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Cooking and Preserving Rabbit Meat

Last month we wrote about raising rabbits as food storage. We noted that you’ll quickly have a lot of rabbits on your hands. Do you have plans for those rabbits? Here’s a post about canning rabbit (and chicken) meat. You’ll definitely have enough meat to eat fresh and to store.

For ideas on how to prepare rabbit, check out Food.com's rabbit recipes. Livestrong.com also recommends rabbit as a tasty, lean meat. Click here for recipes on how to bake, barbeque, or stew rabbit meat.

For putting up your own rabbit meat, you might consider salt curing, brining, smoking, or pickling the meat. Or you can try one of these more common techniques:

Can it

Granny Miller has a lot of information on how to can rabbit and other small game. Step-by-step instructions give you background, and then walk you through the process. She also gives you some good tips like this about what to do with giblets,

"can the livers in their own jar because the liver taste will transfer to the other giblets. I always save the livers, kidneys, hearts and other bits when processing harvested animals. Even if I don’t eat those parts, my dogs and cats will."

Make jerky.

Backwoodsbound.com has a brief post on turning rabbit meat into jerky. You’ll need a food dehydrator, or a reliable oven that will maintain a temperature of 150-200° F for about 8 hours.

Freeze it.

You should probably use frozen meat within a few months; it might last longer if you vacuum pack it. Here are some guidelines on "shelf life" of frozen meats, from eHow.com.

"Label and date each package with a permanent marker. Then practice FIFO - first in, first out - which reduces the risk of freezer burn and spoilage. Plus you'll know what's in the package. Even when properly packaged, frozen meats have only several months of shelf life. For quick reference: chops, 6 - 12 months; ground meat, 2 to 3; roast, 6 to 12; steaks, 6 to 9; and stew meat, 2 to 3. A whole bird will keep up to 12 months; pieces up to 9 months."

We’re interested in hearing about your experiences preserving meat. What kinds of meat do you preserve, and what method do you like best? Let us know in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Cooking and Preserving Rabbit Meat”

  • Dorothy Sandaker
    Dorothy Sandaker March 25, 2014 at 10:57 am

    We have been raising rabbits for years and I have some in both the freezer(vacuum sealed) and also canned. We use the canned rabbit for vegitable soups(veggies from our own garden) noodle soups but also for taco's and burritoes. We don't buy a lot of red meat any more . My husband and I are both almost 80 and like the feeling of being pretty much self sustaining as far as food suppley goes.

  • Brent

    I took an educated look at the state of the economy a couple years ago, I decided to sell everything I had in fla. and bought a piece of land in n ga. Since I've planted about 75 fruit trees, 70 blueberries, about 50 grapevines and am raising chickens. I recently got some rabbits and this past Saturday I cleaned the first batch of young ones. It was a little tough as I watched them from birth, but wasn't too bad. I netted about two lbs of meat from each eleven week old rabbit, so have 15 lbs in the freezer for a start. There was a start up time with the breeders I got were young, then they had to learn to be moms, usually loosing their first litter. Now that I have adult breeders I should be fine with fresh meat from now on with three females and 1 male. I'll let you know how my first batch of fried or roasted rabbit turns out soon.

  • Erin Oxbury

    I've been raising and eating rabbits for over 10 years. At 3 months I put the meat in my pressure cooker and then freeze the boneless meat. So easy to throw it into soup, stir fry, burritos, or rice. I don't buy chicken anymore. Only chicks!

  • John in MT

    Cut up rabbit (or any other small critters) can be frozen for loooong periods if you keep the air away. I found that a cardboard juice carton is great. Rinse it out well, open the top all the way, put your rabbit (quail, dove, chicken) in the carton, fill with water to completely cover the meat, and freeze! I've had good results storing over a year with no freezer burn. The square cartons are easy to fit in the chest freezer and even keep things frozen when the power goes out for a few days.

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