As far as shelf stable meals go, this pressure canned beef stew recipe has everything you’d ever want: hearty, flavorful, and so so simple to serve, it’s something I always keep stocked.
Despite the fact that roast is a favorite food in my family, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I just can’t seem to crack the code on the ever popular crock pot roast.
I switched to a stove-top method to make homemade beef stew, but even that felt tricky.
Not to mention, I could never quite get everything to cook to the same doneness, and I either didn’t make enough, or I had way too many leftovers.
Once canning entered my skill set, I learned that the best homemade beef stew, is actually home-canned beef stew!
Now I have perfectly cooked meat and vegetables in pre-portioned, shelf-stable jars.
I always know exactly what I’m getting when I am canning beef stew, and what I’m getting is an amazing meal every time!
What You’ll Need to Make Canned Beef Stew
- Quart Jars (I prefer these to pint jars because I rarely need only one pint of soup)
- Pressure Canner – mine is a presto brand dial gauge pressure canner
- Jar lifter
- Jar funnel
- Knife or chopstick to remove air bubbles
- Screw bands and gaskets (lids)
- Beef Roast or cubed stew meat – I used a chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces. Unless you are getting a beef share, like a side of beef, buying stew meat at the grocery store already cubed will usually be more expensive, since the prep work is done for you. The pressure canning process is similar to using a pressure cooker, so don’t worry about buying an expensive cut of beef. Pressure canning breaks down even the toughest meats into delicious, tender bites.
- Water or beef broth – I use water because the meat creates a delicious broth during the canning process. I prefer to save my hard earned beef broth of other recipes.
- Potatoes – cubed, I used russets because they hold up well
- Onions(optional) – diced
- Carrots (optional) – diced
- Celery (optional) – diced
- Fine salt – I use pink Himalayan salt, but you can use any salt except iodized salt.
Note: the vegetables marked “optional” can be used in any combination without any change to the canning time or safety. If you are missing any one of these, you can still preserve a delicious product to feed your family.
Green beans are also safe to add if you like a beef stew with green beans.
How to Make this Easy Pressure Canned Beef Stew Recipe
To make pressure canned beef stew as easy as possible, I like to follow a raw pack method. This means that we will be working with raw ingredients and allowing the beef stew to cook in the canner.
Preparing and Filling the Jars of Beef Stew
Begin by preparing your beef and vegetables.
Cut your beef into about 1 inch cubes trimming the edges if there is too much fat.
Cut your potatoes into about 1 inch cubes as well.
For the celery, carrots, and onions, cut them to the size that you’d like to eat them in.
For example, my kids like carrots, so I’ll cut those into a larger dice. Onions and celery aren’t as big of a hit around here, so I’ll cut those into a much smaller dice.
Fill your jars with the potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, followed by the cubed beef.
Add the salt.
Fill the jar with filtered water to 1 inch headspace.
Lower a knife or chopstick down all four sides of the jar to release any hidden air bubbles.
If the headspace changed after de-bubbling, top with more water to reach the 1 inch head space.
Using a cloth dipped in white vinegar, wipe the rims of your prepared jars to remove any debris and center the lid on the jar.
Add the screw band and tighten to fingertip tightness.
Processing Jars of Beef Stew
Place your jars into your canner with water of similar temperature. Any rapid change in temperature can result in jars cracking.
Bring up to pressure over medium heat to medium-high heat.
Vent for 10 minutes before placing the weight.
Bring the pressure up to 10 pounds pressure.
Process your jars according to your canner’s manufactures instructions at 10 pounds pressure for
1 hour 15 minutes for pint size jars and
1 hour 30 minutes for quart size canning jars.
You have to pressure can this canned beef stew recipe because the beef stew is considered a low acid food, and pressure canning is the only safe method of preservation for low-acid foods.
I have a post about the differences between Water Bath Canning vs Pressure Canning if you want to learn more!
If this is your first time canning, congratulations on taking the first steps! For more information on safety and processes, you can check out the Ball Blue Book, or the Ball Canning Book for more information. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is another valuable resource.
When your canner is finished, be sure to allow the hot jars and the canner to cool on the burner for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
After removing the lid, allow the jars to rest for another 5-10 minutes
Again, any rapid change in temperature can result in jars breaking or even seal failures from the contents of the jar siphoning out.
Using the jar lifter, place your jars on a dish mat or tea towel to protect your counter from the heat, as well as protecting the jars from your colder counters.
Storing Pressure Canned Beef Stew
When your quarts of beef stew are finished and cooled, clean them thoroughly before storing.
I like to use a vinegar dampened dish towel or paper towel to wipe the jars. This will clean off any fat that escaped the jars as well as any hard water stains cooked onto the jar.
Place jars on your pantry shelf or in a cool dark place to store.
Be sure to store your jars without the rings so that you can have peace of mind that the seals are true. That way, if you lose a seal, you will know immediately.
How Long Will Canned Beef Stew Last?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), High-acid foods will keep their best quality for up to 18 months. Low-acid foods can maintain quality for 2 to 5 years.
If jars and lids remain dent free with no swelling or rust, and are stored in a cool, dark place, they are safe indefinitely.
How to Serve Pressure Canned Beef Stew
After opening your jar, dump the contents into a pot on the stove. I love adding a small sprig of rosemary that, when heated with the beef stew, imparts a lovely flavor. When the soup is ready, I simply discard the rosemary.
We serve this with a hearty bread slathered in butter or soup crackers.
- 2 Pound beef roast or cubed stew meat
- 4-6 Russet potatoes
- 5 Medium sized carrots
- 2 Onions
- 4 Stalks Celery
- 1 tsp salt per jar
- Cut beef into about 1 inch cubes - trimming the edges if there is too much fat.
- Cut your potatoes into about 1 inch cubes as well.
- Dice carrots, onion, and celery to your preferences.
- To the jar add about 4 oz potatoes followed by 4 oz of your choice of carrots, onion, celery, or any combination of the three.
- Add about 8 oz of cubed beef.
- Add 1 tsp salt to each jar.
- Fill the jar with filtered water to 1 inch headspace.
- Lower a knife or chopstick down all four sides of the jar to release any hidden air bubbles.
- If the headspace changed after de-bubbling, top with more water to reach the 1 inch head space.
- Using a cloth dipped in white vinegar, wipe the rims of your prepared jars to remove any debris and center the lid on the jar.
- Add the screw band and tighten to fingertip tightness.
- Place your jars into your canner with 2 inches of water.
- Bring up to pressure over medium heat to medium-high heat.
- Vent for 10 minutes before adding the weight.
- Bring the pressure up to 10 pounds pressure.
- Process your jars according to your canner's manufactures instructions at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hour 30 minutes for quart size canning jars.
- Allow the hot jars and the canner to cool on the burner for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
- After removing the lid, allow the jars to rest for another 5-10 minutes
- Using the jar lifter, place your jars on a dish mat or tea towel to protect your counter from the heat, as well as protecting the jars from your colder counters.
Any combination of beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery are safe in this recipe as long as the processing instructions are followed.
For example, if you want your jars to have more beef with less vegetables, that is fine!
Alternatively, if you prefer more potatoes to less beef, that is fine as well.
Or, if you want to leave out the carrots, you can do that.
This recipe can be customized to your family's taste as far as those changes go.