Are you looking for a way to enjoy the taste of fresh peaches all year round? Canning peaches is a great solution! Canning allows you to preserve the taste and nutrients of fresh peaches so you can enjoy them even when they’re out of season.
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Canning peaches may seem daunting, but it’s actually a simple process that anyone can do with a little bit of guidance. By following a few easy steps, you can have jars of delicious canned peaches ready to enjoy whenever you want. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to get started, including tips for peeling peaches, making syrup, and sterilizing jars. So, get ready to stock up on fresh, juicy peaches and start canning!
Types of Peaches for Canning
When it comes to canning peaches, choosing the right type of peach is crucial. The best peaches for canning are those that are sweet, juicy, and have a firm flesh. Here are some types of peaches that are great for canning:
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Freestone vs. Clingstone Peaches
Before we dive into the different types of peaches, it’s important to understand the difference between freestone and clingstone peaches. Freestone peaches are those where the flesh easily separates from the pit, making them ideal for canning. Clingstone peaches, on the other hand, have flesh that clings to the pit, making them more difficult to work with.
Yellow-Flesh vs. White Peaches
Yellow-flesh peaches are the most common type of peach and are great for canning. They have a sweet, juicy flesh that holds up well when canned. White peaches, while less common, are also good for canning. They have a milder flavor and a softer texture, making them a good choice for those who prefer a less sweet peach.
Best Peaches for Canning
Some of the best peaches for canning include Red Haven, Cresthaven, Elberta, and Canadian Harmony. These are all freestone peaches with a firm flesh that holds up well when canned. They are also sweet and juicy, making them a great choice for canning.
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Summer peaches, also known as clingstone peaches, are generally not recommended for canning. They have a softer flesh that tends to break down when canned, resulting in a mushy texture. If you must use summer peaches for canning, be sure to choose those that are firm and not overly ripe.
When choosing peaches for canning, look for freestone peaches with a firm flesh and a sweet, juicy flavor. Yellow-flesh peaches are the most common type of peach and are great for canning, but white peaches can also be used. Avoid using summer or clingstone peaches if possible, as they tend to have a softer flesh that doesn’t hold up well when canned.
Preparation of Peaches
Before you start canning peaches, you need to prepare them properly. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Choose Ripe Peaches: Choose ripe peaches that are not too soft or too hard. They should be firm but give slightly when pressed. Overripe or underripe peaches will not can well.
- Wash the Peaches: Wash the peaches in cool water to remove any dirt or debris. You can use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the peaches if necessary.
- Remove the Pit: Cut the peach in half along the natural crease and twist the halves to separate them. Use a paring knife to remove the pit. If you want to use sliced peaches, cut each half into slices.
- Peel the Peaches: To peel the peaches, blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once they have cooled, the skins should easily peel off. If desired, you can also scrape off the dark areas where the pits were with a small spoon.
- Slice the Peaches: If you want to use sliced peaches, cut each half into slices.
It’s important to note that the preparation process can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of peaches to can. However, taking the time to properly prepare your peaches will ensure that they can well and taste great when you’re ready to enjoy them.
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Canning peaches requires a few essential tools to ensure that your canned peaches come out delicious and safe to eat. Here are the must-have items you’ll need:
Canning jars are the most crucial tool for canning peaches. They come in different sizes, but for canning peaches, you’ll need quart-sized jars. Make sure to use jars specifically designed for canning, as they are made to withstand high temperatures and pressure changes.
Canning Lids and Rings
Canning lids and rings are essential to seal the jars and prevent contamination. It’s important to use new lids for every batch of canning, as used lids may not seal correctly. Rings, on the other hand, can be reused as long as they are in good condition.
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Canning tongs are used to lift hot jars out of the boiling water. They are designed to grip the jars securely and prevent them from slipping or breaking.
A waterbath canner is a specialized pot designed for canning. It has a rack that fits inside to hold the jars and a lid to retain heat. It’s essential for canning peaches, as it ensures that the jars are heated evenly and the peaches are safely preserved.
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When it comes to canning peaches, there are two basic methods you can use: the raw pack method and the hot pack method. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll need to decide which one is right for you based on your preferences and the equipment you have available.
Raw Pack Method
The raw pack method involves packing raw, uncooked peaches into sterilized jars and then pouring hot syrup over them. This method is quicker and easier than the hot pack method, but it can result in peaches that are more likely to float to the top of the jar during processing.
To use the raw pack method, simply wash and peel your peaches, slice them in half, and remove the pits. Then, pack the peach halves into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. You can easily measure the headspace with this inexpensive canning funnel. Pour hot syrup over the peaches, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, place the lids on top, and process the jars in a boiling water bath for the recommended amount of time.
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Hot Pack Method
The hot pack method involves cooking the peaches in hot syrup before packing them into jars. This method takes longer than the raw pack method, but it can result in peaches that are less likely to float during processing.
To use the hot pack method, wash and peel your peaches, slice them in half, and remove the pits. Then, bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the peach halves for about 30 seconds. Remove the peaches from the pot and immediately plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process. In a separate pot, bring your syrup to a boil. Add the peach halves to the syrup and cook for 5 minutes. Pack the peaches into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Pour the hot syrup over the peaches, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, place the lids on top, and process the jars in a boiling water bath for the recommended amount of time.
Creating the Syrup
When it comes to canning peaches, creating the right syrup is important to ensure that your peaches stay fresh and flavorful. There are different types of syrups that you can use depending on your preference. Here are some options to consider:
A light syrup is a popular choice for canning peaches. It is made with a mixture of sugar and water and has a lower sugar content compared to other syrups. To make a light syrup, mix 2 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil. You can adjust the ratio of sugar to water based on your preference. Some people prefer using a very light syrup with only 1 cup of sugar and 5 cups of water.
If you prefer a sweeter syrup, you can make a medium syrup by mixing 3 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water. This syrup has a higher sugar content compared to a light syrup and is perfect for those who like their peaches to be sweeter.
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A heavy syrup is the sweetest of all the syrups and is made with a mixture of 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water. This syrup is perfect for those who have a sweet tooth and prefer their peaches to be very sweet.
If you prefer to use a natural sweetener, you can use honey instead of sugar to create your syrup. Mix 1 1/2 cups of honey with 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil. You can also use white grape juice as a sweetener. Simply mix 4 cups of white grape juice with 2 cups of water to create your syrup.
No matter what type of syrup you choose, make sure to bring it to a boil before using it for canning. This will help to dissolve the sugar and create a consistent syrup.
Before you start canning, it’s important to sterilize your jars. This will ensure that they are free from any bacteria or contaminants that could spoil your peaches. To sterilize your jars, wash them with warm water and dish soap. Rinse them with scalding hot water and place them in a large pot of boiling water or a dishwasher on a high heat setting. Keep the jars in the hot water until you are ready to use them.
Prepare the Peaches
To prepare the peaches, wash them thoroughly and remove any stems or leaves. Then, peel the peaches using a vegetable peeler or by blanching them in boiling water for a few minutes and then immediately placing them in ice water. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Slice the peaches if desired.
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Make the Syrup
To make the syrup, combine water and sugar in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the sugar dissolves. You can use either a light or heavy syrup (see above) depending on your preference.
Pack the Jars
To pack the jars, use a ladle to pour the hot syrup into the jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Add the peach slices to the jars, pressing them down gently to remove any air bubbles. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars and then place the lids on top.
Process the Jars
To process the jars, place them in a canner filled with boiling water. Make sure the jars are covered with at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Process the jars for 25 minutes for quarts and 20 minutes for pints.
Seal the Jars
Once the jars are done processing, remove them from the canner and let them cool on a towel or wire rack. You should hear a popping sound as the jars seal. After the jars have cooled, check the seals by pressing down on the center of the lid. If it doesn’t move, the jar is sealed. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
Canning peaches is a fun and rewarding activity that allows you to enjoy the taste of summer all year round. By following these simple steps, you can safely and easily can your own peaches at home.
Storing and Using Canned Peaches
Home-canned peaches can last up to 1 year if stored properly. Make sure the jars are properly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as mold or an off smell, discard the peaches immediately.
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Once you open a jar of canned peaches, transfer any unused portions to a covered container and store them in the refrigerator. They should last up to 1 week.
Using Canned Peaches
Canned peaches are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas:
- Top your morning oatmeal or yogurt with canned peaches for a sweet and nutritious breakfast.
- Make a peach cobbler or crisp for a delicious dessert.
- Add canned peaches to a smoothie for a fruity twist.
- Use canned peaches as a topping for ice cream or pancakes.
- Make a peach salsa to serve with grilled chicken or fish.
By following these tips, you can enjoy the taste of fresh peaches all year long. Remember to properly store your canned peaches and use them in a variety of dishes for maximum enjoyment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long do you hot water bath canned peaches?
The length of time you need to hot water bath canned peaches depends on the recipe and altitude. Generally, you should hot water bath quart jars of peaches for 25 minutes and pint jars for 20 minutes. If you live at a higher altitude, you may need to adjust the processing time.
Can I use honey instead of sugar when canning peaches?
While honey can be used as a substitute for sugar when canning peaches, it is not recommended. Honey can affect the acidity level of the peaches, which can lead to spoilage and unsafe canning. Stick to the recipe and use sugar as directed.
What is the shelf life of canned peaches?
Canned peaches can last up to 1 year if stored properly in a cool, dry place. However, it is recommended to consume them within 6-8 months for best quality. Be sure to check the jars for any signs of spoilage before consuming.
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In case you missed it:
- Types of Peaches for Canning
- Related Article: 5 Best Peach Canning Recipes
- Freestone vs. Clingstone Peaches
- Yellow-Flesh vs. White Peaches
- Best Peaches for Canning
- Summer Peaches
- Preparation of Peaches
- Canning Equipment
- Canning Jars
- Canning Lids and Rings
- Canning Tongs
- Waterbath Canner
- Canning Methods
- Raw Pack Method
- Hot Pack Method
- Creating the Syrup
- Light Syrup
- Medium Syrup
- Heavy Syrup
- Other Options
- Canning Process
- Sterilize Jars
- Prepare the Peaches
- Make the Syrup
- Pack the Jars
- Process the Jars
- Seal the Jars
- Storing and Using Canned Peaches
- Shelf Life
- Using Canned Peaches
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How long do you hot water bath canned peaches?
- Can I use honey instead of sugar when canning peaches?
- What is the shelf life of canned peaches?