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Author Topic: Canning Wild Game  (Read 62300 times)

Offline billythekidrock

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Canning Wild Game
« on: October 19, 2008, 04:35:21 PM »
Canning wild game meat using the “Raw pack” method.

First, for safety reasons, please read and follow the instructions for your specific pressure canner. This post is not meant to cover step-by-step instructions for every canner or every situation.

Canning is a great way to preserve your game and unlike freezing, it will last for years. Since it is already cooked you can make great meals at a moments notice without having to thaw and cook your game.

You will have some options as to what size jar you want and it will increase or decrease the canning time slightly. You can use quarts, pints or half pints or a combination of both as long as you cook to the time for the largest jars. I base my jar size on how much meat I have to can, how much time I have and how many jars of a particular size I still have in the pantry.

I prefer wide mouth jars as they are easier to fill and empty, plus they are much easier to wash. Most canners will hold 7 quarts and 16 pints with no problem. Some canners say they will hold more pints, but since different companies make different diameter jars you will need to experiment with different brands and sizes.

Because each canner load can take a couple hours from start to finish I try to only do full loads to maximize my time and output. Having done this for a while I have learned that I need 13 lbs of meat for 7 quarts or nearly two pounds per jar. I also use 13 lbs of meat for 16 pints, which equals ¾ lb per jar with a little left over. If I am doing less then 16 pints then I figure how many jars and multiply by ¾ lb then I add ½ lb just so I have enough meat prepared. With these numbers I know how much meat to set aside during the butchering process or how much to thaw out when I am ready to can.

I usually decide if I am canning during the butchering process and if I am not planning to make burger then I start with the low leg meat and work my way to the best cuts. This way when I am done with the canning meat I can make roasts or steaks out of the rest. If I am making burger and only doing a little bit of canning then I will start with the best cuts I have available after steaks and roasts. A great thing about pressure canning is that the ligaments and tendons in pieces like the lower leg are cooked away during the process and you are left with a tender meal from a very tough piece of meat.

I start by cutting the chilled meat into 1- 1.5 inch square pieces. If I am doing multiple canner loads then I only cut enough for the first batch. Once the first batch is cooking I will continue cutting for the next batch.



Now I place the canner on the stove and add a couple inches of water. I turn the stove to a medium setting to start warming the water.

Once the meat is cut it is time to fill the jars. I find it is easier to keep the rim of the jar clean by using a canning funnel. I fill ¾ of the way they with a rubber or plastic spatula I poke the meat around to remove air pockets. Then I add a little more meat. Do not pack the meat in and make sure to leave 1 inch of headspace. With the Raw pack method you can add a teaspoon of salt to one quart of meat, but do not add any liquid. I choose not to add salt or spices, as I don’t know how I will be preparing the meat later.

Now I place the lids in a bowl of hot water to set for a few minutes.

Once the jars are filled you will need to wipe the rims of jars with a cloth and then place a lid and band on the jar. Do not over tighten the bands, only finger tight.



When all the jars have lids I then place them in the canner. Make sure you have a rack to keep the jars from sitting directly on the bottom. If you are doing quarts you will have six in a circle with one in the center. When doing pints you may have a circle of seven with one in the center. Then you will stack another eight on top of those. Make sure to stagger them so the second row is not sitting directly on the jar below it. With the center from the second row you can often stagger it with a bottom one from the side.



Now I turn the stove up to high and put the lid on the canner. Make sure your seals are seated correctly and that the lid is on properly. Depending on the stove, it can take a few minutes for pressure to build and for the steam to escape. I let it steam for a few minutes before putting the weight on the vent. It may take a couple minutes for the vents to seal.
If everything is sealed it won’t take long for the pressure to rise. Once the pressure gets to about 8 lbs I start turning the stove down, letting it settle on 11 lbs pressure. I have instructions that state both 10 and 11 lbs so I use 11 lbs. Once it is up to pressure you will want to check every so often to make sure maintains throughout the process.



Timing will start once the canner is up to pressure. There are a few time variables based on Hot pack, Raw pack, size of jars and elevation. Here at basically sea level with a Raw pack I follow these guidelines.

Quarts – 90 minutes
Pints – 70 minutes

When the correct time has passed, remove the canner from heat and allow it to cool down. Do not manually relieve pressure as it can lead to bad seals or cause a jar to crack. After about 30 minutes, or once it has depressurized, I take off the weight to release steam. Once all the steam is released I open the canner and remove the jars. I use a gripper made for canning, but I know some use oven mitts or the like. I place the jars on a towel on the table to cook and finish sealing.

Now is the moment of truth. Did I put in too much meat? Did I clean the jar well enough? Will it seal? If everything went as planned you should start to hear the lids pinging as they seal. I try to count them, but sometimes I miss one so I need to manually check the jars. After a few hours I will tap the lids with my finger. You will quickly learn which ones sealed and which ones didn’t by the tone.

Once they have cooled over night I label the lids with the date and type of meat and then I put them back in the box for storage. Typically they go into a pantry, cupboard or closet that does not get too hot nor too cold.



Canned meat can be used in almost any recipe that calls for meat. It can be shredded for tacos, added to stews, used for French dip or Hoagie sandwiches, or even eaten right out of the jar. When hunting or especially steelheading in the winter it makes a great treat after warming near the truck heater.

Enjoy!


Here are a couple of good links to canning meat info.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1983-09-01/Canning-Meat.aspx
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he188w.htm




Offline coastalghost

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 04:54:54 PM »
Thanks for the tutorial BTKR. Ive always wanted to do that.....now I can.  Same process apply for fish? Does this method tenderize tough game?
Vegetarians?..Vegetarians are cool.  All I eat are vegetarians....except for the occasional mtn. lion steak.

Offline actionshooter

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 04:59:27 PM »
WOW good post! I have never tried to can meat. Would you be willing to give in house lessons?  :chuckle:
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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 06:29:58 PM »
Nels - Yes, it will tenderize shoe leather into fillet mignon. For fish you can use this as a guide.
Raw pack, Pints - 100 min at 11 lbs pressure.

Steve - I doubt it.  :chuckle:  Sure, I might be able to do that this winter. It is not hard, just takes some time.




Offline coastalghost

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 07:25:52 PM »
Thanks Billy....what is the make model quart capacity of your canner?
Vegetarians?..Vegetarians are cool.  All I eat are vegetarians....except for the occasional mtn. lion steak.

Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 07:46:20 PM »
We have two.
The main one (older) is a Presto No. 21 (21 quart) and the other one is a Presto Deluxe model 0175001 (17quart)
They both hold 7 quart jars, but only the No. 21 will do a double layer of pints. The No. 21 can do twice as many pints at a time, might be something to think about.





Offline Bighorse

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 07:48:32 PM »
Good way to go........I do alot of smoked and jarred salmon.  Its very kind of you to take the time and educate others.

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 08:20:04 PM »
Great post Willie!  Amost exactly the way I was taught...

As we butcher, we cut most all into steak. Other cuts too small for steak, or too tough for steak get canned. I can half of what is not cut into steak, and save the other half for grinding for our sausage making.

Nothing beats having this pre-cooked venison in the pantry. Super easy to use. Instant. Boil some noodles and make a sauce, then pour in the tender meat.... Pull the canned meat out, mix some with some BBQ sauce for a shredded venison sandwich.  Toss some in a tortilla shell and some cheese and some taco sauce, instant lunch...

 :EAT: :EAT: :EAT: :EAT: :EAT:
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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 08:42:54 PM »
Now here is a pressure canner! http://www.pressurecooker-outlet.com/941.htm
41.5 quart canner will do 19 quart jars or 32 pints at a time.




Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 07:39:58 AM »
 :o ZOINKS!!!  :yike:

Wow! What a canner!

I bought my dad a double size canner, where he can stack two rows in, pretty tall...forget the make...
molṑn labé

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Kill your television....do it now.....

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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2008, 07:27:53 PM »
Did another 30 pints of bear meat today.  :rockin:




Offline bow4elk

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2008, 07:37:07 PM »
Excellent tuturial.  I had a friend in Colorado who used to can antelope, deer, and elk.  Not the most appetizing to look at in a jar, but WOW is it good.  And so quick and easy to fix, as you mention.  Instant dinner anywhere.  We took many jars with us across the country on our hunts.
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Offline sdwwaverider

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2008, 05:02:11 PM »
BTKR what an excellent post. Canned elk w/gravy is one of my all time favorite meals. Also makes a great BBQ beef (elk) sandwich. Really so many things you can do with it. I canned 48 quart jars of elk last year and I'm down to 3. Still have a good amount of elk in the freezer but with only 3 jars left I gotta get an elk in late season archery. The one thing I find is to go light on the canning salt. If you pull a recipe off the internet I would suggest 1/2 the salt. I haven't done it before but I canned a half dozen jars of venison from by buck this year. Didn't want to do to many as I want to stay motivated to get that elk. :drool:

Offline Vek

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2008, 07:05:59 PM »
Canned meat for the first time this year, with my AK moose.  Trimmed off all fat and easily-trimmed soft tissue, cut into chunks like yours, and canned with a dash of salt.  Holy cow is that stuff good.  Wife made some stew with a bunch of veggies, blended it in the blender, and we are feeding our 10-mo old and he LOVES it. 

The meat is killer cold out of the jar on crackers or pilot bread.  Makes great stew (quickly). 

Offline coastalghost

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Re: Canning Wild Game
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2008, 11:13:10 PM »
Pre smoked some summer steelhead and coho and pressure canned them.  It turned out awesome.  thanks again Billie.
Vegetarians?..Vegetarians are cool.  All I eat are vegetarians....except for the occasional mtn. lion steak.

 

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