Pressure Canning Chicken Thighs

Last week while shopping at Smith’s, I saw that they had boneless skinless chicken thighs for $1.09/lb. (Or at least that’s what I thought the sign said. When I got home and looked at the packages I realized it was actually $1.99/lb. But that’s okay, I still think that’s a good deal too.)

To get started I washed and sanitized pint jars in the dishwasher the night before. I was going to be putting cold raw chicken into the jars and I didn’t want them hot. So I do them the night before, that way they will cool overnight in the dishwasher but still be sterilized. If I was going to be putting cooked meat into the jars, I’d put the jars in the dishwasher an hour before so they’d still be nice and hot. I’d also add the Sani-rinse setting to the load (see picture upper right) and heated dry so that way they will stay hot longer.

I also washed all the lids and rings with hot soapy water. Then rinsed and dried the rings. The lids I rinsed and put into a pot so they could be heated in boiling water. For some reason, I’ve noticed that sometimes one or more of the lids will leave rust marks on the side of my pot. I’m going to start using a non-stick pot. Not sure why this happens, maybe I’m boiling them too long. I always use brand new lids for pressure canning, so it can’t be because they are old. I guess I’ll have to do some research on this. I also noticed that I had a couple of spots on the inside of the pressure canner itself, but I think that was from the rings of jars that were placed right next to the inside of the pot. I’ll make sure that from now on I leave a little distance from the side of the pot and the ring of the jar.

After getting the jars, rings and lids ready, I made sure that all my tools were cleaned and ready for use also. And I learned another thing recently… do not, do not, do not, put the plastic blue air-bubble remover into the dishwasher! It didn’t completely melt but it did get soft and bent in half… now I have to buy another one. This picture was taken before I put it into the dishwasher, it’s the item on the left of the funnel. Or I should say, it WAS the item… it’s of no use now. Darn it!

It took quite awhile to go through all the chicken thighs (six packages) and clean them up by removing all the fat and other things I didn’t want. I ended up with ten jars of chicken thighs. I didn’t add chicken broth cubes to these because I think I’m going to use BBQ sauce when I use them for meals. I kept the pieces larger than I did with the chicken breasts I’ve done before. Basically I took the thighs and cut them in half and put them in the jars. I can’t wait to use them!

I now have chicken breast, chicken thighs, ground beef and london broil (see post later this week) in food storage. And I was able to rearrange my panty cupboards so that I have all the bottom shelves available for canning jars of meat. They need to be stored in a cool dark place and since I don’t have a basement, this is the best place I could find. They’ll stay dark as long as the cupboards are closed and since they are down low they should stay cooler than anywhere else in the house. It is starting to heat up here in the desert, although this has been a very cool Spring. But I’m not looking forward to the summer at all… but that’s another story maybe for another post on another day.  🙂

I’m anxious to start using more of the canned meats in meals, but lately we’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to use the meats. As soon as I do, I’ll be blogging about it and filling you in on all the details.

“The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” – Psalm 97:5 NKJV

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8 Responses to Pressure Canning Chicken Thighs

  1. Vicki says:

    I have recently found your blog and I am really enjoying your posts! You are slightly ahead of me in my efforts of food storage, so I appreciate learning from you. I am very interested in canning meat. I’ve heard it tastes much better than what you can buy at the store. I will be checking in regularly to see what you’ve been up to. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    • GrammyTammi says:

      Hi Vicki, thank you for your comment. Yes, the home canned meat does have a much better flavor to it than store bought. The ground beef is very soft and some people might not like it but when you put it in spaghetti it’s great! We’ve had the chicken breast too and it was very tender. You have to be careful mixing it to much when reheating it or it will shred, which is fine for using in shredded chicken tacos or burritos. I think I’m going to try using it to make taquitos!

      Where do you buy your food storage? If you buy it online are you finding a backlog on items?

      GrammyTammi <

      • Vicki says:

        We have several Amish bulk food stores within a 50 mile radius. I can buy grains and dried food there. Our local Wal-Mart has also started carrying the Wheat Montana hard white and red berries.

        I do not buy food and have it shipped. I do have a Berkey water filter and couldn’t get the replacement filters for a while because of the Japan crisis. We are hearing to expect a rice shortage because of the flooding in Arkansas and Louisiana.

        Currently I have felt an awareness that if things go awry, then we need to have a few things on hand to better meet difficulties ahead. Our area was just hit by a tornado yesterday – my nephew’s house was barely missed, but the siding, roof, and yard is in shambles. They camped out there last night with no electricity. Due to the amount of damage, it will be quite some time before power can be restored. This was bad, but nowhere close to what happened in Joplin on Sunday. So, it could be a natural disaster, or any other unknown that could affect our family. We strongly believe in being proactive.

        I just bought a Food Saver to vacuum seal in mason jars. I will soon be purchasing a dehydrator and a pressure cooker as well. Would love to purchase a sun oven. I will probably experiment with a home made one for the summer months. I am ready to start canning meats right away. I don’t have a very big freezer and without power the meat wouldn’t last anyway.

        There’s so much to do and learn! But I feel a need to get on the ball. Not too many friends and neighbors are like minded
        so it is so nice to have blogs to turn to for help and support. Thanks again for sharing your efforts.

      • GrammyTammi says:

        Hi again Vicki,
        Sounds like you’re getting a handle on things and I know for me it’s so nice to feel like I’m better off today than I was yesterday if something happens. I’m “prepping” for lots of different reasons: what if my husband loses his job, what if we have an earthquake, what if our friends lose a job and need help, what if something “really” bad happens and things just aren’t normal for an extended period of time, or what if food prices go up and I need to subsidize our food bill.

        I’m not an expert, but if you have a question, feel free to send me an email anytime at tjbobrosky (at) gmail (dot) com. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find one for you. And yes, I know how you feel about the neighbors and friends… mine think I’m a little nutty… but that’s okay… if they have a need for “food storage” one day, I’ll be there to help them. 🙂

        Oh, and here is my suggestion on what to buy first and why:
        1 – A rack to store and organize the things you pressure can, dehydrate and stock-up. You can get a pretty decent plastic one at Lowe’s for under $30. If you search my blog you should be able to find a post on the ones that are in my pantry hall.
        2 – Sun Oven (don’t pay over $239 for it, or make one) – this will allow you to get started on practicing cooking food in it. There is a bit of a learning curve. In the mean time, it will cut your fuel bill which you can use to save and spend on the next items. And if something happen tomorrow… you’d be able to cook what you have on hand, or what others could bring to cook.
        3 – Pressure canner (you don’t have to buy a large one, just one to get started, I’d suggest one from Presto) – this will save you money too. You can take advantage of the the sales on meat and veggies. Also take advantage of sales on the canning jars! I hear they will go up around summer picking seasin. It’s an investment up front, but you’ll have the jars forever! Also look at Tattler reusable lids. I’ve recently discovered that they work great for vacuum sealing too!
        4 – Dehydrator (again, don’t buy a super duper fancy one, we got the basic no temp control, just plug and play) – getting this last will give you time to get your garden going so you’ll have things to dehydrate when the “crops” are ready to be picked.

        This is the order I purchased our items… but I did purchase them to close together which didn’t give me much time to really “learn” each one. This is because I have the short time frame before my six-month TF-WROL test. So now I’m having to backtrack a little to get caught up with the Sun Oven. But it’s been so darned windy here that I haven’t been able to use it much anyway. So I’ve been spending my time learning the pressure canner.

        Please keep me updated on your progress! It’s nice to have someone… like you said “like-minded” to talk to about “prepping”!

        Have a wonderful day!

      • GrammyTammi says:

        Sorry to hear about the tornado in your area. But happy to hear that your family is okay. Do you have a basement? I sure wish I had a basement to store my stockpile.

  2. Vicki says:

    I don’t know if you are familiar with a blog called Homestead Revival. There are two features that I especially like – one is called a “Barn Hop” where people share what’s been happening in the home, garden, etc. (no barn required)! Then there’s the preparedness part where people share what they are doing to get better prepared in food storage and skills. Check it out if you haven’t done so already.

    • GrammyTammi says:

      No, I haven’t heard of that blog yet. I will go and check it out as soon as I get my tomatoes in the dehydrator.

      • Vicki says:

        Hi again! How’d you like Homestead Revival? I think you would be a GREAT contributer in the prepping area. Plus I like the fact that both you and she are Christians. I am willing to learn from most anyone, but having sisters in Christ is very important to me. “Prepping” can be a great basis for friendship but Jesus Christ is MUCH better!

        You asked about a basement. Yes, we have one! Since we live in tornado alley we wouldn’t want to be without one. We have nice large metal shelves for storage. I also go to garage sales and have found some great shelves.

        I do have a simple dehydrator I got at a garage sale. I have heard of the Nesco unit that has a temperature control and a top mounted heater and fan. The herbs that I am drying need a gentler temperature. Plus I think that a fan would help all the trays dry evenly. The one I’m looking at is $70.00 or so (depends where you get it).

        I already have the Presto canner. I have previously canned green beans and tomatoes. I didn’t know anyone personally who canned meat and was thrilled to find out it can be done – And it looks easy, too.

        As for the solar cooker, this has been a strange late winter and spring in Missouri. Hardly any sunshine at all. We would only use a solar cooker for 3 months of the year, with a few extra days here and there. Not sure if that justifies buying one (but I’m very interested on your upcoming posts about it).

        One thing I need info on is packing and storing things like wheat berries, rice, beans, etc. I was thinking of mylar bags, oxygen packets, and buckets, but am considering the Food Saver and mason jar route. Half gallon jars are quite an investment. Don’t usually find them at garage sales. But I love the size and convenience of sealing up that amount of rice or wheat and just lining them up on the shelves. One thing is that they tell us that Missouri is still due for a big earthquake, and glass jars could so easily break…

        Although we have attempted food storage before, I was not very successful using it. For instance, I think beans would be great if we were in need, but my family really prefers other things and so I don’t cook them. Truly, we are a bit spoiled. Although I have had a wheat grinder and wheat berries for about 8 years, I rarely grind up the wheat and actually bake. Although after trying the Artisan Bread recipe lately, that may change!

        Thanks for your help – am looking forward to all your future posts. By the way, when I was typing this, my husband was listening to a news report about food prices being at an historical peak and that if they can’t get the prices down they fear an ensuing food shortage will bring panic and riots… Vicki

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