Canning Meatloaf

In the realm of culinary exploration, we often find ourselves seeking ways to extend the life of our favorite dishes without compromising flavor. Today, we embark on an unconventional journey – canning meatloaf. This preservation method not only ensures longevity but also maintains the wholesome goodness of this classic comfort food. Join me as we delve into the art of canning, transforming ordinary meatloaf into a pantry staple.


Let’s gather the essentials for our canned meatloaf adventure:

  • 10 lbs ground beef (hamburg)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2-3 T light brown sugar
  • 1&1/4 tomato ketchup
  • 1 plastic package of saltine crackers
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1 t yellow mustard (powder)
  • 1 t pepper
  • 2 t salt
  • 8 eggs


Preparing the Jars

Before we dive into the mixing and packing, ensure your jars are prepped and ready:

  1. Follow canning principles for jar, lid, and band preparation.

Mixing and Packing

Now, let’s create the meatloaf mixture and pack it into jars:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a bowl, mix ground beef, garlic, onion, brown sugar, ketchup, saltine crackers, parsley, mustard, pepper, and eggs. Mix thoroughly for a well-blended flavor.
  2. Pack Tightly: Pack the mixture tightly into clean jars, eliminating air pockets. Leave about 1&1/4 inch headspace to allow for proper sealing.
  3. Wipe Rims: Ensure jar rims are clean to prevent any interference with the seal. Apply the bands finger-tight to allow air to escape during the canning process.

Pressure Canning

Time to seal the deal – quite literally. Follow these steps for successful pressure canning:

  1. Heat and Steam: Place jars in a pressure canner with cold water to prevent shock. Close the canner tightly without the weight. After 10 minutes of steam escaping, put the weight on the “nipple” to increase pressure.
  2. Maintain Pressure: Let the pressure reach 10 psi and keep it there for a minimum of 90 minutes. Adjust heat settings as needed to maintain pressure.
  3. Cool Naturally: Once done, turn off the heat and let the canner cool naturally. Do not remove the weight. Allow jars to cool for about 24 hours before testing for the seal.

Testing and Storing

  1. Test Seal: Remove bands and lift jars by the lids to test the seal. The lids should not come off; all lids should be concave.
  2. Storing: Store in a dark, cool, dry room. Don’t reapply bands to identify any improperly sealed jars easily.

Tips and Tricks

  • Safety First: Be cautious with garlic quantity, as raw garlic can be overpowering when pressure-canned.
  • Versatile Storage: Pan-fry slices to reheat and brown the outside or enjoy straight from the jar.
  • Spotting Spoilage: Watch for popped-up lids, indicating a potential issue. Always refrigerate and consume within two weeks if a seal is broken.


Q: Can I use other meats for canning?
A: While ground beef is a popular choice, you can experiment with ground turkey, chicken, or a mix for different flavors.

Q: Can I adjust the seasoning to my preference?
A: Absolutely! Canning allows for customization, so feel free to tweak the spices to suit your taste.

Q: How long do these canned meatloaves last?
A: When stored in ideal conditions, these jars can last for months, providing a convenient meal at your fingertips.

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