Pressure canning meat and poultry

This post is at special request of Jo at Little Ffarm Dairy.

Chicken canned and ready for storage and winter use in soups, stews, and my favourite, curries!

Chicken canned and ready for storage and winter use in soups, stews, and my favourite, curries!

This past week and weekend, I completed a marathon butchering fest. In total, I butchered 27 chickens, 2 ducks and 4 turkeys which may not sound like much, but when you are doing it solo and without the aid of any modern day technology, it is a feat, to say the least.

In the midst of it all I also canned 8 chickens, all the stewing beef from our butchered cow, and am presently in the process of cooking two more turkeys and will can them later today. Having taken in the half a cow, I now have no room left in my freezer, so can I must! Food preservation is a juggling act at all times here, as we do not have much room in our wee house and we don’t have any form of cold storage… yet.

The following information includes recipes and methods for SAFE canning of meat, game and poultry which I have collected over the past few years:

Pressure canning is the ONLY SAFE METHOD for canning meat and poultry

Home food preservation must be done with care, to protect the quality and safety of the food. Jars or cans containing low-acid foods–such as vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood–must always be processed under pressure, to prevent spoilage or food poisoning. The bacteria which cause botulism, a severe and potentially fatal from of food poisoning, are not killed by using the hot water bath canning process.

PRESSURE CANNING MEAT (Beef)

All meat should be handled carefully, should be correctly slaughtered, and canned promptly or kept under refrigeration until processed. Keep meat as cool as possible during preparation for canning, handle rapidly, and process meat as soon as it is packed. Most meats need only be wiped with a damp cloth, though I make a habit of rinsing it in cold water (but that is just personal preference).

Use lean meat for canning: remove most of the fat, cut off gristle and remove large bones, and cut into pieces in a convenient size for canning. Pack hot meat loosely, leaving 1-inch head-space in Mason jars.

Prepare broth for filling jars: place bony pieces in saucepan, cover with cold water, and simmer until meat is tender. Cool liquid and discard the layer of fat that hardens on the surface. Bring liquid to a boil and use it to pack into jars packed with precooked meat (and poultry).

NOTE: Meat should not be browned with flour nor should flour be used in the broth to make gravy for pouring over the packed meat as the starch in the flour makes the sterilization process very difficult, and so this is not recommended for home canners. (Best leave this to Chef Boyardee and Heinz.)

Meats may be processed with or without salt. If salt is desired, use only pure canning or pickling salt (table salt contains a filler which may cause cloudiness in bottom of jar). I use 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint, 1 teaspoon to each quart. More or less salt may be added to suit individual taste.

Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner. Process meats according to the following recipes.

When canning food in regions less than 2,000 feet altitude (dial gauge canner) or 1,000 feet altitude (weighted gauge canner), process according to specific recipe. When canning food in regions above 2,000 feet altitude (dial gauge canner) or 1,000 feet altitude (weighted gauge canner), process according to the following chart.

ALTITUDE CHART FOR CANNING MEAT AND POULTRY

ALTITUDE DIAL GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
WEIGHTED GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
1,001 – 2,000 ft. 11 lbs. 15 lbs.
2,001 – 4,000 ft. 12 lbs. 15 lbs.
4,001 – 6,000 ft. 13 lbs. 15 lbs.
6,001 – 8,000 ft. 14 lbs. 15 lbs.

Processing time is the same at all altitudes.

PRESSURE CANNING GAME MEAT

Pressure canning is the ONLY SAFE METHOD for canning meat.

Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner. Process your game meat according to the following recipes.

CUT-UP MEAT (strips, cubes, or chunks) Bear, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal, and Venison
Remove excess fat. Soak strong-flavored wild meats for 1 hour in brine water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Rinse. Remove large bones and cut into desired pieces.

Raw Pack—Fill jars with raw meat pieces, leaving 1-inch head-space. DO NOT ADD LIQUID. Adjust jar lids.

Hot Pack—Precook meat until rare by broiling, boiling, or frying. Pack hot meat loosely in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1-inch head-space. Cover meat with boiling broth, water, or tomato juice (especially with wild game), leaving 1-inch head-space. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart  for recommended pounds of pressure.

PRESSURE CANNING POULTRY

Pressure canning is the ONLY SAFE METHOD for canning poultry.

Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner. Process poultry according to the following recipes.

CUT-UP POULTRY

Boil, steam, or bake poultry slowly to medium done. I tend to boil it and make the broth at the same time. If you have broth on hand you can precook in the concentrated broth for more flavor. Poultry is medium done when the pink color in the center is almost gone.

Cut poultry into serving size pieces and if desired, remove bones. I always debone the meat as it is my personal preference. I find it easier to use in recipes if it is done this way. Pack hot poultry loosely in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1 1/4-inch head-space.

Make broth from bones and bony pieces, neck, back, and wing tips and the gizzard, heart and liver if you have them. Pack hot meat in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1-inch head-space. Do not pack food tightly. Cover poultry with boiling broth or water, leaving 1 1/4-inch head-space. Adjust jar lids.

Poultry may be processed with or without salt. If salt is desired, use only pure canning or pickling salt. Table salt contains a filler which may cause cloudiness in bottom of jar. I use 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint, 1 teaspoon to each quart.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes.
For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see above chart  for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts for 90 minutes.
For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see above chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

RABBIT

Pressure canning is the ONLY SAFE METHOD for canning rabbit.

Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner. Process rabbit according to the following recipes.

Soak dressed rabbits 1 hour in water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart. Rinse and remove excess fat. Cut into serving size pieces. Boil, steam, or bake to medium done. Rabbit is medium done when pink color in center is almost gone. Pack hot rabbit loosely in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1 1/4-inch head-space. Cover rabbit with boiling broth or water leaving 1 1/4-inch head-space and adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts for 90 minutes.
For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts for 90 minutes.
For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

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23 Comments

Filed under Chickens, Ducks, Food preservation, Goats, How to..., personal food sovereignty, Preserving the harvest, Turkeys

23 responses to “Pressure canning meat and poultry

  1. Excellent lessons on canning! Thanks for the notes. I’ve never canned meat, and I’ve never used a pressure canner, so this is very welcome! Nice to have a tutorial.

  2. WOW!

    I am seriously impressed……you must be shattered!

    Must be a good feeling though, to look at all those jars of canned meat and know it was ALL your own work….

    Well done…

    S xx

  3. City Mouse: I’d never canned meat until two years ago either, go for it. It is wonderful and frees up freezer space.

    Compostwoman: yes, I’m tired! Going to take a break this week from it all and get back to finishing them off next week; 17 turkeys to go, and possibly some more ducks, ugh.

  4. Pingback: Pressure canning meat and poultry « Howling Duck Ranch | dairyfactory.com

  5. LittleFfarm Dairy

    Fascinating!

    But I must admit to being even more confused than ever…..I honestly have no idea what a dial gauge canner or weighted gauge canner, are – do you have any photos please?

    It sounds like a fantastic system & like you say, anything that frees up freezer space is a real bonus! I wonder why we don’t have such contraptions here in the UK? And I had no idea you could preserve raw meat in this way. They say you learn something new every day – thank you, I certainly have!

    • Little Ffarm–the dials and the weights are the difference between a water bath canner (which can be used for jams, jellies, chutneys and sauerkraut–acidic foods in other words) and the pressure canners. Click the following link to see a variety of the All American Pressure Canner. I use the weighted one. As for meat, I had never heard to canning meat either until I moved here–everyone does it! The Natives can their fish in real cans, unlike me with my glass jars. They also can their deer and moose meat (which I found so odd at first as I had never been exposed to this). But then after all, what is beef and barley soup from Campbell’s or Lipton but canned meat eh? This is the first year I’ve tried canning my chicken and turkey and will admit it was out of desperation for lack of freezer space. Each year I do can all the stewing beef from the cow though and it is oh so handy on those nights you: don’t want to cook, forgot to take meat out, or have no energy or imagination left! In fact I make Beef Chili, Irish Stew and a lightly curried beef too and have them on hand. Hubby often takes those to work for easy lunches. This year I’m looking forward to the ease of almost instant chicken salads and curries thanks to the canned poultry. Having a pressure canner opens up a whole world of healthy possibilities. All those canned goods we rely on from the store that are filled with additives, preservatives and meat of questionable pedigree can virtually be passed on at the store once you get used to doing your own. I really encourage you to get yourself one and give it a go (in your spare time of course!)

  6. I have canned fruits and vegetables for years. This is the first year I have canned meat – chicken, turkey and beef. It is so convenient and so good, I am hooked. Good information. I highly recommend canning your own meat.

  7. This is great info! I am going to buy a canner soon and am reading everything I can on the subject.

    You know, you can save all that fat to make your own soap. I would love to find someone near me who butchers their own meat, so I can ask them for all the fat and fatty trimmings from their animals to use in making soap.

    I have soap directions on my blog, if you want to start doing that yourself too.

  8. I understand!
    I have a list like that too. A really. really long one.

  9. It looks like you are a true expert. Did you study about the matter? lawl

    • I researched the matter in books, on the web, and checked with a University’s food science dept. The info is not really mine, rather it is the common canning knowledge of others passed on.

      cheers,

      HDR

  10. yummy:P thanks for your suggestions , i’d adore to stick to your blog as usually as i can.possess a nice day~~

  11. Hello again, Just a quick note I am going to give it a try on canning moose and domestic meat as per your instructions on your web site and what is contained in the booklet supplied with the canner. Is it o/k to put a glove of garlic in the jar before adding the meat etc. or spices?????. I was thinking of adding onions when browning the meat and putting it all in the jar. My late wife use to do all this good stuff so I thought I would take a crack at it and see if I can even come close to what she did. I cannot fine her old recipe book and that is upsetting but I will keep looking. Anyway folks I will give it a shot and hope it works……..Spud

  12. Hey there! I just put an article about canning meats on my site, too. Great minds think alike!

  13. hey again, I just noticed you suggest canning in pressure cookers as well as canners. I have several old cookers and their books do give instructions on canning in them but most of the articles on canning today do not recommend using cookers over canners. I guess it is because you can tell if the pressure is consistent but actually I think if you have a regular jiggle going on, you should be fine. Perhaps they just want us to buy both types of pressure pots. Conspiracy! lol

    • Hello Scarlett,

      I don’t believe I recommend canning in cookers (can you point me to where you think I suggest this?). Cooking in pressure cookers, yes, but canning should definitely be done in canners (hot water and/or pressure canners depending on what you are canning).

      cheers!

      Kristeva

  14. am wanting to do 200 gals of venison, tomatoes, apple sauce and whole chickens as I did on the farm as a kid (i’m now 63)

    want to shift to 1/2 gal balls. now have 350 of them!!
    am VERY familiar with canning all of the above under pressue in 1/4 balls, but am concerned that just adding time (at 10#) may not be enuf to drop the botulism. All the canning companies and cnty ext are doing CYA.

    did it every summer/fall with grandma (1 holstein steer, 100 chickens, 20 bushels of tomatoes and 10 bushels of apples(water bathed) and have a paid crew of 4 who are pretty experienced.

    any observations or references??

  15. I have a big leg of Lamb I want to can. any thoughts on this? thanks for your information it is very helpful for so many
    I have done all the other meats but not done Lamb yet, so was just looking for any help on it.

  16. I have a question about older ducks- have you canned them before? I find them too intensely flavored even to braise, so canning seemed like a great idea- would you think simmering the skinless parts in water might remove some of the intense duckieness? If I strained off the broth instead of using it for canning? (My dogs will be so happy to get that nutrient rich broth- I just want to reduce the older duck flavor.) Thanks for your input and thanks for your website!!!

  17. I do believe all the ideas you’ve presented on your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. May just you please prolong them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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