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The Best Way to Can Peaches

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The best way to can peaches is with a friend.

Every year my dear friend Kate and I get together to can peaches and then wonderful applesauce later in the Fall.   And in the case of canning, two is definitely better than one.  We have so much fun together that it hardly even seems like work.

Kate is a riot to be around.  She is smart, lively and very funny.  One of the things I love most about Kate is, in the almost 7 years since I’ve known her, I have never heard her say a bad word about anyone.  Isn’t that amazing.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love hanging out with her so much.

Today we were canning Harmony Peaches:

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We love to can this variety because of their rosy glow.  They are also a free stone peach which is a must for canning.  And they have great flavor and hold up beautifully in a can.

1.  We start by putting our jars and rings into a dishwasher on the sterilize setting.  If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can easily place your jars in your boiling water canner and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes.  We leave them in the dishwasher until we’re ready to use them… because you want them to be hot.

2.  Place the lids in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer, but don’t boil.

3.  Wash your peaches by rinsing in a colander.

4.  Place them into a pot of boiling water and blanch for 30 to 60 seconds.

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5.  After blanching, place them into a ice water bath to keep them from cooking.

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6.  Then the skins just slip right off.  No need to even use a knife.  If they don’t slip off, you may need to put them back in the boiling water for 30 more seconds.  If they still don’t slip, your peaches might not be ripe.  Put a ripe banana in the box and check them the next day.  The banana usually does the trick and the peaches ripen right up.

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5.  Kate and I both like to quarter our peaches.  It makes it easier to serve to the kids, and you can fill more peaches in the bottles than when you half them.  Kate is pitting and quartering the peaches here and… ikes my photo is blurry.  At this point you can use Fruit Fresh or lemon juice to keep your peaches from browning, but we never do.  We just work fast.

Here’s where I slacked off on taking pictures…. I was too engrossed with a story Kate was telling… or maybe I was telling… or my hands were too sticky to pick up the camera.  I will make sure I get the photos next time!

6.  Make a syrup.  Kate and I like a light syrup… because we’re pretty sure our kids get enough sugar from other places. We use 9 cups water to 2 1/2 cups sugar.  Bring it to a boil in a medium saucepan.

7.  We use a cold pack method… Put your quartered peaches face down in your hot and sterilized bottles.  By face down, I mean the pit side down.  We pack our bottles with peaches just to the line of the lip of the bottle (the end of the curve at the top.)  It’s good to pack them fairly tight… without squishing them, so they aren’t as likely to float.

8.  Now carefully pour your hot syrup into the bottles until your peaches are covered.  Leave a 1/2 inch of space at the top of the bottle… no more, no less.  You sometimes have to adjust here by adding or taking out a peach to reach the 1/2 inch mark.

9.  Using a butter knife, slide it down each side of the bottle to remove any air bubbles.

10.  Now use a clean damp cloth and wipe around the rim of your bottle.

11.  Place your lid centered on the bottle and screw on the ring.  I screw it finger tight.  You don’t want to over tighten the lid.  (I don’t know why, but I’m sure there is a good reason.)

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12.  Now place your bottles into the rack of the canner.  Place every other bottle across from each other so you don’t tip the rack over.  The water in your canner can be pretty warm, but not at a boil when you put your cans in, or you’ll break a can.  I fill my canner about half full of water.  Then I keep a another pan of hot water on hand to pour in if needed.  You want your jars covered with about an inch of water.  Now turn your burner up to the highest heat.

13.  You don’t start timing them until the water reaches a vigorous boil.  That’s the other nice thing about canning with a friend:  There are two people to watch when the pot starts boiling instead of one.  In my case that is a serious advantage, as I would forget my head if it weren’t attached. Because we are at high altitude and because we can our peaches the raw pack method… we process quarts for 40 minutes.  Once you have started timing you can turn the heat down a bit to maintain a gentle boil during processing.

14.  The other wonderful thing about canning with a friend… the cleanup goes twice as fast.

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15.  Once your jars have processed, carefully remove them from your canner and place them on a dishtowel to cool.  You should have about an inch in-between jars, but it doesn’t look like we followed that rule!  Oh well, nothing is better than seeing all those jars in a row.  We leave them on the counter until the next day.  After 24 hours, make sure to unscrew the rims and check the seals… the lids should be concave and should not flex up and down if the center is pressed.  If you have a jar that didn’t seal, put it in the refrigerator and eat them.  Because we have very hard water, we have to clean the jars off before putting them in your pantry.

So even though this was a crazy busy week for me, canning with Kate was so fun…  I can’t wait for our Jonathan apples to come on and then it’s time to make the most delicious applesauce around.

We canned two bushel boxes of peaches and ended up with 24 quarts.  That’s twelve quarts each…  and we saved a few peaches out of the box to make peach pie.



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118 Responses to “The Best Way to Can Peaches”

  • Thanks for the info! I was just preparing to can mine today and thought I should check online, as I needed a reminder on processing times and syrup proportions ( I, too, use a light syrup and cold pack mine)

  • Sounds great. Thank You. How long did it take the two of you working?

    • We started working at 9:00 am and finished just in time for lunch at about 12:30 and that was for 2 bushel boxes that made 24 quarts… (with peaches left over for pies.) Their were still peaches in the canner at 12:30, but everything else was cleaned up and done.

  • I’m sooo not a fan of canning. LOL But the apron is adorable!

  • AAHHH!!! Horrible flashbacks from when I was a kid!!! LOL I love canned peaches, but after that summer, it was years before I touched another peach, canned or fresh. But I’m glad that ppl still have the patience to do it, just wish I did :)

  • Melanie:

    I know an even easier way/less messy way for syrup.Place 1/3 cup sugar in each steralized quart jar fill a little less than half ful with boiling water stir to dissolve fill with peaches add more water if needed and seal.

  • Thanks for sharing! Unfortunately this year I donated all my peaches to the birds!

  • Camillia:

    Thanks for the canning times! I had completely forgotten. I also cold pack mine and instead of syrup I just put a tablespoon or so of honey on top of the packed peaches and fill to the line with boiling water…. yummmm.

    • Wyn:

      Thanks for that Camilla, it sounds too easy! Do you still have to put the jars in the water bath as well?
      Regards
      Wyn

      • Wyndy:

        Yes, you still need to process them in a water bath canner for the appropriate length of time based on your altitude. You can obtain safe canning practices from your local county or state extension office. Anything canned without using a water bath or pressure canning method is not safe.

    • trish:

      I do that with sugar put in 1 1/2 tbsp. and fill with hot boiled water from the kettle. Did two batches last night. Next am going to try the honey and then organic brown sugar. I might try some other organic sugar alternatives like coconut sugar etc… See how it goes. Also froze some cut up peaches in two cup portions for jam later.

  • Zee:

    I am a new canner. I canned 80 jars of mostly blackberry jam this summer (some strawberry). Can you please tell me what “cold packing” is and why it’s controversal? What other method can be used?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Zee, Wow, it sounds like you are off to a great start! Cold packing is when you don’t heat the peaches before packing them in the jars. If you heat pack, you make your syrup and then heat your peaches in the syrup, then pour hot into your cans. I’m not sure why it is preferred, but I think it has something to do with expansion during the processing. As long as you left about a 1/2 inch of space at the top of your jar when you cold pack… you shouldn’t have any problems. Most canners I know still cold pack because it is really easy. All the best and happy canning.

  • Amanda:

    So, once you put them into the canner they are there for 40 minutes? Or is it 40 minutes from the time the water starts boiling after you put them in? I’m a greenhorn on the whole canning thing, actually haven’t started yet. I will be collecting my canning supplies over the winter so I can start in on it next summer.

    • Hi Amanda, Here’s just a quick run down on using a boiling water canner. Fill your canner half full of water. Put the bottles into the canner making sure the water is warm but not boiling… or you can break a bottle. Add more water if needed to make sure your bottles have 1 inch of water covering them. Start timing only when your water comes to a vigorous boil. Collecting your canning supplies throughout the year is a great idea. Keep an eye out for used equipment from garage sales or thrift stores. I wish you luck. Cheers, Calli

      • Shanna:

        Hi there.. I don’t have a canner can I just put my jars in a stock pot as long as they are covered?? Will it hurt anything them being right on the bottom of the pot?
        Is there anything wrong with storing them in the refridgerator just in case I don’t get a good seal? And what is the shelf life of peaches stored in the refridgerator? Thanks so much this is my first time canning and I did some peach jam but we have so many peaches left. And then Apples that need to be done today or tomorrow too…

        • You need a rack on the bottom of your pot to prevent the jars from breaking. Without a rack, they can rattle around.

          • Candace:

            You can use spare canning rings in the bottom of a regular kitchen pot that is tall enough and has a lid.

        • Lindsay:

          Before I had a canner I used a large stock pot and just put a dish rag on the bottom of the pot. Once you put the jars in you just have to finagle them on top of the rag so it doesn’t float up. It helped to keep the jars from clanging together and didn’t leave those little white rings on the bottom of my pot!

  • Amanda:

    Thanks, Calli! You cleared that up for me!

  • Kim:

    I am going to can peaches this week! I have done the syrup in the past and got some super ripe peaches this year to make a peach puree to can the peaches in. Do you think this would work? Have you ever done this, or known anyone who has?

    • Kim, you can use fruit juice, so I assume the peach puree would work just fine. The sugar using in canning peaches is not used to prevent spoilage, but it does help the peaches to keep their flavor, color and firmness. Someone I talked with at the Utah State Extension Service said if you don’t have any sugar in the water, the sweetness sort of leaches out of the peaches into the water, leaving the peaches less sweet than when you bottled them. That said, fruit juice works for a more natural approach to canning, so I assume the peach puree would work as well. I would just bring the puree to a boil, just like you do the syrup and pour over the cold packed peaches. If it’s too thick, I would dilute it with a simple syrup or with fruit juice. I wish you luck! cheers, Calli

  • Anna:

    The picture with the peeled peaches all glossy and rosy is simply divine! I’m going to the farmer’s market tomorrow morning and I’m definitely going to try out your canning recipe. I just wish I had more foodie friends to keep me company, but unfortunately mine are only interested in the eating part :D

  • Amanda:

    I have another question that my husband raised: for the simple syrup, could we use Splenda instead of sugar?

  • Amanda D:

    How would I use fruit juice in place of sugar? Do I need to boil it, or keep it at room temp?

  • Andrea:

    Tip for hard water: Add a couple Tablespoons to your water when you process them. It will help break down the minerals, and your bottles come out much cleaner!

    • Melinda:

      Andrea,
      Tablespoons of what? I know this article is a couple years old, but a friend of mine just sent it to me and I’m going to try it! We have hard water so I was curious what to add to the boiling water in the processing part. Thanks!

      • Calli:

        Hi Melinda, I’m almost certain she meant to say white vinegar.

        I’ll add it to the water when processing apple sauce next week and let you know if it helps. cheers, Calli

  • [...] more specific instructions, syrup recipes and cook times, click here [...]

  • Terrry Schnept:

    Have you ever used a steam canner instead of a water bath canner. I have one and hope that you can give me some advice.

    • Hi Terry, I used to use a steam canner (inherited from my mother) for my peaches and it worked just fine. The processing times are exactly the same for both steam and boiling water canners. Just be sure to have enough water in the canner for the longer processing time required for peaches. Only start timing when you have a full 8 to 10 inches of steam coming out of the canner. Once I had that high steam, I did turn down my heat a touch otherwise my canner really splattered a lot…

      I switched to a boiling water canner because it’s generally considered safer and more effective. I still use my steam canner for small batches of jams, jellies or syrups. You can safely use your steam canner for peaches, applesauce, jams, jellys, and syrups (basically the high acid foods.) Here is an article from my local extension service that gives you step by step instructions about using a steam canner http://extension.usu.edu/htm/faq/faq_q=219 all the best, Calli

  • Eugenia W:

    If I want to use Fruit Fresh or lemon to avoid darkening fruit, what’s the procedure? Thanks for the great instructions.

    • Hi Eugenia, Working in batches with your peaches, peel them, half them and remove the pit. Then quarter or slice them as desired. Once you have a bowl full, simply sprinkle the fruit fresh evenly over the bowl or pour 1/4 cup lemon juice evenly. Stir it gently to make sure the peaches have been coated. I used fruit fresh when I was canning peaches alone and not able to keep things moving as quickly. Good luck with your peaches, Calli

  • I am VERY new to canning and have heard hot pack is the way to go to prevent the fruit from discoloring. Do you have a problem with that using cold pack? Cold Pack sounds so much easier!!! Also, do you use anything to keep them from turing brown? Lemon Juice/Fruit Fresh? My kids won’t eat brown peaches… Glad I found your site… THANKS!

  • Terrry Schnept:

    I have a question, Do you know why some of my bottles of peaches, after they have been processed, have lost so much syrup. I have some jars that the liquid is now at least an inch below the rings of the bottle, thus the fruit is not covered at the top of the bottle. I thought that they were all prepared the same with the same syrup and amount of peaches. Even in the same processing batch some of the bottles just seemed to ooze out at lot of the syrup. Have you ever had this happen?

    • There are two possibilities that might have cause the water to escape. The first is that you may have overfilled your jars. If the jars are too full, the peaches expand while processing and cause the peaches to push against the lid and the liquid escapes. The other problem can happen if you let the water in the canner to go below the lids. Be sure to check your jars during processing to make sure there is enough water over the jars. I always keep a pot of hot or boiling on hand to pour into the canner if needed.

      Most of the time it is from overfilling the jars. I had that problem several years ago and asked around. Now I am very careful about the fullness of my jars and I haven’t had trouble since. I wish you good luck and all the best, Calli

      • Hello Calli! I just found your website today and have been loving it! I love the pictures and information that you have. Just beautiful! I recently took an extensive canning course with the extension service here in Utah and am really happy to see how often you refer questions and direct people to them. The extension service is an amazing resource for correct and safe canning practices!

        I know that this is an old post but thought that I would comment as I learned something from this class that changed my peach canning little life! lol! Regarding the loss of liquid inside the jars, something that isn’t in the canning books but that changed the way I can my peaches (and everything else, really), is how vigorously I let the water boil in my canner. When you lose liquid from your jars… that is called syphoning. If you think about it this way… whatever is happening to the liquid in your canner, the same thing is happening to the liquid in your jars. Food processed in the water bath canner needs temperatures of 212 degrees to kill any yeasts or molds that could grow. Water boils at 212 degrees. A raging boil doesn’t get any “hotter” then a good old regular boil if that makes sense? If the water in your canner is boiling vigorously, you can adjust the temperature on your stove a bit so that it is still boiling, but gentler. This… and also leaving your jars in the canner for 5 minutes after you’ve turned off the stove to let the liquids “temper” a bit (as well as the other tips you included…!) will help reduce the syphoning from happening when you pull your jars out.

        Like I said, it’s not in the books… but has changed the quality of product I have been getting since I learned this tip!

        Since we’re in full harvest here… happy canning Calli!

  • CindyT:

    Great info! Love the photos. I wish I had a friend to can peaches with me. I usually can a box or two because my family loves them and DI love my family. At $25.99/box, it’s no bargain, but it’s for love :)
    I found your blog while looking for the answer to Terry’s question: why does juice sometimes escape from the jars? I see it happen occassionally when I pull them out of the water after the required boiling time (30 min here in the lowlands). The juice inside the jar suddenly begins boiling and escapes from under the lid.
    I think, maybe, it happens more often when I pull the jars out immedately after turing off the stove. Next time I will give them 5 minutes in the water after turning off the heat before pulling them out, to see if that prevents juice from boiling out..
    Anybody else notice that happening? Am I on the right track?

    • Cindy, I answered Terry’s question so check out the response. Thanks for your encouraging words. Ouch on the price of peaches! We pay no more than $16 a bushel box where I live. But they do grow peaches right in my neighborhood. For the 12 quarts we get out of the box it’s still a pretty good bargain. I usually do pull my jars out right after I turn off the heat and haven’t had trouble with leakage. cheers, Calli

  • Terrry Schnept:

    Thanks, I think that is probably the problem, we were over crowding the fruit. I really appreciate your site and the help that you give others. You are great!

    • CindyT:

      Thanks for the ideas about why the juice sometimes boils out. Yes, I could be guilty of overcrowdidng the fruit. Another thing I found when hunting up info is that air bubbles can cause trouble, too. I will be more diligent about removing trapped air and making sure the water depth over the jars is maintained. I just hate to see that lovely peach juice escaping!

  • susie willetss:

    I got this recipe from my daughter and have canned 2doz. quarts of peaches. However, I am worried that I did not do it right and I have given some of these away. I don’t want anyone to get sick. Please let me know if I have any thing to worry about. I blanched and cut up the peaches fine, then put them into a light hot syrup for no more than a minute. I heated the RINGS not the lids and put them on and then turned them upside down on a towel. They all sealed except 2 and I put them in the frig. What do you think?

    • This is called Inversion canning and the instructions used to be included with pectins for making jams and jellies. I have used it several times but once they stopped including the instructions with the pectin I went online to find out why. Apparently it is not considered a safe method anymore. Its too bad because it is SOOO easy.

  • susie willetss:

    I just wanted to clarify something. I only put the 2 that didn’t seal in the frig. Someone told me that my peaches were raw. Is this bad? They taste good.

    • CindyT:

      Susie, you don’t mention the step where you submerge the jars in water and boil for 30 minutes.* I think that part is essential to kill the microorganisms that will cause the fruit to spoil. Just because the jars sealed does not mean that they are safe.
      Now what? I don’t know. I do know that when I messed up the timing for processing a batch of peaches and couldn’t say absolutely that they were boiled the full 30 minutes, I re-processed those jars for the full time. Yes, I put on new lids and boiled them in the water bath again just to be sure. I’d rather risk mushy peaches than make somebody ill.

      *30 miluntes is the proper length of time for the altitude where I live. You’rs may be different.

  • Ferrin:

    I think that this is great. If I wanted to make Pint jars of peaches how long would I cann them for? Would it be the same amount of time or less.

    • The processing time is shorter for pint jars and it varies depending on your altitude. For Pint Jars the processing times are 0- 1000 ft process for 25 minutes, 1000-3000 for 30 minutes, 3000-6000 for 35 minutes, and above 6000 for 40 minutes. Make sure to start timing only after you have reached a vigorous boil. These times are for the raw pack method like I show in the tutorial. If you are not sure of your altitude you can usually google your hometown to find out, or can call your local state extension service. The link is in my post. I wish you the best of luck. cheers, Calli

  • We had a regular peach canning event at our house this year! The time passed so quickly with so many people around.

  • Amz:

    I know Peach season is long gone, but I am so inspired by your post that I want to be prepared for next year….my question is, where do you buy your peaches for canning (at $16/bushel)? Also your yummy Jonathon apples for applesauce? I gather you are in Utah? If so, could you please share you favorite place?

    • I buy from S & R Fruit in Alpine Utah. They are at the Murray Farmer’s Market all summer and fall. Or you can go right to their warehouse behind their home in Alpine. They always have the nicest quality fruit at really reasonable prices. All the best, Calli

  • Tianne:

    Thanks! I couldn’t find my canning book and this is exactly the information I needed to take care of a box of peaches. It worked out perfectly! Grateful your posting was available!

  • KH:

    I recently canned peaches for the first time and noticed that some of the jars have a lot of air bubbles at the top. However, they all sealed properly. Is this ok? I also only used water and 1/2 the amount apple juice the recipe called for. By fiddling with the liquid, did I put myself in danger of bacteria?

    • Calli:

      I have never used apple juice in place of sugar in canning peaches, but it is my understanding that the sugar is NOT important in keeping your peaches safe from bacteria. I have been told by the extension service that the sugar is for flavor only. To make sure your canning is safe, you need to following proper canning techniques, and process your cans for the proper length of time, and have a proper seal. As for the bubbles in your jar, I would contact your local state extension service and ask one of their knowledgeable experts. My guess is that the bubbles do have something to do with the apple juice, but whether it is unsafe, I am not sure. Here’s link to tracking down your extension service number http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/ Good luck!

  • Jessica:

    I just canned some peaches and I used instructions that I got from another blog and she said to put the peeled sliced peaches in the jar, add 1/4 c. sugar, and fill with tap water to 1/2 inch from the top. I didn’t boil the syrup just the jars for steriliztion. Now that I have been looking online it looks as though everyone boils their syrup. Do you think this will be a problem for me?

    • Calli:

      I would contact your local state extension service to see. My guess is that your peaches will be OK, as long as you followed the processing times correctly, timing when the water is at a full boil, and keeping the boil for the full processing time. But, since botulism is nothing to sneeze at, I would check with the experts. Here’s the link to the find your local service http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/ Good luck, I’ll cross my fingers for you!

  • Tammy:

    Fantastic post – gosh I miss my mom’s canned peaches!
    I have a question about canning apples, not peaches. Hope you can help. Tonight my daughter and I canned apple pie filling for the first time. When we took the first few out of the boiling water a good amount of juice oozed out. We left the others in the water to cool a bit and then pulled them with no oozing. The “oozers” now appear to be sealed – the lid is tight and there’s no give when I push on them. Are they safe? I’ve always canned jams and jellies and have never had this happen before.
    Thanks for any help you can offer!

    • Calli:

      Tammy, I have had that happen with applesauce. It can happen with thicker fruits. Mark those cans and use them first. The worry is that the seal could break over time because it might have little bits of stuff under the seal. The good news is, you should be fine. When apples go bad, they are clearly bad and fermented and you will know not to use them. In all likelihood they will stay sealed and be delicious. I wish I would have put up apple pie filling this year. Maybe there is still time! All the best, Calli

  • White:

    I know this comes really late, but I noticed you commenting about your hard water, and having to “clean” the jars before putting away. Somebody above addressed that concern, but a crucial point was accidentally left out:
    “…Andrea:
    September 16, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    Tip for hard water: Add a couple Tablespoons to your water when you process them. It will help break down the minerals, and your bottles come out much cleaner!…”

    The missing part is a couple of Tablespoons of “what”!?! Answer: plain ol’ vinegar. I just pour a good glug, by eye. When storing away, you might want to give a quick wipe to the lids with a damp cloth/paper towel, but the glass jars themselves are fine as-is. Much less hassle, and prettier display of your treasure!!

  • Mimi:

    Love these directions—just like I used to. I haven’t canned peaches in a few years and needed a refresher course. Thanks. One hint: After you take the jars out of the canner, cover them well in a couple of dish towels. If they catch a draft, the jars will crack. Here in NC in the summer our AC runs all the time so this is important steps.

  • With your information I know that my georgia peaches will be perfect. Thanks so much

  • This is the first time that I have wanted to can here in S.C. but these georgia peaches were too much to resist. We will enjoy them so much this winter. My canning books are in Ohio so I found your site answered all my questions Thank you so much. Judy

  • Jensine:

    I am canning peaches right now, but I was wondering how you made your applesauce. My husband works in produce and brings large quantities of peaches and apples home, so canning is the only way I can put them to good use without going to waste. So I would love to know how you do your applesauce. Thanks Jen

  • Jeff:

    I did find this helpful, but for someone who has never canned peaches or anything in that matte. It would be more helpful if you talked about a way to pit a peeled peach. mine seem to not want to give up that pit. got kind of messy.

    • Beti:

      Jeff, are you sure you have freestone peaches? They are the best kind for canning and the sections of peach usually just pop right off the pit. Some freestone varieties are Suncrest, Veteran, Elberta and Red Haven.

    • Calli:

      Yes, I agree with Beti. If your peaches are hard to pit, you are not using a variety that is freestone, and thus good for home canning. If your peaches are hard to peel, they are probably not quite ripe. Put a banana in the box and try again tomorrow. If the peaches are perfectly ripe, they are firm, but the skins slip right off, without much work. To find a good variety for canning in your area, you can do a Google search, but I think the best way is to go the farmer’s market and ask the growers which varieties they recommend.

  • Heather:

    Most of my peaches came out perfect, but in 2 jars some fruit has floated up and is partly exposed inbetween the top of the liquid and the lid. is this okay? I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t get all of the trapped air out when packing?

  • Amber Lessa:

    I agree, the best way to can peaches is with a friend. I did for the first time with my best friend, and although we didn’t work quite fast enough to forgo some lemon juice on top as we sliced, we were successful, and made some really great peaches, and terrific memories.
    We also used a recipe from another website for Peach Honey. Oh man! That worked out well!!! My husband told me we couldn’t possibly have made honey (since we’re not bees), but I told him- I AM A BEE BABE! TASTE! And when he did, he reluctantly admitted victory.
    I love your blog, recipes, and advice. So happy to have stumbled upon it.

  • Jessica:

    Hi. We (3 sisters and my husband) just bottled 2 bushels of peaches. Great fun. A concern though- A number of the bottles lost liquid. Some up to several inches. I have never had this happen in all the years I have bottled peaches. Processed them the same as always. Any thoughts?
    The lids appeared to have sealed as they are concave and don’t move up and down when pushed on but am wondering if the peaches are truly processed and the bottles are sealed. Any thoughts on this?
    Love your blog, recipes and advice.

    • Calli:

      Jessica, I have had my bottles loose a little liquid. I think it happened to me when I’ve kept my canner at too vigorous a boil during the processing period. When it happened, I put those jars to the front of my pantry and used them up first and quickly. I’ve not had them loose that much liquid however. I would HIGHLY recommend calling your local State Extension service. They are my “go to” resource for whenever I am in doubt about the safety of my cans.

  • Deb:

    I slice my peaches and put them into bags before i start canning them therefor i get alot of peach juice so should i drain them before putting them into jars?

  • Jan:

    I am packing up my house and we are moving. I discovered a bunch of canning jars from many years ago when we lived in Oregon where I canned peaches. I guess I saved them all these years for a reason. We are moving back to the PNW and will get to can some of those yummy fresh-off-the-tree peaches again!
    I did a search online for canning peaches and low and behold your blog pops up….which I have followed quite regularly for about the last year.
    Guess I should have just come here first :-)
    Thanks for the info. I will be trying this next summer!

  • Tina:

    I canned freestone peaches about 2 months ago just as you described. I opened a jar tonight and it had a funny taste and smell to it. I opened another jar with the same results. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi there. We canned peaches as well this year and the smell and taste we have seems to be like the glue smell from the lids? Is this what you experienced as well and does anybody out there know about this?
      Thanks,
      Zoe

  • Brian Miller:

    I Planted a peach tree in 2010. I am totally new to canning (with the exception as a child i watched my PA dutch relatives can nearly everything.) I am very hopeful my peaches are good this year as my tree is loaded,However starting to get spots. I remember how good canned peaches were. I was simply searching to find out how to can them at harvest. I particularly liked your story, and those pics of canned peaches bring back great memories. I’m A 44 year old dude who likes to try experimenting with anything from gardens to ham radio , solar projects … Gonna try pickles this weekend! Thanks for the advice!!!

    • Sandy K:

      Brian, I hope your pickles turned out for you. Every once in awhile I do the bread and butter pickles and some peach jam and reg peaches, tho I prefer sliced and do them in either pint or 1/2 pint jars. (only 2 of us)

      This is a great site to refresh your memory on things. I just did 7 1/2 pits of peach cranberry jam and I hope it sets OK. :)

    • Brian Miller:

      Thank you Sandy K Yes they did. We used Mrs Wages mix from the store. Not exactly original but everyone loved the pickles. It was a great family project. We canned appx. 34 qts. We made some Kosher dill, Some dill , and some bread and butter. I threw some jalapino peppers in a few jars. Everyone love our pickles! One tip I heard (And followed) I used Heinz vinegar. For some reason other brands do not give the greatest results. Next year I am planning to make the bread and butter pickles from a recipe from my PA dutch relatives. I remember them to have finely sliced onions and a few whole cloves. They were the best!!!! Mrs wages makes great pickles!!

  • Jamie:

    I just finished canning peach jam and I left out lemon juice.
    Should I throw it away?

    • Calli:

      Hi Jamie, Typically when you leave an ingredient out of jam, it won’t set up. But that isn’t my biggest concern, lemon juice is often added to increase the acidity and make your canned goods safe from bacteria. You don’t need acid for canned peaches, but to be safe I would definitely contact your local state extension service and ask the professionals. They can tell you whether to toss it or not. Here is the link to find the number for your local service: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

  • Erica:

    how many pounds is a bushel? the farmers market we go to sell them in 30lb boxes (for $30). Would this effect the amout of syrup to make since apparently bushels in MD are different then in other places LOL. Thanks for any info!

    • Penny:

      Everywhere I buy my fruit in CO for canning – peaches, apricots, cherries, apples, tomatoes – they’re sold by the case in pounds (weight varies by type of fruit). Haven’t seen a bushel measure since buying some fruit in Arkansas on a road trip in 1980-something.

      I came across this blog in the middle of canning some cherries. The first batch (the brandied ones, boo-hoo) lost about half their liquid into the towel on the counter after I took them out of the canner. I read Calli’s suggestions and for the 2nd batch lowered the boiling vigorousness (sorry, can’t think of a better word) of the canner and left the jars in for a good 5 minutes after the processing time was completed. Result – no lost liquid. Thank you Calli!
      I’ll reprocess the first batch of jars with new lids (and more brandy/juice) in the morning. The cherries will be softer but they’ll be safe.
      Also: I’ve always canned my peaches (and now cherries) with juice and it works just fine. I did some with a peach nectar/apple juice mix last year and they turned out great. I’ve always done peach halves but like Calli’s idea of quarters. My daughter always uses cold pack while I use hot pack, so after seeing how Calli’s turned out I think I’ll give cold pack a try.

  • Penny:

    Oops – I just reread the posts above and JESSICA is the one who was suggesting the changes I made to my method. Thank you Jessica!
    Per Calli, I did also double-check my air removal techniques and always use the little stepped gauge on the end of the air bubble removal tool to make sure the head space is correct.

  • Kathy:

    I just canned three lugs of peaches in the past two weeks. Fortunately, I found your site and it was so helpful! It’s my first time to can peaches. First batch came out fine except the peaches floated to the top. I checked with the grower and hers floated too. The next batch not so great. I packed more peaches in the jar, and they still floated. Leaked some juice, and now the peaches on top seem to have dried a little and discolored. The seals don’t move at all, they don’t invert or anything, but the more I read the more afraid that they might be bad. How do I know?

  • Laura Evans:

    Thank you for the recipe. Followed it to a “t”. While washing the jars to store I noticed bubbles. Thought I had n ar spaces during process. What do you think? Sincerely Laura

    • Calli:

      Hi Laura, Sometimes bubbles do form because the syrup boils in the jars while processing. As long as you have a good seal on your jars, they should be fine. The nice thing about canned peaches is that it is pretty obvious if they’ve gone bad. If you are ever concerned, I always recommend contacting your local state extension service for advice. They are up to date on all the latest research.

  • Pam Steifer:

    I’m going to give your recipe a try. I’m heading over shortly to pickup 50lbs of Georgia peaches to can. Yesterday I made 19 jars of the best Jalapeno Jelly ever. Not that green colored stuff.

  • Martha Creedon:

    Excellent post – thanks so much! Today we canned 7 qts from our tree. About 8 peaches per quart, for syrup we used 1.25 c sugar, 5.5c water plus the juice from peeling and slicing. One jar has unpeeled peaches as an experiment. I’ll try to remember to report back on that. They look fabulous!

  • Lindsay:

    Thanks for the info. It was so easy to follow. This is my first time canning peaches. I got 10 lbs (I don’t know what a bushel is) from the co-op I’ve been doing. They are boiling right now! So excited that my family and I get to eat these in the winter.

  • Doris:

    I just canned my first 1/2 peck of peaches from your blog, Calli! Thank you for your expertise and inspiration. I also found help with syrup types and (acidic acid bath for preserving color while skinning the rest of my peaches)from Mother Earth New with the USDA!

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-can-peaches-zecz11zsmi.aspx

  • Freddie:

    Just wondering if the peaches is still crisp after 40min cooking? Can i shorten the 40min cooking period to get a firmer peach?

    • Calli:

      Hi Freddie, You need to check on the proper processing time for where you live. I live at a higher altitude, so 40 minutes is how much time that is needed to insure that my peaches are safe from bacteria and properly sealed. The peaches are soft, but not mushy, and are totally yummy.

  • Freddie:

    Thanks for the response Calli. I dont know how or where to check for local processing time. I live at sea level. Can you perhaps help me with a cooking time or should i stick to 40min?

  • Rae:

    Do you have a recipe to make a peach pie from canned peaches? If so, please share. Your recipes sounds so delicious. I added your website to my favorites. :)

  • Cathy:

    Not fond of canning peaches, but sure do love them in February when the snow is blowing!

    If you add about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the processing pot, your jars won’t have as much of the hard water deposit on them.

  • I’m looking for a recipe to can apples to make apples pies.

  • Juli:

    I have canned peaches using apple juice before…also added a knob of ginger for a little extra zing.. worked well The acid in the apple juice also keeps the peaches from going brown.

  • Andreas:

    Great recipe. You asked why the rings aren’t put on really tight before processing. On one of the govt USDA sites it mentioned that air bubbles left in the jams can escape in the timeframe before the lid frms the vacuum. Ymmv.

  • peggy kolesar:

    Gave this a try today..some of the peaches peeled real easy or some of the peach peeled real easy..they didn’t turn out a pretty yellow..maybe it was the variety of peach? I’m glad I only did a few pints..

    • Hi Peggy, The variety of peach makes a big difference in the color of the canned peaches. I love Harmony peaches for their rosy glow. Try calling your local state extension service for advice on best varieties in your area. Good luck!

  • Blanche:

    Hi Calli, Thank you so much for your unstructions I haven’t canned peaches in a long time and I need a review. My mother inlaw taught me to make jelly from the skins and the pits. It makes a beautiful Jelly.

  • Blanche:

    instructions sorry for the mistake

  • Anna:

    This will be my first time canning peaches but when I have done other fruits I use a pineapple juice soak to keep my fruit from browning. This has worked great for me with apples and pears.

    I have about 80# of peaches in my walk in cooler waiting to be done. Hopefully they can wait until the heat advisories expire on Monday…

  • Beth:

    My Mom and us girls used to can between 60 and 75 quarts of peaches every year. The ONLY method she ever used was to fill each jar half full of halved or quartered peaches, put 1/4 sugar and some tap water in, finish filling the jar as tight as you can without mushing the peaches and then top up with more water. Process in the hot water bath as above. Best tasting peaches ever and not much sugar. I just finished two canner loads. Yum!

  • LaBreeska:

    Great advice! Works like a charm and saves so much time and peach pulp. Just finished my peaches. Saved the peels and pits and excited to make jelly with that! Happy canning!

  • Tonja:

    I am getting ready to try peaches for the first time! You said that you have to clean the jars after canning because of hard water.. add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your canner and the jars won’t get that foggy film on them!

  • Angi:

    This was great information! I watched many YouTube videos to find out how to do this, because I have NEVER done it before, and this site was the most helpful. The only thing I didn’t know, that no one mentioned, was to use wide mouth jars. Maybe I was just supposed to know that. Oh well, next time.

  • I used a pressure canner method and a couple of jars the liquid in the jars drops a couple of inches after canning. I make sure all the air bubbles are out and the liquid is 1/2 inch from the top. Its not every jar just 1 or 2 each canner load. Only the wide mouth I have this problem. What causing this?

  • Sharon:

    great canning recipe. Never canned before loved it and love the peaches. Where can I find your applesauce recipe?

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