Instead of purchasing cartons and cans from the store, try canning chicken broth at home.
We often make batches of chicken broth for soups. I try to make homemade chicken and dumplings at least twice a month. It is a great, easy meal and allows me the chance to make extra chicken broth.
To make homemade chicken broth, you first need to cook a whole chicken. Some people like to roast a chicken for dinner then put it in a pot to boil once the meat is picked off. I have a different method!
In a large pot of water, I boil:
- a whole chicken
- 2 to 3 large, diced carrots
- 3, large stalks of celery
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- half of an onion, sliced
- 2 TBSP salt
- 1 TBSP pepper
I boil everything together for typically three hours. At this time, I take the chicken out of the water and pull off any meat. From this, we typically make soup or chicken and dumplings.
Then, I put the carcass and new vegetables into the crockpot. You want to leave it on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. The chicken broth will be delicious!
At this point, you could simply enjoy the broth for a soup that day, or you could can the chicken broth, which is my usual choice.
Canning chicken broth is very simple.
1. Clean the Jars
First, take your jars and wash them. This step seems silly, but inspecting your jars is important. Any imperfection or crack could cause your jars to break or explode in the canner.
Don’t worry; using a pressure canner really isn’t that hard! Every pressure canner comes with a manual for detailed instructions.
2. Fill The Canner
Once your jars are washed, fill up your pressure canner to the indicated line inside of your canner.
Your chicken broth should be simmering. Before you put the broth into the jars, you will want to strain out the fat. Some will still make it into the jars, but you do want to try to get as much out as possible.
3. Fill The Jars
Then, ladle the chicken broth right into the jars. You should leave a one-inch headspace in your jars.
Make sure that you wipe off the rims of the jars before putting on the lids and rings! If there is anything on the rim, your jars won’t seal correctly.
4. Put the Jars into the Canner
Now, it is time to put those jars into your canner. At this time, refer to your manual instructions. You want to make sure you are using the canner correctly.
However, most require you to turn it to medium-high heat and let steam vent out until the lid locks. Then, you cover the valve and let the pressure build.
5. Let Them Heat and Can
Process the jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes if you are using pints. For quarts, process them for 25 minutes.
Once again, it’s vital to read your owner’s manual. It should list how long you need to pressure can the broth and the correct pounds of pressure.
6. Remove From Heat
After, take them off of the heat and let the pressure decrease naturally. Don’t remove that valve cover! If the pressure decreases too rapidly, your jars can break.
Once the lock on the lid releases, you can open the lid, but be sure to lift the lid facing away from your face. That steam is hot!
Use jar lifters to remove the jars from the canner. I like to set the jars on a clean dish towel. Setting them on the hard countertop could cause them to break.
Freezing vs. Canning Chicken Broth
I know plenty of people who prefer to freeze their chicken broth. I understand that. It is easy. Just stick the broth in bags or plastic containers. There is no need to process anything.
I prefer to see lovely jars of canned broth on my shelves because it reminds me of being self-sufficient. Plus, I don’t have to worry about losing power and losing all of my hard work! You can freeze it if you are short on time. It will take the same in the end.
Canning chicken broth is a great skill to learn. Cartons of chicken broth in the store can cost around $2, but by using this method, you can get 3-5 jars of homemade chicken broth PLUS your meals from a whole chicken.
Waste not, want not – RIGHT?