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How To Can Beef Stew {Canning Recipe}

>24 October 2013
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*Updated from the original 2010 article

beef stew canning recipe

Man, I’m really enjoying this canning thing! I especially love that my pantry shelves are slowly being filled with beautiful jars of home canned goodies. Seeing as our freezer is stuffed with a quarter of a long horn steer we bought from a local farmer, I figured I’d free up some space and can all of the packages of meat labeled “beef stew meat”.

Canning beef stew is very easy. It’s the prep that takes forever! Once all of the meat is chopped into bite sized pieces and the veggies are diced, you’re ready to roll.

Here is the recipe I use. It’s from the Ball Blue Book: Guide To Preserving.

Beef Stew For Canning

Yields 14 pints or 7 quarts

  • 4-5 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 3 quarts cubed and peeled potatoes (about 5 large, or 12 small)
  • 2 quarts sliced carrots (about 16 small, or 4 lbs)
  • 3 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks) (I didn’t have any, so I substituted 2 Tbsp dried celery flakes.)
  • 3 cups chopped onion (about 4 small)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups tomato sauce

Brown meat in oil. Combine meat, veggies, and seasoning in a very large pot. Cover with tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Do not cook! Ladle hot stew into hot jars, leaving 1″ headspace. Use the back end of a wooden or plastic utensil to poke around in the jars to remove air bubbles. Cover with a previously simmered lid, and screw on the ring. In a pressure canner, process pints for 1 hour and 15 minutes, quarts for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at 10 pounds of pressure.

That’s it! I was thinking, next time I can this I’m gonna fill some smaller pint jars to send with my husband when he goes to work. They’d make a nice, hearty meal!

You might also try venison instead of beef, if you or someone you know hunts.

Do you have a favorite Beef Stew Canning Recipe?

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  • Dana said:

    I was the same way last year, we were expecting a baby at the end of the year and I figured like with our past children’s births that dh would only be able to spend a few days with us and then he would have to return to work so I canned and I canned and I canned determined to have easy ready to go meals in the pantry to make it easier on me.

    I canned beef veg soup and chili for the first time ever, and I also canned dried beans, well just about anything I could get my hands on!!

    Suprisingly dh was able to stay at home for 2 weeks with us but the ready to go meals did not to go waste!!

    I’m not expecting a baby this year but I will be canning a bunch just the same!!

    Great job branching out on your canning!!!


  • Lanna said:

    Your last sentence? Yes, yes they do. ;)
    You can also add a few spices or extra veggies here and there, too. To make it more yours. You’re already processing for over an hour for the meat anyway.

  • Jeff said:


    How thick or thin does the broth come out to be once it’s served? The liquid in the jar looks to a bit thin?



  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    If it’s too thin for you, you can always add some cornstarch to it when re-heating ;)

  • Carissa said:

    I love your website! I have been looking for a recipe like this! Thank you so much for sharing! I have a question…does it need to be fully cooked before putting into the jars or does it finish cooking while in the pressure canner?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Carissa- Glad to help! Canning it will finish off the cooking :)

  • Melody said:

    Thank you for sharing this. I was raised on homecanning and am so thrilled that so many others are taking an active interest again and that there are reliable resources like this one to refer to. I love this website. Please keep up the good work!:-)

  • DanR said:

    A trick I use for the meat (especially wild meat like venison) is to drop the cubes into the deep fryer for one minute before adding to the veggies for cooking. Seals the juices in the meat completely and results in tasty, easy to chew meat stew.

  • Larry said:

    Hi Kendra,

    I am a prepper or have been for the last year now, storing food and created a large self-sufficient garden but have not canned yet. Just bought canner tonight after seeing a few youtube vidz including yours. All this time I been storing canned food from the grocery stores for when the bad times get here and they are coming, knowing that the grocery store bought foods are either bad for you or do not contain enough vitamins and minerals anymore to do you any good so will be doing canning on everything now using only organic. Anyways just wanted to say great job and thanks for the great info. I read your about you page and I know just how you felt. I too was from so called Paradise (South Beach, Miami) and moved to middle of no where in the backwoods of Georgia. Hated it for the first year but now I would never go back to living in the city so good for you.

  • angie said:

    How long is the shelf life?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    I wouldn’t let it go for more than a year.

  • Ml said:

    Canned foods have an indefinite shelf life, once canned the food is good for many years, like 25 or so.
    Research indicates over time you will have some slight loss of color, texture and only a very small loss of nutrition.

  • Robert and judy said:

    I like to make a roux for a thick gravy or stew ( made with flour) is it still ok to can after adding the extra ingredient of flour?

  • Peri Kersten said:

    I do the same thing with venison or elk depending on what my husband gets during hunting season. If he gets one of each, my shelves and freezers are just stuffed full. It looks so wonderful and taste even better on those long rainy days here in Washington. Looking forward to canning peaches and pears in the fall. Has any one canned wild turkey? Would you do it just like chicken? I have always put the turkey in the freezer and wondered why I couldn’t can it just like I do the chickens?

  • Dorothy said:

    How long to you have to cook the jars if you don’t have a pressure canner only a stove top canner?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    You must use a pressure canner to safely can beef stew. Sorry!!! ;)

  • Jaci said:

    This may be a dumb question but is this meet fresh when you start the canning g process or can I thaw my frozen meat to can?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    There are no dumb questions here :) Yes, you can thaw frozen meat for canning. HTH!

  • Tracie said:

    Hi, I’m just getting started with canning and the first thing I wanted to can is my home made beef stew. I Always roll my stew in seasoned flour and brown the outside before throwing it in my stew, this gives the meat a great flavor and the stew just the right thickness. I keep reading not to use any thickener when canning but I can’t find anything that says why. Is browning my meat in the flour mixture before and browning before adding to stew going to make it a problem for canning? Thank you for your advise.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    Back in the day, our grandmas used to add flour to stew before canning it. But now the FDA or whoever says it’s not safe. They recommend using Clear Jel for a thickener instead, which I guess you could bread your meat with? Honestly, I’m just not sure about breading before canning though.

  • Heather Brown said:

    Hi, Tracie: I am so glad I found your website. I am totally new to canning. My husband works away from home at a coal mine in northern B.C. Canada, and he has to cook for himself. I haven’t actually canned anything yet but I would like to start. I wanted to make him some homemade soups, stews, etc. and I was going to use a large pot to boil the canned jars in, but I guess that’s not going to work, eh? It sounds like I’m going to have to buy a pressure canner. What all do I need to buy? I bought some small bottles and the snap lids. I need to make 7 supper time meals for my husband while he’s away. I am not sure how big do the bottles need to be to hold a supper? I hope you can help me with all my questions about canning. Thank you so much.

  • Heather said:

    Just starting to can. I would like to make a double/triple batch every time I make a soup/chili so I have some to can. Do I use the same time and pressure in the pressure canner that you recommend for the beef stew above, for other soups/Chilis or is it individualized based on what I’m canning? If it is, how do I know the correct instructions for each one? Thanks :) Newly canning, mama of 12

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Heather!

    The processing time and pressure does depend upon what you’re cooking. However, according to the Ball Blue Book of Canning, any soup, stews, or chilis combining meats and veggies all process for the same amount of time, at the same pounds of pressure: 1 hr. 15 min. for pints, 1 hr 30 min. for quarts, at 10 lbs pressure. Have fun!!!

  • Mary Kellogg said:

    This is my all time favorite thing to can. My husband is retired, 67, and is dangerous in the kitchen.

    So I always have quart jars (two meals for him) of beef stew (and chicken stew) ready for him. He just opens and heats. When I fix it, I thicken the juice a bit.

    Canning = the ORIGINAL fast food!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    What a blessing, Mary!

  • Lori said:

    Could you possibly post a recipe for chicken stew, as well? Or would the recipe be similar to the beef stew?

  • geni said:

    a little red wine would make your stew recipe really pop!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    I’ll be doing Chicken Soup soon, but Chicken Stew sounds delicious!! I’ll try to add that to my upcoming posts :)

  • Virginia said:

    Hi Kendra,
    Oh, yes! Love the canning projects. Been busy this year with canning just about everything. Most recently did up a beef barley soup (with home-grown barley, no less) and am pleased with the results. Will certainly be doing more. It is nice to have ready-to-eat meals awaiting, and also reserving precious freezer space for other things. Several pints of cubed beef are canned up ready for any recipe calling for that, as well as a lot of ground beef prepared the same way. My little freezer is too full to accept anything else. Found some meats on sale recently and bought a bunch and processed it all. Will continue this anytime I find more meat sales!

  • Chloe said:

    I love the idea of using smaller jars to send with hubs to work!

  • Tammy said:

    Hi, I have been canning forever and have made this pretty easy by using either a roaster or crockpot. I simply but a good cut of meat or dear….whatever you fancy then I brown the cut of meat with onions and a little olive oil. Put it in the crockpot with all the vegetables. Cover all with water. I fill to the top. Then add a couple bouillon cubes. Turn your crockpot on high for about 6 to 8 hours. The meat is tender, pulls apart and the brothers is awesome. Make sure you hot pack your jars. Fill half full of meat and vegetables. Then fill about inch from top with broth. Use a pressure cooker to process for 1 hour 30 minutes. Or according to your elevation. If you would like recipe please email me.

  • Tammy said:

    If you would like chicken stew canning recipe I have one as well as a apple butter, hot cinnamon apple sauce and others. A favorite in our house is is salsa.

  • Melissa said:

    I don’t have a pressure canner can I use a large preserving pot and if I can how?

  • Joan Gosselin said:

    How and where to you buy a canning pressure cooker! Would like to start canning and teach my daughter! I have canned bread from the oven but that’s about it. My grandmother canned when I was a child but of course you don’t pay attention too much. She did have a pressure cooker.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    Unfortunately, you need a pressure canner to can beef stew.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Share away, Tammy!!

  • Melissa said:

    I am thinking about buying an all American canner. Can you make meals in it or is it just for canning? Thanks

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    I have just become a dealer for All American Canners (yay!). I’m still working on getting the store up on my site, but if you’d like to purchase one through me I’ll be happy to help. All Americans are pressure cooker/canners. You can cook in them, and you can can in them :) Shoot me an email if you’re interested in buying one: kendra@newlifeonahomestead.com. Thanks!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    I have just become a dealer for All American Canners (yay!). I’m still working on getting the store up on my site, but if you’d like to purchase one through me I’ll be happy to help. All Americans are pressure cooker/canners. You can cook in them, and you can can in them :) Shoot me an email if you’re interested in buying one: kendra@newlifeonahomestead.com. Thanks!

  • Mindy Breen said:

    Hello I’m new to canning and was wondering how long is the stew good for? My husband is a truck driver and I really want to can meals for him that he does have to keep in the fridge and that will last up to 2-3 weeks at a time. Thanks for any info you can give

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    If he can keep them cool, ideally below 70*, the stew will stay good for over a year. Hope that helps! I think it’s a brilliant idea to can meals for him to enjoy on the road!! He’ll think of you every time he opens one :)

  • Laurel Nguyen said:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ve bookmarked it, and I plant to make it very soon. I’m new to pressure canning, but I’m loving it!

  • ken said:

    hi,always heard that it is hard to kill all the bacteria when using corn starch or flour

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Ken, you definitely don’t want to get it too thick when canning. Otherwise you’re right, it may not get heated adequately in the center of the jar, and can cause food poisoning.

  • Carlos said:

    Ok, lets say something goes wrong. How do you tell if your canned stew goes bad?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    If you canned according to the directions (correct time/pressure), in a pressure canner, and the lid sealed, it should be fine. *If* (and I’ve never had this happen) you open a jar and it smells “off” or is moldy, toss it. This should not happen if it was processed correctly though. Just make sure the lid is sealed well before you consume the contents. If the lid comes right off without any prying, I wouldn’t eat it. Also, be sure to simmer the beef stew for 10 minutes before eating. (I need to add that to the directions.) Hope that helps!

  • Becky said:

    The elevation determines what pound of pressure you use. Be sure to check your guide. I can at 15 pounds of pressure :)

  • Tammy said:

    Hi There

    Im constantly reading up on home canning and being on a farm we usually have left over meat from our previous year meat orders, so Im wanting to learn to can meat, but I’ve been looking for recipes that don’t call for the use of a pressure cooker !! Why you ask ? Because Im absolutely terrified to try one, I witnessed some very nasty disasters with them as a kid in Gramas farm kitchen..Is there such thing as canning meat without the pressure cookers ???

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    Unfortunately, there is no safe way to can meat without a pressure canner. Let me assure you that new pressure canners, such as the All American, are designed in a way that makes it incredibly difficult to blow one up. They have safety pressure release valves built in to prevent this kind of dangerous situation. Please consider buying my DVD: At Home Canning For Beginners and Beyond. In it, I walk you step by step through using a pressure canner to can meat (and many other things), and I show just how easy and safe it is. Use code: LEARN2CAN at checkout for $5 off :) http://newlifeonahomestead.com/at-home-canning-dvd/

  • Jessica said:

    Can you use tomato juice??

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Yes, Jessica. You can :)

  • Kelley said:

    I too am going to be canning beef stew, but the recipe I use does not have tomatoes in it. Do you have to use some kind of tomato base in canning stew? or can I use the recipe that my family has loved for years? Also, like someone else mentioned, I to roll the meat in flour and brown it first. I understand about not making it to thick when its going to be canned, so I’m not sure about using cornstarch instead, besides, you don’t really know how thick your stew is going to be until its completely cooled.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    You don’t have to use tomatoes in your beef stew. Your family recipe will probably be fine, but it may taste different once it has been canned. I think it will be okay to brown the meat rolled in flour first. I don’t see why that would hurt anything, as long as you use very little flour.

  • Rodney said:

    Hi Kendra,

    I have been canning for many years and learned a few things from my mistakes. Perhaps this topic has been covered before so please pardon my redundancy if that is the case. My comments and question are in regard to what is done at the end of the canning time (90 minutes at 10 lbs). I have learned to never release the pressure manually at the end of the canning time. Just shut down the heat source and walk away from the canner and allow the pressure to drop by itself, which it will do as the canner and it’s contents cool down a bit. I made the mistake of lifting the pressure weight off my canner which resulted in a sealing disaster. Do you agree with this or am I just an unlucky canner?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:


    Thank you for adding that to the conversation. Good advice. Yes, I’ve talked about that in other posts, but it never hurts to repeat it! You are definitely right, always allow the canner to cool back down to zero pressure before removing the regulator weight. And don’t move the canner off the burner either, just leave it where it is until it has cooled. :)

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