Chicken Broth is a popular base for many recipes in the kitchen especially during soup season! You can easily preserve chicken broth for that delicious home cooked taste with these easy steps.
We are going to talk about how to preserve chicken broth with both a boiling water bath canning method and freezing. You do not need to own a canner pot as long as you have a Dutch oven or a very large pot.
First you will need to boil some chicken.
Now let’s get cooking!
I generally boil whole hens because they are more economical but you can use boneless, skinless, breast or thighs if you like. Once done, scoop out the meat with a slotted spoon and leave the broth in the pot. Use the meat for your own recipes or try one of these; Mostly from Scratch Chicken–n–Dumplings, Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, Parmesan Chicken & Veggie Salad.
Assemble all of your supplies.
You will need:
- A pot full of hot broth
- A canner pot, large Dutch oven or very large pot
- Mason jars
- Mason jar lids
- Mason jar rings
- Wide mouth funnel to fit the jars
- Scoop (I use a large measuring cup)
- Canning jar lifter
Sterilize your supplies
Now that you have assembled all of your supplies, let’s get them all prepped to do some canning. You want everything to be nice and hot and well sterilized. To accomplish this I boil water in my Dutch oven and sterilize the lids and rings first then the jars. I want my jars to still be nice and hot when I scoop the hot broth into them. This will speed up the sealing process and I boil them last so I can begin scooping the hot broth into the hot jars.
Place the lids and rings onto nice clean kitchen towels until ready for use.
Heat your pot of chicken broth to 240º.
Begin scooping the broth into the jars. If you should spill any on the jar, wipe the ring area carefully using a clean damp cloth.
Leave about one inch head space at the top of the jar to allow air to escape during the boiling water bath sealing process.
Once all of your jars are filled with the chicken broth, place the lid onto each jar followed by the rings. The rings, aka bands, should be removed from the jars after a 12 to 24 hour cooling period. While rings can be reused, lids cannot since the seal is only good for one use.
Use your jar lifter to pick each jar up carefully and sit into your canner pot or Dutch oven full of boiling water. Ideally, your jars will be completely submerged in boiling water with up to 2 inches over the top of the jar. As a seasoned cook, I use my Dutch oven to can broth which means a longer boiling time for me. Be sure to take into account the fact that the water will rise as you place the jars into it. You may like to have a separate pot of boiling water ready to pour into your canning pot just to be safe.
You want your water to be at least 240º for the boiling water bath. Pints and quarts can take up to 45 minutes of boiling time.
Freshly canned homemade chicken broth! If you look close at the photo above you can see that all of the lids have sealed except the right front one when I snapped this picture. It sealed moments later. When you are in the kitchen canning, hearing the pop of the lids sealing will bring a big smile to your face!
I do know that none of these four quarts have one inch head space which is the ideal goal. I canned this broth for nursing the dog while he was sick and it was all used up inside of one week! He loved having chicken broth on his food! If these were going to have any shelf time, one inch head space is preferred for proper removal of air. If too much head space is allowed, the food at the top is likely to become darker.
Freezing Chicken Broth
Freezing chicken broth is much easier. Simply boil the chicken as previously mentioned. Scoop the meat and bones from the broth and allow it to cool completely.
Scoop the cooled broth into your freezer containers. Place the lid on and sit in the freezer. Be sure to write the date and contents on the top prior to freezing!
How To Make Fat Free Chicken Broth
If you want fat free broth just add this one extra step regardless to whether you are canning or freezing. Cool the broth in the refrigerator overnight. The fat will rise to the top and become solid. Skim it off using a spoon and you are ready to proceed.
I prefer to freeze broth unless I need a lot then I prefer to can it. I have a lot more Mason Jars than I do freezer containers!
If your family enjoys Cornbread Dressing during the holiday season, homemade chicken broth is a must! No matter if you freeze it or can it we all know that homemade is always better!