How To Can Beef Stew

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”.

beef stew canning recipe

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?

71 thoughts on “How To Can Beef Stew”

  1. Hi
    I normally make beef ( cubes) and vegetable soup in tomato juice on stove. Can I use this recipe in a pressure cooker? If so how long
    Thank you

  2. Want to try your recipe and thought about adding some worcestershire sauce and a little sugar. Do you have any experience with that or advice? Thanks

  3. My recipe for beef stew uses the same veggies as yours, but calls for tomato soup a little sugar and a little minute tapioca.
    I have been canning for years but never beef stew. We love my recipe, but I read your comments about the taste could change. So I thought I would ask your opinion, do you think this little change would be okay?

  4. Hi! I’m very new to canning. I’m looking up canners and thinking about buying the all american canner. I’ve only read good reviews for it. Any advice you can give me on canners, recipes, things to avoid canning, anything really would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Definitely browse all of my canning articles to glean more info! I have tons of great stuff in my canning DVD as well. I HIGHLY recommend the All American Canner. It’s the one I got started with and absolutely love. It’s the safest one, in my opinion, to get started with. Good luck!

  5. Thank goodness for your website. I am going to can beef stew but I wanted to put tomato sauce in it. Since tomato sauce is acid can this be a bit safer? Does the processing time change?
    One bit of information about canners. I bought a smooth top (glass top) stove. Wish I hadn’t. Can only use a canner/pressure cooker with a flat bottom. The new Mirro I had to return, but found Presto will work but it takes longer than on a gas stove or electric with elements which stick out.

    • Lynette,
      Canning beef stew with or without tomato sauce doesn’t change the processing time or the pounds of pressure needed. Tomato sauce doesn’t change the safety of your canned goods, only the flavor. Either way it will be delicious. 🙂

  6. when canning elk meat I brown the meat then pack in jars and finish filling the jar with hot beef broth making sure to get the air pockets out of the jar don’t get in a hurry to get your jars out of the canner when you try to release the pressure to fast you create a vacuum in the canner and it pulls the juice out of the jars and ruins your seal on the jars.

    • Great warning about don’t open the canner too soon which could pull liquid out of the just-canned jars. That would be a bummer after spending ninety minutes on the boil!

  7. Hi Kendra. What a great recipe! We have over a year’s worth of dried food, but my goal is to create at least 6 months worth of canned meals. I mean, in an emergency (high stress situation), the last thing you want to do is dink around trying to make a meal out of dried food over a propane camp stove, lol.

    Anyway, about the recipe — I found that I needed to add about four cups of water to about five cups of tomato sauce to make enough broth. Not sure if the recipe is off or I did it wrong, but I was really careful with all the ingredients measurements.

    I love your site! Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this. I went to make some and my book is miss placed. I was in a state of panic as I have all the ingredients and was ready to prepare the stew to can. You saved me!

      • if u like that stew,u should try the corn beef stew,the guys at work call it,mill hill stew.(2)-can of corn beef,(1)-can of corn(whole),potatoes the more the better,dices into small block,(2)-large onions.Cook
        the onions and potatoes and corn together.just about time the potatoes start to get soft.u take and open(2)-
        can of corn beef and place into the oven,let the heat get some of the oil off,then rake it into the ingred-ients and cook for (30) more minutes or less.Then add
        (1)large can of tomato soup,any kind will do cheap-o
        are campbells.Open up the corn beef before u put in the oven!

  9. 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?

    • Rodney,

      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. 🙂

  10. 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.

    • Kelley,

      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.

  11. 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 ???

    • Tammy,

      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.

    • Tammy – I was like you. I saw too many accidents with them when I was a kid. However, I researched the new generation of pressure cookers and found they’re a LOT safer then the ones our grandparents used.

      The first time I used it I hid in the other room, peeping around the corner, LOL. Everything came out fine. The only disaster we had was the strawberry ice cream sauce boiling over and setting the stove on fire. 🙂

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

    • Carlos,

      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!

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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

    • 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!!!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

    • Tracie,

      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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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!:-)

  28. 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?

  29. Kendra,

    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?



  30. 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.

  31. 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!!!



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