I remember when I was a young boy my grandmother used to make potted meat and I absolutely loved it. It must be about thirty-five years ago now since the last time I tasted it, and the product can no longer be purchased in supermarkets, but it is something I would like to taste again. I want to make some potted meat using the leftovers from my roast chicken, but I have no idea how to make potted meat. As the product has mostly been discontinued, I cannot find any substantial instructions on google, and the instructions on the wikipedia article that I will link to below, I find rather vague.


Potted meat is a form of traditional food preservation in which hot cooked meat is placed in a pot, tightly packed to exclude air, and then covered with hot fat.[


How can I turn the leftovers of my Sunday chicken roast into potted meat?

  • Hi, I would like to point out that we don't take recipe requests. I think the question as asked is fine, but don't expect somebody to give you an answer so detailed that you can just sit down and follow it (because that would be a recipe). That's also why I removed the "instructions" tag you created, I don't see any use for it unless one is asking for recipe instructions, which we want to actively inhibit.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 4, 2022 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


I guess the question here is really ‘are you just trying to recreate the flavor and texture’ or ‘are you trying to do this for food preservation’?

Because unfortunately, those basic instructions you gave wouldn’t be considered to be shelf stable.

I’ve done similar things in the past, and kept it in the fridge for up to a week, but I have a higher risk tolerance than most (bit overly young or old, not immune compromised, and wasn’t already unwell at the time)

Basically, you need to cook the meat, heat the fat or gelatinized liquid, and work while everything is hot (not just warm—it needs to be hot), then cap and get it into the fridge. You can also use a hot water bath after it’s in the container to pasteurize the whole thing before you chill it down for storage.

You want to really pack everything in, and maybe run a sterilized knife or other implement in there to knock loose any air bubbles.

The proper way to do this (ti make it shelf stable) would be a pressure canner, but that might overcook your meat past the texture that you want.

If you’re not sure about the whole process, it might be better to look up recipes for ‘confit’, which is a process of cooking in fat. You then just let the whole thing cool and solidify, which I suspect would have similar texture.

I’d also recommend looking in ethnic grocery stores. I can get canned meats, but they’re usually cooked in their own juices (during the canning process, I suspect), not just fat, so it may not be exactly what you’re looking for.

  • 5
    “Confit” is the key takeaway. Confit is basically the more popular/general term for potted meat, and one could probably just pretend that some roasted meat was raw and apply any instructions for making confit.
    – Sneftel
    Sep 4, 2022 at 11:11
  • 1
    I think it doesn’t need to be all fat for potted meat. But you need to cap it at the top with a good layer of solidified fat. I’ll pack pint sized container of pulled pork this way… with the juices that it gave off, but keep it warm long enough for the fat to come to the top before chilling it down. And I fill them so there’s very little air in with it (possibly none at all; I tilt it and squeeze the fat up to the top before chilling and possible freezing)
    – Joe
    Sep 4, 2022 at 13:57

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