How to Home Can Chicken Breast

Updated on December 14, 2019
Barbara Kay profile image

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 | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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

Dial Gauge
Weighted Gauge
Pints - Time
Quarts - Time
0-2000 ft
2001-4000 ft
4001-6000 ft
6001-8000 ft
Reference; The National Center for Home Food Preservation

Do you plan on home canning your own chicken?

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    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      5 years ago from USA

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

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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 profile image


      7 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

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

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      AE Williams 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

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

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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 profile image

      Stacie L 

      7 years ago

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

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

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      7 years ago from Peru, South America

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

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

    • Homesteading profile image

      Julie Z 

      7 years ago from North Central Florida

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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 profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

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

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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 Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      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.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Maggie Griess 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

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

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      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.


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