With the fall hunting season in full swing, we can now partake of those wonderful fall and winter flavors provided by wild game at our table. Many individuals also enjoy preserving these meats by canning, curing, or drying.
It is most important to learn how to safely handle raw meats as harmful bacteria can easily multiply on moist, high protein foods and create illness among our friends and family.
Follow these safety tips while handling raw meat, poultry and fish and preserving these items:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meats.
- Use clean equipment and utensils.
- Keep meat and poultry refrigerated at 40°F or below.
- Marinate meat in the refrigerator. Do not save and re-use marinade.
- Store raw meat on a tray in the bottom of your refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.
- Choose high quality chilled meat.
- Remove excess fat. (fat quickly turns rancid)
- Soak strong-flavored wild meats for 1 hour in brine water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart. Rinse. Remove large bones.
- Prepare meat following up-to-date preservation methods and tested recipes.
- Procedures for canning cured, brined or corned meats have not been fully tested and are not supported with the procedures below for fresh meats.
- Only use the the following recommendations and use the cuts and preparation steps included without substitutions.
- Chili Con Carne
- Meat, Ground or Chopped
- Meat, Strips, Cubes or Chunks
- Meat Stock
- Meat and Vegetable Soup
- Mincemeat Pie Filling
Fish and Seafood Products
- Extension Explores: Preserving Meats/Drying Zoom Session from November 2021
- Extension Explores: Preserving Meats/Canning Zoom Session from November 2021
- Canning Meat (Tennessee Extension)
- Canning Meat – Raw Pack Method (Kansas Extension)
- Canning Meat – Hot Pack Method (Kansas Extension)
- Canning Meat – Using a Pressure Canner (Kansas Extension)
- Canning Meat – Achieving and Maintaining Pressure (Kansas Extension)
- Canning Meat – Cool Down After Processing (Kansas Extension)
- Canning Meat – Removing Jars from the Canner (Kansas Extension)
Curing and Smoking Recipes:
- Canning Smoked Fish at Home (Pacific Northwest Extension)
- Country Cured Ham (Georgia Extension)
- Curing Pork Products at Home (Mississippi Extension)
- Basics of Sausage Making (Georgia Extension)
- Leathers and Jerkies (Colorado Extension)
- Using a Pressure Canner
- Using Pressure Canners Factsheet (Georgia Extension)
- Pressure Canner Checklist (PennState Extension)
Frequently Asked Questions:
For more information or questions about food preservation, please contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at your local county Extension office. Click here for a list of the Tennessee Extension Offices.
Trade and brand names are used only for information. The University of Tennessee Extension and Tennessee State University Extension do not guarantee nor warrant published standards on any product mentioned; neither does the use of a trade or brand name imply approval of any product to the exclusion of others which may also be suitable.