Canning leftover chili is a great way to save your leftovers and use them for a quick meal later.
With a large family, we always make a giant batch of chili in a very large stock pot or crock pot. I always double or tripe a chili recipe in hopes of having some to save for later. If there is any leftover chili, using a pressure canner is a wonderful way to preserve it. This ensures that I have healthy meals on the shelf ready to go at a moments notice for easy weeknight meals. In our house, we typically make turkey chili or some kind of wild game chili, as it is a great way to utilize that meat. However, any kind of chili can be canned.
This recipe is NOT an approved canning recipe. If you don’t feel comfortable using a recipe that isn’t USDA approved, then this post is not for you.
Canning Leftover Chili
The way I will be showing you how to can leftover chili today can be used with any of your favorite recipes. Pressure canning soups or chili is pretty easy once you get it down, for the most part, the canning process will always be the same.
First things first, obviously would be to make homemade chili. This can be made with a slow cooker or in a stockpot on the stove. After you are done with your chili, you have two options.
First option, can straight hot chili from the pot you made it in or place in the fridge to can later. Just remember that hot food goes in hot jars and cold food goes in cold jars.
Prepare by washing all glass jars in hot soapy water. If canning hot chili, place jars in a warm oven to keep jars warm until you are ready to fill with chili. If you are canning cold chili, wait until glass jars have cooled down to fill.
How to Can Leftover Chili
Fill canning jars with chili, leaving 1″ headspace. Remove air bubbles and clean the rims of the jars with a clean cloth.
Place lid on top of filled jars and screw ring on until fingertip tight. Place jars inside pressure canner with 2″ of water in bottom of pressure canner on top of rack. When canning hot chili that is straight from the pot, make sure the water in the pressure canner surrounding the jars is already warming up ahead of time before adding jars. If canning cold chili, make sure the to use cold water.
Put lid on pressure canner and lock into place. Turn heat up and wait for steam to start to flow. At that point, set a time for 10 minutes and allow the steam to vent.
After the 10 minutes is up, place pressure gauge over the air vent tube. Place at 10 pounds of pressure unless you are at higher elevation. If you are unsure of what elevation you live at, check out this link to see if you are over 1,000 feet of elevation. If you are over 1,000 feet above sea level, than the pressure needs to be higher than 10 pounds. Here is a link to see what your pressure should be at in that case.
Once pressure has been reached, processing time can begin. Process time varies based on size of jars. Process pints at 75 minutes. Quart jars process for 90 minutes.
After processing time is done, turn off heat and allow pressure to come down naturally without touching anything. When pressure is at zero, remove pressure gauge and wait a few more minutes to ensure any extra pressure can escape.
Carefully remove pressure canner lid away from face. Remove jars and place on a towel, leaving undisturbed for 12 hours. Do not push on the center of the jar lid at this point.
After 12 hours, check seals on canned food. Wash jars and label lids with contents and date. Store in a cool, dark place until you are ready to eat your home-canned chili.
If any cans of chili did not seal, place in the fridge to eat within a few days or re-do the process again.
Tips for Canning Leftovers
- If you cannot reach 1″ headspace with your chili, add chicken broth until you reach the 1″ spot. (Remember, hot jars need hot liquid.)
- Wait to add things like sour cream, cheddar cheese, or any other toppings until after you open the can of chili.
- Use canned chili for other recipes, such as chili cheese dogs or chili mac.
- If there aren’t enough jars of chili to fill your canner, can up some water to have on hand in case of emergencies or power outages!
How long will canned chili last?
In home canning, the “typical” answer is one year. However, if stored correctly, canning recipes can last for much longer than that. When you store your canned goods, the best way to organize them is to place the newest canned jars in the back. That way you are always eating the oldest first.
Can you can chili with beans in it?
Yes! With low acid foods, such as beans, it is recommended to pressure can them instead of water bath canning. This ensures that breeding grounds for things like clostridium botulinum is not possible.
Why can chili instead of just freezing it?
While freezing chili is a great option to preserve it, when canning leftover chili, not only are you saving on freezer space, but you now have a quick dinner available to you at a moment’s notice.