How to Can Beef Stew
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My family really likes canned beef stew. Beef stew is one of those recipes that you’re not quite sure if your family is going to like the canned version vs. the store bought version. I was a little skeptical about canning beef stew at first, but I was hoping my family would at least try it. It turns out canning beef stew is really easy, I should have tried it sooner!
My family were good sports, and it turned out they loved it! This canned beef stew recipe is definitely now on my list of go-to canning recipes.
If you are new to pressure canning, beef stew is one of the easiest things for you to learn how to can.
Note: You cannot can beef stew without a pressure canner. Because meat is a low acid food it MUST be pressure canned.
Canning Beef Stew Video
Unsure how to use your pressure canner? Watch as I prepare this beef stew recipe step by step.
A lot of recipes require a lot of preparation and cooking prior to canning, but for this recipe you put all of the ingredients in the jar raw (even the meat!), and then all of the ingredients are cooked in the jars during the pressure canning process.
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If you have never eaten meat cooked in a pressure canner before, it is amazing! It’s very tender and FULL of flavor, and you won’t want to eat beef stew any other way again.
If you follow this following recipe step by step, your beef stew will turn out perfect every time. If you just got your pressure canner or are thinking about buying one and still not sure how to use it, let me walk you through the entire process step by step.
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Beef Stew Canning Recipe
- Roast or stew meat
- Beef bouillon
You don’t have to use exact measurements for this recipe. One 3-lb. chuck roast will be enough meat for about 6 quarts of beef stew. For 6 quarts you will need approximately 2 onions, 6 stalks celery, 1 carrot, and 1-2 potatoes per jar.
Sterilize your canning jars, lids, and rings. I sterilize mine by running them through the rinse cycle on my dishwasher. Just leave them in the dishwasher until you are ready to use them.
Prepare the beef bouillon by adding about 4 tbsp. of bouillon powder to 12 cups water (you need about 2 c. per quart canning jar). Heat to boiling.
Chop carrots, celery, and onions, and then peel and chop the potatoes.
Place 1 tsp. salt into each sterilized canning jar. Layer beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery in canning jars. Add heated bouillon, leaving 1 inch head space. You can easily measure the head space with this inexpensive canning funnel.
If you don’t have enough bouillon to fill all the jars, just add a little hot water to make up the difference.
Wipe rims of jars with damp paper towel or dish towel, and then place the rings and lids on the canning jars.
Some people ask how long it takes to pressure can meat. Because meat is a low acid food, it takes close to the longest for it to process compared to other foods, so you can count on it taking up to 1 1/2 hours to process in the pressure canner.
Fill the pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water and place the jars in the pressure canner, and then secure the lid on the canner.
Heat the water in the canner until steam starts escaping through the vent pipe. Then place the pressure regulator on the vent pipe. The pressure will slowly start building in the pressure canner.
When the canner reaches 10 pounds of pressure, process the jars in at 10 pounds pressure for 75 minutes for pints or 90 minutes for quarts. When timer goes off turn off the heat on the stove.
After the pressure has been completely released from the canner, remove the lid from the canner. Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool. It will take hours for the jars to cool completely, so let them sit until they are completely cooled off.
Shelf Life of Canned Beef Stew
Make sure lids are sealed before storing in the pantry. If you have any jars that didn’t seal, place them in the refrigerator and eat them in the next week. Sealed jars can be safely stored 1-2 years.
To serve, you can eat as-is or to thicken the stew, remove some of the liquid from the stew and add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir, then add back to stew to thicken it (the cornstarch is added after canning because cornstarch is not safe to can).
If you live about 1,000 feet in elevation, download this altitude adjustment chart to find out how much extra pressure you need to use to can this recipe.
Related Pressure Canning Recipes
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- pork and beans
- canning vegetable broth or stock
- canning chicken broth
- pulled pork
- bean and ham soup
- canning potatoes
- canning split pea soup
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93 Comments on "Canning Beef Stew"
This is fantastic. I’ve made like 8-10 batches since last year. I love beef stew. However, I tried this with chicken ony 3rd batch and it’s sooo good. I started using chicken instead of beef. Never thought I’d do that. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for sharing this. I make whats call “poor man’s soup” , hamburger soup with a tomato base broth& lots of vegetables, and I know fat is added to ground beef. Should I try canning this soup or would the fat content or tomato base broth and diced tomato, make a difference?
I live a little over 2000 feet, and I use a presto digital pressure canner. How long should I process pints and quarts for? (The normal 75 for pints and 90 for quarts) ? I want to try and make this this weekend it sounds wonderful and I am tired off canning just plain meat, although it is yummy, want something ready to open and eat!!! thank you..
also, do you have any recipes fro canning strawberries besides jams and pie filling?
Is it possible to substitute the potatoes for yams or sweet potato? Someone in my family is allergic to potatoes, and I have yet been able to find the answer.
Yes, it is okay to substitute sweet potatoes or yams for the potatoes. The ingredients determine the processing time (based on level of acidity), and meat requires the longest amount of processing time. So since this recipe contains meat, you can use any kind of vegetable you like 🙂
I have been looking into pressure canning but I can not find the ball Blue book prices or water bath
Would love to try. Can you add a seasoning packet like you would if you made a whole batch, like McCormik beef stew seasoning?
Hi. I was wondering if I can add a packet of stew seasoning to the bouillon before adding to the jars?
Some herbs, like sage and basil taste bitter or just outright weird if they are canned. Many people add the herbs and spices when they are going to eat the stew.
What kind of potatoes are best for this recipe? And can I leave the peelings on them?
Quick question before I start my canning. Your recipe calls for ‘Beef bouillon’ Can I use store bought bone broth or my own bone broth for the liquid?
Hi, I’m new to pressure canning and you have great info, thank you! Do you think I can substitute barley instead of potatos? Thanks!
NO, do not add barley. I did that and later found out that it is definitely not recommended. It swoll up in the jar and sucked up all the juice. Wasn’t very pleasant when it was dumped out either – sorry
If you live above 1000′ of altitude please remember that you need to adjust BOTH the pressure and the time. As I live at 4500′, I have to add 10 minutes to the processing time and use the 15lb weight.
The Blue Book of Canning has all this in charts for you.
I really enjoyed your recipe. I particularly appreciated your care with safety. I have been to so many sites where this is not done. I have made both beef and chicken stews. They are so nice to have on the shelves for a quick dinner. I tried to find the 1 1/2 pint jars, as that is the perfect size for us – but they are ridiculously overpriced -so think that I will can some quarts. The other thing that I do to “stretch” the meals is to thicken the stew and then serve it over rice, noodles or instant mashed potatoes. Abracadabra! A complete delicious meal!!
Hot water bath canning only gets the temperature of the jar contents only to 212F, which is not high enough to kill all bacteria in low acid foods. While pressure canning at 10lb psi for the required time at elevations of 1000ft and below, gets the temperature up to 240F to kill all bacteria. For elevations above 1000ft, the canning pressure needs to be adjust up accordingly.
This was my first time canning and it was a success! However after I made it I read somewhere I was suppose to peel the carrots first. Do I need to discard it since I didn’t peel? I’m not trying to make my family sick.
No, they are fine as long as they were cleaned and scrubbed well, and they didn’t have bad spots or blemishes.
Can I put a little red wine with my stew while canning this way as I usually use red wine when cooking the stew.
Is it best to use raw or already cooked beef chunks? I’ve read that raw may be a problem when canned with vegetables but I don’t know why- please give your view on this
I’ve never heard that you can’t cook raw meat with vegetables. If you use meat that is already cooked it would be way too done after processing, you would be cooking it twice.
I’m new to this and have been looking for ways to preserve meats. I like the idea of pressure canning food and storing them for later use. What I;m wondering though is from what I’ve been reading, that I need to use curing salts for meats if I’m going to do long storage. Your recipe just calls for regular salt. So I don’t need to use curing salt for this recipe? Or is it something I can use to extend the shelf life of this beef stew?
I always use regular salt, unless I am pickling something then I use pickling salt. I have not heard of having to use curing salt, at least in this type of recipe.
Hello, Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Can I use organic beef stock instead of beef boullion cube?
Yes, using beef stock would be fine!
I live at an elevation of 7600 – is 10 pounds of pressure okay for this elevation?
This is so awesome! We love beef stew but our freezers are full of all the meat we raised and processed. So canning and not needing freezer space sounds awesome. Is it pretty open as to the veggies you use? Like swapping radishes for potatoes? Could I just make vegetable beef soup with ground beef and can it the same?
This looks so simple and delicious.
Traditionally stew meat is dusted with flour and browned for making stew on stove top. I know flour cannot be used when canning. Have you made this recipe with browned meat? Does it taste better?
Thanks so much.
Would a flour based roux be safe to can? Or is that a no go like the cornstarch for some reason? I usually used a roux to thicken my stews and would love to save a step upon opening and enjoying!
Would. Flour based roux be safe to can, rather than using cornstarch upon opening?
Hi! No, flour is not safe for use in canning.
What if I substituted the water with tomato juice or v8?
Hi. I had a bunch of leftover beef stew when I cooked one night. I reheated the stew and canned it as directed. I only heated at 10 lb pressure for 25 mins. Was this not enough? Can I now put them back in pressure canner and do for longer since they are cooled? Or is this batch just ruined? My granny used to only can her stuff 20 to 25 mins years ago. Now I’m worried about all my canned goods.
I was wondering how you figure servings? Is one quart jar 2 servings or 4? Or is that pretty much a personal preference thing?
Hi! That would definitely be a personal preference. One quart jar is 4 cups, so that would either be 4 small servings or 2 large servings.
Tried this and it’s absolutely great. Hardest part is the prep work required. Also…2-3 inches in our pot…with 7 quart jars isn’t enough water. It boils dry at 80mins so now i just add jars and fill pot to 3/4 of jar height…that works fine
Could you use beef broth instead of the bouillon & water?
Hi! Yes you can use beef broth instead of bouillon and water for this recipe.
I made this today. Instead of regular onions, I used dehydrated onions (the only kind my husband will eat). I also added garlic and a little smoked paprika. The dehydrated onions left more room in the jar for extra meat, potatoes and carrots.
What a delicious meal we had tonight. I added the broccoli and red pepper flakes,. It was just wonderful and enjoyed by my husband as well. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!!
Did you can it with the broccoli or add it after you opened it?
This so informative! I read, read again and read all comments to get tips and ideas from others. Came out perfect! Thank you for sharing and be blessed! (I plan on trying with Venison this winter)
I have canned venison for many years. Turns out great! Just like roast beef!
I canned this beef stew. It was easy and had 1 jar that didn’t seal and had it for dinner. It was delicious. I would suggest anyone to try it .
We raise our own meat and take it to the butcher shop. The meat is packaged and froze when we pick it up so I am wondering if it’s safe to use meat after unthawing?
Yes, you can use the thawed meat for canning beef stew. 🙂
Hi! Yes you should be able to substitute chicken for the beef, just make sure the processing time is safe for the chicken. It should be very similar to the beef.
Have you tried this recipe with chicken? And swap the bullion to chicken flavor. Im gonna try it both ways. Iff to my ball book to make sure i have safe time amounts. This looks easy and will keep my son with healthy food choices in the pantry!!!
Hi again. I just watched the video and got my question answered! One more question though. Is it okay to put 7 quart jars in the canner?
Yes! You can put 7 one-quart jars in your canner at one time. That is the most jars you can put in at one time.
I have an All-American Pressure Canner and can fit 7 quart jars plus 7 pint jars on top of the rack placed on the quart jars.
It actually depends on how big your canner is. My pressure canner can hold 5 quarts or 8 pints.
Hi there. This is my first time canning stew and really love your recipe. However, I’m a little confused with the directions. You said to “fill the pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water and place the jars in the pressure canner.” Are you putting hot water in the canner after you put the jars in the canner? How are your jars prepared? Do you keep them hot before you put the ingredients in them? Can’t wait to try it!
Glad you got your questions answered. Yes, the video gives step by step instructions for the entire process. Good luck!
The manufacturer says to put rack in the canner – add 12-cups of water.’
You need to warm up the water to approx. 185°F, then you can add your warm filled jars to the canner. jars
Hello, I hot water canned beef stew last week,tonight one jar blew the top ring off. Big mess ,what could of happened.
Hi there, I hope you canned the beef stew in your pressure canner. You can’t process beef stew in a boiling water canner, the temperature doesn’t get hot enough to kill the bacteria. It’s possible your jar was too full, that does happen sometimes.
Hi, Meats and meat containing jars must be pressure canned, that is cooked in a pressure canner or some other pressure vessel that can maintain a pressure/temperature above atmospheric at a known and adequate level for an adequate amount of time to kill all of the micro-organisms. If you do not, some microorganisms evolve gases naturally as part of their life cycle and digestion of your canned goods. Some emit hazardous substances as a bi-product, such as the botulism toxin which can kill you or make you sick. If you did not follow canning instructions for meat on the National Center for Home Food Preservation, in that you did not heat it sufficiently or long enough, then your canned stew is not safe to eat and should definitely be discarded.
Can you take out the celery and onions. And just do the other stuff and have it still be safe to can. Cause I love this idea but I’m a very picky eater and cant stand celery and onions .
Hi there, yes you can totally leave out the celery and the onions. When pressure canning you process according to the acidity level of the lowest acid food. Since the meat has the lowest acidity level, you can leave out or change the vegetables without changing the safety of canning the stew.
Thank you so much I’m going to try this , this week as my first attempt at pressure canning. I’m praying it goes well
Made it yesterday. They all sealed. Tried it this morning. It’s delicious!!!!
IS the small amount of salt used because of the high sodium content of the bouillon? If so, when using a homemade beef broth, can more salt can be added, as the potatoes will absorb most of it?
Hi! Yes you can definitely add more salt if you want to. It will not affect how you process the jars. The salt is just for flavor.
I thought celery couldn’t be canned because of the toxins it releases. What makes this recipe okay? I am really excited to try this.
Hi! It’s my understanding that for the reasons you stated that it is not safe to can celery by itself. There is no tested method for canning celery. However, it is safe to can it in small amounts in a recipe that has been tested. You can read more about it here.
We eat a lot of venison. I wonder how well venison would substitute for the beef? Do you ever use venison?
No, I haven’t tried venison, but you could definitely substitute it for the beef in this recipe!
I have done venison stew for 36 yrs and it is delicious.
Can I add a clove of garlic to each jar?
Yes! Adding a garlic clove to each jar would be fine 🙂
Can you add tomatoes? We like tomatoes in our beef stew.
Yes! You could definitely add tomatoes to this recipe. Tomatoes have a low enough pH level that it won’t affect the processing of the stew in the pressure canner. You can adjust the amount of vegetables, just make sure not to exceed the total headspace.
Are there any other vegetables that would be safe to add to the stew?
Hi! You can add any other vegetables you like. The rule when pressure canning is that for any low acid food you add (so pretty much any vegetable), you want to use the amount of pressure for processing that you would use for the lowest acid vegetable. So you would need to find a chart that shows the acidity level of vegetables, and whatever has the highest pH, use that amount of pressure. Any food that has a pH level higher than 4.6 has to be pressure canned, but some vegetables have less acid than others, so some have a higher pH level than others. Here’s a page/chart I found that explains it better. Hope it’s not too confusing, but after you get this figured out you can feel more safe about pressure canning 🙂 https://www.pickyourown.org/ph_of_fruits_and_vegetables_list.htm
Hi! I have an Instant Pot (IP) and would love to try canning your beef stew using it. Any tips or directions on this?
Thank you for your recipes. If I can convert them using the IP, I would like to try all of them!
Hi! You can make beef stew in your instant pot, but you can’t can it. The great thing about the pressure canner is that it actually cooks the beef stew in the jars. You can’t do that with the instant pot.
Rachel does the cooking process start once you put the lid on the pressure cooker on once it gets up to 10lbs of pressure?
Hi! You start the timer when it gets up to 10 pounds pressure. If the pressure falls below 10 lbs at any time during the processing time, you need to re-start the timer after it gets up to pressure again.
It’s important to follow all of the canning instructions. This includes letting the canner vent for 10 minutes after steam begins to come out of the hole on the top, then close it with whatever covers it. I have the rocker on top. You begin counting the 90 minutes when the pressure reaches 10 lbs or the rocker begins rocking.
Hi there, enjoyed your tutorial. Can’t wait to try! I have one question, I have looked into canning just potatoes by itself but from what I could gather it wasn’t recommended, so is it safe in this recipe?
Hi! Yes it is totally safe to can potatoes in a pressure canner. You can process them by themselves. It is recommended though, to make sure they are peeled first. Here is my recipe for canning potatoes.
Can you put clear jel in the jars when canning instead of corn starch?
Hi! I haven’t tried that…the cornstarch you put in after you open it back up to eat it, it’s not safe for canning. You could try using the clear jel to thicken it before canning, but I’m not sure you would be happy with the resulting consistency of it. You would have to mix the clear jel in with the liquid before putting it in the jars. I’m not sure how that would work since you are actually cooking the vegetables in the liquid that’s in the jars. I know clear jel works great for this when making pie fillings, but I’ve never used it in a recipe I’ve prepared where you are actually cooking the recipe in a pressure canner. You could try it with one jar and see how it turns out??
Where is the best place to buy Clear Jel? I am Canadian and it’s about $30 for 1lb. Which includes shipping
Hi! Is that from Amazon? Amazon has it for a lot cheaper than that. If you have a local health food store or grocery store that has bulk foods they might have it. A couple of those types of stores near where I live have it for about $3 per pound in bulk.
HI I am sensitive to bouillon as it is very high in sodium. I know newer ones are on the market but I have not tried them yet. Could. Use beef broth with fresh herbs added instead?
Hi! Yes I don’t see why you couldn’t do that. The bouillon is just for flavor, it doesn’t affect the safety of canning this recipe.
I haven’t pressure canned before. I know that in water bath canning, you have to COVER the jars with water. Your directions say “Fill the pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water “…so I don’t need to cover the jars with 2-3 inches of water?
Hi Kay, I know that’s confusing, it took me awhile to get used to. In pressure canning you DO NOT cover the jars with water, the 2-3 inches of water in the bottom is all you need. In pressure canning it’s the steam and pressure that do all the work to kill the bacteria. Hope this helps! 🙂
Can you substitute chicken for the beef?
Yes, it would be totally fine to substitute chicken for the beef! 🙂
I have never pressured canned before, but you have inspired me! Thanks for the great tutorial!