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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.

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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

Reference; The National Center for Home Food Preservation

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

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