Canning Beef Stew

Canning beef stew

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 first, but was hoping my family would at least try it. It turns out canning beef stew is really easy, I should have tried it sooner!

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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.

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.

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.


  • Roast or stew meat
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • 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 also need approximately 2 large onions, 6 stalks of celery, approximately 1 carrot per jar, 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. Peel and chop potatoes.

Canning Instructions:

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, you can just add a little hot water to make up the difference.

Wipe rims of jars with damp paper towel or dish towel. Place rings and lids on 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.

Note: You cannot can beef stew without a pressure canner. Because meat is a low acid food it MUST be pressure canned.

Unsure how to use your pressure canner? Watch as I prepare this beef stew recipe step by step.

Fill the pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water and place the jars in the pressure canner. Secure the lid on the canner.

Process the prepared jars in pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 70 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 just let them sit until they are completely cooled off.

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, 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).

Canning Supply List

Click here to download the canning supply list for this recipe.

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.

If you like this recipe, you should try canning chili next!

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and CookerPresto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and CookerPrepworks by Progressive Canning Funnel for Regular and Wide Mouth JarsPrepworks by Progressive Canning Funnel for Regular and Wide Mouth Jars

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Canning beef stew recipe

Easy recipe for canning beef stew

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34 Comments on "Canning Beef Stew"

  1. 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 .


    1. 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.


      1. 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


  2. 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?


    1. 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.


  3. 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.


    1. 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.


    1. 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.


    1. 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 🙂


  4. 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!


    1. 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.


  5. Rachel does the cooking process start once you put the lid on the pressure cooker on once it gets up to 10lbs of pressure?


    1. 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.


  6. 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?


    1. 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.


    1. 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??


      1. Where is the best place to buy Clear Jel? I am Canadian and it’s about $30 for 1lb. Which includes shipping


        1. 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.


  7. 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?


    1. 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.


  8. 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?


    1. 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! 🙂


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