. It did hit 17 for a brief moment before i noticed it and I let the steam release and it went right back down within a couple of minutes. could that have caused it to turn brownish? I also think that i had 1 jar of beef in the same batch. Can you can different meats in the same batch if they have the same procesing time? Thanks for any information, i need to throw away the jars if they are not safe.

Michele, I have a saying that I go by when it comes to relying on food to feed and nourish my family "when in doubt, throw it out." I know that can be heart breaking when it comes to something that has taken so much work and cost so much, but it's better to have PEACE of mind then food poisoning, right? I have NO idea why your broth would have turned brown. I've never had that happen before. Yes, it's perfectly ok to cook two kinds of meat at the same time, just go with the longer cooking instructions.
Take care!!!

First off I wanted to say great job Kellene! I canned my first ground beef batch by boiling my ground beef, then jarring and processing at 14lbs for 1.5 hrs for quart size. (I have a large family so 2 lbs is more adequate per meal than a pint) Is it ok that the liquid is no longer over the meat inside of the jar? It now appears to be lower than the surface of the meat. Thanks again and great job!

yes, it's ok that you don't have the liquid over the meat. If you think about it, the liquid sinks downward in the commercial containers too.

This is one quality article I ever found based on canning meat's topic. You really give us some insightful information of how to done the canning manually and how to done it correctly. Great article!

Oh, I *so* want a pressure canner now! Can I have one for Chirstmas? I'll be a good girl, I promise! :O) I'm going to see if anyone I know has one that would be willing to come over for an afternoon for some "play". :O)

I canned some pints of chicken a couple months ago and when I opened them, the seal seemed good, but part of the meat had risen out of the liquid and had a greyish cast to it. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

When you pressure can, liquid does indeed escape out of the bottle. It has to in order to create the suction. But the grey cast, I'm not familiar with.It easily could be just the exposure of the chicken to the bit of oxygen that was still in the bottle since it rose out of the liquid. Ultimately, the nose knows though if chicken has gone bad. If is smells poorly, then get rid of it.

This is great. We just picked up a lot of chicken breasts from Public and I was just thinking about how to go about doing this!
This is one quality article I ever found based on canning meat’s topic. You really give us some insightful information of how to done the canning manually and how to done it correctly. Great article!
Thanks!

I disagree with you on one thing. That would be that you can't can processed meats. I have done so and they turn out great! Specifically, I can sliced pepperoni. It is great on pizza. I have canned hot dogs, but have not opened a can yet, so cannot comment on those. I will soon be canning sausage patties as well as hamburger patties, and meatballs can up wonderfully.

Hi Kellene,
I love your blog. I have now waxed cheese and bottled butter without fear. My question is about canning pumpkin. The USDA says, of course, that it isn't safe, etc etc.

But there must be a way to do it, since we can all buy cans of pumpkin in the store.

What is your experience, or what can you find out.
Waiting and hoping,
Workerbee

I'm not familiar with canning pumpkin. However, I'm sure there's plenty on the internet and in your library about it--especially if you can find older books. Also, check into canning low acid foods.

Simply cannot wait to start canning chicken....Thank you for the step by step directions!!!!! Loving this!!!

I purchased a canner a few months ago but have been afraid to use it. Yesterday I bought several large packages of chicken and planned on freezing them today. After reading this article, I now have the confidence needed to can the chicken instead. Thanks for all you do.

ACK!! My mother and I went to upstate NY when my grandfather passed away in '01. After his passing, we went to his home to get it packed up. In the basement we found JARS and JARS of canned chicken, dated 1949!!!!!!!!! OH GROSS ... AND SLIMY. This brought back that hilarious memory in a time of sorrow!!!

Hi Kellene, I am so glad I found your blog! I do not have a pressure canner large enough to can ANYTHING. Mine is only 6 quarts, big enough to make small meals. I DO have a HUGE aluminum pot that is called a canner. It's what I use to can peaches, jam, ect in a "water bath". Is there any way I can use that to can meat, and if so, how?

A water bath is not sufficient for canning meat. You need to be able to build up the pressure. Good news though is that so many people are discarding the old-fashioned, low-tech stuff, so finding a quality used canner should be relatively easy at your local thrift store, on Craig's list, or e-bay.

Getting ready to can 10 pounds of ground chuck and and a 9 pound pork loin(cut into small roasts and chops, of course). I started canning meat when I found your blog 2 years ago. You are so awesome, but then, I've told you that before, haven't I? Still wondering though about canning bacon...haven't been able to find details on your blog about it other than rolling it into spirals and stuffing it in the jar. Since my pressure canner's instruction booklet does not recommend canning bacon, I don't know how long to process the bacon or how many pounds of pressure to use. And how can you use it after it's been canned? Can you unroll it and fry it up for a BLT? FYI...folks once looked at me sideways when I told them I canned my own chicken, beef and pork, but now they realize that I'm not the nutcase they thought I was. I've had several friends ask me to teach them and they can't believe how easy it really is. I've been canning my homemade chili too and boy, is that a welcomed dish on a cool fall evening! Thanks so much for all you do....Blessings to you today and always!

roll each piece up in strips of parchment paper so that the bacon isn't touching itself. Cook it at 15 pounds of pressure for 75 minutes. That should be plenty. Good luck with all of the canning! I have fallen in love with canning tomatoes. It's sooo much cheaper than buying the cans of tomatoes and my neighbors are always trying to get rid of some. :-) The jars of multi-colored tomatoes look so pretty...yellow, tiny red, orange, etc. I LOVE seeing them on my shelves.

Yep! Love those canned veggies too. I've been canning vegetables since I was a teenager. Ended up with a boatload from our garden this year and also managed by accident to get the best tasting tomato juice I've ever had! Along with the sun oven, I think the meat canning is one of the best tips I've gotten from you. Thanks again!

Thanks Kellene for step-by-step instructions! It's easier to can meat than I thought. I am going to try it now!

Thanks for all your expert advice! I have a question, I own a regular pressure cooker that I use for canning jam and Veggies, can I use that for the meat (it does not have a way to tell me the psi) or do I need to buy one for canning specifically?

I never can in a cooker. It's too risky in terms of not having enough empty volume for the jars which is necessary to build up a suitable pressure. So I'd definitely never attempt to can meat in a cooker. If you've read my blog you know I'm not exactly a conservative person when it comes to preserving foods, but when it comes to canning, there's not a lot that I will push the envelope on. You want metal to metal seal with a canner, not plastic, silicon, etc. (I suggest the All American brand of canner)

I had never heard of canned meat until I started watching Doomsday Preppers. Does it taste any different? Can it still be used for any recipe? I'm so new to all of this and it freaks me out a little!

@WeileMom Everyone who's tried the canned meat done properly keeps writing me that it's so good and tender. It doesn't look pretty from the outside of the jar, but it is scrumptious, tender, and stronger in flavor 'cause it's essentially marinated for years! :-)

raw meat actually cooks in the jars, almost as if they are cooking in their very own pressure cooker. You can can cooked me, but it won't give it a longer shelf-life than the raw meat.

Kellene, am I to assume you remove the skin first or do you can them with skin and all?

I canned some chicken breast and it looks like most of the moisture has boiled out of the jars. Is this a problem.? Two of the jars look like they might not have sealed, how do you tell? Does the meat need to be covered with liquid? Thanks for your help.

There isn't a need for the meat to be covered with liquid. Liquid in the jars will always vent out. That's part of the reason why I put the water in as per my details in this article.
To verify that the jars are sealed, you'll simply check the flat lid portion. If it's sealed the lid will be concave; press your finger firmly down on the center of the lid; it should not pop up if it's sealed. You can also try tapping a spoon on the center of it and you should hear a clear ping. If it's a low pitched thud, the lid isn't sealed. (don't test the jars while they are still hot/warm)

The first batch I tried lost most of it's liquid. The jars sealed and when I opened one to try it the meat was fine but Very dry and i missed out on some great broth!! Discovered it was because I kept the heat too high , didn't reduce heat enough. Done several batches since then and once it reaches the right pressure I reduce heat to where it just barely holds that pressure and now I have great broth all the way up to the top!! I did not add water.

This may seem like a stupid question since I have never canned before, but is the meat still raw when you're finished canning it? I'm guessing that it is at least least partially cooked or does it end up fully cooked? And where can I find the instructions for specific altitudes and type of meat? If the meat is fully cooked in the can, then how do you adjust your recipe when it calls for full cooking again?

It's completely cooked after you've canned it. Each jar is like its very own pressure cooker so it's cooked but tender and juicy still. So I just modify my recipes using cooked meat. You could eat it right out of the jar fully cooked. (but it would need refrigeration is it was to be open for an extended period of time without consuming all of the ingredients.

Why is it that you are unable to can processed meats??? ie. hot dogs

Also, my husband 'LOVES' Tounge tacos from the taco carts... how would tounge be done canned??

Actually, I need to change that because I've learned a LOT more on that topic since writing it originally. I just canned 60 pounds of bacon todayl So thanks for reminding me.

Can you add salt prior to putting it in the pressure cooker to give it more flavor?

What size is your All-American pressure canner? Yours looks like the 21 1/2 quart, but you posted a direct link on another page to the 10 1/2 quart on Amazon.

Do you have to use the pressure cooker for canned meats or can I use my new steam bath or the old fashioned boiling canner?

I can my meat and any other canning in the oven on 225 for 6 hours, turn the oven off and left set for one hour then take them out and turn upside down on an old towel for 20 minutes.
I started doing this when I was working 3rd shift and wandering how to can and sleep too. lol I worked with a gentleman that is from Pennsylvania and said that is the only way they have ever done it. I can do up to 10-12 jars at one time. When putting them in the oven you need to lay something down first so they don't tip on the rakes, like cookie sheets. I have had them all seal with no problems. Pressure canners always scared me and water baths you always had to make sure there was water in them. Doing this way I can do other things in the house or even take a nap and all is well.

This MIGHT be a viable method if you're certain that the food you put in the jars is at 180 degrees or more BEFORE you put them in the oven which means that you're cooking it twice. That's why I love the pressure canning methods and the great technological advancements is that I can keep my meat tender and only cook it once so as not to compromise any more nutrition than is absolutely necessary. This method you're describing is called Open Kettle Canning and it's not one I'm 100% confident with. But that's me.

Why would you use anything but water? You'll be making incredible broths as a result of the canning process and the meat marinating in the jars for all that time.

Kellene - do you have to use water in the cans? Could you possibly use chicken/meat broth or stock as a substitution?

This is a very informative article and I appreciate that you included the photos.

I am fairly new to the canning world. Just one question: Should the jars (and lids) be sterilized before putting the meat into them and processing, like is done in the water bath process for jams and jellies?

Thanks!

Thank you so much for the information! I had checked with our local Auburn Extension office for canning info on meats, but the pictures were a great help. Haven't tried to do the bacon yet, but the other meats have all turned out great. Really appreciate all the info on your site, can't seem to stop reading it and making notes!

Just thought you would like to know I have canned bacon, pork stir-fry strips & chicken breasts - all HUGE successes! :) So Excited that I have more "Stuff" to put in jars!:)

this will be my first time canning meat. I am starting with chicken thghs that are on this weekend. Approx. how long will meat preserve if canned properly?

Kellene -- I am trying to get my act together to start canning, but there is one thing that I a little confused about. You always mention keeping the food in a cool, dark place to allow it to last the maximum time, between 68-72 degrees. I live in Houston and the coolest place (without refrigeration) in my house is probably 73-74 degrees, with high humidity -- I keep the air somewhat higher because I am always freezing and to keep the electric bills down. What is the max time that my canned food would last in those conditions, and would I be better off to use my extra refrigerator to keep as much as my canned food for maximum freshness? Will that affect the canning to have the meat at a refrigerator-level temperature for long periods of time? Houston is definitely not the easiest place to live for food storage! :) Thanks!

I bought a smaller portable air conditioner for my food storage. I keep it at 65. I got it on amazon and it wasn't very expensive. I personally don't like the cold and didn't want to pay to cool down the entire house.

I have a possible solution for all my southern friends. I live in Florida where it is HOT and HUMID. This solution will only work if electricity is still available. I was given an old chest freezer; then I bought a Freezer temperature controller from Amazon ($50). You plug the controller into the power source; set the temperature on the controller; plug your freezer into the controller. I have mine set for 64 and it stays within a couple degrees of that. I found the information on various beer making sites. I am thinking about putting my canned goods in shallow crates and stacking them up inside. Chest freezers are very efficient and so I think it will be cheaper than an a/c. Hope this sparks some ideas.

I was just wondering if you can can meat you have in freezer that is frozen? I want to thaw it in ref and then try canning, would that work? Our freezer is full and we constantly lose power here and IF the grid should go down we're in trouble with the frozen items.

You will always need to wash off the jars after processing meat. I just use a rag with hot soapy (DAWN) water. And yes, you can put another jar (I'd fill it with water) in there so that the others don't fall over.
If you can't push them down in the middle they are SEALED. Ya done good, gurl! :-)

Just curious....if there is room for an empty jar, why fill it with water? Why not fill it with what you are canning, put a lid on it, and have another jar of canned meat?

Kellene, you gave me the courage to can meat and I thank you. But I fear I did something wrong. I used wide mouth pint jars, sterilized and heated, filled with meat, added just enough hot water to fill and processed for the required 90 min at 15# pressure. My canner only holds 5 wide mouth jars and one of them was lying on its side when I opened the canner and the water and other jars were all greasy on the sides. I let them kool and all the lids seem to have sealed (though I didn't hear the "pop") since I cannot push them down in the middle, but I did have to wash them off with a wet rag. Is it possible I might have filled them too full? Right now, one jar is only about half full of liquid, Do you think they're okay? I don't know what I did wrong. My first time canning meat. Can I add an empty jar, so none fall over?

There's a point where you might need to work on manipulating the environment such as with a dehumidifier. If you use a dehumidifier, I know it makes the effective temp much cooler. There are several parts of our nation that have this problem, I know. But that's the best answer I've got for you. You're food will last as little as 50% as the standard time frame with the heat and humidity factor. You'll just have to get better about rotating it.

Can you dig a cellar in the warm parts of the country to get a cooler temp? Or perhaps use a storm shelter?

LOVED this canning tutorial!! Thank you for taking the time to make it.

Why would humidity matter? The food is in a sealed jar.

Thanks, Kellene. That is So Exciting! I appreciate that you're willing to take flack from some to help Many! Blessings!

Thank you so very much for sharing this with us Kellene. Do you can all meats the same way?
p.s. I've always wanted a daughter. Can I adopt you? lol

Everything except for processed meats (which I only do in chunks) and ground beef/sausage/turkey/chicken all get cooked before they get put into the can as there's just way too much surface space potential for bacteria growth.

Adopt me? Well, you should know I'm a Buckeye Fan, feisty, and I"m not voting for Romney or Obama. My dad hung up on me when he learned of the last issue. :-) I may just be too much for anyone to handle--except my Prince Charming. *hugs*

Anything larger than a quart size is NOT suitable or recommended for canning--neither water bath nor pressure canning. However I do use the half-gallon size all the time for my dry canning in which I use the FoodSaver to extract all of the oxygen from the jar. (See "FoodSaver Saves the Day" article on here or go to our YouTube page--youtube.com/preparednesspro and see the video I have posted for using the FoodSaver.)

Share your thoughts on the matter

Disclaimer

Please note that the name you use in the "Name" field above will be the name displayed on your comment.