Canning Your Venison

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The first deer I shot, way back in 1958, was taken to the local meat shop and processed into steaks, roasts and some burger. Back then in that little Idaho town, when you took a deer into the butcher, you got the same deer back.  Unfortunately, times have changed. The last time I took an animal to a butcher, in the mid 60's, I don't have a clue who's meat I got back, but I sure don't think it was mine. I ended up throwing the burger as it stunk the house up every time we tried to fix some. I have never taken an animal to a butcher since.  (except for my buffalo and I know I got my own buffalo meat back.)

In the late sixties and early seventies, I spent hours butchering my venison.  I didn't leave a scrap of meat on the bone and I didn't leave an ounce of fat or gristle on the meat.  It was way too time consuming.

Today, I have whittled the time down to a few short hours.  I cut the backstrap out and package it in 8 inch lengths to be cut up into individual fillets just before slapping them into the frying pan.  I cut a few rear-quarter chunks of meat into steaks and ALL THE REST goes into a bowl, cut into stew sized chunks.  That's 80% of the meat.  Here's my tip...... can the meat.  Canned venison can't be beat.

I put all that cut up meat into big roasting pans and put them in the oven at 350 degrees until it turns brown.  Don't overcook it.  While it's in the oven, I prepare wide-mouth pint jars for canning.  I pack as much of the roasted meat into a jar as I can, add one teaspoon of beef bullion and fill the jar with the water drained off the roasted meat.  Put a new lid on the jar, put it into a pressure canner and process for 70 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.  When you are done, you have meat sitting on the shelf in your pantry that is ready at a moment's notice to turn into stew, soup, gravy, burritos or whatever you can imagine.  It's fall-apart tender and delicious.  I have yet to find someone that doesn't love it.  Even those who normally don't like wild meat.  And since it doesn't need to be refrigerated, I take it on all my hunts and have venison gravy on mashed potatoes.  I like to think of it as "priming the pump".... eating venison while out trying to get more.


Deer Slayer's picture

Great tip. We have not yet

Great tip. We have not yet had that done with our deer meat yet. The amish guy that processes our meat has suggested to us that we try it though. He says that gives you some of the best tasting meat you will ever eat. I think this coming season we will try it. There are so many things you can have done with the meat. We have had burger, steaks, roasts, smoked sausage, kielbalsi, summer sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni sticks, jerky, snack sticks, and brine. All these are great tasting things. Thanks for sharing the tip.

ManOfTheFall's picture

I have heard this on many

I have heard this on many occasions. I have always heard it is so good and tender. My family has lived off venison since like 1996. I am definitely going to have to give this a try. I take my deer to an amish guy who does not get very much business. He does an excellent job and him and his wife have told me over and over again I need to try it. This year may be the year. Thanks for the tip.

hunter25's picture

Thanks for bringing this up

Thanks for bringing this up as we have not done it in years. Not sure why we got away from it but it used to be a great standby for us like you said. Always had some along camping or hunting trips.

My processing goes just like yours. Back straps and big pieces are steaks or roasts and everything else gets ground up. But I will be saving some now to try some canned meat again.

Thanks for the tip and reminder.

groovy mike's picture

Thanks for sharing your technique.

ArrowFlipper -  not getting your own deer back or even if you do having it contaminated by a grinder, or saw, or slicer not properly washed between deer is exactly the reason that I no longer have anyone else butcher my deer either.   

 Like you, I took hours and hours to butcher deer when I started, but now it is a much faster process.  Like you I save the tenderloin, back-strap, and a few big roasts from shoulder and hams to later be sliced into steaks (I just freeze them in pieces big enough to fit in gallon freezer bags).  Then I grind the rest.  I’ll have to try your canning recipe.  One of my sisters does that too but I have never tried canning it.  I can attest to the quality of the finished product since you have served it to me.  For anyone else here who wonders about the quality of the food resulting from Arrow-flipper’s recipe – don’t hesitate to give it a try!  Now I just have to acquire and learn how to use a pressure canner…..Thanks for sharing your technique.       


Rem2arms's picture

Of all the deer I've taken I

Of all the deer I've taken I have yet to have canned Venison but reading your tip it didnt sound hard to do so now I gotta try it myself , Thx for the tip !!

jaybe's picture

You guys definitely have to

You guys definitely have to try that recipe. Canned venison is really great. The time that it takes to do the processing is more than made up for by the convenience that comes later when you open a jar. It can be used any number of ways like flipper said. It's quickly heated up in a pan or in the microwave.

You can also experiement with putting in some onion slices, red pepper flakes, garlic salt or whatever you think will go well with venison.

I used to can venison this way, but got away from it when my wife gave our pressure cooker to one of our daughters after our last child got married and moved out. Now I freeze everything after vacuum packing it in Food Saver bags. Everything comes off the bone in large pieces (muscle groups) and then is either cut into steaks or into smaller pieces for soup, stew or stir-frying when we are ready to use it.

Great tip. I hope a lot of people try it this year.