Canning Meat


Any homesteader who wants to preserve food should have a quality canner.  If your new to canning invest in a canner, jars and the handy little kits that have a funnel, jarlifter and lid lifter.  There are 2 main types of jars, standard and wide mouth.  Once you start canning you will find your preference for different types of foods. The lids are two part a lid and a ring.

Since its the holiday season lets can leftover Turkey!


What you will need-

1 turkey carcass boiled and picked-pull off all loose meat and discard bones, cartilage and skin (or set aside like I do to make dog food), several pint size wide mouth jars (always have more ready than you think you will need, lids, rings and a small pot with hot-not boiling water to let lids sit in while your preparing the food in the jars, pressure canner with bottom rack-the ones with holes that came with it, lid lifter and jar lifter, funnel, ladle, clean towel for wiping rims of jars and White vinegar,

Wash and sanitize either in hot water or in a dishwasher on hot rinse. Next place jars on heat proof surface, strain liquid off of turkey and place funnel in jar fill with turkey pieces then ladle enough broth or hot water if your short on broth to fill to within a half to an inch from top.  I prefer an inch of “headspace” to accomodate expansion during the canning process. Repeat until you have used all the turkey leftovers then wipe each jar rim with clean cloth to remove any bits or oil that will prevent sealing. Top each jar with a lid (this is where that little magnet wand is handy aka lid lifter) then top with a ring and hand tighten ******do not over tighten******

now if jars are still hot use the jar lifter-handy little gadget that it is to lift jars into pressure canner and sit on the bottom rack spacing them as evenly as possible.  Next add hot water until its about 2 inches up the sides of jars but no higher than 3 and add a couple tablespoons white vinegar to water to prevent mineral buildup on your jars from hard water.  If you go higher your defeating the purpose of the pressure canner-steam is hotter than hot water and high temps is what we are trying to achieve.  Now close the lid according to the directions in your canner, place on heat source and bring to a boil.  Once you see steam coming from the vent hole let this vent for 15 minutes.  Once the 15 minute vent is up place your weight on and process at the recommended pressure for 75 minutes (pressure depends on what elevation your at.  11 pounds at sea level 15 pounds at 4000 foot above so check your book or online for recommended pressure.  After 75 minutes turn off and don’t touch it!  let the canner sit until all pressure has been released or you will have boiled out jars and a mess due to rapid deceleration of pressure.  Once the pressure has returned to normal remove lid of canner and let sit another hour to cool before using your jar lifter to remove the jars-they will be HOT for several hours and place them on a towel to finish cooling.  Resist the urge to touch the tops and see if they ping.  You will learn to love that ping sound when your jars seal!  Leave rings on until the next day but if any jars have not sealed after they are cool refridgerate immediately and use within a day or two.

You now will have turkey for future uses such as soup, turkey pot pies and hot turkey sandwiches!

One last thing-Remove the rings before putting the jars in the cupboard or on a shelf.  This is a security measure so if a jar goes bad for some reason or loose its seal you will know. If you leave the rings on and it looses its seal it can reseal but the contents would then be unusable.

These directions are for a canner with weight to control pressure if using a gauged canner always go by the pressure on the gauge.

IMG_2094 IMG_2105

Jars of Turkey                                          to Turkey Pot Pie!!!!


If I have omitted any steps (proof reading isn’t always perfect) someone jump in and correct me please!

4 thoughts on “Canning Meat”

  1. Well thank you for the Post, I haven’t canned but Christy does and I see there are several things that she is doing incorrectly. I need to get her to read this. Even I was wondering what to do about how to keep outside if jars from getting yucky. Also she has been leaving the rings on while sitting on the shelves

  2. I think you forgot to say to let the pressure build up then start your timing. Ball Blue Book says only to let the steam come out at a good head for ten minutes, prolly irrelevant as to 10 or 15 but I always worry about running out of water for steam during the timing. Also it says quarts of meat are 90 minutes I think. Some manufacturers say 2 or so quarts of water in the bottom, some say 3, I just figure 3 and I am safe to have enough but not too much.
    I am so glad you mentioned taking off the rings. It makes a world of difference in safety. Not to mention not having to buy more rings all the time. Just the flats are expensive enough.
    Thank you for posting your experience. Its also good to recommend people check their canning books, preferably newer editions not the one great gramma had in 1902.;)
    The outside yuck that you can get on jars, especially if meat proteins leak out during processing can usually be gently washed off with some dish soap and water as soon as it cools. If the lid comes off during this
    process, it wasn’t good enough anyhow. You should be able to lift a jar up off the counter by a couple of inches by the lid alone once it is cool and clean. Also food left on the jar up by the ring can mold and when the mold is done eating the food it might want to start on the sealing rubber. Either way you don’t want mold being sucked into your jar when you open it.
    I will be following your adventures. You are doing what we wanted to do years ago when we were young and ambitious. You wont regret doing it ever. 😉

    1. Thanks Ilene I appreciate it when others read my posts and make suggestions or comments. It does 2 things-catches my errors and let’s me know they are actually being read. I look forward to hearing from you on future posts. We love this life and I pray when my time comes to join Heavenly Father it is while I am enjoying the view of Mount Illiamna and taking care of my critters. God Bless 🙂

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3 generation off grid family following God and living in Alaska

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