Deer hunt successful? What to do with venison

Try canning venison this year!

Looking for an alternative to freezing venison? Why not try canning venison? Having canned venison on the shelf means quick and easy meals like stew, soup, stir frys and much more.

Michigan State University Extension reminds consumers that canning venison requires a pressure canner. Any kind of meat, including venison, is a low acid food and must be processed with a pressure canner for safety.

First, the venison should be cut into strips, cubes or chunks taking care to remove excess fat. Bones should also be removed.

Venison can be hot packed or raw packed. Hot packed foods are cooked and then added to the jar while still hot. Precook the venison until rare by roasting, stewing, or browning in a small amount of fat. Salt can be added to the jar but it is optional (one teaspoon per quart). Fill the jars with the hot meat and add boiling broth, meat drippings, water or tomato juice, leaving 1 inch headspace.

Raw pack means just that, filling the jars with raw meat. Again, salt is optional, but use two teaspoons of salt per quart if desired. Fill the jars with raw meat pieces, leaving 1 inch headspace. Do not add liquid.

For processing times, follow directions at the Michigan Fresh website for canning venison. Other ideas for using and storing venison can also be found in the Michigan Fresh publication, Handling, Using & Storing Venison. 

You can learn more about safely preserving foods including venison at Michigan State University Extension “Online Home Food Preservation” course.  

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