Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food Preservation: Canning Chicken

I love preserving. That's no front page news. But this year, my mother (bless her soul!) has gotten me addicted to meat preservation in all it's forms!! So we'll start this series of Food Preservation posts with something that is so simple a ten year old could manage.

Canning Chicken. 

1. First things first - gather your supplies. 

You will need: 
a pressure canner


raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast

quart or pint jars w/ lids and rings

And... cinnamon rolls for breakfast. YUM! 
(Not required, but helps tremendously.)

2. Prep your breasts. Laugh all you want. 

 Trim the fat as much as possible. If you buy chicken breast in bulk, it will most likely come with a relative amount of fat still attached. 

 Also, you will probably need to separate the breasts. They are not sold singularly in bulk like they are when you buy them packaged and weighed in the store.

Lovely fat, eh?

Add 1 teaspoon salt to each empty quart jar (1/2 tsp for pints) and start stuffing the jars with chicken! 

Fill 7 jars, and stop.

 Give them each a lid and a ring, screw 'em on tight, and put them in your canner. 

Process for 90 minutes at 15 lbs of pressure. 

Congratulations, it's chicken. This chicken is cooked, and ready to be thrown into whatever recipe strikes your fancy!! It's not slimy like so many other canned meats are, and since you haven't added any liquid to the jars, that lovely chicken broth that's staring at you there is just dying to improve the flavor of dinner. : ) 

And FYI - I canned 40 lbs of chicken breast yesterday. It gave me 18 Quarts and 5 lbs of jerky. Chicken Jerky recipe in the dehydrator to come!


  1. where do you buy chicken breasts in bulk?

  2. Shelf life for canned chicken?

  3. Sam, We use ours up before we've ever had to ask that question, so I did a little digging - here's an answer that kind of sums up all the answers I could find online:

    "Your home-canned food, including meats (assuming you are canning in jars and not tin cans) will be safe to eat for many, many years as long as they maintain their seal and as long as you processed the jars for the correct amount of time.

    The reason that many modern canning books say that a certain home canned vegetable or meat only has a shelf life of several months, or a year is because what happens over time is you start to lose some of the valuable nutrients in the food. Mostly vitamin related. But you can still safely eat the foods, many many years from now (again, always make sure when you open it that you hear that familiar whoosh of the vacuum air being released, so you know the seal was intact). Your veggies or meat after all those years may no longer contain some of the essential nutrients, but they certainly still contain calories, protein, etc and are quite delicious in taste. After many years your veggies may be a bit mushy... still good in soup though.

    My main rule of thumb, a very old adage, is "when in doubt, throw it out". If I open a 5 year old can of meat and I don't hear that whoosh sound then I don't eat it. Your idea of always boiling the foods prior to eating is also a very good safely measure."

  4. Carina,

    Danae Winder called me last week with details on a "Chicken Savings Event" by Zaycon Foods. Chicken Breast for $1.59/lb - growth hormone and steroid-free! Yahoo!! She found out about it on the last day you could order, but my guess is that these savings events are available periodically.

    Here's Zaycon's website address:

    I will do some other shopping around for similar events to this, because I would much rather buy this way if I'm not growing it myself!

  5. I am sooooooo excited! We didn't get to ours yesterday, so tomorrow is the day! I have enough hands around here that we should bet this done lickety split; plus, I have two pressure canners (brand new, $5 I LOVE yard sales!)

  6. Pressure canners SCARE ME!!!!
    But that chicken and lovely broth makes me itchy to go shoppin' for a canner.

  7. So if I remember right, you have family in Utah. Any chance you would know where I can get a good price on good chicken in bulk in Utah? I am very interested in canning meats! Thanks for the tutorial! I actually just got my hands on a pressure canner about a month ago and am still trying to get everything together to actually use it.

  8. I do have family in Utah - they're in central Utah though - Manti area.

    However, here's a link to info I found today on buying meat wholesale in Utah:

    This lists meat markets in Utah - not a bad place to start.

    The other thing I suggest is just to ask around. You'd be surprised at how many like-minded people there are out there!! If you let people know you're interested in this sort of 'thang' they'll let you know when there are good deals... that's how I found out about chicken for sale in our area! Thank you Danae Winder!!

  9. Thank you God for sending me you. I plan on following along and learning everything I can. Thank you for taking your time to helping others.I just bought a nice canner. I have a dehydrater so Im set.Except found out cant use my glass top cook stove. So I bought one of those cooking burners.I went threw the prosess as tho I were canning somthing and it seemed to work ok.Iam new with canning So the more I practice with this the better I feel comfortable. again thanks. Sue

  10. Sue, We are elated to have you!! Keep checking in - especially as Summer rolls around, I'll try to have some project posted every other day. With a 4 month old it can get a little tricky, but I will do my best to keep you guys informed on every little 'thang' I have going on!! Welcome and I hope you'll come back soon!! : )

  11. Zaycon sells chicken in bulk nationwide. They also sell beef, bacon & fish in some locations. I'm hoping to can some chicken soon. I usually freeze it but would love to have some canned too.