Q and A: heating canned meat and canning meatloaf — 5 Comments

  1. Judyand Keren,

    There is a big debate about the safety of canning raw meatloaf. My All American canner manual recommends canning it. Some experts say “no”. When canning any raw meat, it’s necessary to “exhaust” the open jars of meat before putting the lid on and beginning processing. This involves sitting the open jars of meat in a large pan filled with water nearly to the top of the jar then heating the jars of meat on the stovetop until they reach 170 degrees in the center of the jar. Then quickly wipe the rims of the jars clean and place a hot, previously simmered lid on the jar, screw down the ring firmly tight and place in a warmed canner to process.
    If your meat has not been exhausted before canning and has been packed raw, I would be very careful to thoroughly heat that meat before eating.

  2. Dan,

    When you can ground beef, you lightly brown it and crumble it or form into patties. Both ways allow the meat to separate during processing and allow steam to flow throughout the jar and the meat. With meatloaf, the meat is in one solid chunk and it’s possible that it may not heat thoroughly in the center for long enough for safe processing. If you were to make meatloaf, then slice it and pack it that way, you could can it that way. But I’ve found out that making meatloaf seasoned meat balls seems to work better as the meat doesn’t dry out.

  3. I have canned meatloaf, raw, in wide mouth pint jars. I just slip out on a plate, slice and heat in gravy or pan fry and enjoy. I got the recipe on the Internet. Am I taking a chance with safety?

  4. So are all of the meatloaf jars we have suspect? Should we throw them away or just heat to a high temperature for the required time? Mine are canned in the pint and a half jars. I won’t can any more meat loaf for sure except in patties or meatballs.

  5. Isn’t meatloaf basically the same density as ground beef? So does this mean that ground beef isn’t safe to can? Or is the problem with raw-packing the beef in the meatloaf recipe?