Saturday, October 2, 2010

Canning Peaches - How To

**2015 UPDATE: When this post was originally created, I was using a steamer for this tutorial.  Since then the FDA has deemed steamers unfit for healthy canning practices, since the necessary internal temperature for killing bacteria and microorganisms is harder to regulate in a steam canner.  Please be advised that you should use a hot water bath canner.

Hopefully this isn't too late in the season... I guess it will have to do for all of you late bloomers out there.

Here is everything you need to know about canning peaches:

Materials Needed:
- fruit
- mason jars, new lids, and rings/bands
- water bath canner
- sugar
- knife
- plastic bags
- large colander
- large bowl
- jar funnel
- thick rubber bands (optional)
- towels
- bottle lifters
- hot pads

Start with your peaches:

I like to use Lemon Elberta.

Quiet frankly, they are the best peach (in my opinion).
They have excellent flavor.
More importantly, they work the best for canning.
The pits come away easily:

And they are very easy to peel:

This will most likely cut your canning time in half compared to peaches that you have to skin by hand (or blanch), as well as cutting the pits out.
Not to mention that it allows you to use the entire peach, instead of cutting the inside and outside away.
they hold their shape very well.  They will not get mushy and disinigrate after canning like other varieties.
Long story short, if I can't get Lemon Elberta, I don't can peaches.
It's that important.

Okay, so lets get started.
First, add 1/4 c. sugar to each quart sized jar:

Add about 1 c. hot tap water to each bottle:

Shake the bottles in a circular motion until the sugar is dissolved:

Now set up some stations in your sink.
The first station will be where you halve, pit and peel the peach.  Put a plastic bag (with a small hole poked in the bottom) inside of a large colander.  This is where you will dump all of the peach pits and peels.  The hole will allow the juices to run down the drain, and the bag will provide easy cleanup.

The next station will consist of a large bowl filled with cold water.
Once you pit and peel the peach halves, dump them in the water.  This will be used to rinse them off, so you don't have your sink running non stop.
You can either dump each peach and cut it up, or leave them in the bowl until you have enough to fill a jar (which is what I do).
When the water gets too dirty, rinse it out and start over (after you fill about 2 jars).

When you have your rinsed peaches ready, you can either leave them halved, or cut them into cubes.

I find that I end up cutting them into cubes before we eat them anyway, so I do it before.  I actually think it is faster than trying to position them pit side down and I think it fits a bit more into the bottles as well.

Use your funnel to dump the peaches in:

Once you have a full jar, if the water isn't already up to the neck of the bottle, fill it up with more tap water.

You need to make sure you remove the air bubbles before putting the lid on.
This can be done by running a butter knife down the 4 'corners' of the bottle.

Now you need to make sure that the rim is clear of any debris, or chips/breaks in the bottle.
Do this by running your finger around it several times.  It should be completely smooth.

After that, put a new lid on and screw a band on as tight as you can with one hand.
If you tighten it too much the bottle will break.

When your bottles are done, put them in water bath canner and fill with water to cover all lids completely.
While waiting for it to start steaming, place an old towel on the counter next to the stove.

Quarts need to be steamed for 25 minutes, and pints can be steamed for 20.
Remember to adjust for altitude - Utah time is 35 for quarts, 30 for pints.

Do not start the timer until steam is consistently coming out.
If you are unsure if it is consistent or not, it probably isn't.
It will be quiet obvious.

 When done, lids should be covered with water.  Some will appear to be sealed (center of lid is down) and others wont.  This is normal.

Immediately move the bottle to the towel using the lifters.  
Hearing sporadic 'pops'  is a good thing; these are your lids sealing completely.

Continue these steps until you have bottled all of your peaches!

Finally, you need to clean the bottles.
If left unclean, the juice will turn into somewhat of a glue, and it will be very difficult to remove the bands if left over time.
If it is already hard to unscrew them, you can place them in a sink of warm water (just a few seconds should do the trick).
Give them a good rinse and scrub off the outsides (if necessary).  Be sure and wipe out the insides of the seals.

Lay them on a clean towel to dry.

 Write the date on the tops, screw the bands back on (if desired) and put them away!


  1. How long do they stay good g or in cupboard and how long would u say to boil them in las vegas?Thanks

    1. The recommended use by date is 1 year. Personally, I keep mine for 3 years. They never last longer than that in my house.
      For Las Vegas elevation (~2,000 ft), you would process quart bottles of peaches for 30 minutes. You can read more about that here: