Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Canning chicken

A reader posted a comment as follows: "Sure hate to be off topic but I need some help from you ladies that pressure can. Have stored large amount chicken breast in freezer. The potential of electric power curtailment is worrying me so would like to pressure-can some of the chicken. All I can find on Google is dealing with instant pot thawing and cooking. Would one of you experienced ladies advise me how to pressure can in this situation. Am experienced canning raw chicken. Thank you for your advice. – City Dude"

City Dude, canning chicken breasts is easy. I have an older blog post that covers the steps (see here), so hopefully that will move you in the right direction. You're correct in that chicken breasts must be pressure-canned. In that long-ago blog post, I put the pressure at about 13 pounds for our elevation; more recent guidelines suggest 15 lbs. of pressure is a good universal recommendation. If you use pint jars, can for 75 minutes; for quart jars, 90 minutes.

For the chicken breasts in your freezer, pull them out to defrost, then boil them, cut them into chunks, and stuff them in a jar. Top with scalding water, add a bit of salt (if desired), and pressure-can.

Happy canning!

15 comments:

  1. One clarification please. Can I raw pack after thawed or must I boil then can.
    Thank you.

    City Dude

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    Replies
    1. You **could** raw-pack chicken, but it's actually a bigger hassle because essentially you have to "pre-can" the packed jars in near-boiling water before pressure-canning. Hot-packed is definitely easier.

      - Patrice

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    2. Raw-pack canning is very simple. I've been doing it for years. It's simplicity is one of the reasons why meat is one of my favorite things to can up. There is no need to cook anything. You just simply trim the fat off the meat, cut it up (I find that leaving the meat slightly frozen makes it the easiest to cut up) and put in the jars leaving 1 1/4 inch headspace for chicken one inch for other meats. You may add salt (I don't). Do NOT add water. Wipe the rim with a vinegar dampened towel to clean off any grease or juice. Pressure can pints 75 minutes, quarts 90 minutes.

      Your canner's instruction manual should have the instructions for canning meat. If not, this link is for USDA guidelines. Page 8 has the raw pack method. https://www.nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resource/Canning%20Meat%20Poultry%20and%20Game.pdf

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  2. Canned chicken is one of the best things out there. My old soup hens either get boned out, breasts canned and dark meat ground or canned bone in. If you raw pack there's no need to add liquid and I think the product is superior because it stays together a bit more. It's a matter of your preference. Btw, the University of GA, Atlanta has the gold standard canning book 'So Easy to Preserve' plus a ton of canning recipes/info online.

    Lisa

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  3. I cut up the chicken, then boil it. Do you think it makes any difference than cooking it first?

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    Replies
    1. Personally I do think it makes a difference. Hot packs require added liquid which you can use for soup/gravy broth. I always take the boned-out carcasses and make a ton of broth so prefer not to dilute the flavor of the canned chicken (done in pints).

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  4. Patrice has a number of very nicely done PDF pamphlets on canning and other subjects, look them up and purchase some for download.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, we don't (anymore). Those e-booklets are no longer available.

      - Patrice

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  5. That is a shame. They were very well done.

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  6. happy Anniversary

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  7. The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning is available online.

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  8. The reason I got pack is that you get more chicken in the jar. The times I’ve been in a hurry and cold packed there was a lot of gaps and shrinkage. 😊

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  9. Patrice, I have a question. We have to move out of our house and into an apartment for a few months (sound familiar?) Unfortunately, we'll be in an apartment during the height of canning season. I won't be able to use a regular pressure canner on their glass top stove. I've been looking at electric canners. Do you, or do any of your readers have any experience using an electric canner? I'm curious about your experiences!

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  10. I raw pack it, as well, and have some in the freezer that I need to do because of impending freezer burn. The raw chunks do stick together somewhat after processing, and as one person noted, the end product has some shrinkage (the bag says there's a lot of brine in the meat, which would cook out if hot-packed). I raw pack beef, too (solid, not ground).

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  11. I simmer the chicken and then hot pack it, but I wouldn't add water to the jars when I've got a pot of chicken broth that I just made when I simmered the chicken.

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