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Would you like to have homemade meatballs stocked in your pantry for a quick and effortless meal? This simple canning meatballs in broth guide provides easy-to-follow steps on how to can meatballs safely.

meatballs canned in pint jars

If you enjoy canning and, like me, you are always on the hunt to try new recipes, be sure to visit my recipes for How To Can Vegetable SoupHow To Can ChiliHow To Can Cowboy Candy, Canning Tomato Soup with Fresh TomatoesCanning Beans, and Canning Salsa Without A Pressure Cooker.

Why Stock Your Pantry With Homemade Canned Meatballs?

  • You can control the ingredients: By canning your own meatballs, you can ensure that only the best ingredients are used without any additives or preservatives added in.
  • Convenience: Canned meatballs are perfect for quick and easy meals, especially for busy days when you don’t have time to cook from scratch.
  • Long shelf life: Canned meatballs have a long shelf life, making them perfect for stocking up your pantry.
  • Versatility: Canned meatballs can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta to soups and stews, making them a versatile protein to have on hand.
  • Cost-effective: Canning your own meatballs can be a cost-effective way to enjoy homemade meatballs, especially if you buy ingredients in bulk or grow your own herbs and spices. Plus, you can save money by eating at home instead of takeout or using pre-made meatballs.

What type of meat can be used when canning meatballs?

This is a flexible recipe. You can use a variety of meats. Be sure to choose good quality meat. This will help make your meatballs tender and less greasy. 

  • Ground Pork: Ground pork is a popular choice for meatballs, especially in Asian and Italian cuisines. It has a slightly fattier texture, which can result in moist and flavorful meatballs.
  • Ground Chicken: Ground chicken is a leaner option for making meatballs.
  • Ground Turkey: Similar to ground chicken, ground turkey is a lean alternative to beef. It produces moist meatballs and can be enhanced with various herbs and spices for added flavor.
  • Ground Lamb: Ground lamb can add a distinct and rich flavor to your meatballs. It pairs well with Mediterranean flavors and herbs like mint, oregano, and rosemary.
  • Ground Veal: Ground veal has a delicate and tender texture, resulting in delicate meatballs. 
  • Ground Venison: If you use venison, be sure to add some pork fat. Venison is very lean, and it is recommended to use ground pork fat mixed with lean venison.
  • Mixed Meats: Combining different types of ground meat can create unique flavor profiles and textures. 

Equipment

  • It is easier to pack meatballs in wide-mouth jars. This will also make it easier to remove the meatballs whole after they are canned. 
  • Using tongs will make it easier to pack the meatballs into the jars.

Prepare The Meatballs

1 Begin by lining a large sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This will make cleanup easier. Set a wire cooking rack on the cookie sheet pan to allow any excess grease to drip off the meatballs during cooking.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add 5 pounds of ground beef. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat. Thoroughly mix the meat mixture using your hands to ensure an even distribution of ingredients. I like to wear kitchen latex gloves to keep my hands clean.

4. Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop out portions of the meat mixture to form uniform-sized meatballs. Roll each portion between your hands to shape it into a firm ball.

raw meatballs with cookie scoop

5. Place the meatballs on the prepared wire cooking rack, leaving space between each meatball for even cooking.

raw meatballs on cookie sheet lined with foil and baking rack on top

6. Bake the meatballs in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, carefully flip the meatballs using tongs or a spatula, and bake for an additional 5 minutes to ensure even browning.

Tip: It’s important to check the internal temperature of the meatballs using a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Ground meat should reach a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) for safe consumption.

Packing Meatball In Canning Jars

  1. While the meatballs are cooking, pour the broth into a saucepan. Heat on medium high until the brother starts to simmer. Turn it down to low to keep it warm. You can make your own bone broth using my Easy-To-Follow Guide: Canning Bone Broth or buy pre-made boxed or canned broth.
  2. Begin by placing cooked meatballs in the canning jars, leaving the recommended 1-inch headspace from the rim. Using tongs, carefully arrange the meatballs in a way that allows for even heat distribution during processing.
meatballs in jars with boxed beef broth near

3. Pour the hot broth over the meatballs, covering them completely. Ensure that the liquid reaches the recommended 1 inch headspace and not going over it.

cooked meatballs in pint jars covered in broth. pressure cooker in background

4. Use a non-metallic utensil, like a plastic spatula or bubble remover tool, to gently remove any air bubbles trapped between the meatballs. This step helps prevent potential spoilage and ensures proper sealing.

5. With a clean, damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the rims of the jars to remove any residue or liquid that could interfere with the seal.

6. Place the lids on the jars and secure them with the bands, tightening them fingertip tight. Avoid over-tightening, as it can interfere with the sealing process.

Follow Your Canner’s Manufacturing Guidelines For Processing Meatballs

I have used the All-American Pressure Cooker & Canner for over 40 years without any problems or concerns. However, there are many other good brands of pressure canning pots. I strongly suggest you check your canner’s guidelines for preparing your canner properly for canning and processing various foods. Here is a list of safety guides for some popular canners. 

Processing Meatballs In A Pressure Canner

Refer to your pressure canner’s manual for specific instructions on adding water and using the canner.

  1. Add water: Begin by adding the appropriate amount of water to your pressure cooker based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you’ll need to add about 2 to 3 inches of water to create steam for the canning process.
  2. Load the canner and seal the lid: Place the loaded jars in the pressure cooker, following the cooker’s guidelines for spacing and capacity. Place the canner lid on and tightly secure it. Turn the stove burner on medium high heat. 
  3. Wait for a steady flow of steam: Allow the canner to heat until a steady flow of steam is seen coming out of the vent. The steam indicates that the canner is purging the air and achieving a proper internal temperature.
  4. Time for steam release: Depending on the size and type of your canner, allow the canner to heat up and produces a steady stream of steam. However, referring to your specific canner’s manual for recommended times is important.
  5. Add the weight or close the vent: Once the canner has been purged of air and a steady flow of steam is observed for 10 – 15 minutes, you can add the weight or close the vent, depending on the type of pressure canner you’re using. This will allow pressure to build up inside the canner.
  6. Reach and stabilize at the desired pressure: The canner will take additional time to reach and stabilize at the desired pressure for your recipe. The specific pressure will depend on the altitude and type of canner you have. 
  7. Process for the required time: Once the pressure is reached, start the timer for the required processing time. The processing time and pounds of pressure will depend on your altitude. Processing time will vary depending on the size of your jars. See the chart in the recipe card. 
Dial- Gauge Pressure Canner:  Recommended process time for ground meat.
 Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar SizeProcess Time0 – 2,000 ft2,001 – 4,000 ft4,001 – 6,000 ft6,001 – 8,000 ft
Hot and RawPints75 min11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb
Quarts9011121314
Weighted-Guage Pressure Canner:  Recommended process time for ground meat.
 Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar SizeProcess Time0 – 1,000 ftAbove 1,000 ft
Hot and RawPints75 min10 lb15 lb
Quarts901015

Cooling, Testing Seals, And Storage Of Canned Beef

  1. After the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to depressurize naturally. Do not force-cool or remove the lid prematurely.
  2. Once the canner has depressurized, carefully remove the jars using a jar lifter. Be careful, the contents in the jar will still be boiling. Place the jars upright on a dish towel on your countertop. *Do not remove the rings.
  3. Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  4. Check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. A properly sealed jar will not flex or pop. If a jar hasn’t sealed, refrigerate and consume the contents within a few days.
  5. Label the sealed jars with the date and store them in a cool, dark place. 

Tips and Variation Ideas For Canning Meatballs

With a few simple tips and information, you can easily have cooked meatballs in your pantry for an easy dinner. 

Meatballs

  • Choose lean ground meat, such as lean ground beef, venison, turkey, or chicken. This helps reduce the risk of excessive fat or grease in canned meatballs, which can affect the quality and safety of the final product.
  • Cook meatballs before canning them. If you can raw meatballs, they will not hold their round shape. 
  • Be sure to cook the meatballs in your oven first. This will help excess grease drip off of the meatballs onto the pan.
  • Use a cookie scoop when forming the meatballs. The scoop will help ensure even cooking and processing during the canning process. Generally, meatballs about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter work well for canning.
  •  When packing the pre-cooked meatballs into the canning jars, do not overpack the meatballs and make sure to leave the recommended amount of headspace as specified in the recipe. This allows room for expansion during processing and helps create a proper seal.

Broth

  • To make delicious meatballs for canning, avoid using water. Instead, opt for beef broth when making beef meatballs and chicken broth when making poultry meatballs. This will enhance the flavor and result in a tastier final product.
  • Tomato juice would be a delicious choice for filling jars with liquid during the canning process.

Spices

When canning meatballs, it’s important to ensure that the spices you use are safe for preserving food and do not interfere with the canning process. Here are some commonly used spices that are generally safe to add to ground meat when canning meatballs:

  1. Salt: Salt is a popular seasoning that helps enhance the flavor of meatballs. It also acts as a preservative, inhibiting bacterial growth.
  2. Black pepper: Ground black pepper adds mild, aromatic heat to meatballs and is generally safe for canning.
  3. Garlic powder: Garlic powder provides a savory flavor to meatballs and is safe to use in canning.
  4. Onion powder: Onion powder adds a subtle onion flavor and is considered safe for canning.
  5. Dried herbs: Dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, or parsley can be added to meatballs for additional flavor. These herbs are generally safe for canning.
close up of a pint of canned meatballs in broth

How To Serve Canned Meatballs

Having your canned meatballs on hand is a great way to save you time when you want to fix a quick dinner.

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs: Serve the canned meatballs over pasta with your favorite marinara or tomato sauce.
  • Meatball Pizza: Spread marinara sauce over your pizza crust and top it with sliced canned meatballs and your favorite toppings.
  • Meatball Stew or Soup: Add canned meatballs to your favorite stews or soups.

Need a big batch to feed a crowd? You can easily change the number of servings in the recipe card below by tapping 2x or 3x. The ingredient measurements will automatically double or triple. You can then tap print and there you have it, a recipe for a crowd.

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meatballs in pint jars with canning seal on
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Easy Step-By-Step Guide For Canning Meatballs In Broth

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 7 pints
 This simple canning meatballs in broth guide provides easy-to-follow steps on how to can meatballs safely.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

hand showing you to tap on the ingredient to add to your walmart and target list.

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

Prepare Meatballs

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Begin by lining a large sheet pan with aluminum foil. This will make cleanup easier. Set a wire cooking rack on the cookie sheet pan to allow any excess grease to drip off the meatballs during cooking.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add 5 pounds of ground beef. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat. Thoroughly mix the meat mixture using your hands to ensure an even distribution of ingredients. I like to wear kitchen latex gloves to keep my hands clean.
    5 pounds ground beef, 3 teaspoons salt, 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop out portions of the meat mixture to form uniform-sized meatballs. Roll each portion between your hands to shape it into a firm ball.
  • Place the meatballs on the prepared wire cooking rack, leaving space between each meatball for even cooking.
  • Bake the meatballs in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, carefully flip the meatballs using tongs or a spatula to ensure even browning. bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Packing Meatballs In Canning Jars

  • While the meatballs are cooking, pour the beef broth into a saucepan. Heat on medium-high until the brother starts to simmer. Turn it down to low to keep it warm. You can make your own bone broth using my Easy-To-Follow Guide: Canning Bone Broth or buy pre-made boxed or canned broth.
    32 ounces beef broth
  • Begin by placing cooked meatballs in the canning jars, leaving the recommended 1-inch headspace from the rim. Using tongs, carefully arrange the meatballs in a way that allows for even heat distribution during processing.
  • Pour the hot broth over the meatballs, covering them completely. Ensure that the liquid reaches the recommended 1 inch headspace and not going over it.
  • Use a non-metallic utensil, like a plastic spatula or bubble remover tool, to gently remove any air bubbles trapped between the meatballs. This step helps prevent potential spoilage and ensures proper sealing.
  • With a clean, damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the rims of the jars to remove any residue or liquid that could interfere with the seal.
  • Place the lids on the jars and secure them with the bands, tightening them fingertip tight. Avoid over-tightening, as it can interfere with the sealing process.

Processing Meatballs

  • Begin by adding the appropriate amount of water to your pressure cooker based on the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, you'll need to add about 2 to 3 inches of water to create steam for the canning process.
  • Place the loaded jars in the pressure cooker, following the cooker's guidelines for spacing and capacity. Place the canner lid on and tightly secure it. Turn the stove burner on medium high heat.
  • Allow the canner to heat until a steady flow of steam is seen coming out of the vent. The steam indicates that the canner is purging the air and achieving a proper internal temperature. Depending on the size and type of your canner, allow the canner to heat up and produces a steady stream of steam. However, referring to your specific canner's manual for recommended times is important.
  • Once the canner has been purged of air and a steady flow of steam is observed for 10 – 15 minutes, you can add the weight or close the vent, depending on the type of pressure canner you're using. This will allow pressure to build up inside the canner.
  • The canner will take additional time to reach and stabilize at the desired pressure for your recipe. The specific pressure will depend on the altitude and type of canner you have.
  • Once the pressure is reached, start the timer for the required processing time. The processing time and pounds of pressure will depend on your altitude. Processing time will vary depending on the size of your jars. See the chart in the recipe card notes below.

Cooling, Testing Seals

  • After the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to depressurize naturally. Do not force-cool or remove the lid prematurely.
  • Once the canner has depressurized, carefully remove the jars using a jar lifter. Be careful, the contents in the jar will still be boiling. Place the jars upright on a folded in half dish towel on your countertop. *Do not remove the rings.
  • Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Check the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. A properly sealed jar will not flex or pop. *(See tips below) If a jar hasn't sealed, refrigerate and consume the contents within a few days.
  • Label the sealed jars with the date and store them in a cool, dark place. 

Notes

Dial- Gauge Pressure Canner:  Recommended process time for ground meat.
  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 Pints 75 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90 11 12 13 14
Weighted-Guage Pressure Canner:  Recommended process time for ground meat.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints 75 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 90 10 15
Serving: 1pint, Calories: 834kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 57g, Fat: 65g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 28g, Trans Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 230mg, Sodium: 1696mg, Potassium: 956mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.01g, Vitamin A: 5IU, Calcium: 71mg, Iron: 7mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Canning
Author: Gina Dickson

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