When Freezers Fail, Canning Saves the Day!

When a hunter friend of ours had his freezer that was packed with venison go out, he decided to bless us with some of the thawed hunks of meat. Knowing my family would never be able to eat it all before it went bad, and that it wouldn’t be safe to re-freeze the raw venison, I decided to take the opportunity to experiment with my new pressure canner. And I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to can my own meat!

Kendra's canned venison

Here’s the recipe I used that first time around, and that my family has been enjoying ever since. It uses the raw pack method, which means there’s no cooking the meat before you can it. Just chop your venison, mix it with your seasonings, some liquid, and fill the jars.

It’s that easy! Once the pressure canner is done doing its job, the meat will be perfectly cooked, and ready to dump out for a quick meal.

This meat goes wonderfully in tacos or quesadillas, in a soup or stew, slapped on some freshly baked bread for a hearty sandwich, or served hot over rice or mashed potatoes.

If you ever find yourself with enough fresh venison to play around with, I’d encourage you to give canning it a try. It’s such a nice convenience to have pre-cooked meat in the pantry, especially on those nights when you need dinner fast!

Canned Venison
Ingredients per pint jar

  • 1 pound raw, cubed lean venison
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 slices onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper (optional)

Place the uncooked venison into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic; toss to combine. Stuff the venison into each canning jar along with the onions and bell peppers. Jars should be filled to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe rim with a clean, damp cloth, then screw on the lid and ring.

Place filled jars into your pressure canner and proceed as per manufacturer’s directions. Process pints for 75 min at 10 lbs pressure (or quarts for 90 min. at 10 lbs pressure).

Your house will smell SO good while this is being canned!