Dear Home Ec 101,
My wife and I made chicken stock and usually put it in plastic bags or plastic freezer storage. However, we canned tomatoes last year and we were wondering if you can do the same thing with stock, put the stock into clean jars and then water bath for 1 1/2 hours? Will it last on the shelf for a year like the tomatoes did? We also used a method for peaches were we placed the peaches in clean jars, poured the cooled sugar water over it and then froze the jars — did’t think it would work, thought they’d explode in the freezer, but low and behold it worked and we had fresh peaches all winter.
Curious in Currituck
To can chicken stock safely, you need to use a pressure canner rather than a water bath canner. What’s the difference?
This is a water bath canner and it is great for canning projects that are acidic and sugary. The acidity prevents the growth of anaerobic bacteria, like botulism. Water bath canning is a great introduction into the the whole home canning and preservation experience and making your own jams, jellies, pickles, and salsas can (har har) be a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, pressure canners aren’t cheap, but they are an investment that will last for years. You will need to inspect the seal before each use and carefully follow the directions.
I’ve written about pressure canning in the past and you’ll find some great resources in that post.
To specifically answer your question about canning stock:
To pressure can chicken stock you’ll need to process the jars with one inch of headspace -that’s the gap between the liquid and the lid- at 10lbs pressure for 20 minutes for pints and for 25 minutes, if you’re canning quarts.
Good luck on your home preservation adventure!
Submit your questions to email@example.com.