How Do I Can Chicken Stock?

J.M. Densing

Chicken stock is a useful ingredient to keep on hand in the kitchen, and it's much more economical to use homemade rather than store bought versions. The easiest way to have homemade chicken stock available whenever it's needed is to make it in large amounts and can it at home. There are a few basic supplies that are needed to can chicken stock, including a canner, jars, and new lids, but most of the other necessary items can be found in the average kitchen. It's important for the jars to be in pristine condition, and for the lids to be new in order to get the best seal possible. The filled jars of chicken stock need to be heated and pressurized in the canner according to the directions for the model being used, and instructions should be followed closely for the best results.

A ladle is an important tool to have for canning chicken stock.
A ladle is an important tool to have for canning chicken stock.

When planning to can chicken stock, the first step is to make a large pot of it using fresh ingredients and following a favorite recipe. Once this is accomplished, the stock can be canned right away, or refrigerated overnight for canning the next day. The next step is to gather all of the necessary supplies for canning. The primary specialized supplies needed in order to can chicken stock are new lids with rings, glass jars, and a pressure canner. Most of the other useful supplies include tongs, a funnel, and large spoons or ladles.

A jar lifter may be used to remove sterilized jars from a boiling water canner.
A jar lifter may be used to remove sterilized jars from a boiling water canner.

Once the supplies are all gathered, the next step to can chicken stock is to prepare the jars. They should be carefully inspected for damage, including nicks, bumps, cracks, or scratches, especially around the rim of the jar. Issues like these can make it difficult to get the jar and lid to make the proper seal. The lids should be new since they are only designed to be used once. When the jars are all inspected, they should be sterilized along with the lids and rings in boiling water or in a dishwasher.

The next step in canning chicken stock is to heat it to just below the boiling point, and then fill each jar leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space at the top. Place the lids on the jars with the rings used to hold them on, and then put a few inches of water in the canner on the bottom and add the rack. You should set it on the stove top, fill it with jars of chicken stock, and then turn the burner on high.

The lid should then be placed on the canner, making sure that the seals and valves are all okay, and locked into place. It should be heated until significant amounts of steam escape. After this, follow the directions for the particular model of canner being used to pressurize the canner and complete the canning process, since the amount of time needed to properly vacuum seal the jars can vary.

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