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Pressure Canning Chicken | How To Do It Yourself

How Long To Pressure Can Chicken

First, I’ll get right to it. When pressure canning chicken, it takes 75 minutes at 11 psi for pint jars. 90 minutes for quart jars. That’s raw-pack chicken breast.

I just did another batch of 18 pints and updating this post to reflect more “how to” can chicken detail:

We bought 20 pounds of chicken breast the other day which was on sale at a deep discount. Although we do keep some meat stored in chest freezers, another way to preserve meat is by pressure canning it yourself. Long term storage of the jars require no refrigeration and is perfectly safe if you follow common sense practices and reliable recipes.

Pressure Canning Chicken Breast | How-to

Why a Pressure Canner?

 First, when pressure canning chicken, meats (or any low acid food), the processing temperature must be 240 degrees-F to destroy bacterial spores that emit toxins.

Boiling water is only 212 degrees-F. However the temperature in a pressure canner will reach 240 degrees at 11 psi (dial gauge).

Here’s an altitude versus canning pressure chart in case you’re in the mountains:

Altitude | Pressure Chart for Canning Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, and Soup

Altitude (ft.)Pressure (psi)
0 – 200011
2001 – 400012
4001 – 600013
6001 – 800014

Pressure Canning Chicken | Raw Pack Method

I use the ‘raw pack’ method for pressure canning chicken. When the chicken ‘cooks’ in a pressure canner the jar will fill with the oils from the meat. You don’t need to add water. Here’s a photo of my recent batch of home canned chicken:

Pint jars of home canned chicken breast.

PREPARE JARS, LIDS, CANNER

JARS. I use pint jars. Each pint holds 1 pound of chicken. I simply prepared the jars by running them through a quick cycle in the dishwasher. Leave the door closed to keep the jars warm and take them out a few at a time to fill. Warm jars help prevent ‘cold shock’ (breakage) when the canning process starts.

LIDS. Place lids in a shallow pan on stove. Add water to cover the lids. Warm the pan of water to just below boiling (air bubbles on the bottom just starting to make their way to the surface). Done. Shut off heat. Note that if you place lids into hard boiling water, they caution that the sealing surface of the lids may become compromised. So don’t do that.

CANNER. Place on stove. I use the highest BTU burner for starters (I have a gas stove). Place tray in bottom of canner (keeps jars from sitting directly on the bottom). Add water to the lower ‘fill’ line. If canner does not have a water mark, fill to 2 inches from bottom. Turn on the burner to a low-mid setting. This saves time by starting to warm the water while you begin filling jars and place them in the canner.

Pro Tip: Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to canner water to prevent water stains on jars.

CUT CHICKEN TO FIT & FILL JARS

The size of the chicken slices doesn’t matter. I generally cut about 1 inch thick strips to lengths that will stuff into the jars. If doing this yourself, you might fill a large bowl with the chicken pieces first. Remember, the total amount of boneless chicken breast you need is about 1 pound per pint jar.

If you have a helper (as I do – Mrs.J), it’s easiest for one person to cut the chicken (me) and fill the jars while the other person does the rest (add salt, wipe jar lid surface, add lid, tighten the ring, place in canner). It’s more sanitary this way (one person handling raw chicken while wearing a pair of disposable gloves)

FILL JARS | HEADSPACE | SALT | LID & RING

FILL JARS. Okay now it’s time to fill the jars with chicken. Use a canning funnel (cheap at Walmart) to help fill the jar. This keeps the food off the jar rims (which will compromise a good seal). Mrs. J uses a little plastic spatula ‘thingy’ to tamp down the chicken into the jar while I add more chicken. This helps pack it to fit as much chicken as possible. DO NOT ADD WATER.

funnel for canning jars

HEADSPACE. Leave a one-inch head-space from the top of the jar. See the image for reference:

canning-jar-head-space

SALT. Optionally add 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt on top of the chicken (it will mix in while cooking). I do this for added flavor, and salt is also an added preservative. Note that ‘canning salt’ is salt without the added ‘filler’ that they use to prevent clumping. If you use regular salt it doesn’t ‘hurt’ anything, it will just become cloudy in the mixture after canning.

LID. Next, wipe the glass jar lid surface rim with a paper towel or clean cloth to ensure a clean seal. We moisten the cloth with white vinegar. Then use a magnetic lid lifter tool (very convenient!) to grab a lid out of the warm water bath and place on the jar.

RING / BAND. Screw on a ‘band’ over the lid and adjust (tighten) ‘finger tight’. The adjustment of the band (the tightness) should be firm and snug, but not too tight. Here’s a neat little tightener tool (which we use) which will set the tightness perfectly every time: Ball Jar Sure Tight Band Tool

FILL CANNER | DOUBLE STACK JARS

Double stack jars on top of each-other to maximize your production. It’s advisable (though not necessary) to insert a tray / stacking plate (rack) for the second stack to sit on. I bought one and use it now.

chicken-jars-in-pressure-canner

SECURE THE CANNER LID | STOVE ON | VENT STEAM |

When the pressure canner is full, securely attach the canner lid according to your canner instructions. Leave the vent pressure regulator weight OFF. Turn on the stove burner to high.

You must leave the weighted regulator OFF the vent in order to allow the chamber to release all of its air and fill completely with steam. When you begin to see steam shooting out of the vent, you must let it steam freely for 10 minutes. It takes a little while to get the filled pressure canner hot enough to make steam, but it’s a necessary step!

Here’s a picture of the steaming vent:

vent-pressure-canner-for-10-minutes

PRESSURIZE THE CANNER

After 10 minutes of venting the steam, place the weighted regulator over the steam vent. Now the canner will begin to pressurize. Watch the dial gauge and allow the pressure to increase to 11 pounds (see chart above for altitude variations).

You will eventually get used to your own stove and fiddling with the temperature control to maintain 11 pounds pressure (don’t let it drop below 11 once you’ve reached it).

START TIMER

When reaching 11 psi, begin a 75 minute timer if using pint jars. 90 minutes for quart jars.

11-psi-pressure-canner

I find that even after initially getting the gas stove burner setting just right for 11 psi, the pressure will drift a bit. Just keep an eye on it.

Pro Tip: Slide the canner to a lower rated burner after it reaches 11 psi. This will enable better control while attempting to maintain proper pressure (you don’t need as much heat after it’s already up to temp.). Though it may be problematic for some because a filled canner is heavy!

TIMES UP | SHUT DOWN | COOL DOWN

After the appropriate canning time, simply shut off the burner. Let it sit there until the dial gauge pressure drops to zero! DO NOT REMOVE WEIGHTED PRESSURE REGULATOR until gauge reads zero.

REMOVE CANNER LID | JARS

After pressure gauge reads zero, you can remove the weighted pressure regulator from the vent to ensure release of residual pressure. Then open the canner and use a jar gripper tool to remove jars onto a counter on top of a towel.

Let the jars cool naturally. Don’t touch the lids. The lids will begin to self-seal as it cools. You’ll hear the popping sound as they seal.

REMOVE BANDS FOR STORAGE?

After the lids seal, some people will remove (unscrew) the bands. Why? Because it will be easier to detect if a lid becomes unsealed sometime later. A quick check of the lids by gently pulling on each one to ensure they’re still sealed. If the band was still screwed on, this would not be possible to check (without unscrewing each one).

With that said, it’s rare to have a jar unseal. Generally, if it’s going to be a problem it won’t seal to begin with.

STORE JARS | COOL & DRY

Store the final product in a cool dry place. Be cautious of bands becoming rusted if the environment is too humid.

MY TWO PRESSURE CANNERS

We now have two pressure canners. Our first was the Presto (still works great).

Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner & Cooker

Several years ago we treated ourselves to the All American Pressure Canner (I wrote about it here).

my ‘All American Pressure Canner’

Continue reading: 5 Methods of Food Preservation

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105 Comments

  1. just curious (not a canner myself)

    do you always remove skin to can/can skinned breast?

    or, do you ever can whole chickens, or whole drumsticks, etc, skin and all?

    1. It apparently is not necessary to remove skin for canning, although I do. In this case I bought it that way on sale.

      Drumsticks (or meat on the bone) can also be safely canned because ‘everything’ gets up to temperature during the process.

  2. I remember, from when I was a little kid, my Mom canning chicken, and loving it. Great way to save money on meat, and no worries about electricity.

  3. Also, after the jars of canned chicken have sealed and cooled, remove the screw-on bands. They’re no longer needed (until next time) and will only potentially rust if left on the jars during storage.

    You will also probably find some cooking residue on the lids or jars (having bubbled out from under the lids during processing), so I lightly wash with a soapy sponge and rinse under warm water.

    Then I date the lids and store the jars in the box they came in for convenience. It’s best to store in a dark place, so the box is perfect.

    1. Ken, I have always left the rings on, on everything I can. Have you had any problems with losing the seal when you remove the lids? Old school here, I learned from my Mom/GrandMom. Although I know removing the rings after a couple of years can be a bear.
      NRP

      1. No I have never had a problem with losing the seal when removing the band. The lid (its seal) is what holds the vacuum seal (once it’s processed and cooled), not the band. That said, never remove the band until the jar’s have cooled and vacuum sealed themselves.

        I have had problems with old jars (years old) whereby the band has been difficult to remove and actually a bit of rust holding it on. So now I remove them.

      2. NRP, My Gramma’ taught me to always remove the rings (or bands). She said that if the lid was going to “pop loose” you should be able to see that it’s loose. Leaving a ring (or band) on could hide the fact that the jar of food wasn’t canned properly.

        Also, never try to tighten the ring (or band) after canning. It could disrupt the seal. :)

      3. Thanks for the advice all
        Going to start removing the rings, at least I wont have to buy any more for this year.

        Anyone know the best place to order lids? Found some on Amazon for around 16 cents each.

        NRP

        1. After a few years of home canning, I finally ordered 3 boxes of Tattler reusable lids. I am very happy with them.

      4. I know I’m going to catch flak for this, but I don’t care.

        I remove the rings to clean the bottles and put them back on. No need to store the rings, then, and if a bottle unsealed it’s going to be obvious whether the ring is there or not. Rust isn’t an issue here unless the bottles weren’t dry to begin with. I have had problems sometimes with removing a lid, but that’s more because Dad tightened the lid in the first place. : )

        At least if the ring is there, a catastrophic failure will be pretty much confined to the bottle itself rather than gluing 20 other bottles to the shelf.

        1. (Lauren
          Here’s flak at ya, just b’cause, no one else did!)

          Ken, isn’t too hot to be canning?

          Pressure canned venison is de-lish. The canning makes it more tender and not as dry. Little bit of beef bouillon and beef fat on top of the individual jars.

          1. *Lauren takes the flak and runs to put it in her stockpile, giggling*

          2. Lauren;
            Not to worry, around here there are always folks to give ya a little Flak if you need it.
            Looking over at Tommyboy, yeah you old man.
            hehehehe

          3. NRP
            Uh-huh
            You maybe looking at TBoy, whilst all others are looking at you
            👁️👁️
            Haha

          4. Lauren,
            Good idea!
            I have heard flak seed is good for a.person.
            (Baa-rumppp-bump)

          5. I agree We love canned venison. I also use a little beef flavoring and fat.
            it is the best, and talk about having a quick meal. great for stroganoff

        2. Yes, I also remove the lids after everything is cooled and wash the jars. Then place clean bands loosely on jars to store. Jars are stored in boxes they came in with duct tape around box to help keep intact. Top of lids are marked on envelope labels (cut in half) because I use Tattler lids.

          It is obvious when a seal fails down the road…and rare. Been doing this for a lot of years and only recall two late fails.

  4. Is anyone still able to find canning jars in full boxes? All we can find these days are those crappy half-boxed and shrink wrapped atrocities.

    1. I have not seem them around here (the full size boxes). Just the ‘2/3’ boxes with the jars poking out the top with plastic-wrap around them holding them in. Fortunately I have a bunch of older pint jars that came in full boxes so I use them. I still utilize the partial boxes that you commonly see today because you can still stack the boxes if you save them – just not as nice.

      1. I make my own boxes. I have used Walmart 12″x12″ boxes and use scrounged cardboard to make up seperators for the inside. I have used wine boxes scrounged from grocery stores for pints. After you make up a few boxes and discover what works and what doesn’t you can improve on the results and make some pretty effective and safe boxes for the canning jars.

  5. No need to pre-sterilize the jars. At the pressurized temperature, any potential bacteria on the jar(s) will be destroyed.

      1. I don’t use a dishwasher for the jars. That takes a lot of time and electricity. I wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse, add 1” of water, and microwave on high 2 minutes just before filling. Jars are clean, hot, and sterile using less energy/electricity.

        1. SJade,
          My dishwasher has a 30-minute cycle option. It’s VERY convenient for readying jars for canning. I can fit “a ton” of jars in there at once if I need to. Although I only need 18 pints (RM) for one load in my ‘All American Pressure Canner’ (there are several models with different capacities).

          I am not concerned about electricity consumption. In fact, it’s minimal. Actually, for me, it’s zero because I have solar power here.

          The curious Engineer in me had to figure out the cost of electricity, since you brought it up. A typical older style dishwasher, running for 1 hour, might cost about 18 cents for electricity. (1.8kWh @ $0.10 per kWh). Newer one’s are more efficient than that depending on make/model/etc..

          To put that in comparison, a typical regular mouth lid (like these) will cost about 25 cents each.

          Thanks for sharing your method. It’s always interesting to find out how other people do things.

          One additional note: The jars do not have to be ‘sterile’ prior to pressure canning. The process of canning itself raises the internal temperature to 240 degrees and gets the job done.

          1. Ken and SJade===== I don’t have an article at hand, but over the yrs have read many “studies”, where they have compared cost (soap etc) and energy consumption of dishwasher versus hand washing. Dishwasher came out cheaper every time.

          2. Jane
            The dishwasher also is much better for being sanitary as it can add heat to the water and heated dry, or sani wash and heated dry, you could never even touch that water with your hands let alone handle the dishes or bottles with bare hands trying to do the same with hand washing

  6. I’m very interested in trying this as I’m a complete novice to canning. My question is we have a glass top electric stove as our primary cooking source. The temperature fluctuates quite a bit while in use with the stove cycling on and off briefly. Will I have problems maintaining pressure with this type of stove? Any comments on Tattler lids?

    1. The power/temp to the burner will surely vary but the temp inside the cooker should stay somewhat the same, as should the pressure. Personally I would cook at a slightly higher pressure than required so the “low-end” pressure does not fall below the required pressure.
      NRP

    2. I can using a glass top electric stove and a pressure canner. No problems. You will note the exact burner dial position after your first time, which will maintain the temperature you desire on the canner.

      I can bone in chicken and like the dark meat better than the breast meat for canning. So, I buy those large bags of chicken legs, which you always find on sale for cheap. White meat is always more expensive, but results in a dryer, canned product. I skin the chicken, cut the legs from the thighs, and raw pack in quart jars. I stack the thighs like poker chips in a jar and stuff legs into their dedicated jars like they were cigars. The broth which develops in the process is pure goodness and flavor. However, I may start to leave the skin ON to gain the additional calories it provides, as well as for other cooking uses. I guess one could even burn it, like olive oil? No need to worry about diet in a survival situation, when calories is what you WANT…

        1. From the little I know, the glass top range manufacturers are worried about the weight of a pressure canner on the glass top. My pressure canner even when empty is pretty darn heavy. Add water and several jars of food = lots of weight. So, when I pressure can, I use a propane camper type cookstove.

          1. Yes I confirm that the weight is what they are worried about. My wife and I can on a glass top right now and have not had any issues as of yet.

    3. Tattler lids are worth every penny. I will not go back to old school lids that are good for one use and then you toss them.

    4. If you are new to canning, I suggest your first project should be pasta sauce. I buy a #10 size can of plain tomato sauce for about $3.00 and a #10 can of stewed tomatoes for about the same price. Mix them in a stock pot and dress it up however you like, I toss in mushrooms, bell peppers and chopped onion. Add your spices cook it up and then fill your jars. Because pasta sauce is acidic you will not need to pressure can the batch. You will yield about eight quarts.

      1. Canner Dude, UNLESS you add meat (ground beef, venison, elk, etc.)to the sauce THEN, you have to pressure can it.

    5. Me,
      My mother in law has a glass top stove, or should I say had one.
      She was using her pressure canner in it and the weight of it broke the stove top. Don’t know if it was faulty to begin with, but stove was less than 2 years old.
      I use my propane burner outside because of the heat in my kitchen. Works great and I can be outside doing odds and ends while keeping an eye on the temp and pressure.
      Just my 2 cents
      PEACE to all
      MadFab

  7. Am new to pressure cooking but would like to try storing some ground beef along with other meats , would your cooking plan do the same for beef? Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

    1. @Andy, Buy the Ball Blue Book for good advice and some recipes. There are other reputable canning recipe books too. Also, do not can hamburger (ground beef) – at least that has been my understanding.

      1. I have canned hamburger ground turkey and ground pork with no issues at all. You do have to cook all the above before canning. As a side note, pressure canning can be addictive.

        1. Yep, we’ve done (cooked) ground beef for years. It’s great to have on hand and makes it easy and quick on busy days.

        2. I too have canned ground meats for years. I find that if I drain some of the grease off and then add water, the meats look and stay good longer. The only ground meat that I need to use the grease on is sausage. It doesn’t dry out like other ground meats.

      2. Ball actually has webinars you can log in and watch. They have all kinds of videos that are very helpful. My wife and I can all the time and are always trying to stay on top of the latest knowledge when it comes to canning.

        Ken-you had mentioned heating up the lids. Ball actually put out a recent bulletin regarding that method. You only need to wash them in warm soapy water and you are all set, no more need for an extra pan of water on the stove. We try to can as much as possible and this past year have almost transitioned to exclusively “shopping” in our canning store in the basement. Last year we did green beans, carrots, pineapple (on sale), tomatoes, soup, relish, pickles, banana peppers, pears, jams and jellies. We almost never buy anything from the grocery anymore besides our dairy products. It has been a long but fun journey to get to that point. We are actually designing our new dream kitchen around our canning operation.

      3. I also pressure-can ground beef. The beef is thoroughly cooked and then drained to remove most fat. When hot-packing, I add beef broth to each jar.

        Having jars of home-canned beef can cut down on cooking time when in a pinch. That’s one reason why I do it. I also make spaghetti and chili sauce with ground beef because it’s pretty much a shelf-ready meal. With chili, I add beans when heating up, not in the chili when I’m canning it.

      4. I pressure-can ground meats — mostly ground beef.These meats must be cooked before canning, and I drain most of the fat off. I use the large water bath canner as my big pot to cook the ground meat I am going to can. Once cooked, the meat is drained and then transferred into pint jars, beef broth added in, then sealed before pressure-canning.

        The Ball Blue Book is a good book to learn from! Much better than the tiny canning book that comes with most canners.

      5. I look upon the Ball Blue Book as the Bible of canning. I use it all the time. Good advise Ken.

    2. Andy,
      Make sure you brown the burger first or u end up with a hunk of meat that is very unappealing.
      Don’t have to cook it through, the pressure canner will do that, but needs to be a bit”crumbly”, if ya know what I mean. I season mine w/ S&P and some garlic powder. Works great.
      Good luck
      PEACE
      MadFab

    3. Andy, I was told you need to brown the ground beef before canning it so that was how I canned it. The other info about times based on jars sizes and elevations would be the same.

    1. Helmet,
      When they hit the online market, I bought an entire case of both regular and large Tattler lids (and rings too). I have worked w/ those lids for years now and have had so many issues with poor sealing that I will no longer use Tattler lids on ANY home canned foods that contain meat. I believe it’s the bubbling fat in the jar contents that is the problem. I say this after many failures with a big variety of home canned foods.

      I am able to use the Tattler lids with fruits, beans, pickles, jams, veggies, and fruit/veggie sauces. I have between 50%-80% failure rate when I have used Tattler lids when canning spaghetti sauce with meat, chili sauce with meat, cooked ground beef or pork, chicken, etc.

      Originally I followed the Tattler directions and kept the rings “loose”. That was a complete mess (tried in water bath and pressure canning). So I changed to my old ways as if I were using the metal lids. Success rate went up significantly.

      Would like to know if others have issues with meats/fats and the Tattler lids.

      1. Thank you for posting this, i havent used them but had been looking at them for the long term, just imagine SHTF and everything disappears then the canning lids you were going to rrly on are useless!
        Eesh

      2. I am a bit spooked from using Tattler lids. About a year ago I used them on a load of chicken broth. After the pressure went down out of the canner I took the canner lid off and was preparing to use my lifter to get a jar out. One of the Tattler lids popped off, spraying my face, neck, and arm with REALLY HOT chicken broth. Thank heavens I was wearing my glasses, so only my temple got burned. I haven’t screwed up the courage to use Tattlers again yet. I went ahead and ordered a case of regular canning lids from Amazon instead…

        1. Chipmunk;
          I agree, I don’t and never have used Tater Lids.
          Just old fashioned I guess.
          I also gave up on the removing the Rings.
          I do remove, clean, and replace as Lauren does,
          I like the idea of having something between the ‘Lid’ and the box above, the Ring.
          Plus I always know where I can find a Ring if I happen to need one.

        2. I have a bunch of tattler lids. There’s a learning curve. I went back to normal lids after I had a bunch of rings come off in the water bath. Six bottles of peaches, just gone, because the lids vibrated off. I’ve never had that happen with metal lids.

        3. chipmunk
          If you use the Tattler lids one needs to warm them as if they were the metal counter parts. If placing the plastic lid cold on a jar that is not warm from the water you keep it in for sterlization, you will end up with this result.
          How do I know, I let my water that I keep my lids in during the processing cool down(water bath canning). Every jar in that last batch of jam did not seal, yet every jar that was in hot water sealed fine. Lesson learned…treat these lids just like metal so the rubber gasket and lid seal to the jar during processing.

          I have never tried them in the pressure canning process. Others who were pros at canning have used them with great results-fyi

          1. Great for pressure canning in my opinion. Just not for waterbath canning. It is a learning curve.

        4. One thing I always do after the pressure has dropped is remove the canner lid and give the jars 5 to 10 minutes to cool in place before trying to remove them. That seems to minimize failure rates when using regular lids. I don’t know if it would help with Tattler lids or not.

      3. Lynn, I know Tattler changed instructions on how best to can some (read fatty) foods. They suggest not filling the jar as full. And I believe there may be different instructions for their newer lids on how tight to make them.

        I had to do a lot of canning to figure them out because I wasn’t getting a good seal rate when I first started. I do soften the rings before sealing the jars. The bulk of my canning is meat (bone in and boneless chicken, turkey, deer, beef, pork), meat bone broth, soups, chili, pasta sauce with meatballs. I don’t like the flavor of canned ground beef by itself but meatballs are good – not sure the difference other than flavor added.

    2. I love them. I just bought a case. Although I’ve heard of people having sealing problems, I never have. And I’m NOT that fussy or precise of a canner.

  8. just canned 30# leg qters, bone in. did cut the back off the thighs, but then made a stock from those bones and canned 18 pints chicken broth.

    pork loin is also one of the easiest meats to can.

    i raw pack and let the meats make their own juices.

    canning bacon is also fairly easy, but i only use bacon we get from a friend as i don’t want all the preservatives you get from store bought.

      1. @Jan, a pint jar will hold about 1 lb of bacon. Cram the bacon in the jars, raw. Do not add water, do try to get all the air out. I use something to poke in through the bacon. I have had very good luck canning bacon. On a different note, can the broth left over from baked, ham, chicken, ect. I freeze the broth then when there is space in the canner it can be added in. Great stuff for later use.

      1. pretty pickle, it beef can be canned. i like roasts canned in chunks but ground beef not so much… comes out caked… i prefer to dehydrate mine,it gives me greater flexibility for small meals. and since i do not keep as much beef. to dehydrate, crumble. cook completely in dry skillet drain rinse with hot water. drain and press dry with paper towel ,put on dehydrator tray. til hard. cool put in jar place paper towel on top lid, invert for 1 week.. remove paper towel . seal with vacuum sealer or oxy absorber…

  9. Ill pass on the bacon canning, I’ve been able to get my hands on a couple pouches of (get ready to laugh) F.E.M.A long life bacon. Fema stands for finest emergency meats available!

    So funny, some company out of Montana. But it’s thick cut and the cure is amazing, open one to taste it and hide the rest…..trust me.

    On the tattler lids I’ve kinda seen the same mixed reviews everywhere. Seems to have a high failure rate which has dissuaded my wife and I from using them. I figure just buy bulk ball lids and throw them on the shelf. We have had no issues using the old tried and true ball lids.

    Great article by the way, going to get a pressure canner and try this out.

  10. Lynn,

    That’s pretty much been what my wife has experienced. She no longer uses the Tattler lids when canning meat. Meat is just too expensive to risk with them.

    Bacon,
    That’s what the wife has decided. She buys bulk.

  11. Bummer, I bought a bunch of the Tatler lids. So if it doesn’t seal on the first try is it worth repeating the process? Or would it be way to overcooked?

    1. If a percentage of lids fail to seal, just eat the failed food that week, or use the food in a new recipe to can, such as chicken soup. You can also freeze the food for later use after removing from the jar. You can make a chicken salad from the failed jars and have lunches. Test your recipes with the unsealed food to see how you would use it in an actual situation.

      You can replace the old seal with a new lid, after cleaning the rim of the jar of all grease and other contamination, and process again, without harm, making sure your head space is correct. Since the chicken contents might shrink down after the first failed process, you will be able to add more chicken to the failed jar before the second attempt. The liquid in the jar will not allow your reprocessed chicken to burn, and the result will still be a very flavorful product.

  12. That’s a good question. I’m guessing yes, but surely someone has tried it.

    Sounds like since you already have them it might be worth using them on veggies and jams. Perhaps that will yield better results.

  13. @Beach’n,

    There is a raw pack method (widely used) and there’s a method whereby you add water (or a broth). Your choice.

    The directions (in this article) refer to raw pack. I don’t know what you’re referring to regarding your statement “the directions seem to convert to a canning method that uses liquid”? Could you clarify and I will try to clear it up for you.

    That said, if you’re still confused, there are ‘tons’ of online resources if you ‘search’ for it. Additionally there are lots of great canning books about all this. Sounds like you’re new to this so I strongly suggest getting some hard copy documentation (books) for your library on the subject. It’s good to refer to while starting out. That said, you will find that it’s not that difficult once you get going ;)

    1. @Ken, Thanks! This is where I get confused.

      “After the pack, you must remove the air bubbles. This can be done by placing a nonmetallic small thin spatula inside the jar between the food and the side of the jar. Press spatula back against the food to release trapped air. Repeat several times around the inside of the jar. After doing this, press down on the pack of chicken and if you need to add more chicken pieces to fill to within an inch of the top, then do it.”

      I’ve been adding a little water to aid in removing air, but after re-reading your article, it looks like I shouldn’t have to. Should make for a richer broth. :)

      1. Some reputable recipes do indicate to ladle hot water or broth over meat, leaving 1 inch head-space. I’m not suggesting one way or the other (do one’s own due-diligence). When I first started, and checked what others seem to be doing (no water add), I’ve just found that I haven’t had to either, since the chicken meat itself releases enough juices to fill the jar upon pressure canning. I suppose that some chickens may be ‘juicer’ than others though ;)

  14. @Noobee, The small spatula (Or other such similar tool) simply helps to ‘pack’ the chicken tight and squeeze out excess air that might be between the chicken pieces. Check online (search) and you’ll find quite a number of other illustrations about this (also YouTube).

    The time for the pressure canner to cool and drop to 0-psi after it’s done processing will depend on your specific pressure canner, it’s size, and how many jars (and/or quarts or pints) you’ve packed it with. The important thing is to NOT try to open it under pressure. The Presto canner that I have has a safety pressure ‘lock’ which prohibits opening while its under pressure. Maybe yours does too…

  15. Ken, I have been having a blast with canning chicken using the raw pack method. Once a week I stir fry up peppers, onions, garlic and other vegetables, add in a quart of our chicken, then some teryaki sauce and have a great stir fry. The kids love it. Even better has been the Canned Beef. Using the same method with Cubed stew beef and a clove of garlic per jar. We use this for Shredded beef taco night. Same with Sausage. I get the Jimmy Dean sausage rolls when they’re on sale, cook them about 3/4 of the way, then can and pressure cook. Nothing better and easier than grabbing a Jar of home canned meat and making a meal with it!!

    1. All great ideas! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like such a time saver when throwing together meals.

  16. I buy a whole rotisserie chicken, eat a couple pieces, then turn the balance into chicken stock with seasonings. I can the stock with chicken, some liquid and some with more chicken. I make it one pint jars. Then add to soup, beans, rice, pasta, whatever. I found I use these much more than chicken solo.

    1. I have been trying to find information on canning rotisserie chicken. What I have found so far is how to turn it into stock with removing the meat, but nothing telling me how to can it with the cooked meat. I have some Walmart lemon pepper chickens on bought on sale and wanted to turn them into broth/stock with the cooked meat in the jar with the stock. How did you make your stock? How did you handle the meat? How did you can this? Thanks so much!!

  17. Good timing,
    We are going to harvest my older flock, i am thinking of canning the meat after cooking it down and deboning it, easier to make stews etc, thinking that it might be better space wise as well because we are going to kill about 35 chickens

  18. And wanted to add it is safe for a long time. I am just now eating meat canned in may 2017

  19. – DW is the canning expert, as she has been doing that since she was assisting mom and grandmother when she was 9 years old. Me, I’m just the strong back and weak mind standing by to do as I’m told, LOL. Actually, I have canned a few foraged fruits for jams and jellies, but I have DW supervising to make sure I do it right!
    – Papa S.

  20. Very fun seeing my comments from 2015 :) Can’t believe it’s been that long!
    I still do not tighten the rings after canning. I also remove the rings so I can see if the lid fails.
    My All American pressure canner (921) is now too heavy for me to handle by myself. I’m planning to get two smaller canners to replace the gigantic one.
    luv ya’ll, Beach’n

  21. My wife prefers thighs to breast meat. Because there’s only two of us in the household I can meat in pints instead of quarts. Bone in, skin on thighs often go on sale so I remove the skin, excess fat and the bones and, being of Scottish ancestry, do not throw them away. The chicken most often ends up in soup and occasionally in Alfredo sauce over noodles. The skin, bones and fat get roasted in the oven and become the basis of chicken broth that is also canned. One other meat that you might consider canning is pork shoulder. I pressure cook the shoulder, pick it apart discarding excess fat and gristle, and put it up in pints. The pork quickly becomes pulled barbeque, stuffing for taco’s or burritos or an addition to chili or spaghetti sauce, just vary the seasoning.

    One clue to knowing you’ve got a successful seal without waiting for the jars to cool is to observe the liquid in the jar when first removed from the canner. If it’s still bubbling that’s a good indication that you’ve created a vacuum in the jar that has significantly reduced the boiling point of the liquid. You should still check for a good seal after the jars have cooled but the bubbles can give you an early warning that you’ve got a problem with a particular jar or jars so that you can segregate it (or them) and deal with it appropriately.

  22. I love to can chicken as it is so easy. It is a good way to learn to can meat and use a pressure canner.

  23. I love my All American Canner.

    The first thing I canned was chilli. 2 years later it still tasted like the day I made it.

    1. It really is amazing… (home canning & the results)

      Yesterday we canned another 20 pounds boneless chicken breast (was still on sale). Love it. Used the All American Canner – our model holds 18 pints in one batch.

  24. I was canning cooked chicken pieces in broth and I looked at the wrong part of my Canner book and it said pressure at 20 minutes. It was talking about the broth. So now I have all this chicken that is pressure cooked for 20 minutes. It’s been two weeks. Can I re-pressure cook them? Any help would be appreciated :-)

    1. I would say no
      Better safe than sorry. The listed times and temps/pressure are necessary to properly kill pathogens that cause food poisoning. If it was not processed long enough at a high enough temp/pressure there is a good chance the meat is not safe to eat. Especially poultry.

      A pressure cooker, is NOT the same as a pressure canner.

      You need to be certain you have a canner. Similar contraptions but not the same, the canner will reach much higher temps/pressures than a regular pressure cooker.

    2. Sarah, rule of thumb for pressure-canning ANY meat: quarts will need at least 90 minutes. That time will increase depending upon your elevation. If you are higher than 1,000 feet above sea level, you must add more time to your canning.

      Please don’t eat that chicken, and don’t reprocess it. Make sure that you sterilize those jars after you dump contents, too.

      Consider it a learning experience. Failures in canning happen to everyone who cans food.

      1. LOL….I am not Sarah, and don’t know how that name was posted to my comment.
        Oh well, crazy stuff during crazy times.

  25. Ken,
    Your instructions are so clear and concise. Thank you for making it attainable and easy to understand.

  26. I am new to canning. My canner has 5, 10, and 15 lb pressure weights and no gauge. How would I know I’m at 11 lbs pressure?

    1. catherine, i can meats 10 lbs with same weight. pints 75 min quarts 90 min. be sure to allow steam to excape for 10 minutes,, after it begins then time from when it begins to jiggle, adjust stove so it continues a slow jiggle 4-10 x a minute. i condition lids with placing in 1 cup of water with 1/2 tsp baking soda.. for better seals,

  27. Catherine,
    I have a dial-gauge canner, so I have never used a weighted gauge. That being said, The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (the canning Bible, so to speak), gives different pressures to meet, depending on the type of gauge. For instance, I live in the 1,001-2,000 altitude, so when I can at 11 on my dial gauge, it would be 15 on the weighted gauge. You may be wishing that you had the easy-to-figure-out dial gauge, but stop that. If money weren’t an issue and I was on the lookout for a new canner, I would go with the weighted-gauge kind, like you have. The reason? You always know that your gauge is accurate. You’re supposed to take dial gauges in to be checked every year. What happens when a pandemic closes the places that check them? Hmmm?

  28. Is it necessary for cold packed chicken breast to have enough broth to cover the canned chicken when the process is completed.
    BTW – have really enjoyed reading all the comments and suggestions.

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