Hoff's Favorite Canned Beef Stew

This is the beef stew Hoff prefers more than any. He says he's "frickin' addicted" to this stew. Hoff likes vinegar, and this stew has a vinegary bite to it. The combination of ingredients with the pressure canning, infuses flavor into every bit of this stew. Pressure canning stew is the absolute best way to make the most amazing beef stew quickly, and preserved & shelf-stable.

how I make it

my base recipe, my variations, and how I make it into a mix to make life easier


Hoff's Favorite Canned Beef Stew

This is the beef stew Hoff prefers more than any. He says he's "frickin' addicted" to this stew. Hoff likes vinegar, and this stew has a vinegary bite to it. The combination of ingredients with the pressure canning, infuses flavor into every bit of this stew. Pressure canning stew is the absolute best way to make the most amazing beef stew quickly, and preserved & shelf-stable. 

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Barbar
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Heating/Cooling 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 7 Quarts
Author Mom


Solids to Add to Quart Jars

  • 1.75 Cups onions, diced into 1/2" cubes
  • 7 Cups carrots, sliced 1/8-1/4" thick
  • 10.5 Cups Russet Idaho Potatoes, skin on, diced into 1/2" cubes
  • 3.5 pounds Beef roast, fat trimmed (raw) Stew meats, bottom round, top round, shoulder, chuck... even the more tough roasts will do just fine


  • 1/2 Cups Soy Sauce Silver Swan is the Philippine best, and the only kind I use.
  • 1.5 Cups Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Restaurant (finely) ground pepper Doesn't need to be fresh-ground
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1/3 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 14 Bay leaves Fresh are better if you have a Bay plant.

Added Atop Filled Jars

  • 3/4 tsp Sea Salt each quart jar (7 jars) Don't use iodized salt, as it will turn your broth cloudy and discolored. Iodized salt also contains sugar as an iodine stabilizer, as well as calcium.
  • Boiling Water


Sauce, Water, and Canner

  1. In a saucepan, add all Sauce ingredients. Heat on med-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. When the sauce begins to steam, turn the temperature down to allow the sauce to hover just below bubbling while you fill jars. You'll know the sauce is ready when the smell suddenly, and distinctly changes to something uniquely different than it was. At that point (probably 20 minutes into simmering) turn off the burner. 

  2. Fill a separate 5 quart pot with water, turn on high, and start heating it to a boil while you fill jars. Turn it down to low to simmer it while it waits to be used later.

  3. Make sure you understand all the usage instructions on your pressure canner. These instructions are based on an All-American Pressure Canner

    Add 2" of hot tap water to your pressure canner, and position on your burner. Add your rack insert to the bottom of the canner so your jars don't sit directly on the bottom of your pan and break during processing. Also, do NOT preheat your water to save time. This is a raw pack (packing raw room-temperature or cold ingredients), and although we'll be adding boiling water to the jars, the cool ingredients will cool the boiling water we add to it. It won't be enough to ensure the jars won't break from the temperature change of sitting on the counter to being placed in a steaming or boiling canner. It really sucks when jars break. 

Add to each of the jars:

  1. 1/4 Cups onion, chopped into 1/2" bits

  2. 1 Cup carrot, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds

  3. 1.5 C potato, cut into 1/2" cubes

  4. 8 ounces beef, cubed into 3/4" pieces

Combining everything:

  1. Dump the contents of the jars into a large bowl, and toss like a salad. Add the contents back into each jar and stuff it all in, leaving 1" of headroom (that's 1" of room between the top rim of the jar and the top of the jar contents)

  2. Add 3/4 tsp salt to each jar. 

  3. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce, and add two to each jar, stuffing them down the sides of the inside of the jars where they're visible through the glass.

  4. Using a small ounces measuring cup, add 5 Tbsp of the sauce mixture to each jar, making sure to stir before each collection to evenly distribute the pepper that has settled to the bottom.

  5. Using a Pyrex 2-cup glass liquid measuring cup, scoop boiling water out of your stock pot and add to the jars, leaving 1" headroom.

  6. Remove air bubbles:  Using a table knife (the duller knives used in place settings), insert the knife down into the sides of the jar between the jar and the stew contents, and lean the knife gently inward toward the stew. This is a gentle motion to disturb and move the jar contents, so bubbles that are stuck between ingredients can find their way out. Do this all around the side of the jar. Using the top of your knife, gently push the jar contents back down below the 1" headroom line.

Lids & Rings

  1. Dip a clean towel or paper towel in vinegar, and gently wipe down the tops of the glass jar rims where the lids will sit. This removes any seasonings, salt, or oils, and helps insure a seal during the canning process. 

  2. Rings, lids, and jars do NOT need to be pre-sterilized as long as you are water-bath or pressure canning for at least 10 minutes. The heat will sterilize the jars and their contents during processing. 

  3. Label your lids with the contents and today's month/year with a sharpie. Position the lids atop the jars, and screw-on the rings. Finger-tighten them only. No arm torque tightening, or grunting, or asking a stronger someone to do it for you. You don't want them terribly tight, or the air inside won't escape during processing. Thumbs and fingers, that's it.

Process for 90 minutes at 10 psi (1000 ft or below), or 15 psi (1001 feet or above)

  1. Add the jars to the pressure canner. Grease the rim of your lid with peanut oil, and lock it into place as per the instructions. Do not add the weight to the vent spout yet.

  2. Turn the burner on High, and heat WITHOUT the weight on until the vent begins to hiss. Set a timer for 10 minutes.

  3. When the timer beeps, add the weight according to your elevation. We're in Ohio, so that's under 1000 ft in elevation, so we'll use the 10-lb weight. Anywhere over 1000 ft should use the 15-lb weight. If you're unsure of your elevation, google it. 

  4. When the weight begins to spit and hiss, set a timer for 90 minutes. We will be processing this stew for 90 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure. Don't walk away from you're pressure cooker yet, we need to adjust the temperature and monitor the weight's spitting.

  5. Reduce your temperature to medium and begin the process of walking-down the temperature over the next several minutes to the lowest possible temperature that keeps your weight hissing at least once every 15 seconds. Don't leave your pressure cooker until you've successfully walked it down to a stable temperature. Feel free to go do other things, but stay close where you can hear the hissing. If you hear gentle, frequent hissing, you're good. If you don't hear hissing for more than 20 seconds at a time, you need to adjust your temperature. If it's hissing rapidly, you need to lower your temperature. This is not a crock pot... we don't set it and forget it. You can do other stuff, but stay close, because you're babysitting this thing.

  6. After about 20 minutes, the pressure will rise again, and your weight will spit more frequently. At this point, walk it down again just a teeny bit until the hissing goes back to gentle, frequent hissing at about once every 15 seconds. Ride the rest of the clock out.

  7. When the timer goes off, ONLY turn off the burner, and set a timer for 20 minutes. Do not take off the lid or remove the weight.

    What happens if you take off the lid at this point?  It is pressurized air, with pressurized glass jars, with pressurized hot food. It will explode all over you, your house, everyone within your room and the room above you. You will be pelted with hot steam, hot food, boiling water, a flying 10-lb canner lid, any metal parts that break off in the cataclysmic explosion. IF YOU SURVIVE, you will be hospitalized, maimed, disfigured, and possibly blind. Leave the damn lid on.

    What happens if you take off the weight at this point?  It will vent a powerful flow of steam (think of a very angry Old Faithful) for several minutes. The rapid pressure change will break all of your jars. The food and fluids leaking into the pressure cooker will then increase the water volume, and your Old Faithful geyser of steam will turn into a disgusting rain of fine droplets of beef stew broth and water. It will stick to every surface, including your ceiling. You will curse profusely as you desperately attempt to see through your stew-soaked eyes to put the weight back on and stop the madness. Your food, jars, and time spent is wasted, as is the next 2 hours it'll take to clean-up the mess, take a shower, and begin to asses the cost in damages to your home. So leave the damn weight on.

  8. When the 20-minute timer goes off, check to make sure the pressure on your pressure guage reads the lowest it can possibly go. If it does, this means your canner is depressurized. 

    Remove the weight. ONLY remove the weight. 

    Set a timer for 10 minutes.

    What happens if you remove the lid at this point? It's possible your jars haven't fully come down in pressure and temperature enough to endure the rapid temperature change of a canner that still has an internal temperature of about 200 degrees to a 70-ish degree room. It's worth the extra 10 minutes to make sure your jars survive the temperature change.

  9. When the timer goes off, you're safe to open your canner. Unscrew all bolts (I use a hot pad to do this), rotate it to unlock it, and lift it so it opens AWAY from you. Billows of steam will curl out. You don't want your face to be in that.

  10. At this point, you may leave the jars there to cool a bit before removing them, or you may use your jar lifter (always use a jar lifter, not a hot pad) to remove each jar from the canner. If you're removing the jars now...

    Place a dry towel on the counter. This prevents temperature shock from cold counter to hot jar and helps your jars to not crack in this state.

    ** Ensure the towel is DRY. If the towel is any kind of damp, the water in the towel will cool the jars on contact and shatter them. So don't use the towel you just dried your hands on, and make sure that if it's by the sink, water didn't seep into or splash onto it.

  11. Allow the jars to cool for about 8-12 hours, or until they're cool to the touch. Remove the rings, wash the jars (they're often greasy and messy), and store them in a cool place away from sunlight. 

All-American 921 Pressure Canner