A Comprehensive Guide to Pressure Canning Deer Meat: Duration, Storage and Signs of Spoilage

A Comprehensive Guide to Pressure Canning Deer Meat: Duration, Storage and Signs of Spoilage

You’ve just bagged a buck and now you’re pondering over how to preserve all that meat. Well, pressure canning deer meat could be your answer. It’s a great way to store your bounty, ensuring you have a supply of delicious, tender meat throughout the year.

Pressure canning might sound intimidating if you’re new to it. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, you’ll discover just how long it takes to pressure can deer meat. You’ll also pick up some handy tips to make the process smoother and safer.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hunter looking to try something new, or a homesteader wanting to make the most of your resources, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in and explore the art of pressure canning deer meat.

Key Takeaways

  • Pressure canning is an efficient method to preserve and store deer meat, offering a supply of tender meat throughout the year.
  • The success of the process hugely depends on the right equipment including a pressure canner, Mason jars, lids, a jar lifter, a lid lifter, a funnel, and a bubble remover.
  • Optimal preparation of the deer meat involves trimming excess fat, cubing the meat for even heat distribution, and adding the seasonings of your choice.
  • The filling and processing of jars require meticulous attention to cleanliness, proper filling, and sealing. Processing time and pressure may vary, but generally, pint jars require 75 minutes at 11 psi, and quart jars require 90 minutes at 11 psi.
  • Altitude adjustments in the process are crucial. For altitudes above 1,000 feet, pressure should be increased depending on the exact altitude.
  • Correct storage of pressure-canned deer meat contributes significantly to its longevity and quality. Optimal storage temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Consuming the canned meat involves reheating it to eliminate potential bacteria or toxins. Always check for signs of spoilage like swollen containers, off odors, and mold before consumption.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Choosing the Right Equipment

Selecting the suitable gear is a pivotal step in successful pressure canning of deer meat. The right apparatus can make the process exponentially smoother and safer.

Pressure Canner

The pièce de résistance of canning equipment is the Pressure Canner. Regular pots won’t do as you require an appliance specifically designed for this task. Pressure canners heat the meat and jars to a higher temperature than boiling water. Thus, killing bacteria and spores that could potentially spoil your food. A well-built pressure canner can serve you well into the decades, so it’s viewed as a worthwhile investment.

Jars and Lids

You will also need canning jars and lids. Mason jars are typically preferred for their durability. They are made to endure the high temperatures of the canning process. It’s important to inspect your jars for any cracks or chips before usage. Damages such as these can lead to breakage during the process.

Choosing the right jar size will depend on your individual needs. If you’re planning to dine on your deer meat within a short span then smaller jars might suit you. For long term storage or sharing with others, larger jars would provide the better choice.

Similarly, the lids used should be in perfect condition. Lids cannot be reused as their seals weaken over time which may lead to a failed preservation.

Other Essential Tools

Additional tools for successful pressure canning deer meat include a jar lifter, a lid lifter, a funnel, and a bubble remover.

The jar lifter will help you safely retrieve the hot jars from the canner. The lid lifter on the other hand, is used to place lids on jars without contamination. The funnel assists in cleanly filling the jars with meat, while the bubble remover is used to release trapped air bubbles in the jars.

Throughout your canning journey, your arsenal will expand according to your individual needs and experiences. The mentioned tools will provide a solid foundation for your deer meat canning experience.

Preparing the Deer Meat

Preparing the Deer Meat

Now that you’re geared up with the right tools for pressure canning, let’s delve into the meat of the matter – preparing the deer meat. This part of the process plays a vital role since its correct execution can assure taste, texture, and most importantly, safety. Just as a fish requires specific conditions to thrive, so does the preparation of game meat demand precise handling.

First and foremost, you ought to trim any excess fat or sinew off of the meat. Why? Because these don’t pressure can well and can significantly affect the flavor of the canned meat over time. Use a sharp trimming knife; it’s crucial to precision and safety in this step. It’s like dressing yourself for a harsh winter; every layer, or in this case, every trim, must be perfect. Just as you wouldn’t wear a hole-ridden sock in freezing temperatures, you shouldn’t leave poorly trimmed meat to compromise your canning results. Each precise cut ensures that only the best parts are preserved, enhancing both the taste and longevity of your canned goods.

Then comes cubing the deer meat – an important task that enables even pressure and heat distribution during the canning process. You’ll want to cut your meat into equal sized cubes, about an inch in size. Cutting the meat this way will ensure that it cooks evenly, avoiding any tough or undercooked spots that might spoil the batch, much like ensuring every rabbit in a litter receives equal care.

Remember the following when handling your deer meat:

  • Always start with clean, shot-free meat.
  • Keep your work area sanitized.
  • Use clean cutting boards and knives.

Alright, now onto seasoning. Add your choice of seasonings to your meat. Salt and pepper are traditional, but you could go for something more exciting, like steak seasoning or a sprinkle of spice rub for that extra kick.

Prepare a hot broth or water for the canning process. This is not merely for the sake of hydration. The hot liquid helps the heat to circulate evenly within the jar during canning. Aim for a pint of liquid per pint of meat.

With this, you’re set to move to the canning stage. The preparation of your deer meat is just as critical as the canning process itself. It’s all about care, precision, and cleanliness. Your diligence and attentiveness in preparing the meat right will significantly contribute to the canning deer meat’s success.

Filling and Processing the Jars

With the deer meat well-prepared, the next pivotal step is Filling and Processing the Jars. It’s important to handle this process meticulously as it assures both the quality and safety of your canned meat.

Your jars should be as clean as the environment you’ve maintained to prepare your meat. Wash them thoroughly and keep them warm until usage. Next, pack the warm jars with the trimmed and cubed meat. Leave an inch of space from the top. This space is essential as it allows for expansion during the pressure canning process. It’s critical not to overfill the jars.

Once filled, pour the hot liquid you’ve prepared over the meat. It’s beneficial to utilize a liquid like broth, which enhances the flavor of the meat and ensures even heat distribution. Aim to cover the meat completely but remember to maintain the inch of space at the top of the jar.

After the jars are filled properly, make sure to wipe off any residue from the rims. Any leftover substance could impede the sealing process. You’ll then place the lids and rings on the jars, fixing them “finger tight”. This term means to tighten them just until you meet resistance, and then give one more slight twist.

Following that, the processing phase begins. The processing time and pressure required may vary depending on the size of the jars and your geographical altitude. To ensure optimal results and safety, always follow the guidelines set forth by credible canning resources, such as the National Center for Home Food Preservation. In general, pint jars will normally necessitate a pressure processing time of 75 minutes at 11 psi (pounds per square inch), while quart jars would require 90 minutes at 11 psi.

Jar SizeTime (minutes)Pressure (psi)

Remember, mastering the art of pressure canning involves patience and careful attention to detail. It’s more than just a method of preservation, it’s a craft steeped in time-honored tradition. Following these steps will guide you through the labyrinth of pressure canning with success.

Adjusting for Altitude

The higher you go, the lower the air pressure gets. And with lower air pressure, it’s harder to generate heat for your pressure canner. That’s why altitude significantly influences the duration of your pressure canning process.

To begin, determine your geographical altitude first. It’s the elevation or the height of a location above a particular level, usually the sea level. There are plenty of online resources to help you figure out your current altitude.

Altitude adjustments are vital in pressure canning. The standard pressure levels for canning are given for sea level (0 feet). However, if you’re located more than 1,000 feet above sea level, here’s what you need to do:

  • For a dial gauge, increase the pressure. The exact amount depends on your altitude. For instance, at an altitude of 1,001 ft to 2,000 ft(for water bath canning), pressure should be increased from 11 psi to 12 psi.
  • For a weighted gauge, you may need to adjust to the 15 psi weight.

Here’s a table to help you with the pressure adjustments:

Altitude in FeetDial Gauge (psi)Weighted Gauge / Automatic Vent (psi)
0 – 1,0001110
1,001 – 2,0001215
2,001 – 4,0001315
4,001 – 6,0001415
6,001 – 8,0001515

Working out these specifics will ensure you’re canning safely, at the right temperature and pressure for the given time period. Now that you understand the altitude adjustments make sure your pressure canning experience is seamless, fine-tuned to perfection. Your canned deer meat’s quality, safety, and taste are bound to benefit from your diligence and precision in this matter.

Storing and Using Pressure-Canned Deer Meat

Storing and Using Pressure-Canned Deer Meat

Now that you’re well-versed with the canning process and how altitude plays a vital role, let’s delve deeper into another crucial aspect – storing and using pressure-canned deer meat.

To start with, storage is quintessential to the longevity and quality of canned deer meat. The specially canned venison should be efficiently stored to preserve its quality, flavor, and safety. Always make sure there’s a cool, dry, and dark place available for storage. The optimal storage temperature for canned deer meat is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Did you know correctly-stored canned deer meat can last for several years? While the flavor and texture might slightly deteriorate over time, the meat generally remains safe to consume for long periods.

For usage, here’s a point worth noting. The ideal scenario is that you should heat the canned deer meat before eating it, irrespective of its storage duration. This additional step of reheating helps in eliminating potential bacteria or toxins. Add it to stews, make sandwich fillers, or enjoy it straight from the can, the versatility of canned venison is incredible.

On another note, the following tips will assist you in identifying when canned deer meat is unsafe for consumption:

  • Swollen containers: They might indicate spoilage caused by bacterial contamination.
  • Off odors: A foul smell often signifies spoiled canned meats.
  • Mold: It’s a clear indication of spoiling. If you notice moldy growths, refrain from eating the meat.

Be sure to always check for these signs before consuming the canned meat. Meticulous storage and careful use can yield the best from your pressure-canned deer meat, providing you an experience, worthy of your time and efforts in the canning process. In the next section, we’ll lay out some fantastic recipe ideas to take your canned deer meat dishes to the next level.


So, you’ve got the scoop on pressure canning deer meat. It’s all about proper storage and reheating for optimal quality and safety. Keep it cool, dry, and dark, and you’re looking at a shelf life of several years. Just remember to heat it up before digging in to kill off any lurking bacteria. And always stay vigilant for tell-tale signs of spoilage like bulging cans, odd smells, or mold. With these tips in your back pocket, you’re set to make the most of your canned deer meat. And hey, don’t forget to keep an eye out for those upcoming recipes to take your dishes to the next level. Happy canning!

Pressure canning is an effective method for preserving deer meat, ensuring it remains safe and flavorful for extended periods. The process involves using a pressure canner to achieve the high temperatures necessary to kill bacteria and prevent spoilage. It’s crucial to follow specific guidelines on canning times and pressures to ensure safety, as recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Proper storage practices, such as keeping the canned meat in a cool, dark place, can further extend its shelf life and maintain its quality. Recognizing signs of spoilage, such as changes in color, texture, or odor, is also essential to ensure the meat remains safe to consume, as advised by Ball Canning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal storage temperature for canned deer meat?

Canned deer meat should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps maintain quality and safety.

How long can canned deer meat last?

If it is stored properly, canned deer meat can last for several years. However, it should be noted that flavor and texture may slightly deteriorate over time.

Should canned deer meat be reheated before consumption?

Yes, it is recommended to reheat canned deer meat before consuming. This step helps in eliminating any potential bacteria or toxins in the meat.

How can one identify spoilage in canned deer meat?

Signs of spoilage to watch for include swollen containers, off odors, and mold growth. Any of these signs means the meat is spoiled and should not be consumed.

Are there recipe ideas for canned deer meat?

Yes, the article hints at upcoming recipe ideas to elevate dishes made with canned deer meat. Unfortunately, it does not provide specific recipes at the moment.