Friday, August 17, 2012

Canning Chicken

First off, I recently learned from my Grandma that you need to get your pressure cooker checked about every year to make sure all the valves and gauges are in working order. Not sure where to do that, my first place to ask will be my Grandma. For those of you who do not share my awesome grandma, I would start with Sears...or a google search :)

Canning chicken in the pressure cooker is a sinch, it saves a ton of space in your freezer, it's got a shelf life of 3-5 years, AND it makes dinner easier than...well something very easy. So, this is how I do it:

The night before I set out my frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts in the sink to thaw. My cooker holds 9 pint jars (it can do quart jars too, I just prefer the pints, cause we wont use a full quart at a time)

You can fit about 15-18 lbs of chicken in 9 qt jars

By morning the chicken is thawed but still cold, a few ice chunks even, but pliable enough to fill the jars. I can get about 3 or 4 chicken breasts in each jar.

Then I like to add a little seasoning, it just cuts one step out when you are ready to use it. I put a little salt in each jar. In  2 I also have garlic and onion powder, 2 have taco seasoning, 2 bbq sauce (havent tried that one yet) every batch is a little different.

 and the 3 in the front just have the salt

Now the hardest part is over :)
Yes I KNOW it looks gross

Now wipe the rims clean so you get a good seal, then put the lids and rings on tight
 Put the jars in the cooker. My instruction book says add 2 qts of water, that amount may vary depending on the manufacturer 


Put the lid on, turn it on high, but leave the weight off for now. 

When the steam starts escaping set the timer for 10 mins...I don't think you can see the steam in the picture very well...but trust me, it's there. 

After 10 mins, put the weight on and let it get up to pressure

Meat needs 10 lbs of pressure. There are different kinds of gauges, I like the needles, takes all the guess work out of it. There is also one that the weight is also the gauge, and you have to listen for how often it jiggles. Don't let that scare you, I have used them too, and never had a bad batch.

Now just maintain the correct pressure by adjusting the heat. slowly turning it down till the gauge reads correctly. For pint jars cook at pressure for 75 mins, for quart jars 90 minuets. 

There chicken is done. DO NOT take the lid OR THE WEIGHT right off, the jars are under pressure and if you release the pressure your jars will me, I've done it before. Take the cooker off the heat and ignore it for an hour, then pull out your jars. They will still be boiling. They will for a while. 

I like to place mine on a towel so they aren't on the cool counter top.

Don't forget to date and label. After the jars cool, you can take the rings off

You know you did it right when you hear them *pop* Kinda sounds like you are clicking your tong. If for some reason a jar or two doesn't seal (which happens occasionally) just put it in your fridge. It's still good, just not shelf safe.

Try it, I know it looks nasty in the jars, but once you use it, you will LOVE it. each jar is full of ready to eat chicken and delicious chicken broth. Fajitas, or chicken tacos ready in less than 10 mins. Open a can and throw some on your quesadillas, so yummy. Have a casserole in the oven before you can say supercalafragilesticexpealladocious! Want some chicken fetachini alfreado, or a quick chicken salad for lunch, soup? ...well you get my picture. 

*NOTE: The chicken does not cube well, but it shreds like a dream. I have cut up onions and peppers to put in there, makes the house smell so delicious. Also, you cook pork and beef exactly the same way. BBQ pulled pork sandwiches are to die for. 


  1. I'm so impressed! I've thought about trying this but I've never canned by myself and I don't have a pressure cooker (but my mom does).
    Last year, our stake had an emergency preparedness fair and there was a government agency that was checking the pressure cookers. I can ask around to see if the organizers remember who it was that did it.