If you’re a fan of using up every part of your ingredients, then you will love knowing how to can chicken broth.
Making chicken broth is a great way to get one more use out of the chicken carcasses leftover from making a few big meals, or canning chicken.
You can make broth from a whole chicken in your slow cooker too, and it’s delicious. But in this case, we’re just going to use the leftovers from deboning. And since making chicken broth is a component in canning chicken at home, you may use different chicken parts at different times.
I recently did this with mainly leg and thigh bones. You don’t have to use whole chickens. Though I remember when I was a kid and we processed chickens (usually old, retired hens), my mom used to can breasts and leg quarters separately, then boil the carcass with the wings still attached in huge pots. Then we’d debone everything, and can meaty chicken broth.
That broth was excellent for making chicken soup, or chicken gravy.
I also use chicken broth without the meat often for recipes like butternut squash soup, and I like to cook rice in it too.
The ingredients (other than chicken) are going to be very flexible here.
I like to start with salt, pepper, onions, celery, and carrots. I also like to add garlic, but I have to be careful, because my kids don’t love that one.
You’ll also need canning supples.
- A pressure canner. My default is the Presto 0 16 quart canner, because it’s simplest to use. The newer canners are also simple, but have an added pressure gauge. I like them, but I’ll be honest that I don’t love how the price point keeps going up, and the canners keep getting thinner. You have to spend an arm and a leg to get a truly nice canner now. But in the end, it’s an investment that pays for itself. Still, scanning vintage stores and thrift shops for older canners is a great hobby if you’re in the marker for a new (to you) canner!
- Canning jars – pints or quarts work well, and I recommend small mouth. Since you’re canning liquid, and small mouths seal more securely, it makes sense.
- Lids, and rings. If you’re using new jars, they likely came with a set of lids and rings to go with them. If not, you probably have rings from previous uses and only need lids. Either way, they’re easy to order.
If you’re new to canning, and disappointed that chicken broth isn’t on the list of water bath canning-safe foods, let me just encourage you that using a pressure canner is not complicated at all, and they have built in safeties. In all the years I’ve been canning, and helped friends with their canning, I’ve only seen a safety seal blow once.
It was my moms. Apparently the pressure release valve got clogged, so once it reached pressure and didn’t start releasing, the rubber seal popped. It got water all over the stove. The end. We cleaned the valve and put the seal back in, and I think my sister-in-law has that canner now.
How to Can Chicken Broth
Pile your chicken bones, carcasses, etc. in a large stock pot. In the pictures you see, I’m using my 16 quart water bath canning kettle.
In that pot, add 3-4 stalks of celery, a quartered onion, a few carrots, snapped in half, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper (we’ll get to specific measurements in the recipe card below).
Fill the kettle with water, and bring it to a boil.
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for two hours.
When it’s done cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove big chunks, then strain the whole kettle through 3-4 layers of cheese cloth.
After that, you can let the broth cool until the fat solidified to remove it, or you can move straight to canning with the fat. Your call, depending on how you feel about fat.
To can, fill sterile jars with the both to about an inch from the rim, make sure the rims are clean and free of debris, then firmly fix the lids and rings on the jars.
Pressure can at 10lbs of pressure for 25 minutes for quarts, or 20 minutes for pints.
This is such rewarding work, because you start to see your pantry shelves fill up fast with very little effort on this one!
Scroll down a bit to see the printable recipe card with specific measurements and instructions.Print
How to Can Chicken
- 7 lbs chicken bones/carcasses (including skin if desired)
- 28 cups water (7 quarts
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 3 onions, quartered
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (or 2 tablespoons of pepper corns)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 3 bay leaves (optional)
- Canning jars – 7 quart, or 14 pint
- Canning lids and rings
- Pressure canner. I use one that holds 7 quarts at at a time
- Cheesecloth or other filter
- In a large kettle, combine all ingredients, and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours
- Remove from heat and use a slotted spoon to remove large pieces from kettle
- Strain broth through 3-4 layers of cheesecloth to remove remaining debris
- If desired, let broth cool until fat solidifies. Then you can easily remove fat before canning
- Ladle broth into jars
- Wipe jar rims to ensure nothing blocks the lids from sealing
- Screw down lids and rings firmly
- Place jars in prepared pressure canner (your pressure canner likely has instructions for us, such as ensuring the rack is in place, and how much water to add. Most 16 quart canners use 2 quarts)
- Fix lid to canner, being sure the seal is in place
- Heat canner until a steady stream of steam escapes vent.
- Let vent for 10 minutes
- Close vent, Add 10 lb pressure weight (often called a jiggler) if applicable
- Heat canner until 10 pounds of pressure is reached (in the case of a jiggler canner, you will know when the jiggler starts rocking)
- Process quarts for 25 minutes, and pints for 20 minutes
- Remove canner from heat, and let pressure return to zero naturally
- After that, you can open pressure valved, carefully remove lid, and equally carefully remove jars, setting in a safe place away from drafts, and covered while they finish cooling. OR, just leave them in the canner until they’re cool if you can.
- After 24 hours, you may remove rings, clean jars (sometimes they get sticky, or a mineral film on them in the canner, and store in a cool, dim place.
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