Canning Deer Meat

canned deer meat

Tips for Canning Deer Meat

How to Can Meat

Canned deer meat is delicious, here is how to make it. Place your deer meat into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Put the deer meat into clean canning jars. Use a jar funnel to keep the rims clean. Layer the deer meat with a onion piece a little more meat then a piece of bell pepper and garlic clove. The onion, pepper and garlic are optional and interchangeable with your favorite spices.   

canned deer meat
Canned deer meat works great in stews like this Deer Burger Stew. Ken McBroom

Fill the jars to within a 1/2 inch of the top with deer meat. The deer meat has enough moisture to can with without adding any water or broth. When cooked without any added liquid the finished product will usually leave an inch or so of meat uncovered at the top. This uncovered meat is fine and it does not hurt anything, but the deer meat dries a little in the jar and is not as appealing to the eye. For this reason, I add about an inch of water or beef broth to the jar to help cover all of the meat in the jar.  With a clean, damp cloth, wipe the rim of the jar and screw on the lid and ring finger tight. 

Prepare the Pressure Cooker

Fill your pressure canner with water according to manufacturer’s directions and place the jars of deer meat inside. Affix the lid and bring water to a boil. Leave the pressure valve open until the water boils for 5 minutes. Be sure to check your pressure valve to be sure it is open before putting it on the pressure cooker. Bring the pressure in your cooker up to 10 psi, that’s when the valve starts to wiggle.

Reduce heat to maintain this pressure. Don’t let the valve wiggle out of control keep it at a steady and fluid wiggle. This lets you know your not getting too much pressure in your cooker. Cook your deer meat for 90 minutes. Now turn off the heat and allow the cooker to cool until the gauge reads 0 psi or the safety valve goes down or until cool to the touch. Leave the pressure valve on the cooker and let the pressure slowly release and the deer meat to cook that little bit as the cooker cools.

Storing Canned Deer Meat

When the cooker is safe to open, remove the jar to cool on a towel. The jars will pop as they cool and seal. If a jar doesn’t seal just make a sandwich and enjoy.  Just refrigerate the jar if it doesn’t seal or if you open it to make a sandwich, if there is any left once you taste it. Your sealed jars of canned deer meat can be stored in a cool, dark area. I have been told that canned deer meat will last years, but I can say I’ve never had a jar left over from one season to the next.

Canned Deer Meat Sandwich Recipe

The canned deer meat sandwich is as simple as it gets. Just pour your canned deer meat into a bowl. Add mayo or miracle whip to taste. Some like a lot of mayo and some like their sandwich spread a little drier. Add spices of choice tasting your spread as you go to get it right. Spread on crackers, hamburger buns or white bread and enjoy with a cold drink and some chips and Enjoy The Harvest 

Canning Deer Meat Safety Tips

Canning at home is an excellent way to preserve and store produce and other foods. It can also be risky—and even deadly—if it’s not done correctly. Many home canners are not aware that improperly canned food can cause botulism. Botulism is a rare but extremely serious form of food poisoning. It can lead to paralysis and even death. Listed here are tips on how to safely can your produce and meat, so you can protect you and your family.

1.) Choosing the correct canner and canning procedures is an important step in safely canning at home.

  • Use a pressure canner made for canning and not just pressure cooking.
  • Make sure your canner is the right size. Canners that are too small can lead to under cooking.

When you make your selection, be sure that all parts of your pressure canner are in good condition.

  • If your canner has a rubber gasket, make sure it is serviceable—not brittle, sticky, or cracked.
  • Clean debris from openings or vents.
  • At high altitude, check with your pressure canner manufacturer to adjust your canning process for safety.
  • Vent the air from your canner for 10 minutes before pressurizing the canner.

Canning low-acid vegetables (like green beans and corn), fish, meats, and poultry requires the use of a pressure canner. Do not use boiling water canning process for low-acid foods. Without the acid just boiling water canning will not protect against botulism poisoning.

2.) Up to date canning instructions is important

Canning procedures and equipment have evolved over the years. Be sure you are following up to date food preservation information. These up to date instructions contain scientifically-tested guidelines. Avoid outdated cookbooks for your canning instructions, even if they were handed down to you from trustworthy family members. If there are any questions or doubts in your mind about canning your deer meat, consult the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Complete Guide to Home Canning.

3.) When in doubt throw it out

Foods that are canned at home could be contaminated even if they look, smell, and taste normal. If you have any doubt about the safety of a home-canned food, throw it out and don’t eat it. Never test home-canned food to determine if it is safe by tasting it. When you open a jar of canned deer meat, be sure to inspect it thoroughly. Signs that your canned deer meat is contaminated are:

  • A leaky container, bulging, or swollen
  • The container seal looks damaged, cracked, or abnormal
  • The jar spurts liquid or foam when opened
  • The deer meat inside is discolored, moldy, or smells bad

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About Ken McBroom 216 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.

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