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Canning Chicken Soup

Posted by emmy_2006 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 12, 06 at 19:42

I would like to can chicken soup, but will need to do it over a period of two days. On the first day, I would cook the chicken/make the chicken stock and then refrigerate both. The next day I would actually make the soup, using the defatted chicken stock, deboned chicken, carrots, celery, (possibly a small amount of potato chunks), seasonings, etc. Here is my question: If I heat the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes or more, can I simply divide the raw vegetables (carrots, celery, and possibly potatoes) among the canning jars; pour the seasoned stock over the top; and pressure can? I would prefer to do this, rather than simmering the vegetables in the chicken stock for two reasons---(1) to evenly distribute the vegetables among the jars of soup; and (2) to avoid overcooking the vegetables, since they will be in the pressure canner for a lengthy period of time.

Does anyone see any problem with this method?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Canning Chicken Soup

I see no one has addressed your question, and it is an important one.

The vegetables you use in your soup can't be raw, in the main because all the soup ingredients need to be hot when they are placed in the jars. The safe processing times are calibrated based upon boiling contents.

However, you don't need to overcook them either. Boil everything 5 minutes before jarring up and that's sufficient. I think you may be surprised at how well the vegetables hold up. The texture of the chicken will probably be more of an issue.

Also, if you think of it, with uncooked vegetables, especially chunks of potato, you risk some absorbtion of the liquid during processing. It wouldn't be fun to pull your jars out of the pressure canner and see they're only 2/3 full of a dense sludge-like mixture.

So be sure the mixture has been boiled 5 minutes and then aim for 1/2 solid contents and 1/2 liquid for appropriate density.

You should be able to eyeball a half-jar and still come reasonably close to equally distributed contents. If you have a leftover jar of plain or thin stock, that's not a bad thing because it can be used lots of ways.

You do have another option, and that's to can plain chicken and broth in one batch and mixed vegetables in another batch. Combine one jar of each for soup. This gives you maximum versatility and you may find this brings you closer to the flavor and texture you prefer.


RE: Canning Chicken Soup

Hi there. I know this thread is very old, but I am hoping to get an answer. The question for Carol is "WHY do all the soup ingredients have to be hot when they are placed in the jars?"

The reason I'm wondering is because there are several, and I mean A LOT, of people on the Internet who are doing raw pack vegetables with hot stock and cooked chicken, then pressuring for 90 minutes.

I know that the Ball Book's recipes are hot pack, and so are the Putting Food By's recipes.

On the other hand, you find many recipes for meat, chicken included, that are raw pack, and add NO broth or stock at all. Ditto for fish.

So if in the pressure canner, everything gets boiling with the weight off, it vents for 10 minutes, and then the weight goes on and the 90 minutes doesn't start until it jiggles, how is that functionally different than hot pack? The vegetables and everything in the jars is boiling by that point.

RE: Canning Chicken Soup

The difference is in the processing times required. Takes less time to get the food from 212 to 250 than it does to get it from room temp to 250. And how that extended processing time effects the quality.

When foods are packed raw a large portion of the processing time is used just heating the food up to boiling. So more processing time is needed to get it up to the 240-250 degrees required. When it is hot going into the jars to begin with less time is needed to process it.

The reason I'm wondering is because there are several, and I mean A LOT, of people on the Internet who are doing raw pack vegetables with hot stock and cooked chicken, then pressuring for 90 minutes.

There are a lot of people on the internet doing all sorts of untested/unapproved methods of canning. Their choice, their risk to take.

Correctly done soups only require 60-75 mins. processing. The unapproved raw packing method would require at least 90 mins. and not just because it contained meat.

Hope that explains it.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Canning Soups

RE: Canning Chicken Soup

Oh, this is an interesting answer ! I was thinking you would instead say something about expansion of contents from cold to hot fills up the airspace or something, and then forces off the lids. But no.

However, for sake of science and the physics of it, I must say I do wonder about the real difference in both temperature and quality of product with raw pack vs. hot pack. There has to be a temp drop from a boiling vat to jars, just because you can't maintain 212* from pot to jar and adding lids. I've read a boiling kettle of water loses 1 degree of temp each second it's off the element.

Carol's original answer talked about boiling the soup only 5 minutes, then jarring. But certainly it would have taken at least 10 minutes for vegetables to get up to boiling, and most likely quite a bit longer than that. Perhaps that extra 15 minutes from 75 to 90 really wouldn't make too much difference because you needed to cook the vegetables anyway. AND perhaps having more pressure faster actually preserves more of the vegetable texture--at least that's what pressure cookers tout all the time. So truly, functionally, if you charted raw pack and hot pack from start to finish, with the only variable being raw or hot (same exact amount of vegetables in both batches), would it really be all that different in terms of timing, and consequently in terms of quality of vegetables?

RE: Canning Chicken Soup

Apologies if I mislead you into thinking the the end quality of the vegetables was the primary issue. It is a secondary concern, the balance point between safety and quality if you will. Perhaps I wasn't clear in making my point.

The primary issue is food safety and that is determined by the amount of time the interior of the food pieces are at 250 degrees under 10 lbs of pressure (adjusted for altitude).

In home canning food preparation time is one thing. Processing time is another. So yes, in theory the total time involved may be the same but the degree of safety is higher using the recommended methods. Of course some cooling would occur, that is a given. But when properly done it is minimal and still far above what raw pack would be.

Using the soup example you gave above, using the existing guidelines, testing for cold pockets and the resulting food safety has been tested. Using other methods has not been tested.

So the question remains, how does one know that raw packed and processed for 90 mins. is equally as safe? Further, of what value is doing it that way when the amount of time involved is similar?


RE: Canning Chicken Soup

I have been reading through this post just searching to see how everyone else does chicken soup. I made some yesterday and while I did cook my veggies with the stock, I am wondering why everyone is so against raw packing the veggies. The Ball Blue Book gives directions for raw packing vegetables and then covering in boiling water or liquid, so doing the soup this way would not seem to be any different to me.

RE: Canning Chicken Soup

I tried to raw pack chicken soup a couple years ago and found it was a waste of time. I'd have to check my notes as to how I adjusted my processing time, but basically I put a boullion cube, some chicken, chopped onion and celery, and sliced carrot to fill my jar half way, then filled with boiling water. Then processed.

The finished soup just tasted raw. The flavored did not blend at all. Since I couldn't add noodles, i still had to add noodles and cook for 10 minutes. So in the end, canning the soup did not end up bring much of a time saver. Even with the additional cooking time, the soup just tasted bland and raw.

RE: Canning Chicken Soup

The Ball Blue Book gives directions for raw packing vegetables and then covering in boiling water or liquid, so doing the soup this way would not seem to be any different to me.

The BBB gives directions for raw packing SOME vegetables. Other vegetables are hot-pack-only directions. And the mixed vegetables directions is hot pack only and double the processing time. Big difference.

So with chicken soup (which is mixed vegetables plus meat) the directions call for hot pack only and 75-90 min. processing depending on jar size.

Add to that the different sizes of vegetables folks use - diced to chunks - and the hot packing and longer processing time becomes even more important.


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