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Canning Chicken or Poultry

Raw Pack or Hot pack directions
Bone in or Boneless

canning chicken

These canning chicken directions work for chicken, rabbit, duck, goose, turkey or wild game birds. It is great for home made soup or casserole recipes.

The directions and pictures here are for a raw pack, bone in or boneless.

For hot pack directions simply cook chicken until about 2/3 done. Pack and process with the directions on this page the same as a raw pack. Personally since it does not save any processing time I don't see the point in hot packing chicken. But it is perfectly safe and you may prefer it.

When canning chicken you must use a Pressure Canner


Gather your canning supplies


Chicken - Your choice of boneless or bone in. Any chicken parts can be canned. Separate meat at the joints.

Depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Quarts will hold 6 or 7 drumsticks, or 5 to 6 thighs. These estimates are bone in.

Start by preparing jars,and get water in your canner heating. (see Pressure Canning for full directions)


canning chicken drumsticks

Prepare your chicken. Separate pieces at the joints if needed. De bone if you prefer.

I don't care for soggy chicken skins so I remove mine. You can leave it on or remove it according to your preference.  Pack raw chicken into hot jars. Leave 1 inch head space.

I used to always add liquid to my chicken. I like having the broth. But I've found that packing and processing raw without liquid is my preferred method now. The chicken will produce it's own juice. It is your choice. Try it both ways and see what you like better. Either way you pack be sure and leave 1 inch head space.

Packing Tips

Drumsticks for Soup

When I can chicken drumsticks on the bone.  I then open the jar to make soups.  The bone will crumble in my hand.  All the the nutrients have gone into the broth.  I don't actually use the bone in my soup!  (had someone ask me about that) but that bone is well done by the time it is cooked.  

I truly enjoy serving this to my family.   

  • For drumsticks it works well to pack 4 legs with the meaty sides down. Then add 2 or 3 to the top, meaty sides up. This way the drumsticks nestle together and fill the jar nicely.
  • Another packing tip if you want to add water, is to pack half the jar and add a little boiling water. Then top the meat off and fill the rest of the jar with hot water or broth. This makes it less likely that you will have large air pockets stuck between your chicken pieces. You'll still need to remove air bubbles.

Adding liquid is optional. You can add either boiling water or broth

canning chicken removing air bubbles
canning chicken placing lids

After you have filled your jar, remove any air pockets by sliding a narrow non-metallic item between the jar and the meat. I like to use an orange peeler. A small spatula or other instrument would work also. Do this even if you've filled halfway and added water then filled the rest of the way.

Wipe the rims of your jar clean with a damp cloth or paper towel. This prevents any food particles or grease from interfering with the seal.

Add your lids and screw bands.

Place jars in your pressure canner and process according to pressure canning instructions.


Boneless has a different processing time that bone in chicken. Be sure and read carefully and get the correct time requirements.

With bone-  Process pints - 1 hour 5 minutes and Quarts 1 hour 15 minutes.
Boneless- Process pints- 1 hour 15 minutes and quarts 1 hour 30 minutes

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Processing instructions from NCFHFP chicken  

How to butcher a chicken.

I've been asked how to butcher a chicken, and while we do it... it is my husbands job.  Ew for me.  I'd do it if I had to but I'm blessed that HE loves me enough to just process the chicken and bring it to me ready for the pot!  Yay husband!  

My friend Melissa has a great article on how to butcher a chicken.  

Comments from Simply Canning Facebook

My husband is slaughtering 26 chickens today, and for the first time I'm thinking I'd like to can some of the meat/broth. I've always froze them whole before and then used them as a three night dinner/stock source. Thinking I'd like to can breasts/drumsticks/thighs/and stock. A couple questions. Will I be limited with soups/stews/casseroles if I can the meat (I've heard it is tender and delicious)? Does the nutrient value of the meat and stock go down after canning? I use bone broth as a healing food for my family. Is the mineral value depleted at all? Thank you so much in advance! love this page!

Remember if you can it first it is more suitable for casseroles etc.  It is not like you can open it up and eat it like fried chicken.  However.... it is perfectly good to just eat it as it is.  I'll open up a jar and heat it up and serve. Canning does take away some nutritional value,  I have not done extensive research on this but it is still WAAAAYYY healthier than the stuff you get at the grocer.  :) 

Online Canning Classes

Learn Home Canning

Discover how to fill your pantry with garden fresh produce to feed your family healthy nutritious food. So many people want to start canning but are stuck.  They don’t know where to start.  

Simply Canning School is the tool you need to get moving.  

The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2018

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Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA, you are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

See my Full Disclaimer here.

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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