How To Can Deer Meat

Learning how to can deer meat properly will ensure a safe quality product. Canning deer meat is a great way to preserve the meat and provide economical and convenient family meals all year round. Deer meat can be prepared for canning using a variety of methods, depending on the intended use of the meat.

Equipment Needed to Can Deer Meat

  • Pressure Canner – Be sure the pressure is in proper working condition and testing the dial pressure gauge for accuracy is recommended. Low-acid foods, including meats, require the use of a pressure canner. Using a boiling water bath is not suitable for canning meats.
  • Pint or Quart Canning Jars – Jars must be made specifically for canning and are available in regular and wide mouth jars. Wide mouth jars should be used for larger pieces of meat. Jars should be clean and free of chips and cracks.
  • Canning Lids – New rings must be used and cannot be reused. They should also be free of scratches and defects. Lids are available in regular or wide mouth.
  • Canning Lid Rings – Rings may be reused several times. Before use, check rings for proper fit to the jars and, ensuring they are clean and undamaged.
  • Meat Grinder – A meat grinder is optional if you choose to grind your own deer meat.
  • Rubber or Wooden Spatula – A non-metal spatula should be used for removing air bubbles from packed jars.

Using a Pressure Canner to Can Deer Meat

  1. Ensure pressure canner is in proper working order. Canner lid vent should be clean, safety valve should move freely, and dial pressure gauge should be in proper working order. Fill with two to three inches of water and simmer.
  2. Wash jars, lids and rings in soapy hot water and rinse. Jars and lids should be placed in a large pot of hot water and allowed to simmer until ready to use.
  3. Follow the instructions below to prepare deer meat for canning, including packing requirements. Remove air bubbles.
  4. After filling jars, use a damp cloth to wipe rim and threads of the jar and fit with lids and rings.
  5. Place jars in rack of prepared pressure canner, fasten cover. Heat and allow steam to escape steadily for ten minutes.
  6. Close vent and bring to ten pounds pressure. Processing time starts once it reaches ten pounds pressure. Ensure pressure remains consistent throughout processing time.
  7. Process pints for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Process quarts for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat and allow to reach zero pressure naturally. Wait another two minutes then open vent. Slowly remove lid so steam travels away from you. Lift cover and allow jars to sit for another ten minutes.
  9. Remove jars, standing upright on a towel, away from drafts. Allow jars to remain undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours and test seals.
  10. Label and store in a cool, dark area until ready to use.

Procedure to Can Deer Meat – Ground

  • Cook ground meat in a hot skillet.
  • Stir in 1 to 1 ½ cups boiling water, broth or tomato juice.
  • Pack hot meat and liquid leaving 1-inch headspace

Procedure to Can Deer Meat – Roast

  1. Cut meat to fit in jars. Bake, roast or brown meat until well browned. Do not cook thoroughly.
  2. Prepare broth by adding 1 cup boiling water to 2 Tablespoons fat from cooking pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Pack hot meat into jars and cover with broth, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Procedure to Can Deer Meat – Steaks

  1. Cut steaks into one inch strips, removing large bones and brown in a frying pan.
  2. Prepare broth by adding 1 cup boiling water to 2 Tablespoons fat from cooking pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Pack hot meat into jars and cover with broth, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Procedure to Can Deer Meat – Stew Meat

  1. Cut deer meat into 2 inch cubes, removing fat.
  2. Place meat in a pot of water and simmer until meat is thoroughly hot.
  3. Pack hot meat and cooking liquid into jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.

For more information and recipes for preserving and using preserved foods, see Ball Blue Book – Guide to Home Canning, Freezing and Dehydration.



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