Help! My canned meat tastes dry.

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Assistant Cook
Jan 13, 2023
I started pressure canning meat a few years ago and have been struggling with most of my meat coming out dry tasting. I have done pork, chicken, beef, and corned beef. I've used both cold and hot pack. The only one that has consistently come out good is my corned beef. I am just above 1000 foot elevation (1135ft) and I struggle with keeping my canner consistent through the process. I use the 15 lb weight and have an All American Canner Sometimes all my my liquid gets siphoned out, sometimes it doesn't. I believe at times the weather in my area plays a role with my problems but maybe I'm just trying to find an excuse. Does anybody have any suggestions or thoughts?
My first thought is that there is no safe canning recipe for corned beef.

You use both hot pack and raw pack. It should be packed tightly or you won't have liquid covering the meat.

If the siphoning happens at the end, when it cools and you remove the top (no pressure), just crack the lid about an inch, and let it sit 10 minutes before removing the jars from the canner.

If the siphoning is happening where you lose more than 1/2 the liquid, then use that right away, you've lost too much liquid. 3/4ths covered in liquid to all the meat is covered, is fine for long term storage.

I don't know if you are adding salt which is optional. If you are, try not adding it, if you aren't, try adding it. Salt it when you taste it if you need it.
Thanks Blissful Yes, I know about The corned beef, it's the only thing I have ever risked. :(.

I've never lost more than half of my liquid and it seems that the siphoning is happening during the process not afterward as it cools. I always cool down very slowly even cracking the lid. I've tried with salt and not with salt. I've been marking my jars so I know which ones have and do not have salt so I can test them out. I'm at a total loss.

It even tastes dry when I don't lose the liquid. It's frustrating because normally I'm a very good cook!

I just did pork shoulder. I was trying different seasonings with it so I had multiple jars that I had intended on opening right away to test out before I did a huge batch. So far 2 the eight jars taste dry to me.
Since you know that keeping the temperature the same between the jars of food and the water in the canner during the process--I can't think of another suggestion regarding the canning process.

For serving, use gravy I guess and serve with vegetables since they have a large % of water in them....but I'm sure you'll probably do that anyways.

Keep us in the loop. I'd love to hear how you solve the dilemma.
I do not can meat... that being said, when you say dry, could it possibly be being processed too long? I understand you are keeping the temperature constant but could the length of time be a factor?
For the most part home canned meats are cooked past the temp point that they are going to be dry. It's why they're mostly used in soups and stews where you have broth/sauce to help out.

Meats with enough fat and collagen to have some chance at being moist are recommended against home canning because their rendered fat volume often makes the seal fail.

IMHO, it's just the nature of the beast.
I have a friend who cans meat, but only as stew. It looks odd in the jars, because there is meat, vegis, and clear liquid. There is no gravy, because that is recommended against for food safety reasons. She thickens the gravy before serving it. Once the liquid is turned into gravy, the stew is apparently quite tasty.

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