How to Can Fresh Peaches – Canning Fruit with a Water Bath Canner
We bought a water bath canner a few years ago and have barely used it. Probably because we are busy, had a crappy kitchen, and did not have a dishwasher. But now, since we have a beautiful kitchen with a dishwasher we canned our first batch of peaches!
A couple blogs showed us how to can peaches and we combined their advice. First of all, it is much easier to can peaches with someone else because there are a few simultaneous steps.
What you need for canning peaches:
- Small pot for syrup
- Large pot for blanching peaches
- Large bowl of cold water
- Quart size mason jars
- Rings and lids for each jar
- Peaches (duh)
- Lemon juice
- Water bath canner (we have this Granite Ware one)
- Utensil preserving kit (ours is this Ball one – super helpful)
Instructions for canned peaches
1) Boil water to blanch the peaches.
2) Make a light syrup by dissolving 6 cups of sugar into 18 cups of water. This is enough syrup for 14 jars (which is 2 full canners). Let the syrup simmer. We added about 3 teaspoons of cinnamon to our syrup as well.
3) Blanch the peaches by boiling them in hot water for about 30 seconds. Then immediately place them in the ice cold water bath for another 30 seconds. This makes it so the skin slips right off.
4) Fill canner with water so there is an inch of water covering each jar. Remember the jars will displace some of the water. Turn burner to low. We used the burner the peaches were blanched on. It may sound dumb that I’m saying that, but in a small kitchen the process really matters! There’s just not enough room for everything to be sitting out the whole time!
5) Cut the peaches however you like (sliced, quarters, or halves) and remove the pits. We did halves when possible and sometimes quarters. About 4 peaches fill one quart sized jar. This means about 18 pounds fills one canner of 7 quart jars.
6) Sprinkle lemon juice on the peaches to hold their color.
7) Add peaches to one jar at a time, leaving 1 inch of room at the top of the jar. This is close to the threaded neck. The Frugal Living Northwest blog says, “By gently stacking the peaches in the jar with the pit-cavity side down, they fit and look better.”
8) We added a little lemon juice (about 3 tablespoons) to the syrup before pouring it into the jars. Place the canning funnel from your utensil kit over the jar and pour the syrup until there is about 1/2 inch to the top.
9) Then slide a plastic utensil along the sides of each jar to pop any air pockets and let the peaches settle into place. You may need to add more peaches or syrup to a jar.
10) Wipe the top of each jar to remove moisture or stickiness to ensure a tight seal.
11) Place a NEW lid and sterilized (can be used) ring on each jar and seal tightly. We boiled ours to make sure they were sterilized.
12) Using your jar lifter, add 7 jars to water bath canner full of warm water. If the water is too hot the jars could crack. Make sure the jars are covered with an inch of water. If you don’t have a jar lifter, your canner may have come with a rack (ours did). You can pull the whole rack out at one time.
13) Put the lid on the water bath canner and boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
14) After 30 minutes use the jar lifter and move the 7 jars to a drying rack or towel.
16) The next day, move the jars to a cool, dark place like a pantry. Remember you can reuse the rings, but not the lids. You may want to take the rings off now so you’re ready to use them next time. We mark the lids of our cans with the date and what it is if it could be easily confused with another food.
Here’s our little family inspecting our homemade, canned peaches!