Seasoning and Pressure Canning Roast Beef

canned beef roast
When canning roast beef, pick lean meat and cut the beef roast into 1-inch cubes. Brown the meat pieces if hot packing or raw pack them into sterilized pints or quart jars with 1-inch headspace. Process in a pressure canner for 75 to 90 minutes.

What is the Best Way to Can Roast Beef?

Roast beef is a low-acid food and must be processed in a pressure canner. Clostridium botulinum and other heat-resistant bacteria thrive in boiling water temperatures, making a water bath canner an unsafe option for canning roast beef.

How to Pressure Can Roast Beef

If it’s your first time canning meat, use this step-by-step tutorial for pressure-canning roast beef:

  1. Wash canning jars, lids, and screw bands with hot, soapy water. Sterilize canning jars by boiling them in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove gristle and excess fat from the roast beef with a sharp knife and discard.
  3. Cut the meat into uniform 1-inch cubes.
  4. Hot pack method instructions: partially cook the meat pieces (until rare) in a hot skillet with a small amount of oil or cooking spray. Flip the pieces to ensure even browning along the edges, then pack the meat pieces snugly into canning jars.
  5. Raw pack method instructions: If raw packing, don’t cook the roast beef pieces. Pack tightly into canning jars, and do not add canning liquid.
  6. For raw and hot packs: Season with ½ teaspoon of pickling salt per pint and 1 teaspoon for each quart. Add 1 teaspoon of Montreal steak seasoning or black pepper, as desired. Leave 1-inch headspace.
  7. For hot packing, use a stainless steel canning funnel to add boiling water, beef broth, or tomato juice into the jars to fill the remaining space while maintaining 1-inch headspace.
  8. Remove air bubbles from hot pack jars with a bubble popper or a non-metallic utensil.
  9. Dampen a clean cloth with vinegar or hot water and wipe the jar rims clean. Apply canning lids to the jars.
  10. Place sterilized rings on the jars and screw until fingertip tight.
  11. Add 2-4 inches of water to your pressure canner per the manufacturer’s instructions and heat the water.
  12. Transfer the jars to the pressure canner and set them on the canning rack inside.
  13. Close the lid, and let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes.
  14. Allow the pressure to build to the appropriate level per your canner type and elevation:

Processing time and pressure for roast beef cubes in a dial gauge pressure canner:

Altitude (ft)0 – 2,0002,001 – 4,0004,001 – 6,0006,001 – 8,000
Pints (75 minutes)11 lbs12 lbs13 lbs14 lbs
Quarts (90 minutes)11 lbs12 lbs13 lbs14 lbs

Processing time & pressure for roast beef in a weighted gauge pressure canner:

Altitude (ft)0 – 10001,001 +
Pints (75 minutes)10 lbs15 lbs
Quarts (90 minutes)10 lbs15 lbs
  1. Once the canner is at the correct pressure, begin timing. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.
  2. Once the time lapses, turn the stove off. Wait until the pressure gauge drops to zero before opening the canner.
  3. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from the hot water. Transfer them to a towel-covered counter or heat-resistant mat.
  4. Let the jars cool undisturbed, 1-inch apart, for 12-24 hours.
  5. Remove the screw bands. Confirm vacuum sealing by pressing the lid with your finger. Sealed lids will not flex up and down.
  6. Label the sealed jars and store them in a cool, dark, dry place.
Two jars of canned roast beef
Pressure-canned beef

What Spices Should Be Used for Canning Roast Beef?

While it’s okay to experiment with herbs and spices on your canned roast beef, use them sparingly. If using fresh spices for canning recipes, you will need three times the amount of dried spices.

Excellent spices for canned roast beef include:

  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Fresh or dried onions
  • Garlic cloves or powder
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • Mustard seeds
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

What is the Best Temperature for Canning Roast Beef?

Per the USDA, the proper temperature for pressure canning meats is 240-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does it Take to Can Roast Beef?

Whether canning ground beef or processing roast beef, it takes 75 minutes for pint jars or 90 minutes for quarts.

What Kind of Beef Roast is Best for Canning?

When choosing a cut of roast beef for home canning, choose boneless, lean cuts with less connective tissue and minimal fat. Fat inhibits heat penetration, while connective tissues result in a tough texture.

Some of the best roast cuts for canning include:

  • Chuck steaks
  • Rib roast
  • Round steaks
  • Rump roast
  • Sirloin
Lean raw beef roast chunks cut into 1 inch cubes
Lean beef roast

What are the Benefits of Canning Roast Beef?

  • Convenience. Having jars of canned beef in your kitchen means fewer grocery store trips.
  • Cost-effective. Canning roast beef lets you buy in bulk when prices are discounted.
  • Flexibility. Roast beef can be mixed into a beef stew or added to casseroles!
  • Longer shelf life. Canning keeps foods fresh longer than other methods of food preservation.
  • Nutritional benefits. A beef roast is rich in protein, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, selenium, and vitamin B-12.
  • Saves freezer space. Canning roast beef frees up valuable freezer space for other foods.

What is the Difference between Pressure Canning and Water Bath Canning Roast Beef?

The main difference between pressure canning and water bath canning is the temperature reached by each method.

Pressure canning combines extra-high heat (240°F – 250°F) with pressure to eliminate harmful bacteria and safely preserve food. The water bath method depends on high acidity plus the temperature of boiling water (212°F) to kill harmful food pathogens.

Since roast beef has a pH above 4.6 and is considered a low-acid food, it must be canned at a temperature between 240°F – 250°F, which cannot be reached by a boiling water bath canner.

What Kind of Jars Are Best for Canning Roast Beef?

Ball Mason jars are one of the best canning jar types for pressure canning recipes. These jars are made of heat-resistant glass and are made to withstand extreme pressure.

Pints and quarts are the most suitable jar sizes for canning roast beef. Unlike larger jars, these sizes allow for proper heat penetration within a shorter time while not overprocessing the meat.

What is the Shelf Life of Canned Roast Beef?

Unopened canned roast beef has a shelf life of 2-5 years. Opened jars are best consumed within 3-5 days. Direct sunlight, moisture, and storage temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit can accelerate spoilage.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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