How to Can Chicken

jars of chicken broth sitting on a cabinet

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  • 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)

Equipment needed: 

  • 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


  1. In a large kettle, combine all ingredients, and bring to a boil
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours
  3. Remove from heat and use a slotted spoon to remove large pieces from kettle
  4. Strain broth through 3-4 layers of cheesecloth to remove remaining debris
  5. If desired, let broth cool until fat solidifies. Then you can easily remove fat before canning
  6. Ladle broth into jars
  7. Wipe jar rims to ensure nothing blocks the lids from sealing
  8. Screw down lids and rings firmly
  9. 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)
  10. Fix lid to canner, being sure the seal is in place
  11. Heat canner until a steady stream of steam escapes vent. 
  12. Let vent for 10 minutes
  13. Close vent, Add 10 lb pressure weight (often called a jiggler) if applicable
  14. Heat canner until 10 pounds of pressure is reached (in the case of a jiggler canner, you will know when the jiggler starts rocking)
  15. Process quarts for 25 minutes, and pints for 20 minutes
  16. Remove canner from heat, and let pressure return to zero naturally
  17. 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. 
  18. 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.