Canning your venison is an inexpensive and efficient way to preserve the meat for a very long time.
It allows you to take advantage of a long list of benefits that other preservation options just don’t offer.
By canning, you can extend the shelf-life of your venison, save storage space in the freezer and have a more delicious meal when ready to eat…but how long is canned venison good?
How Long is Canned Venison Good For?
Canned venison has a shelf-life of about 2 years. If properly sanitized, packed, salted and pressure cooked, and then stored in a cool, dark place, canned venison can be safely eaten after 2 years.
Others have said they have safely consumed canned venison after 4 years. However, this is longer than the FDA’s recommended 2-year shelf life.
Two years is plenty of time to enjoy your preserved venison, so best not to risk eating potentially expired meat.
Canned venison has approximately double the shelf-life of frozen venison, which can only be kept in the freezer for 9 – 12 months.
So consider canning venison to keep it for longer, save on freezer space, and achieve a more tender, fresh-tasting venison meal.
How To Can Venison
Canning your venison is a great way to enjoy your venison for years while maintaining its fresh taste.
Being vacuum-sealed with a salt preservative is a safe and simple way to preserve your venison while maintaining and even enhancing its flavor.
Start by fully sanitizing your glass jars by submerging them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Trim the venison of skin and fat and dice into 1-inch cubes.
Pack firmly into the jar, leaving 1 inch of space, and add a few pinches of salt, adding more if desired.
Carefully follow the directions of your pressure cooker for the procedure and cooking time. Generally, for venison in a pint mason jar, cook for about 1 and 15 minutes. If cooking in quarts, cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
After the cook time is complete and the jars are safe to handle, dry excess water off of the jars.
Inspect them to make sure the seal has not been compromised and nothing is leaking, cracked, or broken.
Store the jars in a dry, cool, and dark place to make sure that humidity doesn’t accumulate or the internal temperature doesn’t rise too much. Be sure to keep the storage space away from stove tops or other hot surfaces. These conditions can cause the venison to spoil.
How It Can Go Wrong
If something had gone wrong during cooking or storage, it’s possible for the venison to go bad.
If you find your jar is cracked, the safest thing to do is throw that venison away as it wasn’t properly preserved.
Also, if you find the lid of the jar is rounded and domed, and not flat, it could mean that gasses are building up inside the jar from the meat spoiling. This is another sign that the canned venison is no longer safe to eat.
Lastly, if the venison has any visible mold or an obvious rotten smell, it has gone bad and shouldn’t be eaten.
Botulism, which is odorless, can also occur. But if the jars were properly sanitized, fully sealed, and safely stored, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Benefits of Canned Venison
If everything goes right and you’ve properly canned your venison, you’re now ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Canned venison maintains the natural flavor and a softer texture that can be lost if the venison was frozen.
You can further enhance the flavor of your venison in the canning stage. When adding salt, you can add other spices, herbs, or seasonings to make it more salty, spicy, savory, or whatever you like!
You can even add pork fat, garlic, or other vegetables to create a variety of flavors.
Canning Is The Way To Go
By canning instead of freezing or drying, you ensure you get the longest possible shelf-life while keeping the venison as close to fresh as possible.
When done safely, there are many advantages for cost, time, and space savings while creating countless delicious recipes!