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Canning Peaches

I remember my mom canning peaches every summer. I was always banished from the kitchen, and could only watch from the perimeter. I can recall her smile when she was done and started to hear the “pings” from the lids sealing. That meant nothing to me, but coming out to breakfast and seeing those golden half-circles in a bowl in January was always such a treat.

My shift into becoming a canner started small. I planted a garden back when we lived in Los Angeles, and when the harvest started to come in, realized that it was just the two of us. Our freezer was only so big. I needed options. I started with jam, and then I didn’t touch my canning equipment for another year and a half. Jam almost caused me to stop altogether. Standing in a hot kitchen without air conditioning in August made me miserable. Stirring jam until it “gelled” was not my forte.

I waited for over a year and then tried applesauce. Canning applesauce was much more my speed and was a gateway food to more canning activities for me. Applesauce turned to pears, and so on and so forth. I also eventually learned to make a delicious low sugar jam that doesn’t take forever to cook down. Along the way, I picked up canning peaches as well. There is something amazing about having a “fresh” peach in the middle of winter. It is essentially a bowl full of sunshine.

For me, canning peaches are one of the less labor-intensive foods to can. Sure, you have to peel them, but that can be accomplished fairly easily. There is no saucing involved and you don’t have to wash any special equipment. I think what scares most people away from canning peaches at home, is the sugar involved! Soooo much sugar is recommended.

Let me be frank and honest with you. You should always follow a trusted, official canning source. I am not official. But I have been canning for over a decade, and we’re all good. Sugar is used in canning for flavor, preservation, and color. Sweet food generally tastes better, keeps longer, and the color of the food stays bright and fresh. That being said, most fruits have enough natural sugar and don’t need anything added to be considered safe. Your final product may look a bit different but should be ok.

Personally, I walk the line between no sugar and just low sugar for canning peaches and pears. I use a ratio of 1.5 cups of sugar to 6 cups of water to make the syrup that goes in these jars. Please use your best judgment when altering any official canning recipe. Plan to eat the finished product within 9-12 months.

A quick note about the photos below. I ended up using regular quart jars instead of wide mouth jars because I was out of wide mouth lids. Big mistake. The peaches got more squished than needed. When given the choice, use wide mouth jars for peaches and pears.

Canning Peaches Equipment List

  • At least four large bowls. You can never have enough bowls when canning.
  • Large pot of water for blanching, a medium pot for syrup, and one small pot for sanitizing lids.
  • Canner: simple water bath canner, a pressure canner (which can double as a water bath canner), or even a huge stockpot with a rack in the bottom.
  • Canning tongs/jar lifter
  • Lid lifter (optional, but so helpful)
  • Jars – quarts or pints.
  • Lids and rings
  • Widemouth funnel
  • Ice
  • Sugar
  • Paring knife
  • Cutting board
  • Metal spoon
  • Butter knife or plastic chopstick
  • Peaches. Doy. If you’re purchasing peaches to can, look for “freestone” choices as they will release themselves from around the pit.
  • Comfortable shoes. Don’t do this barefoot. Your back will hate you.
  • Clean washcloths and at least one thick clean rag.

Canning Peaches

  1. Wash your peaches. I just run them under water and rub my hands on them to give the fuzz a scrub. TWSS
  2. Use a paring knife and cut the peach around the middle to separate. canning peaches
  3. Remove the pit.canning peaches
  4. Put the halves in a large bowl of water treated with lemon juice or citric acid.canning peaches
  5. Add some of the peaches into a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds.canning peaches
  6. Remove using a slotted spoon, and place in an ice bath for 15 seconds. canning peaches
  7. Remove from the ice bath, and the skin should peel off with little issue.

    canning peaches

    Should peel off easily, assuming, of course, it puts the lotion in the basket.

  8. Start adding the peaches to your sanitized and warm canning jars. When you put the peaches in the jar, make sure they are cavity down. The part where the pit was should be facing the bottom. Repeat with other peach halves until you have filled the jar leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar.canning peaches
    canning peaches
  9. Start the water boiling in your canner on the stove.
  10. Place a small pot of water on the stove (or use a crockpot if you’re canning a lot) and add your clean lids. Boil for 10 minutes.
  11.  In a medium-sized pot, combine your sugar and water to create the syrup. If you’re planning to do a large batch of peaches all at once, I use my crockpot to create and keep the syrup hot. It frees up space on the stove.
  12. Using a funnel, pour hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.canning peaches
  13. Using a plastic utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar.canning peaches
  14. Clean the edges of the jar very well with a hot damp rag.canning peaches
  15. Place a hot lid on the jar.canning peaches
  16. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.canning peaches
  17. Place your jars in the canner. Put the lid on, and set your timer. Pints should process for 20 minutes, and quarts for 25. I always add 5 minutes to my timer to allow the water to get back up to a boil after adding the jars.canning peaches
  18. Once the peaches have processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the stove and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. I tend to just slide it into the middle of my stove, as it weighs a ton. Carefully remove the jars, and place them on a thick towel in a place where they can be undisturbed for 12 hours. The lids should start to pop within 20 minutes of being removed from the water. That popping sound is music to your ears, as it tells you that everything has sealed. After the 12 hours of sitting are up, press down in the middle of each lid. If it “gives” at all, the jar didn’t seal. Either enjoy it that day, put it in the fridge, or reprocess it.

canning peaches

And there you have it. You’ve canned peaches. Now you have two choices. Either celebrate this accomplishment by yourself or post it to social media and immediately start getting called a prepper by your so called “friends”. Not that I’m um, speaking from experience or anything…. 🙂

canning peaches
Print
5 from 1 vote
Canning Peaches
Prep Time
1 hr 5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

Canning peaches at home doesn't have to be overwhelming. This photo tutorial on canning peaches will show you the process step by step.

Course: Side Dish
Author: Sarah - Sustainable Cooks
Ingredients
  • Peaches
  • Water
  • Sugar
Instructions
  1. Wash your peaches. I just run them under water and rub my hands on them to give the fuzz a scrub.

  2. Use a paring knife and cut the peach around the middle to separate. Remove the pit. Put the halves in a large bowl of water treated with lemon juice or citric acid.

  3. Add some of the peaches into a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove using a slotted spoon, and place in an ice bath for 15 seconds. 

  4. Remove from the ice bath, and the skin should peel off with little issue.

  5. Start adding the peaches to your sanitized and warm canning jars. When you put the peaches in the jar, make sure they are cavity down. The part where the pit was should be facing the bottom. Repeat with other peach halves until you have filled the jar leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar.

  6. Start the water boiling in your canner on the stove. Place a small pot of water on the stove (or use a crockpot if you're canning a lot) and add your clean lids. Boil for 10 minutes.

  7. In a medium-sized pot, combine your sugar and water to create the syrup. If you're planning to do a large batch of peaches all at once, I use my crockpot to create and keep the syrup hot. It frees up space on the stove.

  8. Using a funnel, pour hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Using a plastic utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar.

  9. Clean the edges of the jar very well with a hot damp rag.

  10. Place a hot lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight

  11. Place your jars in the canner. Put the lid on, and set your timer. Pints should process for 20 minutes, and quarts for 25. I always add 5 minutes to my timer to allow the water to get back up to a boil after adding the jars.

  12. Once the peaches have processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the stove and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. I tend to just slide it into the middle of my stove, as it weighs a ton. Carefully remove the jars, and place them on a thick towel in a place where they can be undisturbed for 12 hours. The lids should start to pop within 20 minutes of being removed from the water. That popping sound is music to your ears, as it tells you that everything has sealed. After the 12 hours of sitting are up, press down in the middle of each lid. If it "gives" at all, the jar didn't seal. Either enjoy it that day, put it in the fridge, or reprocess it.

How to can peaches! Learn all about canning peaches. This photo tutorial on canning peaches will show you the process step by step.

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12 comments on “Canning Peaches”

  1. Thanks for the post. There’s is nothing better than a perfectly ripe peach, is there?? My husband and I can amazing organic peaches we order from amazing WA state each year and EVERY TIME time they end up over-processed. Like, “you can’t pick them up with a fork” over-processed. The only thing I’ve come up with is that the canner takes too long to come back to a boil before I begin the timer. Tell me, while you are packing each jar, where are the other jars sitting? Mine sit in a 200-degree oven until they are all full to keep them hot. Could this be the cause of mushy peaches? I’m paranoid a jar will break in the canner (it’s only happened once) or they will lower the canner temp too much, so I keep them as hot as possible through the process.

    • A few questions for you. What kind of syrup are you using? Are you doing a raw pack or hot pack?

      For peaches, my jars are sitting on the counter full of hot water. I use the jar in the oven method for certain types of canning, but not peaches.

      • I’ve tried both light syrups (one time with sugar, one time with honey) and one time plain water. All 3 were cold pack. Same results every time – sloppy peaches. I’m wondering if the peaches are too ripe when I can them?? I’m canning them at the same ripeness that I would choose to eat them, but maybe I need to can them when they are a little firmer?

      • Are you processing in a water bath canner or pressure canner? Are you doing 25 minutes processing time? The peaches I can are ripe enough to eat, but not so ripe that they’re hard to handle.

      • Yup, quarts in a water bath canner, for 25 minutes…but that doesn’t include the amount of time it takes to get the water back up to boil once I take the lid off and add my first jar. It takes me so long to get all 6 jars filled with fruit and syrup and I set each jar in the canner as I fill it…is that right? Or should I leave filled jars on the counter and put them all in the canner at once?? The directions are never clear on this step! I always worry my jars won’t be hot enough when they enter the canner, hence the use of the oven.

      • Ok, ding, ding, ding we have solved the problem! Yes, you need to put all the jars in at the SAME time and then start the countdown.

        I fill a jar with peaches and then ladle in the hot syrup. Then I take the next hot jar (you could remove it from the oven at this point. I just dump the hot water out of it), fill it with peaches, and then put the syrup in. Continue until I have 7 quarts done. THEN I clean the rims on all of them, THEN I put the lids on all of them, THEN I do the rings for all of them. The whole time this is going on, the lid is still on the canner. I open it just one time and put the jars in. It is easier to keep the water from dropping too much temp that way.

        I think if you try the above method, your peaches will stay much fresher.

      • Presto! So you rely on the hot syrup to keep the glass hot enough to prevent breakage. I didn’t think you could do that. I’ve only had one jar break in the canner with my method and it has me completely paranoid!! Thank you SO much for your time!!!

      • I do. I have a few jars break every canning season (with all various products), and I just consider it part of the deal. It happens, and you can clean the outside of the other jars and call it a day. 🙂

  2. Interesting. I recently did a guest post (I’m not a blogger … just a canner!) on canning peaches in just WATER! This is how my Mom has always done it, and I’ve been doing it for years. If you go digging on official canning sites you can find reference to sugar not being necessary for preservation – just for color taste. I put a tiny bit of citric acid or Fruit Fresh into the bottom of each jar, raw pack my blanched/peeled peaches, top with boiling water and process. Summer. in. a. jar. 🙂

    https://www.theprairiesmoke.com/2017/09/11/canning-peaches-in-water/

    • Thank you for sharing Devonna! I’ve canned in water before, and I didn’t have great results. But it definitely could have been user-error. Plus, our garage stays so warm and that is where we keep our canned goods.

  3. Looks easy and doable

  4. looks pretty easy and doable!