Preserving Food—Canning Chicken

Canning meat is easier than most people think. It is so handy to have canned meat on your pantry shelves to make a quick meal on busy days. Pop the lid off the jar and you can make Chickenetti, Soups, barbecues, and even pizza.

There are a few items you will need when canning meat. The most important item is a pressure canner. You must use a pressure canner when canning meat….there are no exceptions. A water-bath canner nor oven canning will work for meat. Chicken is a low acid food and you cannot create a high enough temperature to kill bacteria without a pressure canner.

I prefer to pack raw chicken into quart jars when I can. But if you prefer you can slightly bake the chicken before you pack it into jars. You can can either boneless skinless breast and chicken thighs or chicken thighs with the bone. You will also find that bone-in thighs are much cheaper than sinless-boneless thighs. The chicken I canned today I bought in a 40 pound case for $.30 a pound.

Today when I canned chicken I used chicken thighs with the bone in. I prefer the bone-in when canning chicken. Bone-in chicken gives a much better flavor. I did pull the skin and some fat off of each thigh before packing them in to jars. The skin would have add more fat to the canned meat. I reserved the fat and set it aside to render. I’ll tell you more about that later!

When I pack chicken in jars, I pack it until it reaches the first ring around the jar; about 1 inch from the top of the jar. You may need to cut some of the chicken into pieces to fill the jar properly. 1 teaspoon of salt is added to each jar. You do not add water. When you can the chicken it will create juice in each jar.

Wipe the rim of each jar before you add the lids and rings. You want to have the rim as clean as possible to be sure of a good seal. Now you are ready to process the jars.

There are many kinds of pressure canners available. I have two Presto Pressure canners for quite a number of years. These canners have a dial that reads the pressure, and a weight that is placed vent on the canner. You will need to follow the manufacturers instructions for the pressure canner you have.

I know many people worry about the safety of pressure canners. We all have heard stories that exploding canners. But in all my years of canning I have never had an accident with my Presto Pressure Canner. There are several safety features this canners. If the pressure gets too high the weight that is on the vent will start to jiggle. That is the first alert that you canner needs attention. All you need to do is adjust the heat lower on your burner. There is also an small over-pressure plug that will pop out if the pressure gets extremely high. What that will do is release steam and pressure. I have never even come close to that happening. Pressure canners are really easy to use and are just as safe as any other kind of canner.

Here is my dishpan of chicken waiting to be processed. I found these thighs really cheap by the 40 pound case. A few of them needed to be trimmed as there was small pieces of backbone attached yet.

I love to see the jars full of meat and ready to be canned. These jars are a big time saver when we have unexpected visitors and I need a quick meal.

Remember the chicken skin/fat I told you to set aside? I rendered it to remove the fat. I have found that when you use rendered chicken fat in dinner rolls they have an amazing texture.

Here is how I render the skin/fat. In a 4 quart kettle I put 2/3 cup water; add the skin/fat and turn the burner on medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 1 hour until all the skin is browned. Strain the fat to remove any particles. I pour the hot fat into 1 cup jelly jars, add lids and rings. The jars will seal and keep indefinitely.

Here are some of my favorite recipes using canned chicken are Barbecue Chicken Pizza, Chickenetti, Chicken and Dumplings, and more!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken and Dumplings

Pressure Canning Chicken–7 quarts

  • 12 pounds chicken thighs, bone in
  • 7 teaspoons canning salt
  • 7 wide mouth quart jars with lids and rings
  • pressure canner
  • Wash jars with hot soapy water. Rinse well. Remove skin and excess fat from each thigh. Pack the chicken into the jars; trimming chicken if needed to fill each jar within 1 inch of the top. Wipe the rim of the jars clean for a better seal. Add lids in rings. Canning with a Presto Pressure Canner: Place your canner on your stove-top. Add 3 quarts water and 1/2 cup white vinegar to the canner. The white vinegar helps to cut the grease on the jars. Place the jars into the canner. Add the lid. Turn the burner on high. Allow the steam to vent from the vent pipe for 7 minutes. Add the weight. The pressure will start to rise on the pressure dial. When it reaches 11psi reduce your heat to keep the pressure as close to 11 psi as you can. Process bone-in chicken–pints at 11psi for 65 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes * these times are for bone-in chicken. When the time is up turn the burner off. Allow the pressure canner to set undisturbed until the pressure dial is at zero and the air vent lock has gone down. Remove jars and allow them to set for 24 hours. Check seals, remove lids, and wash jars well. Store in a cool dark pantry. 7 quarts canned chicken
  • Boneless chicken requires a longer processing time—pints 75 minutes and quarts 90 minutes.
pressure canning changes by altitude chart

If your altitude is higher than 2000 ft you will need to use a higher pressure.

This post has affiliated links, if you purchase items through these links, I receive a small commission but your price doesn’t change. Your purchase help support this blog, keeps new recipes coming, and assist with our move to a mission outreach of our church. Below are a few of my favorites listed under the affiliate store I purchase them.

Amazon

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

The Presto Pressure Canner is what I have been using for years. They are so very easy to use and require little maintenance. I replace the over-pressure plug and sealing ring every 2-3 years for safety reasons.

Pressure Canner

The All American Pressure Canner is a very durable canner. It is more expensive but you will not need to replace any sealing rings and lugs. Your initial cost will be more but you will recoup it since you don’t have any extra expensive.

Quart jars with rings
Canning Tools
Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt - 5 lbs. Extra-Fine Grain

Himalayan Pink Salt is one of the best salts to use. We use it on our salt shaker on our kitchen table.

The Trim Healthy Mama Store has wonderful products. Here is my affiliate link if you wish to use it. Trim Healthy Mama Store

Trim Healthy Mama Store

Preserving Food–Canning Chicken

Servings 7 quarts
Author Glenda Groff

Ingredients

  • 12 pounds chicken thighs bone in
  • 7 teaspoons canning salt
  • 7 wide mouth quart jars with lids and rings
  • pressure canner

Instructions

  1. Wash jars with hot soapy water. Rinse well. Remove skin and excess fat from each thigh. Pack the chicken into the jars; trimming chicken if needed to fill each jar within 1 inch of the top. Wipe the rim of the jars clean for a better seal. Add lids in rings. Canning with a Presto Pressure Canner: Place your canner on your stove-top. Add 3 quarts water and 1/2 cup white vinegar to the canner. The white vinegar helps to cut the grease on the jars. Place the jars into the canner. Add the lid. Turn the burner on high. Allow the steam to vent from the vent pipe for 7 minutes. Add the weight. The pressure will start to rise on the pressure dial. When it reaches 11psi reduce your heat to keep the pressure as close to 11 psi as you can. Process bone-in chicken–pints at 11psi for 65 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes. When the time is up turn the burner off. Allow the pressure canner to set undisturbed until the pressure dial is at zero and the air vent lock has gone down. Remove jars and allow them to set for 24 hours. Check seals, remove lids, and wash jars well. Store in a cool dark pantry. 7 quarts canned chicken

You will find many more preserving recipes in the spiral bound 600+ page Around the Family Table Cookbook. All recipes are sugar-free and label with the correct fuel. Books can be purchased using this link.  We have now added additional items to our store… Sourdough Starter Kits and more. Buy It Now

9 thoughts on “Preserving Food—Canning Chicken

  1. I have never canned anything, but I look forward to trying to do so within the next year. Forgive me if this is a naive question, but if you use raw chicken to can with, does it cook during the canning process or does it remain raw after processing? I would love to have homemade, canned chicken ready to go for quick meals! Thank you!

    • Yes, but since it is boneless you will need to do the longer processing time as noted. 90 minutes for quarts and 75 minutes for pints.

  2. I have questions…for the chicken skin “schmaltz”, do you process that at all, or just pour it in a jar and it will seal due to the natural heat? I couldn’t find where you mentioned that portion.
    I too purchased 40 lbs of chicken thighs just for this. How many pounds would you say 7 wide mouth quarts held?
    Oh last question, canning salt…I know you mentioned himalayan salt, but will any salt do?
    I can’t wait to get this going!

    • I just put the lids on the fat and they seal. I often use it in a few weeks so that works well for me. 12 pounds will fir tin 7 jars. I use either canning or Himalayan Salt.

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