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How to Home Can Beef

Updated on September 23, 2017
Home Canned Beef
Home Canned Beef | Source

Why Home Can Your Own Beef?

The first question you might have is why would you want to homecan meat when you can just freeze it. I like to can my own beef roast because it is so tender and it tastes so much better than store bought canned meat. The canned beef makes quick and easy meals when I don't have time to cook an entire meal. It is a good option if you don't have extra freezer space. If you are able to purchase the beef at a good price, it can save a lot of money.

Canning your own beef is a lot of work originally. The time is saved when you use it for a meal. It is important that you use a pressure canner when doing this. A water bath canner just doesn't bring the meat to a safe temperature.

I purchase my meat from the grocery store or meat market. If you are slaughtering your own, follow all safety precautions needed. If you have questions, you can contact your local county agent. They will either have literature for you or be able to tell you proper procedures.

Equipment Needed

Pressure canner

Sterile Mason Style Canning Jars, I use pints but you can use quarts

Canning jar lids and rings to go around the lids

Knife for cutting the meat

Cutting board

Beef - About 1# per pint jar

salt if desired


First, cut the beef into pieces, removing fat. Make sure they are small enough to fit in the jar. Now place them in the jar. Use a table knife and run across the sides to get out any air pockets. Leave 1" headspace.
First, cut the beef into pieces, removing fat. Make sure they are small enough to fit in the jar. Now place them in the jar. Use a table knife and run across the sides to get out any air pockets. Leave 1" headspace. | Source
Wipe off the tops of jars with a wet cloth or a paper towel. Screw on caps and lids.
Wipe off the tops of jars with a wet cloth or a paper towel. Screw on caps and lids. | Source

Raw Pack Method

I am using the raw pack method where I don't precook the meat. If you would like to precook the meat, that is fine too, see the instructions below.

1. Cut the meat in pieces, cutting off the bone, gristle and fat.

2. Pack the beef in the sterile canning jars, leaving a 1" headspace. Adding liquid is not necessary since the beef will make its own broth. If you'd like extra broth with the finished product, you can add a little hot water at this point. Be sure to leave the 1" headspace.

Don't add flour for gravy. This will cause a problem.

3. Add salt if desired. I don't add salt myself and you can add as much or as little as you like. 1/2 tsp per pint is recommended.

4. At this point, take a knife or similar item and work along the sides of the insides of the jars. This will get any air pockets out. You may decide to add a little more beef if there is room.

5. Clean the tops of the jar rims with a damp cloth or use a paper towel. Then adjust the jar lids and put on the screw bands.

6. Fill canner with water according to manufacturer's instructions.

Hot Pack Method

I like to use the cold pack method, because cooking the beef beforehand is just an extra step. The choice is yours.

1. Cook the meat either by broiling, frying, or boiling just until rare. Remove bones, fat and gristle.

2. Pack the meat loosely and add some broth. The broth can either be water, boiling beef broth, or tomato juice.

3. Follow steps 3-6 above for the raw pack method.



Process in canner for recommended times.
Process in canner for recommended times. | Source

Processing Times

Don't start counting times until the canner has built- up pressure. If pressure is being released from any part of the canner other than from the gauge, pressure has not-built up yet. The best idea is to look at the book that came with the canner for proper instructions to know when pressure has built enough.

Dial Gauge Pressure Canner

At normal altitudes, 11# of pressure for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts is the proper pressure and time to cook.

For High Altitudes use the following pressure and can for the same number of minutes as for normal altitudes.

1001 - 2000 feet - Use 11# pressure

2001-4000 feet - Use 12# pressure

4001 - 6000 feet - Use 13# pressure

6001 - 8000 feet - Use 14# pressure


Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner

At normal altitudes 15# pressure for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts.

1001 - 8000 feet - Use 15# pressure

Why are the pressures different for high altitudes? The reason is that water boils at lower temperatures in higher altitudes. If you live in higher altitudes, it is important to follow the guidelines.


Let The Canner Cool

Let the canner completely cool before opening the lid. This can take a long time. If you try to open the canner before it has cooled you can be severely scalded and leaving the jars in the canner will also allow for further cooking time.

Check the jars for a good seal when they have completely cooled. Press down with your finger to check the seal. If the lid doesn't move the seal is probably good. Turn the jars upside down. If they don't leak the seal is probably fine. If the seal isn't good, refrigerate the jar immediately and use within a couple days.

Strore the canned meat in a cool dark place.

Video by larrylhall on Youtube

Uses for the Canned Beef

I usually just make gravy using the broth and a little water and we have hot beef sandwiches. You can also use the beef for beef and noodles, beef Manhattan, add BBQ sauce and have BBQ beef sandwiches, or any other way that you use beef.

The beef is delicious and super tender after canning with this method.

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    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 2 years ago from USA

      peachpurple, The beef should be used within a year. Thanks for reading.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i didn't know you can canned fresh beef? how long would it last?

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      moonlake, Thanks for viewing. I canned venison before we moved. Now we don't have any deer hunters living near us. I remember it as being a nice change of pace from beef. Have a great day.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      We use to can vinson but haven't done it in years. Great information. Voted up.

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks for reading and passing it on.

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 5 years ago

      I learn something new every time I log on. This is something I have never heard of canning beef until now!

      I am going to pass this on to a friend that cans everything!

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      lucybell21, Thanks for commenting. It is nice to have it around since you can make a good meal quick.

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 6 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      I would really like to try doing this. This would be really a good thing to have at my job.

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      incombeguru, Thanks for commenting. I hope you are able to try it sometime.

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      coffeesnob, Thanks for commenting. I've never tried beef stews, but have done a lot of vegetable beef soup. That's perfect when the garden is still producing.

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 6 years ago from Lagos

      Your hub is very informative, and very easy to understand the whole processes it takes. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 6 years ago

      bookmarked this

      I have successfully canned beef in the past, and have also done beef stews that are really nice. thanks for sharing this.

      CS

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      homesteadbound, Thanks. I'll have to try it again.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      I raw packed it. I think I cooked it before hand in 2000 and it was softer but was good like in tacos.

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      I canned chicken and it turned out mushy from being overcooked. I only tried in once. Possibly I precooked it and shouldn't have. I don't remember. How did you do it? Hey, there's a hub idea for you.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      That's good to hear. The book I was reading said it had to be cooked for 20 minutes. That seemed extreme to me, and obviously you didn't get sick, so you've made my life easier. Have you ever canned chicken. I canned some chicken also. I wondered if it could be cooked for a shorter time period also.

    • Barbara Kay profile image
      Author

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      homesteadbound, I've never heard that you have to heat it up for 20 minutes. I did read once to boil all canned food for 10 minutes just in case. The canned beef allows me to get a lunch ready for my husband in about 15 minutes. He loves roast beef and to cook it any other way takes forever, so it works out really well for me. I was able to buy the roast for $2.49 a pound and it was a good cut, so I couldn't resist.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      I canned beef for the first time this summer. Mine looks exactly like yours - exactly. And it is very tender. This is especially important since the meat we bought was on sale and not very tender cuts. Since you have to heat it up for 20 minutes, does it save a whole lot of time? I canned it to save on freezer space but also if the electricity goes out, I don't have to worry about the meat spoiling.