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Old 12-02-2015, 10:31 PM
bhevly Male bhevly is offline
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Default Canning Chicken Problem

We just purchased an All American 921 canner. Wife, and I attempted to can a bunch of raw chicken. Followed the directions to the T. Wife is experienced with water bath canning.

We had 4 quart jars, 3/4"-1" of head space. Lids were hot when we put them on. New lids, and new jars. 2 piece lids. Rims of jars wiped clean before putting lids on. Vent unit for 10 minutes. Pressure canned for 90 minutes. Removed heat, let unit drop to zero psi. Removed jars to cool. Only 1 out of the 4 sealed.

Tried again with the 3 that did not seal. This time 1 of the 3 sealed.

Very frustrating.....any ideas??
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:20 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Sounds okay to me. We haven't had that problem at all. Did you leave the weight on the canner until it was cool? If you remove the weight too early it can cause the broth to boil over and "LubeL the rim so it doesn't seal.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:45 PM
bhevly Male bhevly is offline
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Yes, we did leave the weight on until the psi gauge read zero.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:49 PM
Logcabinman Logcabinman is offline
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Default Canning chicken or meat in general

I often can meat, and many other things as well,for storing in the cellar long-term because I do not have refrigeration. Occasionally I do have things "boil over" in the canner and fail to seal properly. The most common reasons for this are improper pressure and/or temperature, too little head space, or a rapid change in temperature and pressure.
The first thing to consider is your altitude, as the canning time/temp/pressure will change to some degree depending on your elevation. (I am at a high elevation and have to run the canner longer.) Processing time info and altitude adjustment can be commonly found in any reference text on canning.
Once the food is in the jar, and you wipe the rim, I snug down the ring and then back it off about 1/4 turn or less to allow venting of the jar during processing.
After proper venting time of the canner, close the vent, REDUCE your heat source and raise the temperature very, very slowly. (This is the part that requires a little more patience as opposed to hot water bath canning.) Once you reach proper temp and pressure, then you start your timer as far as processing time. Once processing time is complete turn off your heat source and forget about it for a while. Once the pressure gauge reaches zero, you are tempted to take the lid off immediately. I commonly let the canner sit even longer and let the jars cool as much as possible. By following this process, I have few problems with boiling over.
If all else fails, have the gauges on the canner quality checked for accuracy. However, with most quality canners this should not be a problem. I have used the same canner for years problem free.
I think I paid $150 for the one I have and I have had it so long I do not remember the brand name. My personal preference is to use a canner that has precision ground rims for better sealing and does NOT depend on a rubber gasket for proper seal. You will pay a little more for this type of canner but it will give you years of trouble free service. Depending on your climate, the rubber gaskets vary in their life expectancy and have to be periodically replaced.
One other consideration is whether or not you are using a gas or electric stove. The "burners" on an electric stove distribute heat a little better and tend to allow you to fine tune the heat with better accuracy. Gas stoves and tend to produce greater heat in certain areas of the canner which may translate into greater "point heat" in some of the jars in the canner. That being said, I use a gas stove for cooking and canning because my place is 100% off-grid. So, again I monitor the heat very closely.
I hope this has been helpful. Happy canning.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:22 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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Location: East central Mississippi
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The sealing compound on these new lids keep getting thinner and thinner. When re-processing, use new lids. Read the directions on the lid box. Most will say not to boil your lids - just keep them in a warm water bath.

On the jars that sealed, be sure to store them without their rings on. If those lids fail, you want to know.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:44 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Too bad you had a bad experience... I only have low level experience, but a couple questions..

Where did the instructions you used come from ??
If your info was not from The Complete Ball Blue Book of Preserving... I would recommend that source..

Altitude.... That variation should be an integral part of your procedure instructions... Actually.. Ten or fifteen pounds of gauge steam pressure inside the vessel is the same at any altitude.. Just makes a difference in the source of heat to achieve that pressure... (Steam Power class 101) But defer to canning directions...

Lids as a source of problem was mentioned.. I'm going to presume new lids.. Were they Walmart or Ball, Kerr lids ?? Those with more experience, does this make a difference ??

Jars... Same question.. ?? Walmart, Ball, Kerr, old, new, jars.. ??

What little chicken products I have experience with were a thin soup kind of thing, and chicken cubes VERY loosely packed.. Both boneless, and 1.5 to 2" head space is not necessarily a bad thing... Chicken on the bone, maybe as much as half a jar head space, depending on the chicken parts.. Bones will turn colors and sometimes not look nice, but are still good tasting..

Be sure to post results of any more attempts..
Good luck...
Always fresh.
Keep your stick on the ice. Red Green
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:06 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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Location: East central Mississippi
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When in doubt, I looked up the raw pack chicken recipe for you. I made sure I used an Extension Service website (.edu).

It says:

Raw pack Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart, if desired. Fill jars loosely with raw meat pieces, leaving 1-1/4 inch headspace. Do not add liquid.

How do I? ...Can Meats
Selecting, Preparing and Canning Meat
Chicken or Rabbit

Please read Using Pressure Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Choose freshly killed and dressed, heathy animals. Large chickens are more flavorful than fryers. Dressed chicken should be chilled for 6 to 12 hours before canning. Dressed rabbits should be soaked 1 hour in water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart, and then rinsed. Remove excess fat. Cut the chicken or rabbit into suitable sizes for canning. Can with or without bones. The hot pack is preferred for best liquid cover and quality during storage. Natural poultry fat and juices are usually not enough to cover the meat in raw packs.

Hot pack Boil, steam or bake meat until about two-thirds done. Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill jars with pieces and hot broth, leaving 1-1/4 inch headspace.

Raw pack Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart, if desired. Fill jars loosely with raw meat pieces, leaving 1-1/4 inch headspace. Do not add liquid.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the canning method used.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Chicken or Rabbit in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0- 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Without Bones:
Hot and Raw Pints 75 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90 11 12 13 14
With Bones:
Hot and Raw Pints 65 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 75 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Chicken or Rabbit in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Without Bones:
Hot and Raw Pints 75 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 90 10 15
With Bones:
Hot and Raw Pints 65 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 75 10 15

(Sorry, I know cut and paste tables are hard to read. Here is a link to the site:

At this point, it looks like there wasn't enough head space. I'd re-process the unsealed jars as cooked chicken in broth.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:55 PM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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I've had that problem before, with broth spewing out of the jars or jars not sealing. Someone in here suggested leaving the jars in the canner until things have cooled down.

What I did the last time I did chicken was to wait until the canner came down to zero pressure, then flip open the petcock. I took the lid off of the canner, intending to let the jars stay in there until cool. One jar started spewing broth, but that was the only one. The rest sealed fine.

I think next time I'll open the petcock but leave the lid on the canner much longer.
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Old 12-09-2015, 03:57 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Yeah. We leave the canner until it is cool enough to touch before we open anything. It avoids the sudden change in pressure.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:17 PM
sher sher is offline
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Location: illinois
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Default chicken

Sounds like you did everything right. I can a lot of meat and I would leave a little more headspace I do not fill past where the jar starts to taper when I can meat. You will love the all American canner! After my canner gets to zero I will open pepcock and then remove the lid, but I leave the jars in until they cool some what, maybe a half hour before I remove them from canner. Good luck
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:40 AM
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Grendal Male Grendal is offline
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Just a word on lids, I sterilize my lids in my oven, overstated 200 f for an hour or so, I do it with the jars, with the jars still hot from the oven I add my filling and lid, ring finger tight and can. In all my years I've never had anything not seal.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:59 PM
papa bear papa bear is offline
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I have canned hundreds jars of chicken. Never had a failure

A couple of questions come to mind. Did you inspect the jar especially the rims.

Did you boil the lids. The lids today need only be warmed

Did you wipe the rims with a damp towel before you put the lid on. This needs to be done weather you think you didn't get anything on them. How tight did you put the rings on. This is a vague instruction in the books

Keep trying. One of my favorite things is getting my canned chicken for chicken salad or even using in chicken helper

The canned chicken you buy in a store is about 4 - 5 dollars a can
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:00 PM
GGrandma Female GGrandma is offline
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Default ?

As said I am new here and do not know where to go. I have canned meat but when I moved my Son threw everything out, so can't tell if it turned out or not. I have another question. Does anyone know if you can can horseradish?
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:50 PM
RochBear Male RochBear is offline
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Default failed to seal


I've done a fair amount of canning, and I've had a few failures over the years, but nothing like that.

I have three thoughts.
1) the jars were not wiped clean before the lid was placed on it. Almost any amount of grease will cause a failure.
2) You might have a bad batch of lids. I would goto a different store, and buy a new box of lids. There might have been some manufacturing defect in the box of lids you were using.
3) did the pressure hold steady for the entire 90 mins? (at 11 PSI (higher if you are above 2000 feet)) When I first started canning, I found it hard to maintain a steady pressure, but I've learned how to run the stove better.

I too have done raw chicken, but I found that cooking the chicken first made it a much easier process for me, since deboning the cooked chicken is MUCH easier.

That's my $.02. Don't give up. There is nothing better than having a pantry full of home canned food. Plus you know exactly what's in it too.

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