Raw Pack vs. Hot Pack for Pressure Canning Meat

pressure canning meat

Pressure Canning Meat – Turkey, Chicken, Beef

Pressure canning meat is the only way to preserve meat that is shelf stable. You can only use the waterbath method on high acid foods like fruits and tomatoes.

You can either raw pack or hot pack, but both methods are pressure canned. These terms are commonly mistaken for raw pack as a boil and hot pack as the pressure canned method but this is WRONG!

How Do You Raw Pack?

Pressure canning meat with a raw pack is simply placing cubes of the raw meat into a clean and sanitized jar. Removing as much of the air bubbles inside the jar by pressing the meat down to the proper head space. Clean the rim of the jar with a vinegar soaked cloth or paper towel and add the lid. Now add the jars and the proper amount of water to your pressure canner and get started with allowing it to vent steam for 10 minutes before dropping the weight on and bringing it up to pressure. *Please follow a tested and safe method for pressure canning meat of any kind.

You will see that no additional liquid is used when you raw pack meat for pressure canning. It will create it’s own broth.

With a raw pack, you end up with proteins stuck to the side of the jar and it must be washed out. WARNING- Don’t raw pack in pint regular mouth sized jars of you don’t have a good scrub brush to get down in there with. The wide mouth pints and quarts are best for the raw pack method. I have packed chicken raw in the 8 oz jelly jars that are small mouthed but they have straight sides. That makes it much easier to clean than the larger jars with rounded shoulders. 

raw packed chicken

How Do You Hot Pack Meats?

Hot packing meat requires everything be hot when you pack the jars, including the jars. You also need to add a boiling water or broth to the jar. Hot-packed meat when talking about pressure canning meat, will hold it’s shape better when you use it in a dish.

When you hot pack meat, it gets browned until it is half-cooked. Next, it will be added to the jar and covered with boiling water to the proper headspace. This helps the meat keep it’s shape and have a nice appearance in the jars. No proteins from the meat will adhere to the jars and they will be much easier to clean. 

Be sure you have your pressure canner water hot when you add the hot packed jars of beef to it.

This jar of hot packed beef has fat floating in it, but no proteins stuck to the side.

Beef hot packed pressure canned meat

See the difference on the inside of the glass jar compared to the raw packed chicken above?

How do I know When I should Hot or Raw Pack When Pressure Canning Meat?

Following a tested recipe will tell you when to hot or raw pack meat for pressure canning. Raw packing chicken and turkey is one of the easiest pressure canning projects for beginners because there isn’t a lot of prep work, like with a recipe like, beef stew or canned tomatoes.

Using your pressure canner will help you build confidence to try more projects than you ever dreamed possible.

Want Information on my Tattler Reusable Canning Lids?

I ordered this set of large mouth lids and this set of small mouth lids so that I never run out of canning lids. 12 boxes of 12 lids and rings in each box. So 144 lids that are reusable over and over again of each size. Canning heaven! With recent shortages in canning lids, we feel blessed to have already had these on hand.

pressure canning meat

Pressure Canners

This is the pressure canner that we use here on the farm. I like that I can double stack pints with this taller model. Sometimes, I will put pint jars of pinto beans on the bottom of the canner and then add my extra canning rack on top of those before adding 8 ounce jars of black beans and pintos. Having cooked beans on hand really makes a quick meal any day of the week.

They also have a 16 quart pressure canner that some people love, especially if they have a smaller space between the stove and hood or microwave.

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