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How do I? ...Can Meats

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Meat

Clams

Please read Using Pressure Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Keep clams live on ice until ready to can. Scrub shells thoroughly and rinse, steam 5 minutes, and open. Remove clam meat. Collect and save clam juice. Wash clam meat in water containing 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. Rinse and cover clam meat with boiling water containing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per gallon. Boil 2 minutes and drain. To make minced clams, grind clams with a meat grinder or food processor. Fill jars loosely with pieces and add hot clam juice and boiling water if needed, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the canning method used.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Clams in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  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 Half-pints 60 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Pints 70 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Clams in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Half-pints 60 min 10 lb 15 lb
Pints 70 10 15


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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