How to Start Canning Chicken
Canning chicken makes me think of hot casseroles, simmering soups, and steaming fajitas, all with bits of chicken that have been lovingly preserved for family. When you start canning chicken, you'll never buy the store-bought stuff again - home canned chicken is just so good! It provides the convenience of being able to just pop open a jar for a quick and tasty lunch. And better yet, home canned chicken is so much healthier for you.
Did you know that the cans of chicken you buy at the store contain large amounts of aluminum? Worse yet, do you know that the aluminum slowly leaks into the chicken inside? While this will not create an immediate health crisis, studies have shown that there is a direct link between aluminum intake and alzheimer's disease. Canning chicken at home totally eliminates this risk since you'll be canning in glass jars.
Plus, no added ingredients, hormones, or icky preservatives will be lurking in your canned chicken. Nope! Just fresh and healthy chunks of chicken that will please everyone who tries it. Canning chicken is truly the best way.
Start Canning Chicken
1. Prepare your chicken. When canning chicken, you have two options open to you for this canned chicken recipe. Raw pack or hot pack. Raw pack is canning your meat raw (it will get cooked in the canner later) and hot pack is canning your meat pre-cooked.
Click here to get a quick overview of raw pack vs. hot pack.
Hot pack: Cook your chicken. This can be done several ways. You can fry it in a skillet (but don't add any oil!), boil it in a soup pot full of water, or cook it in a roaster. Whichever way you choose, make sure that your chicken is almost done. Not thoroughly cooked; but almost though. Cook meat until rare.
Raw pack: Rinse your raw meat if desired, and pat dry with a clean paper towel.
2. Cut your chicken.On a sanatized surface, cut, slice, dice, or chop your chicken pieces into any size or shape your prefer. It really doesn't matter how big or little it is. Keep in mind that small pieces of chicken will be more useful for soups, casseroles, sandwiches, etc. Make sure you remove pieces of bone as you do this.
3. Pack into jars. Once you have your chicken pieces cut to size, place them into
clean, sterilized jars.
Make sure to leave a 1 inch headspace. This means there should be 1 inch of space between the top of the chicken at the top of the jar. Leaving plenty of room between the two will gurantee a good seal later on.
It's important that your jars are really clean. You can do this by running them through the dishwasher, boiling them, or washing them thoroughly by hand with hot soapy water. However you do it, make sure the end result is spotlessly clean jars!
*If you are using the hot pack method for canning chicken, make sure your jars are warm/semi-hot before packing with hot meat.
4. If you are using the raw-pack method: Add 1 tsp. of salt to each quart jar of chicken, if desired. Do not add any liquid.
If you are using the hot-pack method:Add 1 tsp. of salt to each quart jar of chicken, if desired. Pour chicken broth (either from the chicken or homemade) over the pieces of chicken, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
5. Wipe rims of jars! I can't emphasize how important of a step this is. When you're canning chicken, (or any kind of meat, for that matter) you need to remember that it is greasy, and you will always get some of that grease on the rims of the jars. No matter how hard you try, it will always happen. Even if you can't see it. If you fail to wipe the grease of the rims of your jars, your lids will almost always unseal, or fail to seal. Avoid a lot of trouble by just doing this simple step.
6. Place lids and rings on the jars. The rings do not need to be extremely tight, but just finger tight. Tight enough to stay on, but loose enough to come off later.
You may be wondering if you should wash your rings/lids ahead of time. Rings, yes. Lids, if you want to. Since your lids should be brand new when you're using them, they are virtually clean. However, if you want to be extra careful, you can gently wash them in luke-warm water. Never boil them, though! The hot water will damage the seal.
7. Prepare your pressure canner. Fill your pressure canner about half full of water. You need to check your owner's manual for specific instructions regarding the amount of water, though.
8. Place jars in canner. Remember that a pressure canner will only hold 7-8 quarts at a time, so don't cram more than that in. For a weighted gauge canner, process at 10 pounds. For a dil guage canner, process at 11 pounds. Process pints for 1 1/4 hours, quarts for 1 1/2 hours. Inrease pressure and processing time for your specific altitude. It's very important that you figure out exactly the pounds of pressure and the processing time needed for your altitude, because under-processed meat is a serious health hazard.
go from canning chicken to home page