Canning Chicken Broth

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Canning Homemade chicken broth uses the same process used for canning turkey broth. So if you’ve got a turkey carcass after a holiday meal… Remember, the day after Thanksgiving is Turkey Broth Day!

Learn how to can chicken broth made from scratch. Prepare and simmer chicken broth. Fill jars with hot broth, leaving headspace. Seal jars and process in a pressure canner. Cool, check seals, and store in a cool, dark place.

Putting full jars of broth into the pressure canner using a jar lifter.
Canning Meat and Meals Course to learn how to can meat safely at home.

First on this page are detailed step by step directions with lots of extra tips and options. Below you’ll find a brief printer friendly recipe.

Many people (including me) use the terms homemade chicken broth and stock interchangeably. Some folks say they are different, some say they are the same. From what I have read, they are different. (You can read more about that below.)

Homemade Chicken Broth from Whole Chicken or from the Bones

Chicken pieces: Any chicken parts will do. I prefer to remove the skin but it is not necessary. Approximately 6 pounds will be enough for a batch in my large stock pot. I usually get at least 7 quarts out of this.

Chicken bones or carcass: Saving the bones from a roast chicken dinner is the most common way to get broth bones. This gives you all the bones in the carcass. Back and neck bones are especially good for broth.

But if you have fried chicken for dinner, save the thigh, drumstick and breast bones. You’ll need more than just a few so keep a gallon size freezer bag in the freezer. Add bones to the bag as you gather them. When the bag is full, you’ll have enough for a batch of stock.

If you’ve got family members who love to chew on the bone ends, (I’ve got a said person) remind them that you would like to make broth, don’t naw on the bones. Just pull the meat off please.

Vegetables and seasonings are optional. This could include 2-3 stalks of celery (chopped in large chunks), 2 onions (quartered), or 2-3 carrots (peeled and chopped in large chunks).

How to Prepare Chicken for Making Broth

The first thing you want to do is cook your chicken and remove the meat if you have not already. If you are using bones leftover from a roast chicken dinner or have you are good to go. Skip down to the options for making your broth from the carcass or bones. Or keep reading for how to cook the chicken easily to prep for broth making.

Cooking whole chicken pieces first if needed.

If you are starting with raw chicken, boiling it is one easy way to cook the chicken to remove it from the bones. Place chicken pieces in a stock pot. Fill with water just to cover the meat. Bring to a boil. Add vegetables and seasonings if you are going to use them. Lower the heat and simmer until chicken is done. This may be about 1 hour, but it will vary a lot depending on how much chicken and how thick your pieces are.

Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove chicken pieces. Let the chicken pieces cool until you can handle them well enough to remove the meat. Remove the meat from the bones and save for other uses. (It’s great for chicken enchiladas, chicken casseroles, etc.)

Roasting the bones or carcass.

This step is optional but roasting these bones gives your stock a wonderful flavor. Just lay them out on a baking tray, and roast at 400 degrees until you see them start to brown. You can also roast the vegetables if you like.

Remember roasting is optional. If you are new to making broth and it overwhelms you, then don’t. Just skip to the next step (put the bones in a pot of water) and don’t worry about it. You’ll still get lovely broth much better and healthier than store bought broth.

Adding bones and ingredients to the pot.

Cut or break any large bones into shorter pieces if at all possible. (This might not be the case, and that’s okay.) Be careful not to burn yourself.

Don’t be too fanatical about this step. If you are handling a thigh bone that won’t easily break, it is not a big deal. Just toss it back into the pot. The purpose is to allow the water more access to the nutritious marrow in the bones.

3 Options to Cook the Bones in Water to Make Broth

Use a stock pot to make chicken broth.

Add water, bones and other ingredients to a stock pot. Cover with water. Bring your stock pot to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the carcass or bones on very low heat. The more you simmer, the better. minimum of 4-6 hours (or more)!

Using a pressure canner or cooker to make your broth.

Add water, bones and other ingredients to a pressure canner or pressure cooker Be sure and only fill to the fill line of your pot. Pressure cook at 10 pounds pressure (or high for a pressure cooker) for 1 hour. Release pressure naturally and continue the broth canning recipe.

Pressure canners or cookers saves a lot of time and brings out more of the nutrition from the bones. It is debatable as far as what this pressure does to the nutrition of the broth. It is much better than that commercial broth full of salt and preservatives.

Crockpot method for making homemade chicken broth.

The final option and the one I go to more and more…use your Crockpot. I’ll go into detail on this method below.

If you only have a few bones, this is a great way to make broth. This is the option I go to more and more often. The broth turns out so full of gelatin from the bones that it sets up when you cool it. Super, super healthy!

Place your bones in a Crockpot and cook them overnight. You can even cook them two days if time is busy. Ask me how I know! 🙂 Just keep it hot.

With this method, I’ve even cooked the bones for one day, retrieved the broth, added new water, to the carcass, and cooked the bones again another day. It works.

The only downfall is you are limited to how much you can make at a time. I’ll usually do this and just freeze or use this broth right away as it doesn’t make a full 7 quarts to fill a canner. You can process it in pints to fill a canner more easily. Either way is great.

Preparing the Broth for Canning

Remove chicken pieces and vegetables. Discard. Strain broth to remove any small bones and pieces left in the broth. I have a colander that I use. You can use cheesecloth if you want a very clear broth. I don’t mind little bits of meat, so the colander is good for me.

Allow the broth to cool, and then place in the fridge to chill completely. The next morning, there will be a layer of fat floating on top. It is easy to remove that fat with a slotted spoon before storing your broth.

Canning Homemade Chicken Broth

Start by preparing jars and getting water in your canner heating. If you are not familiar with how a pressure canner works, check this page.

Pour hot broth into hot jars. (If desired, add 1 tsp. salt per quart or 1/2 tsp. salt per pint.) Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles, and place on your lids and rings. Leave 1 inch headspace. Process using pressure canning instructions.

Processing Time:
(Remember, always adjust for your altitude using chart below.)

  • Pints – process for 20 minutes
  • Quarts – process for 25 minutes

See printable recipe card below.

What is the difference between canned chicken stock and chicken broth?

What’s the difference between stock and broth? Here’s my understanding of the difference:

  • Homemade Chicken Stock is made from the bones of a chicken carcass, or less meaty chicken parts. The neck, back, and wings are examples. Or it uses the carcass from a roasted chicken meal. This turns out to be a darker, richer color and flavor.
  • Homemade Chicken Broth is made from meatier chicken pieces with the meat on. The meat is removed (saved for casseroles, etc.) and the bones further cooked. It has a lighter color and flavor.

Both homemade chicken broth and stock benefit from adding vegetables to the stock when you cook it. It is not required, but since I’ve started adding those veggies, my broth is soooo much nicer! I highly recommend giving it a try. Easy chicken stock (and yummy too).

How long will homemade canned chicken broth last?

As with most home canned foods, It’s recommended that you use this up within a year. Quality starts declining after that. If you’ve got jars that are older than a year, don’t throw them away, just make a plan to use them up soon.

Is it better to freeze or can chicken broth?

Both! I actually do both. Freezing will maintain some of those bone broth benefits that we all love. Canning does destroy some of that. (still way healthier than store purchased!). But canning has the advantage of not using up freezer space and being ready to use without the thawing step.

Canning Chicken Broth

Learn everything you need to know about canning chicken broth using the pressure canner. Step-by-step instructions found here!
Print Recipe
Putting full jars of broth into the pressure canner using a jar lifter.
Prep Time:8 hours
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):25 minutes
Total Time:8 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Broth prepared & strained
  • Canning Salt optional but highly recommended

Equipment

    Instructions

    • Start by warming your jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
      Rinse canning seals and rings to clean. Boiling not needed.
      If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. This includes more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.

    Hot Pack only

    • Bring your broth to a boil. 
      Broth
    • Pour hot broth into hot jar, leaving 1” headspace. 
    • Add salt (1 tsp. per quart or 1/2 tsp. per pint) if desired.  
      Canning Salt
    • Wipe the rim clean and place on canning seal and ring. 
    • Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars.  
    • Process according to directions below. 

    Notes

    Processing with a Pressure Canner
    Warm the jars by placing in the warm canner. Remove a jar, fill with broth leaving 1 inch headspace. Place into the canner.   
    Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
    Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid. 
    Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below) This is when pressure will start to build.  
    When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below) that is when you’ll start your time.  Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
    When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
    Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
    Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
    Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
    Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
    When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
    Processing Instructions (Hot Pack) 
    Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  
    Altitude Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
    Altitude – Weighted Gauge   
    0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds  
    1,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds  
    Altitude – Dial Gauge
    0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds
    2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds
    4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds
    6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds
    8,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds
     
    Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Wisconsin Extension 
    Canning Homemade Chicken Broth

    Source: The National Center for Home Food Preservation

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    Boni
    Boni
    6 months ago

    I made the broth but did not skim off the fat before canning. Are the jars going to be edible when I go yo use them?

    Brenda
    Brenda
    1 year ago

    I am confused with this “recipe”. My understanding from extension offices & nchfp that you can not can or make broth from leftover turkey. That your option is to freeze. And if the carcass is frozen from your holiday meal, your option is to make soup or stew but do not can.
    Thank-you 😊

    Randall
    Randall
    1 year ago

    After you open a jar, how long will it be safe to use with putting what you didn’t use?

    Davud
    Davud
    2 years ago

    I am able to get a lot of chicken feet, backs, and necks. Using these parts has made for a very thick stock/broth. I find roasting them not only imparts a richer flavor but also helps draw out the marrow. Adding an acid; ACV or lemon juice also helps bring out the minerals and break down the bones. I simmer on low until the bones crumble in my fingers for about 12 or more hours. In some cultures, the bone “paste” is eaten as it still contains minerals. In addition to the bones, when we cook our veggies we cut… Read more »

    Leslie
    Leslie
    3 years ago

    can i just put the hot broth straight from crock pot into jars for canning?

    Rachel Abernathy
    Admin
    Rachel Abernathy
    3 years ago
    Reply to  Leslie

    Technically yes, though you’ll need to strain the broth before you put it into the jars and make sure it’s hot going into them. The primary reason you wouldn’t can it immediately would be that you need to skim off excess fat. If you have a very lean broth, I suppose you wouldn’t need to do this, but that probably isn’t likely for chicken or turkey broth. You can read more about this topic here: https://www.simplycanning.com/canning-chicken-stock/

    -Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

    Laura
    Laura
    3 years ago

    Can I keep chicken carcasses in my freezer until I have enough to make a decently sized batch of broth or will that mess with the nutrition/taste?

    Rachel Abernathy
    Admin
    Rachel Abernathy
    3 years ago
    Reply to  Laura

    Yes, Laura, that would be fine. 🙂

    -Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

    masha
    masha
    3 years ago

    Thank you for this! The directions say “Pour hot broth into hot jars”, but is it okay to add the broth to the jars straight from the fridge and then put the jars in the pressure canner? Or do the contents of the jar need to be warm? Total newbie here! Sorry if it’s a silly question!

    Terri
    Terri
    1 year ago

    I also wondered if I can make more than just 4 quarts of soup at a time. If I’m going to all that work I’d like to make a full canner of 7 quarts of chicken soup. Is there a reason why directions are only for 4 quarts. Thanks

    Flossy
    Flossy
    1 year ago

    I inquired about this from Bernardin one time and they told me I could start processing cold jars in cold water and both would hotten up together.

    Sandy
    Sandy
    3 years ago

    I want to save this to my pintrest?