How to can peaches

how to can peaches 2

Have you ever wondered how to can peaches? Whether you’re a seasoned canner or a beginner who wants to try their hand at preserving fruit, learning how to can peaches is a useful skill that can allow you to enjoy the taste of summer all year round. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, so you can confidently preserve your peaches and savor their deliciousness in the colder months. Trust me, it’s easier than you think!

How to Can Peaches

Okay, let’s dive in. The first step in canning peaches is to gather all your supplies. You’ll need fresh, ripe peaches, canning jars with lids and bands, a large pot for boiling water, sugar, lemon juice, a knife, a cutting board, and a jar lifter. Once you have everything ready, we’ll start by blanching and peeling the peaches, which will make them easier to work with. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through each and every step, so you won’t miss a beat. Stay tuned for the rest of the article to learn the ins and outs of canning peaches – you’ll soon be able to enjoy the taste of summer anytime you want.

How to Can Peaches

Canning peaches is a rewarding and delicious way to preserve the fruit. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the taste of summer all year round. Experiment with different syrup options and have fun sharing your homemade canned peaches with loved ones.

Preparing the Peaches

Selecting Ripe Peaches

When it comes to canning peaches, it is crucial to start with ripe fruit. Look for peaches that are slightly soft to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Avoid peaches that still have a greenish hue, as they are not fully ripe. Ripe peaches are easier to peel and pit, and they will also taste better in the end.

Washing the Peaches

Before starting the canning process, it’s essential to wash the peaches thoroughly. Rinse each peach under cool running water and gently rub the surface to remove any dirt or residues. Pat them dry with a clean towel or let them air dry.

Peeling the Peaches

To peel the peaches, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the peaches into the boiling water and let them simmer for about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to a bowl filled with ice water to cool them down quickly. The sudden temperature change will make the skins easy to peel. Once the peaches are cool enough to handle, the skin should slip off easily.

Pitting the Peaches

After peeling the peaches, it’s time to remove the pits. Cut each peach in half along the natural crease and twist the halves apart. Use a spoon or a knife to scoop out the pit from the center. Be careful not to damage the flesh of the peach. Repeat the process for each peach until all the pits are removed.

Preparing the Canning Equipment

Gathering the Necessary Equipment

Before you can start canning, gather all the equipment you’ll need. This includes:

  • Glass canning jars with lids and bands
  • A large pot for boiling water (water bath canner)
  • A jar lifter
  • A canning funnel
  • A ladle
  • A bubble remover or a non-metallic spatula
  • Clean towels
  • A canning pot with a rack
  • Labels and permanent markers for labeling the jars

Washing and Sterilizing Jars

To ensure your canned peaches stay fresh and safe, it’s crucial to wash and sterilize the canning jars. Start by washing the jars and their lids and bands with warm soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue.

Once clean, place the jars in a large pot and fill it with hot water, making sure the jars are fully submerged. Bring the water to a boil and let the jars boil for 10 minutes to sterilize them. While the jars are sterilizing, place the lids and bands in a separate pot of hot water, keeping them warm until ready for use.

Preparing Lids and Bands

After sterilizing, remove the jars from the boiling water using a jar lifter, and place them on a clean towel. Carefully remove the lids and bands from the hot water and dry them with a clean towel. Make sure the sealing compound on the lids is intact and not damaged.

Setting Up a Water Bath Canner

A water bath canner is used to process the filled jars and ensure proper sealing. Fill the canner with enough water to cover the jars by at least one inch. Place the canner on the stove and bring the water to a simmer while you prepare the syrup and fill the jars.

How to can peaches

Preparing the Syrup

Choosing the Syrup Type

The syrup you choose will add flavor and sweetness to your canned peaches. There are different syrup options to consider, ranging from light to heavy. Here are the most common syrup choices:

  • Very Light Syrup: This syrup consists of 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar dissolved in 5 1/4 cups of water. It adds just a hint of sweetness to the peaches.
  • Light Syrup: This syrup consists of 2 1/4 cups of granulated sugar dissolved in 5 1/4 cups of water. It adds a slightly sweeter taste to the peaches.
  • Medium Syrup: This syrup consists of 3 1/4 cups of granulated sugar dissolved in 5 1/4 cups of water. It provides a noticeable sweetness to the peaches.
  • Heavy Syrup: This syrup consists of 4 1/4 cups of granulated sugar dissolved in 5 1/4 cups of water. It gives the peaches a rich, sweet taste.

The syrup choice is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste.

Mixing the Syrup Ingredients

To make the syrup, dissolve the desired amount of granulated sugar in water over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the syrup to a simmer and keep it warm while you prepare the peaches.

Heating the Syrup

To ensure the syrup evenly coats the peaches and aids in the canning process, it’s important to heat it before pouring it over the fruit. Keep the syrup warm on a low heat setting while you pack the jars.

Filling and Sealing the Jars

Packing the Peaches into Jars

Take a sterilized jar and place peach halves into the jar, ensuring there is enough space left at the top to pour in the syrup. Pack the peaches tightly, but be gentle to avoid bruising the fruit. Continue filling the jars until all the peaches are used.

Pouring the Hot Syrup into Jars

Using a canning funnel, carefully pour the hot syrup over the peaches, filling the jars until there is about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. The headspace allows room for expansion during processing and helps create a proper seal.

Removing Air Bubbles

To remove any trapped air bubbles in the jars, slide a bubble remover or non-metallic spatula along the inside edges of the jar. Gently press it against the peaches to release any air. This step helps prevent spoilage and ensures the jar is properly filled.

Wiping the Jar Rims and Placing Lids

After removing the air bubbles, use a clean, damp cloth to carefully wipe the rims of the jars, ensuring there is no residue that could interfere with the seal. Place a warm lid on each jar, making sure it is centered over the rim.

Screwing on the Bands

Secure the lids in place by lightly screwing on the bands. Do not overtighten, as this can prevent air from escaping during processing. The bands should be snug but not forcefully tightened.

How to can peaches

Processing and Cooling

Placing Jars in the Water Bath Canner

Once all the jars are filled, carefully place them into the water bath canner, ensuring they are completely submerged with at least one inch of water above the jars. Place the lid on the canner and bring the water to a rolling boil.

Processing the Jars

The processing time depends on the size of the jars and the altitude you are at. For pint-sized jars, process them for approximately 20 minutes at sea level and adjust the processing time accordingly for your altitude. For quart-sized jars, process for around 25 minutes at sea level.

Removing the Jars and Cooling

Using a jar lifter, carefully lift the processed jars out of the canner and place them on a clean towel or cooling rack. Make sure to leave enough space between the jars to allow air circulation for cooling. Let the jars cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.

Checking Jar Seals

Listening for the Pop

After the jars have cooled, you can check if they have sealed properly. Gently press the center of each lid. If it is firm and does not flex, it indicates a successful seal. A popping sound upon opening the jar is also a good sign that the seal is intact.

Pressing on the Lid

Another way to check the seal is to press on the lid’s center. If it does not move or make a clicking noise, the seal is secure. However, if the lid flexes up and down when pressed, it indicates the jar did not seal properly.

Inspecting for Leakage

Lastly, visually inspect the jars for any signs of leakage. A properly sealed jar should not have any liquid seeping out from under the lid or along the sides. If you notice any leakage, refrigerate the jar and consume the peaches within a few days.

Storing and Labeling

Removing the Bands

Once you have confirmed that the jars are sealed, remove the bands from the jars. This step prevents rusting of the bands and allows you to identify any jars that did not seal correctly.

Cleaning the Jars

Wipe the jars clean with a damp cloth to remove any residue or stickiness. Dry them thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Labeling the Jars

Label each jar with the contents and the date of canning. This ensures you know what’s inside and helps you keep track of how long the peaches have been stored. A permanent marker is ideal for labeling, as it will not smudge or fade over time.

Enjoying the Canned Peaches

Storing the Jars in a Cool, Dark Place

To maintain the quality of your canned peaches, store the jars in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cellar. The ideal storage temperature is around 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing the jars to direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, or moisture.

Using the Canned Peaches in Recipes

Canned peaches can be used in a variety of recipes, including desserts, smoothies, salads, and even savory dishes. They add a burst of flavor and sweetness to any dish, making them a versatile pantry staple.

Sharing with Family and Friends

Homemade canned peaches make wonderful gifts for family and friends. Share the taste of summer with loved ones by giving them jars of your homemade goodness. They will appreciate the time and effort you put into preserving this delicious fruit.

Replenishing and Canning More Peaches

Once you’ve tasted the satisfaction of canning peaches, chances are you’ll want to do it again. Explore different varieties of peaches, experiment with new syrup flavors, and expand your canning skills. Canning is a way to enjoy the harvest season and the flavor of fresh, perfectly preserved peaches throughout the year.

Tips and Tricks

Using Lemon Juice to Prevent Browning

Peaches tend to brown when exposed to air. To prevent this, add lemon juice to the water you use for blanching the peaches. The acidity in the lemon juice helps maintain the peaches’ natural color during the canning process.

Testing Peaches for Ripeness

When selecting peaches for canning, gently squeeze them to feel for slight softness. The peaches should give slightly under gentle pressure without being mushy. A sweet aroma is also a good indicator of ripeness.

Variations of Syrup Flavors

Get creative with the syrup flavors by adding spices, such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, or star anise. You can infuse the syrup with different flavors to give your canned peaches a unique twist.

Proper Storage Times

Canned peaches can be stored for up to 12 to 18 months. However, for the best quality, consume them within the first year. Be sure to check the lids for any signs of compromised seals before consuming the peaches.


Congratulations on learning how to can peaches! This step-by-step guide has equipped you with the knowledge and confidence to preserve your own delicious peaches. Enjoy the taste of summer all year round by canning peaches and explore the various ways you can use them in your favorite recipes. Share the joy of homemade canned peaches with family and friends, and don’t forget to label and date your jars for easy tracking. Happy canning!

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