A Comprehensive Guide to Canning Pork Meat: Ensuring Safety and Flavor

Canning pork meat is a valuable skill for preserving this versatile protein and extending its shelf life. By following proper techniques and utilizing the right equipment, you can safely can pork at home, ensuring a nutritious and flavorful addition to your pantry. This guide will provide a step-by-step process for canning pork, addressing essential aspects such as meat preparation, canning methods, and safety considerations.

Step 1: Selecting and Preparing the Pork

Begin by selecting high-quality, fresh pork. Remove any excess fat or bones, and cut the meat into uniform cubes or strips. For optimal flavor and texture, consider using a pork shoulder or loin.

Step 2: Choosing a Canning Method

Two primary canning methods are suitable for pork: hot pack and raw pack.

  • Hot Pack: Involves partially cooking the pork before canning. This method helps retain moisture and flavor.

  • Raw Pack: Involves filling jars with raw pork and adding a small amount of salt. This method is quicker but may result in slightly drier meat.

Step 3: Preparing the Jars and Equipment

Sterilize canning jars and lids by boiling them in water for 10 minutes. Prepare a pressure canner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 4: Canning the Pork

Hot Pack Method:

  1. Season the pork cubes with salt and your preferred spices.
  2. Brown the pork in a skillet or roast it in the oven until partially cooked.
  3. Pack the hot pork into sterilized jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  4. Add boiling broth or water to fill the jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  5. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims, and adjust lids.

Raw Pack Method:

  1. Season the pork cubes with salt.
  2. Pack the raw pork into sterilized jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  3. Do not add any liquid.
  4. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims, and adjust lids.

Step 5: Pressure Canning

Process the filled jars in a pressure canner according to the following guidelines:

  • Pints: 75 minutes
  • Quarts: 90 minutes

Adjust the pressure based on your altitude:

  • 0-2,000 feet: 11 pounds pressure
  • 2,001-4,000 feet: 12 pounds pressure

Step 6: Cooling and Storage

Once the canning process is complete, allow the jars to cool completely before storing them in a cool, dark place. Properly canned pork can be stored for up to 2 years.

Safety Considerations

  • Always use a pressure canner to can pork. Boiling water canners are not suitable for low-acid foods like pork.
  • Follow the canning instructions carefully to ensure proper processing times and pressures.
  • Inspect jars for any signs of spoilage before consuming. Discard any jars with bulging lids, leaks, or off odors.
  • Store canned pork in a cool, dark place to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage.

Canning pork is a rewarding and practical way to preserve this versatile meat. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can safely and effectively can pork, ensuring a delicious and nutritious addition to your pantry. Remember to prioritize safety by using a pressure canner and adhering to proper canning techniques. With careful preparation and storage, you can enjoy the benefits of canned pork for months to come.

How To Can Pork – A Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide


Does canned pork need to be cooked?

Canned pork is fully cooked and packed in water. It contains very little salt. Open can and drain with a mesh strainer or colander.

Can you can meat in mason jars?

Yes, you can can cooked meat using the hot pack method. This involves placing cooked meat in the jars and covering it with a hot liquid, such as broth or water, before processing in a pressure canner.

How do you can pork tenderloin?

Slice tenderloin across grain into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Season. Heat Process 500 ml jars – 75 minutes; 1 L jars – 90 minutes; Pack prepared pork tenderloin into a hot jar and add hot broth to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of top rim (head space).

Can ground pork be canned?

Home canned ground pork is great to have on hand to toss at the last minute into pasta sauces, make tacos from or to add to stir-fried rice, casseroles, etc.

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