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Canning chicken

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Earlier this week, we had a cold and rainy couple of days. So cold, in fact, that the higher elevations got some snow.

It was a good time to do some canning.

I had a 40-pound box of boneless skinless chicken breasts taking up room in the freezer, so I pulled it out and let it defrost overnight (though most of it was still frozen by morning).

I pried off a portion and put it in a pot to boil.

While the water was heating up, I pulled some canning jars out of the barn. Older Daughter has been using smaller quantities of chicken when preparing meals, so from now on I decided to can chicken in pint jars instead of quarts.

The jars were dirty and dusty, so I used my handy-dandy improved jar washer to get them clean.

My canner holds 18 pints at a time, so I washed just enough jars for the first batch.

When the meat was cooked enough…

…I pulled out a few pieces at a time…

…and started cutting it into small enough pieces to fit in the jars.

Adding a half-teaspoon of salt to each jar.

Topping off each jar with clean hot water.

Into the canner.

Meat in pint jars is processed for 75 minutes at about 14 lbs pressure (for our elevation).

While the first batch processed, I started on the second batch.

First batch done…

…and second batch into the canner.

I processed a third batch the next day. Altogether I got 43 pints of chicken. I could probably have compressed it down to 40 pints, which follows the rule of thumb of about a pound of meat per pint.

Before dating and storing the jars in the pantry, I gave them a good scrub. Jars fresh out of the pressure canner get a sort of “scum” on them, especially those on the lower level.

Then came the tedious task of scrubbing the rings. Uncleaned, rings can rust and get nasty, so I always scrub them after each use.

I also scrubbed and rinsed the inside of the canner, and upended it to drain.

This canner (an All American) is unquestionably one of the most valuable tools I own. I bought it shortly after Don and I were married in 1990, and it has processed thousands upon thousands of jars of food over the time I’ve used it. With maintenance, it should last the rest of my life and probably the lifespan of our daughters as well, if not longer. Hard to beat quality like that!

It’s a good thing I canned the chicken when I did. The weather is warming up and we’re seeing temps in the high 80s and low 90s. It wouldn’t be any fun canning in these conditions. But now we have an extra 43 pints of chicken in the pantry.


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  • HypothesisFree

    100% PURE TRUTH/HONESTY in heart and mind requires as its pinnacle/HIGHEST/MOST RELEVANT ETERNAL TRUTH the sentencing of ALL adult sentient beings who should have known better, to ETERNAL DEATH, including GOD/GODS ALMIGHTY!, for allowing the 100% UNNECESSARY MURDER of another sentient being creature for the purpose of consumption or pleasure or what have you. Either that, or ETERNAL HELL!!!!!!!

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