Pressure canning is the only safe method
for canning meat, fish and poultry. It is the only way you can destroy
the bacterium that causes food poisoning (clostridium botulinum).
Be sure to process canned meats for the correct time at the correct
temperature in a pressure canner. Canning low-acid foods, such as
meats, in boiling-water canners is absolutely unsafe because the
botulinum bacteria can survive this process. If clostridium botulinum
survive and grow inside a sealed jar of food, they can produce a
poisonous toxin. Even a taste of food containing this toxin can
be fatal. Boil foods 10 minutes at altitudes below 1,000 feet to
destroy this poison. Boil foods 11 minutes if you live above 1,000
- Chill and can fresh, home-slaughtered meats
and poultry without delay.
- Do not can meat from diseased animals.
- Remove guts immediately after catching fish,
put on ice and can within two days.
Caution: Boil canned meat,
poultry and fish before you taste it even if it looks and smells
Chicken or Rabbit
Choose freshly killed and dressed, healthy animals. Large chickens
are more flavorful than fryers. Chill dressed chicken for 6 hours
to 12 hours before canning. Soak dressed rabbits 1 hour in salt
water (1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water) and then rinse.
Remove excess fat. Cut the chicken or rabbit into suitable sizes
for canning. Can with or without bones.
Hot pack -- Boil, steam or bake meat
until medium-done (when cut at center, pieces show almost no pink
color). Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to each jar if desired. Fill
jars with meat pieces and hot broth. Leave 1-1/4-inches headspace.
Raw pack -- Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart
if desired. Fill jars loosely with raw meat pieces. Leave 1-1/4-inches
headspace. Do not add liquid. Adjusts lids, and process as directed
Ground or Chopped
Bear, beef, lamb, pork, sausage,
Choose fresh, high-quality, chilled meat. With venison, add one
part high-quality pork fat to three or four parts venison before
Use freshly made sausage, seasoned with salt
and cayenne pepper (sage may cause a bitter off-flavor). Shape chopped
meat into patties or balls. Cut cased sausage into pieces 3 inches
to 4 inches long. Cook until lightly browned. Ground meat may be
browned without shaping. Drain excess fat. Fill jars with pieces.
Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice or water. Leave 1-1/4 inches
headspace. Add 2 teaspoons of salt per quart to each jar if desired.
Adjust lids and process as directed in Table-1.
or Chunks of Meat
Bear, beef, lamb, pork, veal,
Choose fresh, high-quality, chilled meat. Remove excess fat. Soak
strong-flavored wild meats for 1 hour in salt water (1 tablespoon
of salt per quart of water). Rinse. Remove large bones.
Hot pack -- Cook meat until rare by roasting,
stewing or browning in a small amount of fat. Add 2 teaspoons of
salt per quart to each jar if desired. Fill jars with pieces and
add boiling broth, meat drippings, water or tomato juice (tomato
juice is especially good to use with wild game). Leave 1-inch headspace.
Raw pack -- Add 2 teaspoons of salt per
quart to each jar if desired. Fill jars with raw meat pieces. Leave
1-inch headspace. Do not add liquid. Adjust lids, and process as
directed in Table-1.
Meat Stock (Broth)
Beef: Saw or
crack freshly trimmed beef bones to help draw flavor from bones.
Rinse bones and place in a large stockpot or kettle. Cover bones
with water, cover pot and simmer 3 hours to 4 hours. Remove bones
and pick off meat. Chill broth, skim off fat and return meat to
broth. Reheat meat and broth to boiling. Fill jars, leaving 1-inch
headspace. Adjust lids, and process.
Chicken or turkey: Place carcass bones
in a large stockpot, add enough water to cover bones. Cover pot
and simmer 30 minutes to 45 minutes or until meat can be easily
stripped from bones. Remove bones and meat pieces. Chill broth and
skim off fat. Strip meat, discard excess skin and fat and return
meat to broth. Reheat to boiling and fill jars. Leave 1-inch headspace.
Adjust lids and process as directed in Table-1.
Blue, mackerel, salmon, steelhead,
trout and other fatty fish except tuna
Caution: Immediately after
catching fish, remove guts, put on ice and can within two days.
Note: Glass-like crystals sometimes form
in canned salmon (these are magnesium ammonium phosphate). There
is no way for the home canner to prevent these crystals from forming,
but they usually dissolve when heated and are safe to eat.
Procedure: Remove head, tail, fins and
scales. Wash and remove all blood. Split fish lengthwise if desired.
Cut cleaned fish into pieces 3-1/2-inches long. Fill pint jars,
place skin side next to glass and leave 1-inch headspace. Add 1
teaspoon of salt per pint if desired. Do not add liquids. Adjust
lids and process as directed in Table-1.
processing times for meat, poultry and fish in pressure canners.