We live in a world where we have instant access to tons of useful information.  If we want to learn something, we just ask our favorite search engine or social media platform.  However, some of the information floating around can be incorrect and sometimes dangerous.  When it comes to preserving my wild game meat, I look to the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  I do this because I want to preserve my wild game meat and keep my friends and family safe from food borne pathogens.  This resource has science-based recommendations for freezing, drying, canning, curing, and smoking meats.

This week, I am canning some venison.  Let’s walk through the steps for canning venison chunks which is my favorite.  The first step is choosing the right canner.  Meats must be canned using a pressure canner.  Boiling water canners are not safe for meats.  The Center has a great article on using a pressure canner if you have never used one before. 

I debone my venison and cut it into approximately 1-inch chunks.  I like to use the raw pack method but you can use the hot pack method.  I do not soak my venison but you can if the gaminess bothers you. 

Raw Pack Method – Add up to 2 teaspoons of salt if desired.  Pack raw chunks of meat into the jars leaving 1-inch headspace.  Do not add any liquid.

 Hot Pack Method – Pre-cook meats to rare by browning, stewing, or roasting in a small amount of fat.  Add up to 1 teaspoon of salt if desired.  Pack meat into the jars.  Fill jars with boiling broth, tomato juice, meat droppings, or water.  Leave 1-inch headspace.

Place these in the pressure canner and follow the instructions for your canner.  Processing time will depend on your altitude and jar size.  Follow processing times in the tables found in this article.

The Center has the same resources for other ways to preserve your wild game.  This is a research-based resource so you can be confident that your meats will be preserved safely for you and your family to enjoy. 

The Okaloosa County Extension Office will be hosting a Wild Game Food Processing Class on February 1, 2024 at 5:30pm.  For more information on this class, contact bearden@ufl.eduRegister via Eventbrite.

Preserved Wild Game Meat – Jennifer Bearden
Jennifer Bearden
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