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How to Home Can Chicken Breast

Part of the reason I enjoy canning so much is that I have such a sense of accomplishment when I see all of the finished jars.

Home Canned Chicken

Home Canned Chicken

If you use canned chicken, home canning it yourself can be rewarding. Not only do you save money, but you know that there are no preservatives added. I will explain how to do it here.

Once it's been canned, you can use it later for pot pies, hot chicken sandwiches, salads, chicken ala king, chicken fried rice, and many other dishes that require chicken. Can some extra when you find chicken on sale. It is handy to have around when you'd like a quick meal.

Equipment Needed

  • Pressure canner (you must use a pressure canner)
  • Sterile Mason-style pint or quart canning jars
  • Canning jar lids and rings
  • Knife for cutting the meat
  • Cutting board
  • Chicken: Any part of the chicken either with bone, fat, or skinless boneless chicken. I like to use skinless, boneless breast meat. Raw chicken is best. Cooked chicken can end up mushy.
  • Salt, if desired
Cut the chicken into chunks that will fit into the jars.

Cut the chicken into chunks that will fit into the jars.

Step 1: Cut up the Chicken

First, you'll need to cut the chicken into pieces that will fit in the jar. If you'd like you can use bone-in chicken. I've seen entire chicken legs canned this way.

I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breast, because we have good sale prices going on right now, but you can remove the skin and bones yourself or can it with them. I like to cut the breast into smaller pieces, so more will fit in the jar.

Leave 1 inch head space in jars.

Leave 1 inch head space in jars.

Step 2: Place Chicken in Jars

Next, place the chicken in the jars leaving 1-1/4 inch headspace. You can add water if desired. I like a little broth with my chicken. If you'd like some with yours, add some water. After adding water, be sure to leave the 1-1/4 inch headspace for cooking. Add the salt at this time.

The chicken does make its own juice, so you may want to skip the water.

Use a kitchen knife to get out air pockets.

Use a kitchen knife to get out air pockets.

Step 3: Use Knife to Get Rid of Air Pockets

If you've added water for broth, use a regular kitchen knife and run it up and down the sides of the jars. This will get rid of any air pockets. At this point, you may be able to add more water, but be sure to still have the 1-1/4 inch headspace.

Wipe the tops of the jars. Place lids on and screw bands.

Wipe the tops of the jars. Place lids on and screw bands.

Step 4: Place Lids on Jars

Be sure to wipe the tops of the jars. Then place the lids on. Place the screw bands on and tighten.

Place jars in a pressure canner.

Place jars in a pressure canner.

Step 5: Place Cans in the Pressure Canner

You will need to pour water into the canner. Follow manufacturers directions, since all canners are different. Place the jars in the pressure canner.

A pressure canner is a must for canning meat. A hot water bath canner doesn't reach high enough temperatures to kill bacteria.

Place the gasket in the lid of the canner and place the pressure gauge or dial at the pressure listed below.

Follow the guidelines below for processing time. Don't start counting the cooking time until the dial jiggles at least 5 times per minute. If it starts jiggling really fast, you can lower the heat a bit. Never lower the temperature too quickly, just a little at a time and keep your temperature high enough for the dial to keep jiggling.

Pints and Quarts

AltitudeDial GaugeWeighted GaugePints - TimeQuarts - Time

0-2000 ft

11

10

75

90

2001-4000 ft

12

15

75

90

4001-6000 ft

13

15

75

90

6001-8000 ft

14

15

75

90

Comments

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on July 03, 2014:

PegCole17, Canned meat is something that just doesn't make it with store bought cans. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on July 03, 2014:

This makes me want to buy a pressure cooker so I can can my own chicken. The kind that comes in a can has a certain undesirable taste. I'm so glad to read this and learn something new.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on February 27, 2013:

MissJamieD, It does save money if you get it on sale and you'll be surprised how much chicken you get per can compared to those you buy at the store. Thanks for reading and commenting.

MissJamieD from Minnes-O-ta on February 27, 2013:

I didn't know you could can chicken. Awesome hub, thanks for sharing! I'm going to have to start canning things now. Money-saving is key these days.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on February 05, 2013:

CrazedNovelist, Thanks for reading the hub and I'm happy you found it useful.

AE Williams from Atlanta, GA on February 05, 2013:

Very useful hub, BK!! :) Good work.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on November 08, 2012:

Stacie, I've been canning both beef and chicken this fall, since the price of meat is supposed to go up this winter. It taste better than frozen and is cooked and ready when you want to eat in a hurry. The canned beef tastes better than when you cook it in the crockpot too.

Stacie L on November 08, 2012:

Well this is a new one for me. I never heard of canning chicken before now. Looks like a great idea. The instrustions were very helpful.I'm passing this one on.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 28, 2012:

vespawoolf, Thanks for reading the hub and commenting. Yes, home canning is easy once you have the information.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 28, 2012:

Canning chicken is something I had never considered before reading this hub! I find the concept fascinating and would love to have a stock of canned chicken. Who knows? Maybe I'll take up canning! All your detailed instructions make it seem manageable. Thanks so much!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 26, 2012:

Homesteading, I wrote the hub just at the right time for you. Thanks for reading and thanks for the compliment.

Julie Z from North Central Florida on September 26, 2012:

I raise my own chickens (and have 10 to process in the next couple of days) & you would think this would have crossed my mind since I love to can, verses freezing everything. Thank you for this great write up. Following! Love your articles!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 26, 2012:

b. Malin, Thanks for commenting. The only chicken they will eat here is the breast meat too. I guess it is the healthiest part of the chicken. I love to can things. It is a real sense of accomplishment when you are finished, because you can see the results of your labor. Thanks for reading.

b. Malin on September 26, 2012:

Hi Barbara, how Interesting and Economical this can be. I never thought of doing this before, nor did I really know how. So I thank you for the Education on the subject of "Canning Chicken"... Chicken Breasts is all I every buy, only part of the chicken that Lover Man likes.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 25, 2012:

midget38, Thanks for commenting. Because I live in the country and we've had power outages for as long as 4 days at a time, I feel safer stocking it up this way then freezing. Thanks for reading.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on September 25, 2012:

Barbara, economical and healthy too. breast meat is the least fatty part of the chicken! Thanks for the useful tips!! I agree with Glimmer Tein Fan. a great alternative to freezing!

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 23, 2012:

Glimmer Twin Fan, Thanks for reading. I enjoy canning, so that is part of the reason I do it. We don't have a lot of freezer space, so canning is a good idea. Plus it makes a quick meal, since the chicken is already cooked. We have a lot of power outages here too and I worry about the food in the freezer going bad. Thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell on September 23, 2012:

This is very interesting. I'm not a canner, but sometimes they have such great sales on chicken I think I should buy a lot and freeze it. This would be a good alternative to freezing.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 23, 2012:

teaches12345, I like any kind of canned chicken. Maybe you would like home canned better. Thanks for voting it up.

Dianna Mendez on September 22, 2012:

I have a appetizer recipe that calls for canned chicken, however, I just can't get through the taste of it. Others enjoy it. I can see where having your own canned chicken would make a better recipe taste for me. Thanks for posting this! Voted up for the great hub topic, design and suggestion.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 21, 2012:

Scribenet, Most home canned foods should be used within a year. I think you can safely use them beyond that date, but they won't be the quality that they would be if you used them by then. They also need to be stored in a cool dry place, which I should include in the hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 21, 2012:

carol7777, I enjoy home canning myself. You need to try it. Start with something simple and work your way up. Part of the reason I enjoy it so much is that you have such a sense of accomplishment when you see all of the finished jars. Thanks for reading and voting up.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on September 21, 2012:

I have never heard of. a pressure canner...so I have something new to learn. While I might never use this type of cooking...it is interesting.

Is there a best before date that you have to use since this is a meat product?

carol stanley from Arizona on September 21, 2012:

I have never canned before, but I would love to have chicken at my beck and call and have it be fresh. Great photos and information ..Thanks for sharing. Voting UP.