In an earlier blog post we showed you how to pressure can meat – For that recipe we used beef. We also showed the difference between hot pack and cold pack canning. In this post we show how to pressure can rabbit.
Canning rabbit is very similar in technique so this post on how to pressure can rabbit is not going to cover the same ground. However, we will tell you some differences and some things to consider.
Generally rabbit and chicken recipes are interchangeable. The main difference is that a rabbit has much less fat than a chicken. You need to keep that in mind for recipes when you are cooking a fresh rabbit because if you cook rabbit too fast the meat will end up tough and stringy.
So unless you are frying it, try and use the slower methods when cooking rabbit.
One great thing about pressure canning rabbit meat is you don’t have to worry about tough meat.
That’s because the meat was already pressured cooked and is very tender and moist. Canned rabbit is a tremendous time saver. As well as a good prep because you don’t have to worry about powering your freezer.
I use canned rabbit in salads, casseroles, barbecue, in white gravies and sauces over biscuits and in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.
While this post is about canning rabbit, and its part of a rabbit husbandry series, don’t get too static in your thinking, you can interchange meats in canning recipes just as long as you remember to process the jars according to the ingredient that requires the longest processing time. And if you’re canning chicken the times are the same.
I especially like white chili made with rabbit and is easily canned for me to take to work and keep in my desk. (Yes my coworkers think I am crazy and wonder aloud at least once a week when I am going to eat the pint jar of turkey and rice I canned back in 2009 that I use as a discussion starter.)
Hot Pack or Raw Pack
Like the beef canning post you have a choice between the “hot pack “or “raw pack methods” as well as “bone in” or “bone out”.
The quickest and (IMHO) best way in the long run and I think best way to can rabbit is with the hot pack, bone out method. This makes a canned product that is ready to go from the shelf – just like commercial canned meat.
A consideration for you to think about is that the flavor of the meat is stronger if you choose a bone in method, but its not off putting (to me) it’s a subtle difference but the bones do add kind of a dark meat flavor.
The bone in method is simpler. Especially with small game animals. Squirrel and rabbit are hard to bone. (YES I said squirrel – be flexible people)
Since there is no such thing as a free lunch. If you bone when you can, you can just heat and serve. If you don’t bone when you can, you have to do it later.
Like the earlier post, I like using wide mouth jars; it’s easier to pack, easier to get my meat out, and much easier to clean later.
As a general rule of thumb, allow 2 to 2 ½ pounds of boneless meat per quart. If your making bone-in canned rabbit you should allow for 2 ½ to 4 ½ pounds of meat per quart.
A Word About Giblets
If you are processing a large batch of rabbits and want to can the heart or livers (or if doing chickens the gizzards) set them aside to be canned in separate jars.
It’s also a good idea to can the livers in their own jar because the liver taste will transfer to the other giblets.
If you have never canned meat before the video below will show you the process to can some rabbit, but if you have canned meat before just remember to be clean, follow your canner’s instructions, wipe your jars, and be safe.
While I won’t go into the step by step process since I have covered that before, I will tell you the processing times for small game and poultry:
|Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||Process Time||0- 2,000 ft||2,001 – 4,000 ft||4,001 – 6,000 ft||6,001 – 8,000 ft|
Hot and Raw
Hot and Raw