Field To Table

Canning Venison | Canning Deer Meat

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Canning deer meat at home is incredibly easy and the flavor just can’t be beat! You can simply raw pack venison with only two ingredients.

Jar of meat with onions.Pin

That is it. No kidding. Just two ingredients. Venison and salt. No water or broth. They can in their own juice. You can really can any domestic or wild meat. Beef, elk, pork or even poultry.

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Why can deer meat?

If your family is like ours, by the time January comes, your freezers are filled to the point of bursting! We literally have 3 freezers and every single one of them is packed to the brim.

Canning venison is the perfect way to give your freezers a break. The meat is shelf stable and perfect to whip up a great tasting dinner in no time flat!

The process for canning meat is incredibly easy but you do need a specialized pressure canner. Although our grandmothers may have canned meat with water bath canning pots, we now know that this practice is not safe! Meats have low acidity levels so the extra heat that the pressure canners produce will save your family from the possibility of food borne illnesses, like botulism.

Pint jars of canned meat.Pin

What tools you need

Optional ingredients to add

  • onion
  • garlic
  • bell peppers
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients you need for raw pack canning venison

  • venison – cleaned, rinsed and trimmed of fat and cartilage.
  • teaspoon of salt per quart jar
Ingredients for canning venison. Meat, salt, onion, garlic.Pin

Step by step – how to raw pack venison

  1. Prepare jars, lids and pressure canning pot according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Trim venison well of all fat and cartilage, or any damaged meat.
  3. Cut into chunks, cubes, strips or slices.
  4. Pack meat into hot jars. Use a plastic or wooden spoon or chopstick to remove some of the larger air holes in the jar. You won’t be able to remove them all but try to eliminate the larger ones. Leave a 1-inch headspace. (the space between the meat and the rim of the jar.)
  5. Add salt. (some people add two teaspoons per quart but we prefer less salty.)
  6. Wipe jar rim with a damp paper towel or clean, damp cloth.
  7. Apply lids. Attach bands tightening just fingertip tight.

Add jars to pressure canner. Attach lid. Turn burner on medium high. Once it comes to boil, the pot will release steam. Let it vent for 10 minutes.

Add weighted gauge or dial gauge. When gauge comes to proper psi (pounds per square inch), for your elevation above sea level, begin your timer.

You must keep the pressure at this level for the entire time. If pressure ever drops below the specified pressure, begin timer again.

For pressure and times at specific altitudes, see chart in recipe notes below.

Step by step photographs of the process for canning venison. See details in recipe below.Pin

How to hot pack deer meat

Venison can actually be hot pack pressure canned as well. It is not really more difficult but does result in extra dirty dishes that you need to clean up. I generally choose to raw pack just because it is so easy. Canning stews, soups, spaghetti sauce and more will save you lots of time on a busy night.

  1. Add some olive oil to a cast iron skillet.
  2. Add chunks, cubes, strips or slices of venison.
  3. Brown venison on all sides.
  4. Pack browned venison into hot jars.
  5. Add tomato juice, venison stock or water to the pan that you browned the meat in. Scrape the meat drippings and heat the liquid. Fill jar with the hot liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. (the space between the meat with the liquid and the rim of the jar.)
  6. Add salt. (some people add two teaspoons per quart but we prefer less salty.)
  7. Wipe jar rim with a damp paper towel or clean, damp cloth.
  8. Apply lids. Attach bands tightening just fingertip tight.

Add jars to pressure canner. Attach lid. Turn burner on medium high. Let pot release steam for 10 minutes.

Add weighted gauge or dial gauge. When gauge comes to proper psi (pounds per square inch), for your elevation above sea level, begin your timer. Maintain the proper psi throughout the entire process. If at any time you drop below the target psi, you must start the timer again.

For pressure and times at specific altitudes, see chart in recipe notes below.

Close of photo of venison in canning jars.Pin

What cuts of venison should you can?

Back and front leg cuts such as the sirloin, top round, bottom round and shoulder are your best choices. To find out where they are on the deer, see Cuts of venison and how to use them.

How to use canned venison

There are innumerable ways to use the venison you have canned for a quick dinner. Use your imagination and come up with some delicious recipes. Let me know what you come up with!

  • Make a quick stroganoff with sautéed onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms. Add venison. Pour cream of mushroom soup over all. Serve with rice, noodles or spätzle.
  • Make a quick soup with various vegetables (canned or frozen veggies work well), add venison and venison stock.
  • Make a curry with vegetables and curry powder. Thicken with cornstarch mixed with water. Serve over rice.
  • Use it for “pulled deer meat” add BBQ sauce and make BBQ sandwiches.
  • Tacos, enchiladas or taquitos. Add cumin, chili powder and garlic or use taco seasoning. Add canned tomatoes. Heat through. Serve with warm tortillas and toppings.
  • Make sloppy joes with sloppy joe sauce or make your own sauce.
  • Make southern venison and biscuits with a sausage gravy.
  • You can do a quick stew with vegetables and deer meat.
  • Quick chili is a good option with beans, onions and tomato sauce with chili spices.

Want to learn more about mastering venison cooking? Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Cooking Venison. Complete with over 70 recipes!

If you need help identifying which cut you are using, see our Identifying Venison Cuts article. It will give you lots of ideas on how to cook each piece of meat.

What to serve with canned venison?

More delicious venison recipes

Canned venison in jars with blue lid.Pin

Canning venison is an easy project and a great way to preserve your harvest without taking up freezer space!

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If you have any questions or comments, please ask in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Close up of canned deer meat in a pint jar.Pin

Canning Deer Meat

Canning deer meat at home is incredibly easy and the flavor just can’t be beat! You can simply raw pack venison with only two ingredients.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Processing time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6 pints
Calories: 544kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $1

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds Venison stew meat
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Instructions

  • Prepare jars, lids and pressure canning pot, according to manufacturer's directions.
  • Trim venison well of all fat and cartilage, or any damaged meat.
    6 pounds Venison stew meat
  • Cut into chunks, cubes, strips or slices.

Cold pack canned venison

  • Pack meat into hot jars. Use a plastic or wooden spoon or chopstick to remove some of the larger air holes in the jar. You won’t be able to remove them all but try to eliminate the larger ones. Leave a 1-inch headspace. (the space between the meat and the rim of the jar.)
  • Add salt. (some people add two teaspoons per quart but we prefer less salty.)
    1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Wipe jar rim with a damp paper towel or clean, damp cloth.
  • Apply lids. Attach bands tightening just fingertip tight.
  • Add jars to pressure canner. Attach lid. Turn burner on medium high. Let pot release steam for 10 minutes.
  • Add weighted gauge or dial gauge. When gauge comes to proper psi (pounds per square inch), for your elevation above sea level, begin your timer.
  • For pressure and times at specific altitudes, see chart in recipe notes below.

How pack canned venison

  • Complete steps 1,2 and 3.
  • Place venison in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and brown on all sides.
  • Pack hot meat into jars.
  • Add venison stock, tomato juice or water to the pan you browned the venison in. Scrape up all of the browned bits from the pan.
  • Pour the hot liquid over the meat, leaving the 1-inch headspace. (the space between the top of the product and the rim of the jar.)
  • Remove air bubbles with plastic or metal tool.
  • Continue with step 5 above.
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Notes

Process pint jars for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Process quart jars 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Altitude adjustments
Weighted gauge type pressure canner
0-1000 feet above sea level      10 psi (pounds per square inch)
1000+ feet above sea level        15 psi (pounds per square inch)
Dial gauge timer
0-2000 feet above sea level                11 psi
2000-4000 feet above sea level        12 psi
4000-6000 feet above sea level        13 psi
6000-8000 feet above sea level        14 psi

Nutrition

Serving: 1pint | Calories: 544kcal | Protein: 104g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 386mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 1443mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 15mg
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Originally published January 20, 2022.

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16 Comments

  1. We are going to can venison this year. I’m 3-4k’ above sea level. I saw it’s 13# but never saw how long I need to hold that pressure in my canner. Did I overlook it? If not can u plz advise how long it is pressured? Thank you, Ruth

  2. I’ve only canned venison once – it was incredibly dry. Raw pack, can’t work out what went wrong – but a long way off the juicy, tender meat people tend to talk about. Any thoughts?

    1. Gosh, ours has always been incredibly tender. Did you process a buck? Sometimes they are less tender and drier than does.

  3. We canned venison as prescribed, had done it in the past as well.
    I do notice jars are sealed well, but still the venison in the top where there is air space turns grey, is this normal?

  4. 5 stars
    I used a pint jar to make a quick pasta sauce for our dinner. It was awesome. The venison is so juicy and tender! Thanks

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