Friday, May 4, 2012

Home Canning Protein: Chicken Breast

Canning protein is one of the most feared things to home can.  It is actually very easy, more nutritous and cheaper than buying it.  For example a 6 oz tin of canned chicken at Wal-Mart is $3 I canned 13 pint jars (16oz) and I spent $30 on Boneless Chicken Breast (it was on sale).  My jars, rings and lids are reuseable so there are no other costs other than a few pennies worth of salt.  This makes it $2.31 for each 16 oz jar.  Also if you read the label on the chicken you buy canned at the store there are many chemicals, fillers and preservatives.  They sometimes even have artificial flavoring.  The ingredients here are simple: Chicken and Salt. 

Begin by cutting your boneless chicken into chunks then pack them raw into the jars, leaving about 3/4th of an inch headspace
Next add 3/4 tsp of salt to each jar
Wipe the rims with a damp clean rag and then place the lids and rings on the jars.  Remember if you are using Tattler lids to back them off 1/4 inch.  After you get the lids and rings on then place into your canner with the needed water for a long processing time.  You do not want it to boil dry during processing.  Use the racks in between levels of jars.
Place the lid onto your canner and then bring it to a boil.  You want the steam to vent out of the stem for about 10 minutes.  Then place your weight on the canner and set to 15lb (or the recomended pressure for your elevation).  Once the canner gets to the correct pressure then time for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for qts.

Once the time is up then slide your canner off the burner to a cool spot.  Do not try to rapidly reduce the pressure you can have jar breakage and seal failure.  After it is cooled sufficiently to have no pressure left remove the lid carefully (the steam can burn you) Then using a jar lifter remove the jars and place them on a clean dry towel.  The jars are very hot at this point and may still be boiling inside the jar.  If you are using Tattler lids then now is the time to tighten the rings down.  Once again use oven mits as the jars are very hot.

Leave the jars undisturbed until they are fully cooled.

 After they have cooled then place a piece of tape on the lid and mark at least the date also the contents if you so desire.  Chicken prepared like this is great for many dishes but our favorite is chicken salad for sandwiches.

Chicken Salad

1 jar canned chicken
6 hard boiled eggs
salt/pepper to taste
Chcopped green onions
chopped celery if desired

Place into a bowl the drained chicken broken up, the cut up hard boiled eggs, the chopped onions and celery.  Then add relish to taste and Mayo to desired consistency, salt and pepper to taste.  Put whatever amount you want on bread or crackers and enjoy.  It is beautiful served on a lettuce leaf.


  1. Chrstine, what is the shelf life of the canned chicken? Say, I want to store for several years as food long do you think this is good for? Yes, I know if the lids are budged it is bad food.
    Thank oyu.

  2. Personally I have opened jars of meat, veges, and fruit 5 years old and it was still fine. As long as the lid is not bulged or popped up and it looks and smells like chicken then it should be fine. Right now I am still wokring on some dill pickles I made 4 years ago and they are just as good as the day after I canned them. I have lots of jars of meat a year old that I am currently using and there is no difference in it. Remember first in first out and use what you can.