Canning Chicken Meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mac in Wisco, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    We're going to process a number of layer hens this weekend, debone them, and can the meat.

    We're sitting here discussing the process. I was thinking that we'd process a couple dozen, throw them in a chill tank without ice and just run cold well water over them until we finished processing. Then we'd immediately throw them in a large kettle to cook them down for deboning.

    I've also been reading articles about boiling chicken. They say don't boil, simmer them at lower temperatures. I'm not sure that it really matters though if we're going to process them in the canner for an hour and a half at 250 degrees...

    The same could be said for rigor. How soon before rigor sets in enough to affect the texture of the meat and does it really matter if we processing it at high temperatures in the canner?
     
  2. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2011
    MI
    you know, i would guess that rigor wouldn't matter at that high cooking temp (canning temp)

    my friend processed one of my dad's roosters and ate it that same day. his wife cooked it in a slow cooker, and it was fine.

    i cooked a meat chicken in a rotisserie 4 hours after processing it, and it was shoe leather (did another the same way a week later, after proper cooling and freezing, and it was moist and soft).

    would you have the option of letting them sit overnight? i would hate to go through the hassle to end up with canned bits of tough, chewy chicken.

    reason would suggest that as you say, it should be fine.

    sorry i'm no help, but i'm thinking along with you
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I just found this study of commercial canning processes:

    http://ps.fass.org/cgi/content/abstract/73/9/1475

    From what I can gather from their jargon, they cooked and deboned the chicken at 190 F. I think they are saying that shorter aging times keep the chicken from turning to mush in the canning process and that rigor may help the process.

    We don't necessarily have cold storage for a number of hens. I could probably fit a couple dozen in an extra refrigerator in the garage, but a couple dozen is more of test run for processing larger numbers of hens at a time in the future.

    We have 2500 organic layer hens going out to be replaced by a new flock next month. They are normally sold at 50 cents a hen and the buyer trucks them to live markets near Chicago and sells them for his own profit.

    Although we are raising a few broilers for ourselves for roasting birds, these hens are grown, have paid for themselves, and really only cost us the 50 cents that we'd get otherwise. It would be foolish of us to dismiss the opportunity to put up some meat for ourselves (or rely on raising more expensive broilers as our only source of chicken meat).
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I always can my chicken when I do a flock downsize. I throw all of the birds into a pressure cooker and process them for 90 minutes @10 lbs. pressure. Then I debone them. Then I seperate the breast meat from the rest of the meat and pack them into jars using the broth minus the fat with about 50% water. So I end up with jars of strictly breast meat (for chicken salad sandwiches) and jars of mixed white and dark meat (for chicken n gravy, chicken n noodles, etc). I then process that for 90 min. for qts. in the pressure cooker...voila!!! super tender chicken meat FAST and on hand for any occasion!!
     
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  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    chicks4kids, I've thought about running them through the pressure cooker to debone them, but although we have a large pressure cooker (41 quart) I was looking to do a few dozen at a time in a large 30 gallon boil pot. After deboning I figure we'd save the bones to make chicken stock in the pressure cooker and can that also.

    So, have you aged them at all before canning or do you just send them straight to the pot?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:That's the big thing for us. My mom was asking why we didn't just process them and throw them in the freezer to be used as stewing hens later. I told her if we did that they'd never get used. We might use a whole bird every every now and again, but if it is canned and ready to go we'd probably use it a couple of times a week.
     
  7. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I have the 41 qt. as well ( All American). When I throw them in the pot, I use the broth for the canning juice as well...I definitely think you could do this and save yourself some time. After putting the whole chickens in the pressure cooker, the bones won't be worth much honestly...it all comes out at this stage...that's why I add 50% water. You'll end up with alot of broth...just sieve it out. Everything comes out in the first stage of the pressure cooker.
     
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd love to have a bunch of canned chicken on hand for fast food. Can't see it happening for awhile but someday I'll do it.
    Boy, I sure could tell the difference in aging 24 hours and 4 days in the two birds I butchered last week and they were just ten week old cornish X. I think they were so large that twenty four hours just wasn't enough.
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I'm not sure it would save me time if I had to run multiple batches through the pressure cooker to debone them. Even the large pressure cooker looks miniscule compared to the thirty gallon boil pot.

    How many birds are you getting into the pressure cooker? Our hens average five pounds. How many quarts are getting from each bird? I figured it would be somewhere between one to two hens per quart, but I'm just guessing.
     
  10. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Yes, 1-2 hens per qt. is accurate from what I've done. I get about 1 chicken per pint, but my birds are small birds. They are NOT dual purpose birds. If I roast a bird for dinner, I roast 2 just to make sure that we have enough meat. However, if I roast birds, I can definitely tell the difference in the moist"ness" of the bird. I can take a bird that is 3 years old and can it and it will seem like a 20 week old bird. If I roast a bird, I have to make sure that it is a young "meatie" bird otherwise it seems too tough to eat.

    The last time I downsized, I think I had put 12 or so birds in the pressure cooker and had plenty of room to add more....just didn't have the birds to fill it. I let my hens hatch out every time they feel the need to go broody. These are the birds that I use for the downsizing...unless I have older birds that need to be processed as well.
     

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