How Do You Safely Can Meat?


Quick Answer

The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises that pressure canning is the only safe way to can meat. Pressure canning uses temperatures beyond boiling to kill harmful bacteria in low-acid foods.

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Full Answer

Fill the pressure canner with 3 quarts of water, and place the rack in the bottom of the pot. Warm up the water, but do not allow it to boil. Place clean jars in the canner upside down to keep them hot. Put the canning lids in a small saucepan with water, heat to just below boiling and remove from the heat.

Start with cold meat, and remove any bones, gristle, connective tissue, fat or damaged areas. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes, and pack it tightly into the hot jars, leaving 1 inch of space at the top. Salt is not required; however, you can add up to 2 teaspoons per quart if desired. Do not add liquid to the jars, because the meat creates its own broth during the process. Wipe the jar rims clean, and fasten the heated lids and screw bands on finger tight.

Place the filled jars on the rack in the pressure canner, and securely fasten the canner lid. Turn the heat up to high, and when the steam creates a continuous flow, allow it to vent for 10 minutes. Place the counterweight or weighted gauge on the vent pipe. Begin timing the process once the pressure reading reaches 11 pounds at elevations below 2,000 feet. Process quart jars for 1 hour and 30 minutes, and process pint jars for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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