How to Can Meat: Ground or Chopped

Many cooks have at least a handful of go-to recipes that call for ground or chopped meat. With the USDA’s help, learn how to can meat safely, and enjoy quick access to this essential meal ingredient all year long.
From the United States Department of Agriculture
July 2014
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Canning ground meat in patties, balls or sausage links is simple using these steps from the USDA.
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Canning fresh meat is a great way to keep delicious ingredients close at hand for future meals. In this helpful excerpt from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Complete Guide to Home Canning, you’ll learn the process for canning ground or chopped meat – including bear, beef, lamb and more – safely. Use this and our other canning resources to keep your pantry stocked with fresh foods all year long.

The following is an excerpt from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning covering how to can meat. 

Bear, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Sausage, Veal or Venison

Procedure: Choose fresh, chilled meat. With venison, add one part high-quality pork fat to three or four parts venison before grinding. Use freshly made sausage, seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper (sage may cause a bitter off-flavor). Shape chopped meat into patties or balls or cut cased sausage into 3- to 4-inch links. Cook until lightly browned. Ground meat may be sauteed without shaping. Remove excess fat. Fill hot jars with pieces. Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.

Have a smartphone or tablet? Download the free How to Can app! Find it in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. It’s the power of canning know-how in the palm of your hand.








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