Canning meat

Due to some grocery stores limiting the amount of meat that can be purchased per visit, we at AnswerLine have been receiving calls about canning meat. If you decide to purchase and can meat you will want to follow the directions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation to make sure you have a safe product.

Meat is a low acid food and needs to be processed in a pressure canner. The pressure canner needs to be large enough to hold 4 quart sized jars regardless of whether you plan to can pints or quarts. You may use a dial gauge or weighted gauge pressure canner.

If you have a dial gauge canner it is recommended you have the gauge tested once a year before you use it. Typically your County Extension and Outreach Office can test the dial gauge at their office. Some canner manufacturers will also test gauges if you mail it to them. If you want more information on where to have your dial gauge tested please contact us at AnswerLine. We would love to help! If your dial gauge reads high or low by more than 2 pounds at 5, 10, or 15 pounds pressure, replace it. If it is less than 2 pounds off in accuracy you can make the adjustments needed to be sure you have the required pressure needed for the safety of your product. If you are using a weighted gauge pressure canner you do not need to have the weight tested. You will continue to listen for the jiggle or rock.

Meat can be pressure canned in strips, cubes, chunks, ground or chopped.


Marcia Steed

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and traveling.

More Posts

2 thoughts on “Canning meat

  1. I recently purchased several frozen Papa Charles Seasoned Italian Beef with Au Jus. Is it safe to pressure canning these? Would I follow the same 15 lbs pressure 90 minutes for Quarts? I would like to save freezer space.

  2. Hi Carol, thank you for contacting AnswerLine. I would advise against doing what you propose. To begin, I looked at the ingredients in this product and find that it contains starches. Starches are a problem in two ways. First, starches tend to clump or coagulate during the long and intense pressure process and therefore do not allow for even heat penetration throughout the product to ensure a safe food product in a jar. Secondly, the intense heat and pressure also cause the starches to breakdown so what was once gravy will no longer be gravy. There are a variety of other food additives in this product. I have no idea how they would behave and/or taste once processed. And lastly, but most important, there are NO USDA approved methods for canning prepared products. This product was intended to be frozen for longer storage and that is what you should do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Connect with us!

AnswerLine's Facebook page AnswerLine's Pinterest page
Phone: (Monday-Friday, 9 am-noon; 1-4 pm)
1-800-262-3804 (in Iowa)
1-800-854-1678 (in Minnesota)