Canned Chicken Lid with Black Stains

While canning chicken, I processed 19 pints for 75 minutes and when I got them out of the canner, 1 jar had black stains on the lid and I was able to wipe off the lid with a wet paper towel. Most of it came off, but stains remain on the lid.

There is no rust on the inside of the ring. Are all 19 pints of the chicken I canned ruined?

These were newly purchased jars. I washed the jars and lids/rings; and I soaked the lids/rings in hot water while I filled my jars with the chicken.

Could it be that I simmered the lids/rings in a stainless steel pot too long? They were simmering while I filled the jars with chicken and I had to take a little time to get all 16 jars filled.

Please help. Have I ruined my canned chicken?

Thank you,



Lacey424 August 8, 2012
Just wanted to post an update. I received a call from a wonderful lady in Oregon and she told me that my chicken is fine, but I should use the jar with the stain first. She said that the jar probably released some chicken juice and caused the stain. I did fill the jars a little too full and I think she is right.

It looked like a stain caused by being in water, if you've ever left a metal lid in water too long you might understand. Anyway, she said I didn't ruin my chicken, which I was so relieved to hear!

Next time, I will make sure to leave 1-1/2" of headspace when canning more chicken. Lesson learned!
DLD July 16, 2023
You should use the headspace called for in a tested recipe. Each step is important to follow, including headspace. For chicken it is one inch headspace.
Lacey424 August 8, 2012
Thank you, Maedl. I have already tried to call a university and I left them a message. I hope they call me back soon. I really don't know what to do.
Maedl August 8, 2012
I would try googling 'food canning safety question.' Many states have hotlines at universities or extension services that help answer questions like this. I hope your food isn't ruined, but better to ask someone with expertise in the area and to be safe, not sorry!
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