Pressure canning recipes can be a bit harder to find, as most beginning canners are all about simple water bath canning for pickles and jams. Once you have a pressure canner at home, you’ll be able to can almost anything at home, including meat and low acid foods like vegetables.
(If you’re not familiar with pressure canning, I’d strongly suggest you read this beginners guide to pressure canning before proceeding. Be aware that a pressure canner is different than a “pressure cooker,” and you cannot make these recipes in your instant pot.)
Water bath canning is a great place to start for beginners, and it’s an easy way to preserve jams, jellies, fruits and pickles. If you really want to put up a substantial amount of food for your family, you’re going to have to graduate to pressure canning.
Pressure canning allows you to put up nutrient dense meat, vegetables, soups, stews and stock. Since they’re low acid foods, they cannot be preserved in a water bath canner, and they require the higher temperatures of a pressure canner for safe preservation.
What Foods Need a Pressure Canner?
Certain foods, namely low acid foods with a pH above 4.6, must be canned in a pressure canner if they’re canned at all. This includes:
- Meat of All Kinds ~ Beef, Chicken, Pork, etc.
- Stocks and Broths ~ Both Meat and Veggie
- Vegetables ~ Potatoes, Pumpkin, Green Beans, Etc.
- Dry Beans ~ Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, etc.
- Chili and Baked Beans
- Soups and Stews
- Some Tomato Products, like pasta sauce with low acid ingredients such as mushrooms, onions and peppers included.
You can also process water bath canning recipes in a pressure canner, and it’ll allow you to get the job done quicker without steaming up the kitchen (as much). Keep in mind, that while you can convert water bath canning recipes to a pressure canner, it doesn’t work in the opposite direction.
For example, we can water for emergencies in a pressure canner, though you can also easily do that in a water bath canner.
Things You CANNOT can in a Pressure Canner
Pressure Canning Meat
Preserving meat without refrigeration can be tricky, especially if you’d like to avoid massive amounts of salt (as in bacon, salami and dry cured meats). Living on a solar powered homestead, our freezer space is at a premium and I’ll often can up meat for quick weeknight meals when I need a bit more room in the freezer.
Many of my readers born in the ’30s and ’40s have related fond memories of eating home canned beef right out of the jar, stealing it from grandma’s pantry shelf as an after school snack. Great nutrition and convenience to fuel growing bodies!
- Pressure Canning Beef – Practical Self Reliance
- Canning Turkey – Practical Self Reliance
- Canning Chicken (or Rabbit) – National Center for Food Preservation
- Canning Pork – National Center for Food Preservation
Pressure Canning Wild Game Meat
Since game meat is often a bit tough, and harvests are sometimes much larger than even the biggest freezer, pressure canning recipes can come to the rescue. They tenderize the meat while at the same time allow you to store a huge harvest without additional freezer space.
This can be a lifesaver if you’re in a rural cabin without dependable access to electricity.
- Canned Canada Goose Meat – Cornell University
- Elk, Moose, or Caribou – The Canning Diva
- Canning Quail and Other Game Birds – On Big Turtle Creek
- Canning Chicken or Rabbit – National Center for Home Food Preservation
- Canning Squirrel – Meats & Sausages
- Canning Turtle – Life With A Good Wife
- Canning Venison Cubed and Raw Packed – Simply Canning
- Canning Bear Meat – Montana Outdoor Radio Show
Pressure Canning Organ Meats
While these days organ meats are often tossed, they’re actually some of the most nutritious parts of the animal. Canning up organ meats means you preserve the best parts and can slowly eat them for all their benefits throughout the year.
- Canning Beef Lengua (Tongue) – Kusina ni Manang
- Pressure Canning Giblets – A Traditional Life
- Canning Organ Meat Stock – Practical Self Reliance
Pressure Canning Pet Food
Honestly, I’ve never tried canning my own pet food…but there no reason not to!
Here are a few pressure canner dog food recipes to try:
- Canning Your Own Dog Food by Frugal Living On The Ranch
- An Experiment in Canning Dog Food by Canning Granny
If you know any good pressure canning recipes I’ve missed, please leave me a note in the comments! I’m always looking for new ways to fill a jar.
Looking for more canning recipes? I have over 100 canning recipes for just about everything under the sun…
- 12+ Apple Canning Recipes
- 30+ Strawberry Canning Recipes
- 12+ Beginner Canning Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)
Food Preservation Tutorials
Want to learn a few new techniques for preserving outside the jar?
- Beginners Guide to Cheese Making
- How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar
- How to Preserve a Whole Pig without Refrigeration
- How to make Mead (Honey Wine)