Skip to Content

Canning Beef Stew for Convenience and Emergencies

Canning beef stew is a great way to have meals-in-a-jar for lunches, quick dinners, and even emergencies. You can even use venison, lamb, pork, or other wild game in this home canned beef stew recipe.

Every summer I find myself spending a few days canning beef stew, I make other canned soups and stews also but beef or venison stew is our favorite. Even though it’s hot, I like canning beef stew during the summer because I can use the produce right out of our garden.

beef stew in white bowl with crackers on the side

My beef stew “recipe” is really more of a process than a set recipe but I’ll give some quantities. You can make substitutions based on what your family likes but don’t ever add any kind of thickening agent, such as flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot, to our canned beef stew (or any home canned products for that matter.)

I use these worksheets to plan and keep track of my home preserved food. You can get the worksheets emailed to you by filling out the form below.

Can I water bath can stew?

No! In order to can stew safely, you need a pressure canner.

I KNOW there are people who say they (or their grandma) just boils it for 4 hours and they are still alive. However, if you check out the CDC website for botulism cases from home canned food, every single one has been because someone was trying to water bath can low acid foods.

This is one area that I’m going to go ahead and trust that the USDA has our best interest in mind and is telling the truth. You can do what you want, but for our family the risk is just too great, especially when you can avoid this risk with a $79 pressure canner.

I have two pressure canners, an All-American and a Presto. I love them both!! This is the All-American pressure canner I have – I can put 7 quarts or 19 pints in it. This is the Presto I have, it’s smaller but it’s also lighter and under$100.

I realize that some people are scared of using a pressure canner but there is nothing to be afraid of. If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions there is no risk of blowing up your kitchen. Modern pressure canners have safety valves to prevent that.

If you want a step by step guide I highly recommend my book Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond which has step by step guides to can meat, legumes, and vegetables plus 94 recipes.

Hot Pack vs. Raw Pack for Beef Stew

I use the hot pack method for canning soups and I’ve never had the stew turn mushy while canning. Here’s the deal, hot pack does not mean fully cooked before you put the stew in the jars; they finish cooking while in the pressure canner. Hot pack just means that the meat is lightly browned and the stew has been brought to a boil.

One thing I like about hot packing soups is that the heat forces out some of the air that’s naturally in the meat and vegetables. This means that there will be fewer air bubbles in the jar and less of a chance that I’ll end up with a large headspace after processing.

image of beef stew for canning

Preparing the Beef Stew for Canning

The first thing I do when I can anything is put my tea kettle (which holds almost a gallon of water) on to boil. I also prepare the jars and lids. Since the canned beef stew will be processed for more than 10 minutes, the jars don’t need to be sanitized, just wash them in hot soapy water and rinse them.

If’ I’ve planned well, I would have set out some frozen tomatoes to thaw the night before. If not, I pull out some tomatoes from the freezer and thaw them in the microwave. I always freeze our tomato harvest first so the skins will come off without blanching. We like a lot of tomatoes in our beef stew so I use about two gallon size bags of frozen tomatoes.

I put a little oil in the stock pot and sear about 6 pounds of beef – I’ve used stew meat, roast, and even a trimmed brisket, whatever is the best price is what I use. (I’ve also made canned venison stew using the same process.) I don’t cook it all the way, just lightly brown it.

When the meat is done, I take it off the heat and add 2 heaping tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of thyme, about 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and 3-4 bay leaves.

I know some people like to use beef bullion in their beef stew but we really like the fresh flavor of a tomato based beef stew. But if your family likes a more beefy beef stew, then feel free to use bullion.

Then I put the tomatoes and other vegetables in the pot. I usually put 3 heads of garlic that has been peeled and chopped, 4-5 chopped onions, 3-4 lbs chopped carrots, 8-10 pounds diced potatoes, 6-8 cups of corn, and 2-3 pounds of okra. I really love adding okra to our canned stews because mucilage in the okra adds a bit of thickening to the  stew in a safe way.

I mix up all the ingredients and add some water or tomato broth (or beef or broth) to it if the liquid doesn’t cover the meat and vegetables. 

Bring the soup to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.

image of home canned venison stew in jars

How to Can Beef Stew (venison, lamb, pork or other wild game)

The canning part is really easy, you just have to take your time and enjoy the  process.

  1. If you didn’t do it earlier, wash each jar and lid in warm soapy water.
  2. Put the pressure canner on the stove and add water according to the manufacturer directions.
  3. Fill each jar with the beef stew mixture and leave a 1″ head space.
  4. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth.
  5. Top jars with lids and bands. I really like to use canning reusable lids on these because I don’t normally give these as gifts.
  6. Place hot jars into water in pressure canner (prepared per manufacturer guidelines).
  7. Lock the lid
  8. Turn up the heat to medium-high
  9. Once it’s boiling and you hear steam coming from the vent,  let the steam vent from canner for 7-10 minutes, then put weight on vent
  10. Continue heating until you reach 10 pounds pressure (adjusting for altitude if necessary)
  11. Process pint jars for 75 minute, and quart jars for 90 minutes
  12. After processing time is finished, turn off heat and let pressure go all the way to zero psi
  13. Once the canner is completely depressurized, remove weight and let the canner rest for 10 minutes.
  14. Unlock the lid and remove it away from your face. Let the canner rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Remove jars and let them cool for 12-24 hours.
  16. Once they’re cool, remove bands, wipe jars, and store properly.
  17. If any jars didn’t seal, put them in the refrigerator to use within the week.

Having home canned stews is so convenient for during the school year, I really have no excuse for not having from scratch meals each evening. If time is really short, I can serve the stew with fruit and crackers. If I have a bit more time I can make biscuits, and if I’ve planned ahead I can make homemade bread.

But it’s not just for convenience, it’s also for emergencies. We’ve had storms come through that has knocked our power out for a few days. We’re totally fine because we have a variety of canned stews available.

image of home canned beef stew in jars
Yield: 12 quarts

Canned Beef Stew

Canned Beef Stew

Canning beef stew in the summer is a fantastic way to preserve the summer vegetables and have shelf stable meals available year round. This is a tomato based beef stew that makes for a wonderful canned stew. You can pretty much use whatever vegetables you like in beef stew to suit your family's taste preferences.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs stew meat (or cut roast, brisket, or venison)
  • 10 -12 lbs tomatoes
  • 4-5 chopped onons
  • 3-4 lbs chopped carrots
  • 8-10 lbs chopped potatoes
  • 2-3 lbs chopped okra
  • 6-8 cups corn
  • 3 heads of garlic - peeled and chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • about 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • beef bullion (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the beef stew for canning

  1. Put a little oil in the stock pot and sear the meat. Don't cook it all the way, just lightly brown it.
  2. When the meat is done, add the spices and vegetables to the pot. 
  3. Mix up all the ingredients and add some water or tomato broth to it if the liquid doesn't cover the meat and vegetables.
  4. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.

Canning Beef Stew

  1. If you didn't do it earlier, wash each jar and lid in warm soapy water.
  2. Put the pressure canner on the stove and add water according to the manufacturer directions.
  3. Fill each jar with the beef stew mixture and leave a 1" head space.
  4. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth.
  5. Top jars with lids and bands. I really like to use canning reusable lids on these because I don't normally give these as gifts.
  6. Place hot jars into water in pressure canner (prepared per manufacturer guidelines).
  7. Lock the lid
  8. Turn up the heat to medium-high
  9. Once it's boiling and you hear steam coming from the vent,  let the steam vent from canner for 7-10 minutes, then put weight on vent
  10. Continue heating until you reach 10 pounds pressure (adjusting for altitude if necessary)
  11. Process pint jars for 75 minute, and quart jars for 90 minutes
  12. After processing time is finished, turn off heat and let pressure go all the way to zero psi
  13. Once the canner is completely depressurized, remove weight and let the canner rest for 10 minutes.
  14. Unlock the lid and remove it away from your face. Let the canner rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Remove jars and let them cool for 12-24 hours.
  16. Once they're cool, remove bands, wipe jars, and store properly.
    If any jars didn't seal, put them in the refrigerator to use within the week.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

What kind of meals in jars do you can?

Thanks for sharing with your friends!

Michelle

Sunday 5th of June 2022

How long will stew store for?

John Mahoney

Monday 8th of November 2021

heres what i have in my stew, two bags if frozen veggis, 4 potatos, two onions 4 celry sticks spices,i cooked the dtew all together in my crock pot, it taste good, but can i cann it now?

Angi Schneider

Monday 8th of November 2021

Here are instructions for canning your own soups, https://www.schneiderpeeps.com/safely-canning-soup-at-home-for-preparedness-and-convenience/.

John Mahoney

Monday 8th of November 2021

so i made pork stew in my crok pot, and now i want to cann it, can i do that?

Lou

Friday 29th of October 2021

I have already added the floor to my stew, so now I can’t pressure can it?

Angi Schneider

Friday 5th of November 2021

No, you cannot can anything with flour in it. This recipe does not call for flour.

Tina

Thursday 28th of October 2021

Can I use my instapot

Angi Schneider

Friday 5th of November 2021

The USDA does not recommend using an instant pot as a pressure canner. There has not been enough testing to develop safe guidelines.

Skip to Recipe