Canning Chicken (or Rabbit)

One of THE easiest canning activities is chicken. Basically, you just plunk the chicken into jars and pop them in the pressure canner. Viola! And the end result is delightfully moist and tasty and perfect for adding to a pizza, a sandwich, a salad, or most recipes calling for cooked chicken. This method also works great for rabbit meat.

(Before you begin, you may wish to review the general instructions for pressure canning.)

What You Need:
Chicken or rabbit (you may leave the bone in, if you wish. I used chicken breasts.)

Salt (optional)

Pressure Canner
Canning jars, rings, and lids
Jar lifter
Cutting board
Plastic or wooden handled utensil
Cooling rack or bath towel

How to  Can Chicken or Rabbit:

1. If the meat is frozen, let it only partially thaw before you cut it up; this makes chopping easier. You may can pieces (like drumsticks or breasts) or you may chop the chicken into any size pieces you like - as long as they easily fit into canning jars. I don't recommend chopping the chicken into pieces smaller than about double what is bite-sized unless you want chicken that's really broken apart when it comes out of the jar. Trim off as much fat as possible.

2. Once the meat is fully thawed, pack them firmly into clean canning jars, leaving 1 1/4 inch of headspace.

3. Add a little salt to the jar. (I use 1 teaspoon per pint.) This is optional, but it improves flavor.

4. Wipe down the rim of the jar and place a lid and screwband on it. Place the jar in the water-filled pressure canner.

5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 until the canner is full or the chicken is used up.

6. Process in a pressure canner: 75 minutes per pint or 90 minutes per quart, using 10 lbs. pressure.* If you can chicken or rabbit with bones still in it, process pints for 65 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes.*

Note 1: 40 oz. of chicken breasts chopped into smallish pieces make about 8 pints.

* NOTE 2: If you live at a high altitude, read this important information about adjusting canning times.


  1. I used to be terrified of canned chicken. Now I hate to run out!

  2. I know what you mean, Teekaroo! Canned meat seems so weird, especially if you've never had store bought canned meat. But it is SO convenient - and with chicken, I've found we like it much better than my old way of cooking it for enchiladas, salads, and other dishes (which was to cook it and shred it). It's much more tender and tasty canned!

  3. Did I miss where you added water or broth to the jars? Thanks for any input as I am hoping to can both chicken and turkey soon (not together).

  4. Anonymous, nope! You don't need to add any liquid; it's a beautiful, simple thing. I promise the chicken will come out tasting wonderful and will be soooo moist!

  5. Can you can whole chicken breast cutlets without cutting into smaller pieces?

  6. BurgerBaron, sure. You can do whole pieces of chicken (any type of piece), bone in or bone out.

  7. Hi Kristina, could I add fresh celery and/or onion to the jars? If so, would I need to do anything differently? thank you.

  8. You should be able to do that without a problem or any processing changes, Pamela. Just chop the onion and celery very fine.