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Home-canning chicken, turkey or other poultry or fowl Soup- Easily!

How to Make Home-canned Chicken or Turkey Soup
(or other poultry or fowl)

Click here for a PDF print version (coming soon!)

Making and canning your own chicken, turkey or other poultry or fowl soup is easy. You can make them organic, gluten-free, low salt, low fat; whatever meets your own preferences! And better tasting than any store-bought, chock-full-of-chemicals can of soup!
Just scroll down this page to see how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated.  The only special equipment you need is a pressure canner and canning jars with new lids. Caution: Do not add noodles or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk or other thickening agents to home canned soups.  And if dried beans or peas are used, they must be fully rehydrated first.  If you want to can stews and other soups that contain chunks of meat, rather than just the broth, see this page. Also see this page for how to can tomato soup or tomato-basil soup


  • Chicken, turkey or other poultry or fowl - any quantity - You can use your own recipe, or the example in step 1
  • Vegetables - any type, any mix, any quantity
  • Seasonings: yes, you can add herbs like salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, etc.
  • Broth liquid - Vegetable broth, tomato juice or simply water - your choice
  • Caution: Do not add noodles or other pasta, rice, flour, cream, milk or other thickening agents to home canned soups.  And if dried beans or peas are used, they must be fully rehydrated first.


  • Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) or order it as part of the kit with the jar grabber.
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)- Big box stores and grocery stores sometimes carry them; and it is available online - see this page. It's a tremendously useful to put jars in the canner and take the hot jars out (without scalding yourself!). The kit sold below has everything you need, and at a pretty good price:
  • At least 1 large pot; I prefer 16 to 20 quart Teflon lined pots for easy cleanup.
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • 1 Pressure Canner (a large pressure  pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars after filling (about $75 to $200 at mall kitchen stores and "big box" stores, but it is cheaper online; see this page for more information).  For low acid foods (most vegetables, you can't use an open water bath canner, it has to be a pressure canner to get the high temperatures to kill the bacteria. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.- and it helps support this web site!
  • Ball jars (Grocery stores, like Publix, Kroger, Safeway carry them, as do some big box stores - about $7 per dozen 8 ounce jars including the lids and rings)
  • Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar. They may only be used once.
  • Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. They may be reused many times.
  • Optional stuff:

  • Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at big box stores or it comes in the kit at left)

Directions to Can chicken, turkey or other poultry or fowl soups

Step 1 - Collect and wash your ingredients

Select, wash, and prepare vegetables as appropriate for each type; generally just washing under running cool water.

This is pretty generic recipe, testede by the NCHFP for for canning any combination of meats and vegetables including any vegetables, dried beans or peas, red meats, poultry, or seafood.

 Here is a sample chicken soup recipe, it makes about 8 pint jars (or 4 quart jars):

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 medium onions, chopped (about 1.25 cups prepared)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Step 2 - Wash the jars and lids

Cleaning canning jars in the dishwasherNow's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used.

NOTE: If a canning recipe calls for 10 minutes or more of process time in the canner (as this one does), then the jars do not need to be "sanitized" before filling them. But really, sanitizing them first is just good hygeine and common sense!  See this page for more detail about cleaning and sanitizing jars and lids.

Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 10 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.  Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot jam.

Step 3 - Prepare the chicken (or other poultry)

It is easiest to cut the chicken into pieces, or at least quarter-chicken sized pieces. Put the chicken in the pot, add the water and bring to a boil and turn down to simmer.  Add the vegetables and seasonings, cover and simmer  for 2 hours or until the chicken is tender. Drain and save the brotyh. Remove meat from the bones.  Let the broth cool, then skim and discard the fat the forms on the top.  Note:  Prepare dried beans and dried peas separately first: For each cup of dried beans or peas, add 3 cups of water, boil 2 minutes, remove from heat, soak 1 hour, and heat to boil; drain. then add to the others and cook.

Step 4 - Bring the stock to a boil

Bring the stock from step 3 to a boil in a large pot then add the meat to it.

Step 5 - Get the lids warming in hot (but not boiling) water

lids, in a pot of steaming hot, but not boiling waterLids: put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids. Ball canning lids

Canning jars of many types on Amazon

Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Ball canning lids

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home, at the best prices on the internet!



Step 6 - Boil the soup (carrying on from step 5) for 5 more minutes

Boil the combined mix for 5 minutes. Caution: Do not thicken with any starch, flour or other thickeners.

Salt to taste, if desired.

Step 7 - Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on

Fill jars halfway with the solid mixture (the bottom of the pan). Add remaining liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. . Then put the filled jars into the canner!

This is where the jar tongs come in really handy!

Step 8 - Let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes

Put the heat on high and let the steam escape through the vent for 10 minutes to purge the airspace inside the canner.


Step 9 - Put the weight on and let the pressure buildpressure canner parts and use explained

After 10 minutes of venting, put the weight on and close any openings to allow the pressure to build to 11 pounds.


Step 10 - Process the jars in the pressure canner (NOT a standard water bath canner)

Once the gauge hits 10 pounds, start your timer going - for the time in the charts below, generally 60 or 75 minutes.  Adjust the heat, as needed, to maintain 10 - 14 pounds of pressure, again, as appropriate for your type of canner

Note: the charts below will help you determine the right processing time and pressure, if you have a different type of canner, or are above sea level.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations below according to the method of pressure canner you have.

Recommended process time for chicken, turkey or other poultry or fowl soups
in a weighted-gauge pressure canner

 Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar SizeProcess Time0 - 1,000 ftAbove 1,000 ft
HotPints60* min10 lb15 lb
* Caution: Process 100 minutes if soup contains seafoods.

Recommended process time for chicken, turkey or other poultry or fowl soups
in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

 Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes
Style of PackJar SizeProcess Time0 - 2,000 ft2,001 - 4,000 ft4,001 - 6,000 ft6,001 - 8,000 ft
HotPints60* min11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb
* Caution: Process 100 minutes if soup contains seafoods.

Note: This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009 and Reviewed November 2009. The Ball Blue Book uses longer processing times, but this is the most recent recipe from the USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation, while the Ball Blue Book appears not to have been recently updated. using a pressure canner

It is important to learn how to operate your pressure canner by reading the owner's manual that came with your particular canner. If you cannot find your owner's manual, you can obtain find one online: Here is where to find some common manufacturer's manuals:

or by contacting the company that made your canner. Give the model number to the manufacturer, and they will send you the right manual. Click here for more information about pressure canners and a variety of models you can order.

Step 11 - Turn off the heat and let it cool down

When the processing time from the chart above is up, turn off the heat, and allow the pressure canner to cool and the pressure to drop to zero before opening the canner.  Let the jars cool without being jostled. After the pressure drops to zero (usually, you can tell but the "click" sound of the safety release vents opening, as well as but the gauge.  Let the pressure in the canner drop to zero by itself. This may take 45 minutes in a 16-quart canner filled with jars and almost an hour in a 22-quart canner. If the vent is opened before the pressure drops to zero OR if the cooling is rushed by running cold water over the canner, liquid will be lost from the jars. Too rapid cooling causes loss of liquid in the jars!

Step 13 - Remove the jars

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool on a wooden cutting board or a towel,  without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok. You're done!

Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last with really good quality up to 12 months. But after that, they get darker in color. They still are safe to eat, but the flavor and texture aren't as good, so if you're a prepper, just keep them in a cool dark place and check them periodically for leakage). So eat them in the first 68 to 12 months after you prepare them!

  This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 1994.

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs
    to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter
    - to remove lids from the pot
    of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid
    - disposable - you may only
    use them once
  4. Ring
    - holds the lids on the jar until after
    the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
    - to fill the jars

Canning tool kit

You can get all of the tools in a kit here:

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!

Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies
by Karen Ward

Click here for more information, reviews, prices for Canning and Preserving For Dummies

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback

This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving

Summary - Typical Cost of Making Homemade Soup - makes 7 quart jars

ItemQuantityCost in 2021SourceSubtotal
Canning jars (quart size), includes lids and rings7 jars$8.50/dozenGrocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores$5.00
Vegetables, chopped10 quartsFree, from your garden or friendsYour garden, friends, a farmers market or Grocery stores, like Public, Kroger, Safeway and sometimes, Big Lots, local hardware stores and big box stores$0
Total$5.00 total
or about $0.72 per quart jar

**- This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars and reduce the cost further; just buy new lids (the rings are reusable, but the flat lids are not)!

Can't find the equipment? We ship to all 50 states!

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FAQs - Answers to Common Questions

  • As my jars are cooling after i take them out of the canner, they sometimes make a popping or hissing noise.  Is this normal and safe?
    Yes, the lids are designed to flex and that's actually a key selling point.  You can tell if a jar hasn't sealed properly (after it has cooled completely) if the lid flexes and makes a popping sound when you press the center of the lid with your finger.  The popping sounds while it is cooling is the lid being sucked down by the vacuum that is forming inside the jar - which a normal part of the sealing process.  Hissing sounds are usually just escaping steam or hot water evaporating on hot surfaces, also normal!

Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book