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How to Pressure Can Beef; Stew Meat

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Canned meat has many reasons to recommend it. It allows you to take advantage of discounts on meat and buy in bulk, it frees up freezer space, the meat is incredibly tender and it is so convenient. It is so nice to be able to pull it out of the pantry fully cooked and use it in favorite recipes. It has been a real-time saver for our families. The stew meat is fabulous for stews (no surprise there) and soups.

Canning meat requires a little bit of preparation. You will need a pressure canner, boiling water, and a pan of water to boil the lids in. Also necessary are lids, tongs for pulling out the lids, lid rings, clean quart jars, a canning funnel, a long plastic utensil, salt, a teaspoon, a cutting board, a sharp knife and a pot for browning the meat.

Canned stew meat can be done with any cut but a beef chuck roast is often used. Prepare the beef by removing the fat and bone and slicing it into 1 1/2 to 2-inch chunks.

Stew Meat in Pan

Place chunks in a pot and fill it with hot water until the meat is just covered. Simmer in the water until it is hot all the way through. Fill the jar leaving 1 inch of head space. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour boiling water over the salt filling the spaces between the meat. Use your plastic utensil to release any trapped air bubbles.

Place the lid on being careful not to touch the bottom of it and secure it with a lid ring to fingertip tight. Place your jars in the canner and follow your manufacturer's directions for canning.

At sea level meat must be processed at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes. Do not start the timer until after your target pressure has been achieved. If at any point the pressure falls below the target. The pressure must be increased and the timer restarted. After the 90 minutes has elapsed, remove the canner from the heat and allow all pressure to dissipate before you attempt to open your canner. After the pressure has all released remove your jars from the counter and allow them to cool for 24 hours. Be sure to protect your counter from the heat of the jars.

Sealed Lid

After 24 hours, check for if the lids have sealed which should be indicated by the middle of the lid being depressed down. Any that have not sealed should be refrigerated and used in the next 4 days. The sealed jars should be labeled with the date and stored in a cool, dry place. Home-canned products are good for up to 3 years. After that point, they start to lose their nutritional value.

If you have any questions or comments please list them below.

How to make adjustments to pressure canning based on altitude:

Barometric pressure is reduced at high altitudes, affecting the temperature at which water boils. This means boiling water and pressure canning methods must be adjusted to ensure safe processing. When using the pressure canning method of canning, additional pounds of pressure is required. The following altitude chart gives the requirements.

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