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How to Pressure Can Chicken Stock or Broth


A step-by-step guide to using your pressure canner.

Chicken stock is so easy to make. It's also very inexpensive and so much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store. My recent post shows you how to make your own chicken stock in your own kitchen. Maybe you've already made some since reading that post? If not, I hope you're ready to give it a try.

Broth and stock are almost the same thing: stock is made from mostly bones, and broth is made from meat. Other than that slight difference in ingredients, they are made in the same way.

Stock and broth are also interchangeable in recipes. If a recipe calls for stock and all you have is broth, use it!


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What to Do with Your Homemade Chicken Stock

So let's say that you followed my directions last week (I hope you did!) and now you have several quarts of rich stock in the refrigerator. It won't keep in there for long, so what do you do with it?

Fortunately, broth and stock are also interchangeable in the preservation methods you can use. Choose a method and use it on either stock or broth.

First, make a big batch of soup that uses chicken stock in the recipe, like Tortilla Soup or Broccoli and Cheddar Soup. Ok, that's just a suggestion. You might have another recipe in mind, or you might want to preserve all of that delicious chicken stock to use later.

How to freeze chicken stock or broth

The quickest and easiest way to preserve stock and broth is to freeze it. Measure it into freezer containers in the quantities you use most: quarts, pints, one cup or even half-cup quantities. Or preserve this batch in quarts and the next batch in pints.

I like having some one cup and half-cup containers on hand too. Label the containers with the contents, size and date, and put them in the freezer.

When you need a cup of chicken stock, use the container with the oldest date first. Since you've labeled the containers, you'll know it has chicken stock in it and not apple juice or enchilada sauce, right? I learned that lesson the hard way.

The disadvantage to frozen chicken stock is that you have to thaw it. You can move a container to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight, or you can heat the frozen stock in a saucepan on the stove.

How to pressure can chicken stock or broth

Or you can grab a jar of chicken stock from the cupboard, open the lid and pour it right into the dish you're making.

In order to do that, you must pressure can chicken stock or broth. Unfortunately, you cannot use a boiling water canner to can meat or broth, you must use a pressure canner. Also you cannot use a pressure cooker to can chicken stock; use a pressure canner such as this one.

You can read more about the difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners in this post from The Spruce Eats.

Pressure canning is the only safe way to can low-acid foods such as broth or stock. Fruits and fruit preserves such as jams and jellies are about the only foods you can safely can with a boiling water bath canner. Tomatoes can also be water-bathed if you add a bit of acid such as lemon juice. Pickles are acidic so they are safe to water bath can. Everything else has to be pressure-canned.

If you've never used a pressure canner before, chicken broth or stock is an excellent first project.


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I was nervous about using my pressure canner for a long time, even though I'd been using a water bath canner for many years. I finally took a class put on by my county extension office to gain some confidence before trying it on my own. I still held my breath when I used it for the first time, but the class gave me the courage to make that first effort.

Are you afraid or nervous about using your pressure canner too? We've all heard those stories about canners exploding and spewing hot food on the kitchen ceiling, right? You might even know someone who had one of these accidents - I do. It's scary!

I'm here to reassure you that it isn't hard, and as long as you follow the rules - especially the rule about letting your canner cool down naturally and completely before you attempt to open the lid - you'll be just fine. It gets easier with practice too, so the more you use it, the more comfortable you will be.

Step-by-step directions to pressure can chicken stock or broth


The tools you need to pressure can.

Assemble your equipment before you begin:

Jar lifter
Canning funnel
Tongs or a magnetic lid lifter to take lids out of hot water

Warm up the canning lids.

Use new lids, kept in warm water to soften the rubber. Do not re-use lids.

Keep the canning jars warm until ready to fill.

Wash the canning jars. I run them through my dishwasher. Keep them warm until you're ready to fill them. You can put them in a sink of hot water or keep them inside the dishwasher after the dry cycle finishes.

Canning rings, or bands.

Rings, also called bands. While you can't re-use lids, you can re-use the metal bands.

Pressure canner

Pressure canner - I use this 23-quart Presto pressure canner.

Now, let's get down to the basics of using a pressure canner.

A step-by-step guide to pressure-canning chicken broth and stock.

Fill the Jars

If you refrigerate your stock overnight after making it, you can remove the fat that solidified on top as it chilled. However, you'll need to heat your stock again before adding it to the jars.

You're less likely to break jars by adding hot chicken stock to hot jars that are then placed in hot water in your pressure canner.

Add the recommended amount of water to your pressure canner.

Add the recommended amount of water to your pressure canner according to the instruction booklet. Mine uses 3 quarts of hot water, so I fill a quart jar three times and pour it in the canner.

Fill jars, leaving one inch of headspace.

Run your finger around the tops of your empty jars to check for nicks or sharp edges on the rims.

Using your canning funnel, fill your jars leaving one inch of headspace (the amount of space between the food and the top of the glass jar).

Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp rag.

Use a damp cloth to wipe the rim of the filled jars. This removes any food or grease that might have splashed and would prevent the jar from sealing.

Place a warm lid on the jar.

Using tongs or a lid magnet, remove a lid from the warm water where the lids have been waiting and place it on the jar.

Add the ring (band) and tighten just until it's finger tight; do not over-tighten.

Use a jar lifter to put the jars in the canner.

Place the jars in the pressure canner

The jars are hot, so use your jar lifter to pick up a jar and place it carefully in the canner. Try not to bang the jar against the side of the canner or against another jar, to avoid the chance of breakage.

Bring the canner up to pressure.

Following the directions for your canner, close the lid and bring the temperature up. Steam will begin to flow from the vent pipe. After letting the steam vent for ten minutes, add the pressure regulator (in the photo above) and wait for the dial gauge to register the correct amount of pressure (in the photo below).

Bring the canner up to pressure.

When the pressure is reached, begin timing.

How long to pressure can chicken stock or broth

Pints of broth require twenty minutes at eleven pounds of pressure if you live between sea level and 2,000 feet altitude. Quarts require 25 minutes. If you live above 2,000 feet, you'll need to adjust the pressure for your altitude. You'll find the information in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

I always seem to have the pressure higher than needed, but as long as it doesn't go below eleven pounds, it's ok. If your pressure does go below eleven pounds (or the recommended amount of pressure at your altitude), you'll need to bring the pressure back up to eleven pounds and start timing again for the full amount of time required.


When the pressure canner is finished

When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and move the canner carefully off the burner. It's hot and it's heavy, so be very careful!

DO NOT take the top off or try to hurry the cooling-down process in any way. Let the canner cool down naturally in its own time, no matter how long it takes.

The air vent/cover lock will eventually drop down, and you can then remove the pressure regulator. Wait another ten minutes after removing the pressure regulator before you remove the lid of the canner.

Let the air vent/cover lock drop down.

When you open the canner lid, be sure to lift the side farthest from your face first so that any steam will be directed away from you. Set the lid aside and use the jar lifter to carefully lift each jar straight up - do not tilt them - and place on a padded surface such as a towel-covered counter.

The jars are still VERY hot. Don't bump them on anything. Let them rest undisturbed for 24 hours.

Test the lids after 24 hours to make sure they've sealed.

Finishing up

After 24 hours, test the lids to see if they've sealed. If one "bounces" up and down, it did not seal, and you need to either use it or put the contents into the freezer; you cannot store it on a shelf if the jar did not seal correctly. You can process it again in your pressure canner, but you must replace the lid with another new one.

How to pressure can chicken broth.

After checking the lids, wipe down the outside of the sealed jars with a damp cloth. Remove the rings for storage, label the jars, and admire your hard work. Good job!

The first time is the hardest, and now you'll feel more comfortable using your pressure canner. From now on, the sky is the limit, right?



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Related posts:


How to pressure can chicken broth or stock, a step-by-step guide.

Pressure canners - are you nervous about using yours? This tutorial shows you how to pressure-can chicken broth.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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22 comments

  1. Kathy you always do a great job with your step-step instructions. Kudos to you!

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  2. Thank you, Tracy. That's sweet of you to say!

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  3. Very good tutorial. Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

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  4. This is one of the things I keep meaning to do. We use so much chicken broth and for some reason I keep buying it in the store when I have chicken backs in the freezer waiting to be made into stock. Crazy. LOL

    I'm stopping by from the Homestead Blog Hop. I've chosen your post to be one of this week's features. Please feel free to grab a Featured button to add to your post. http://www.notsomodern.com/homestead-blog-hop-46.html/

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  5. Bonnie, thank you so much for featuring my post. I hope you'll give this a try, chicken broth is so easy to make plus you already have the chicken backs in your freezer. ;-) It's one of the easier things to pressure can too, if you're new to the process. Good luck!

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  6. There is nothing like having jars of homemade chicken broth in the pantry! We also enjoy beef broth. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

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  7. Homemade Chicken Broth is so lovely - and so nutritious too! This is an excellent tutorial. Pinning! Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Hop, Kathi!

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  8. Thank you, April!

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  9. I just made a batch of chicken broth---we had to cull a rooster, so he ended up in the pot. I've never canned it before, because I'm scared. Yep. I admit it. I have two pressure canners, one electric, and one for the stove top. You did a great job going over the steps, and I love the pictures too. Great tips! I may just give this a try! We've already used all but one of the quarts of broth, so I'll have to wait until another chicken is ready to go. Thank you! I'll be sharing your article and using for future reference!

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    1. Thank you for sharing it, Heidi! I'm glad it looks helpful, and I hope it IS helpful when you are brave enough to try for the first time. I'm here holding your hand!

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  10. Thank you for this tutorial. Hubby turned a pressure canner into brewing equipment, so I've seen them, but never used them. It doesn't seem so scary now. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday. blog hop!.

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    1. Once they're familiar they aren't as scary, so you have a headstart.

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  11. I often break a big job into two days. I think you're very smart.

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    1. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who does this, Michele, thank you for sharing that you do it too.

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  12. Hi Kathi- thanks for the great article:) I gave Wendie a pressure cooker for Christmas, and so far we've been working our way through baked beans and carnitas- stock and broth are next.
    Cheers for the share!

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    Replies
    1. A pressure canner really opens up the world of canning possibilities, doesn't it?!

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  13. Great tutorial, Kathi! I have finished all of my canned stock and hope to make more this year. Thanks for the tips!

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  14. Thank you for this tutorial. I have been wanting to can my broth to make it last longer but have been so nervous about doing it. You have re inspired me. Thanks again.

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  15. What a fantastic post, Kathi! There's so much great advice here, and the step by step instructions are invaluable for anyone wanting to learn how to pressure can. Scheduling to pin and share on the H&S Facebook page. Thank you so much for your support of the Hearth and Soul Link Party.

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  16. We are featuring you this Wednesday on the homestead blog hop! Thanks so much for sharing your hard work with us over the years!

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