Canned chicken broth is a versatile ingredient to have on hand. It can be used in soups, sauces, and other recipes.
In what follows, I’ll show you how to make chicken broth step by step. This process is simple and easy to follow. You will need a pressure canner and some mason jars to get started – but honestly, not much else!
I love making my own chicken broth because it allows me to get more out of a single chicken – when I make chicken broth, I’m using just about every piece of a chicken, leaving little to waste.
Plus, there’s nothing like having a shelf full of canned broth when it comes time to make my famous chicken noodle soup on the chilliest days of winter!
So without further ado, let’s get started!
What is the Difference Between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock?
When it comes to cooking, chicken broth and chicken stock are often used interchangeably. However, there is actually a difference between the two.
Chicken broth is made by simmering chicken in water, which results in a light and flavorful liquid. Chicken stock, on the other hand, is made by simmering chicken bones in water. This gives the stock a richer flavor and thicker consistency.
Both chicken broth and stock can be used in a variety of recipes, but stock will usually give dishes a more robust flavor.
When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider what you’re making and what kind of flavor you want to achieve.
Can You Can Chicken Broth in a Water Bath Canner?
Although water bath canning is a popular method for preserving fruits and vegetables, it is not suitable for canning chicken broth.
This is because chicken broth is a low-acid food, and water bath canners are only effective at killing bacteria in high-acid foods.
Low-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner in order to be safely preserved.
Pressure canning uses high temperatures to kill bacteria, and it also creates a tight seal that prevents bacteria from contaminating the food after it has been canned.
While water bath canning is a convenient and inexpensive way to preserve many foods, it is important to remember that it is not suitable for all types of food. Chicken broth must be pressure canned in order to be safe.
Benefits of Canning Homemade Chicken Broth
Canning chicken stock is a great way to have homemade chicken stock on hand without taking up space in your freezer.
Plus, it’s easy to do and you can customize the flavor by adding your favorite herbs and spices.
The high heat of canning also kills any bacteria that might be present in the chicken stock, so you can be sure it’s safe to consume.
Here are a few more benefits.
Canning chicken stock is a great way to have a healthy, low-sodium option on hand. Store-bought chicken stock can be high in sodium, but by canning your own homemade chicken stock, you can control the amount of salt that goes into it.
This is a great way to have a healthy, flavorful stock on hand for soups, stews, and other recipes.
Canning chicken stock is a great way to have all-natural, homemade chicken stock on hand whenever you need it.
When you make your own chicken stock, you know exactly what’s going into it and can control the quality of the ingredients. Plus, it’s much cheaper than buying cans of chicken stock at the store.
And since it’s all-natural, you don’t have to worry about any artificial chemicals or preservatives.
Uses the Whole Chicken
Canning chicken stock is a great way to use up the whole chicken. When you make homemade chicken stock, you can use the bones, skin, and meat that you would otherwise throw away.
This not only saves money but also allows you to get the most out of your ingredients.
Frees Up Freezer Space
One of the benefits of canning homemade chicken stock is that it frees up freezer space. If you make chicken stock on a regular basis, you likely have a lot of plastic containers taking up space in your freezer.
Canning the stock allows you to keep it fresh for longer and saves you the trouble of having to defrost and refreeze it every time you need to use it.
Plus, it’s easy to grab a can of chicken stock off the shelf when you need it, rather than having to wait for a container to defrost.
One of the benefits of canning homemade chicken stock is that it has better flavor. When you make homemade chicken stock, you can control the ingredients and the cooking process to produce a flavorful broth.
Store-bought chicken stock is often made with inferior ingredients and doesn’t have the same level of flavor.
In addition, canning helps to preserve the flavor of homemade chicken stock. The sealed jars create an environment that is free of oxygen, which can cause food to spoil.
This extends the shelf life of your chicken stock and ensures that it will taste fresh even after months in storage.
When it comes to stocking your pantry, homemade always tastes better than store-bought. The same is true for chicken stock.
Canning your own chicken stock is a great way to make sure you always have some on hand, and it also has the added benefit of being more nutritious than store-bought varieties.
Homemade chicken stock is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it doesn’t contain any of the preservatives or additives that can be found in some store-bought brands.
Tips for Making Your Own Chicken Broth
Making your own chicken stock is a great way to save money and add extra flavor to your cooking. The following tips will help you get started.
Save Bones and Vegetable Stock for Later Use
One of the best ways to make use of chicken stock is to save bones and vegetable scraps for later use.
Not only will this help you to reduce waste, but it will also give you a head start on your next batch of stock.
Simply store the bones and vegetable scraps in a freezer bag and keep them on hand for when you’re ready to make stock again.
Cook Your Broth Ahead of Time
The key to making great chicken stock is to cook it ahead of time. Cooked chicken carcasses or bones can be used to make chicken stock, so save them in the freezer until you have enough for a batch.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, simply simmer them in a large pot for several hours. Strain the broth and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use.
Give Yourself Lots of Time
When it comes to making chicken stock, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of time. The process can take a few hours, so it’s important to set aside enough time to get it done.
Adjust for Altitude
When canning at high altitudes, it is important to adjust recipes accordingly. This is especially true when making chicken stock, as the water boils at a lower temperature and takes longer to reach full saturation.
Use New Lids Each Time
One crucial tip for making chicken stock is to use new lids each time. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s actually very important. The seal can fail if you use old lids – even ones that appear perfectly fine.
Check Your Jars for Cracks
If you want to can your chicken stock, it’s important to check your jars for cracks before you get started.
Cracks can weaken the jars and cause them to break during the canning process. To check for cracks, simply hold the jar up to a light source and look for any hairline fractures. If you see any, discard the jar and select a new one.
You May Have to Strain Several Times to Remove Meat Chunks
When making your own chicken stock, you may have to strain several times to remove meat chunks.
The liquid will be clear and have a light yellow tint. You can use this stock for any recipe that calls for chicken broth, such as soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces.
Canning Chicken Broth: Step by Step
There’s nothing like a warm bowl of chicken soup on a cold day, and making your own broth is easier than you might think. Let’s get started.
Canning Chicken Broth Recipe
- Large stockpot or slow cooker
- Various spoons and ladles for stirring
- Jar lifter
- Air bubble remover tool
- Canning funnel
- Pressure canner
- 7 quart canning jars or 20 pints
- Lids and bands
- Clean dish rags
- 3 chicken carcasses for 7 quarts of broth
- Salt and pepper optional
- Various herbs and spices optional
- Carrots, celery, onions optional
- Make the stock: Put the bones, vegetables, spices and water in the pot and leave it on a low simmer (or the “low” setting on a crock pot). Stir occasionally.
- Leave it in the slow cooker for 24 hours or 6-8 if you’re cooking on the stovetop.
- Strain the chicken stock to remove any bones or bits of skin.
- Chill the broth in the refrigerator for around 12 hours. A layer of fat should rise to the top of the broth. You can skim this off. Strain again.
- Sterilize your jars and rings. I put mine through the dishwasher on the one-hour sanitizer cycle but you can also just wash them in the hottest water possible.
- Gather all of your other equipment and put your pressure canner on the stove.
- While your jars are sterilizing, you can put your stock back on the stovetop to reheat it. It doesn’t need to reach a full rolling boil, but a light simmer is perfect.
- Once your jars are sanitized, you can go ahead and start filling them with the chicken broth.Ladle the broth into the jars and wipe down the rims if you have any spills.
- While you're doing the above step, put three quarts of water in your pressure canner (the amount of water might vary depending on your make and model of canner, so double check the instructions you have) and get it heating up on the stove.Also, place your lids in a separate pot of water on the stove to sterilize them.
- Next, you’ll put the lids and rings on your jars.
- Use an air bubble remover tool to get rid of any bubbles in the jars. Make sure each jar has about one inch of headspace.
- Wipe down the jars to remove any grease or food residue. Secure the bands until they are fingertip tight.
- Check your pressure canner lid to ensure there are no food particles on it and that you can see through the vent (that there are no obstructions).
- Load pressure canner and lock the lid: Load the jars into the pressure canner. Be careful as you do this, as the water will likely be quite hot at this point.They shouldn’t be touching but it’s okay if they are fairly close. Put the lid on the canner and lock the lid.
- Vent the steam: As the pressure canner heats up, it will release steam. Start your timer for when the flow of steam starts. Let it vent out the steam for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes has passed, add your weight. Now it’s time to keep an eye on that pressure!
- Watch the canner and, when the gauge reads 11 lbs,, start your timer.
- If you are canning quarts, set your timer for 25 minutes. If you’re doing pints, do it for 20 minutes.
- After the 20-25 minutes have passed, you can shut your timer off and shut the heat off.
- After the pressure canner has gotten down to 0 pressure, you can remove the jars.
- Let the jars cool in a location out of direct sunlight and drafts for about 24 hours before you put them in storage.
- When I make my chicken stock, I do it in the crock pot over a period of several days. I don’t add anything to my stock besides the bones and meat – I like a plain stock and figure I can always add any other seasonings later on. You can make your stock on the stove or in a slow cooker – it’s totally up to you. Fortunately, it’s a pretty dump-and-go endeavor. Just put your ingredients in the pot and leave it on a low simmer (or the “low” setting on a crock pot). Stir occasionally. Leave it in the slow cooker for 24 hours or 6-8 if you’re cooking on the stovetop.
- I tend to keep the meat separate and process that out on its own, freezing it in bags or plastic storage containers as shredded chicken for things like quesadillas.
- Remember, you’ll need to adjust for altitude if you live at a higher altitude. Keep a close eye on the pressure as the canner works. If it gets much over 11 lbs, you’ll need to dial down the heat so the canner isn’t overly pressurized. If it drops below 11 lbs, you’ll need to restart your timer but only after you get the pressure back up to 11 lbs.
So, there you have it! The perfect chicken broth, made with little effort and just a few ingredients.
Consider giving this recipe a try the next time you find yourself in the kitchen. As always, we would love to hear from you. What’s your favorite way to make chicken broth?
Rebekah is a high-school English teacher n New York, where she lives on a 22 acre homestead. She raises and grows chickens, bees, and veggies such as zucchini (among other things).