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Meat Preservation: Canning Venison

Article reposted from

Pressure canning is a great way to preserve the tougher cuts of wild game meat such as the neck, chuck, or round or make room in the freezer for the current year’s harvest. It's a relatively simple process that just takes a little time, a few tools, and minimal ingredients. The result is shelf-stable meat that can be used in stews and stews or heated and served with rice, potatoes, noodles, or vegetables.

Since meat is a low-acid food, pressure canning is the only safe method for canning.

Canning Tools:

  • 9 pint-size mason jars, lids, and rings (sub: 7 quart-size mason jars)

  • Pressure canner

  • Jar lifter

  • Canning funnel


  • 9 pounds lean venison, elk, or moose meat (sub: 14 pounds if using quart jars)

  • Beef bouillon or powdered soup base


Prepare canner and jars. Wash jars and sterilize in a hot-water bath; maintain a low simmer until you're ready to use the jars.

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes; remove any fat or sinew. Place the meat in a colander to drain excess blood.

Remove jars from the water bath with a jar lifter and place them on a towel on the counter. Add 1 teaspoon of bouillon or soup base to each pint jar or 2 teaspoons for quart jars.

Using the canning funnel, pack meat tightly into each jar, leaving 1" headspace. Tip: each pint jar will hold about 1 pound of raw meat; each quart will hold about 2 pounds).

Remove air pockets with a spoon handle; you won't be able to remove them all but make sure there are no large gaps between the meat. Do not add liquid; the meat will make its own.

Wipe jar rims with a paper towel moistened with vinegar to remove any juice or meat. Center lid on the jar. Tip: dip lids into hot water to heat the rubber for a better seal; it was previously recommended to boil lids, but no longer is.

Screw the band onto the jar until 'finger tight.' Tip: don't put the band on too tight; this will cause the lid to buckle.

Place jars into the pressure canner and adjust the water level; water should be halfway up the jar. Place the lid on the canner and lock.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Vent steam for 10-minutes, then close the vent. Continue heating to achieve appropriate pressure.

Altitude – Weighted Gauge

0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds

1,001-8,000 ft – 15 pounds

Altitude – Dial Gauge

0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds

2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds

4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds

6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds

Process pints for 75 minutes or quarts for 90 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain pressure.

Turn off heat. Let pressure return to zero naturally. Wait 2 minutes, open the vent to allow any remaining pressure to release. Remove canner lid, wait 10 minutes, then remove jars and place on towel to cool. Store in a cool, dry place.

Once the meat is processed and sealed, it is shelf-stable and can be stored for up to 18-months.

Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting elk, deer, turkey, pronghorn, and waterfowl. She is a team member at Huntress View, Pro Staff for Browning Trail Cameras, and Brand Ambassador for the GoWild app and BaseMap app. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.

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