How to Can Peaches
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If you have never canned before, you might want to start by canning something easy, like fresh peaches. Like learning anything new, there is a learning curve. I’ll try to help make that learning curve easy by giving you my best tips for canning peaches!
A lot of people don’t realize that there are different types of peaches. Not just different varieties of peaches, but there are actually different kinds of peaches…some that separate easily from the pits, and some that cling to the pit like crazy and won’t come off no matter how hard you try.
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Freestone vs. Clingstone Peaches
The varieties of peaches that separate from the pit easily are called freestone peaches. The kinds that cling to the pit are called clingstone peaches.
And to make things even more confusing, there is now a variety called semi-clingstone. Click here to find out all the differences between freestone and clingstone peaches.
Of course when you are canning you want to buy a freestone or semi-clingstone variety of peaches. Most of the time at orchards they will be familiar with the varieties and will be able to tell you if the peaches are good for canning.
If you are getting peaches from a neighbor or friend, chances are they will be clingstone and you won’t be able to slice them easily for canning.
Clingstone peaches, however, are great for eating and you can also use them to can peach jam or peach salsa. For those recipes, it doesn’t matter so much if you have nice pretty peach slices or not.
You will need about 18 pounds of peaches to can 7 quarts of peaches. One pound of peaches is approximately equal to 3 medium peaches.
Don’t try to prepare more than 7 quarts of peaches at a time. It is easiest to just prepare and can one canner load at a time. If you want to can less jars, just cut the syrup recipe in half.
Canning peaches is easy, but there is a little work involved. First you need to peel the peaches. You definitely don’t want to peel them with a potato peeler, there is an easier way.
How to Peel Peaches (the EASY way!)
To easily peel peaches (or tomatoes!) all you need to do is dip them in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then quickly dunk them in cold water. The peels will slide right off!
As you are slicing the peaches, you need to treat them to keep them from getting brown, as peaches will brown quickly when exposed to air. Get some Fruit Fresh or citric acid, it is a powder you can get in the canning section of the store or at Amazon.
Mix 1 tsp. of Fruit Fresh with 1 gallon of water and place the peaches in the solution until you are ready to put them in the jars.
First sterilize your canning jars, rings, and lids in the dishwasher.
Fill your boiling water canner approximately 2/3 full with water and turn it on medium heat.
To prepare the syrup, to make 7 quarts of peaches, you want to combine 8 1/4 c. water with 3 3/4 c. sugar in a large stock pot. Heat until sugar is dissolved.
Place peach slices in sterilized canning jars and fill jars with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch head space. You can easily measure the head space with this inexpensive canning funnel.
Use a damp paper towel or dish towel to wipe rims of jars and place lids and rings on jars finger tight.
Process in boiling water canner for 30 minutes.
Remove jars from boiling water canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool. After they are cool, test the seals to make sure the jars sealed after processing.
You can store the sealed jars for 1-2 years.
Canning Peaches Without Sugar
If you are wanting to can peaches sugar free, peaches have a high enough acidity level that you do not need to add sugar to the syrup to safely can the peaches.
If you are going to can your peaches without sugar, you will need to prepare them with a hot pack. This means to place the peeled, sliced peaches in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil.
Place the hot peaches into your sterilized canning jars and cover them with the hot water, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. You can easily measure the headspace with this inexpensive canning funnel.
Continue with recipe as described above.
Yield: 7 quarts
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22 Comments on "Canning Peaches"
I must say I was alittle nervous. But it was super easy to follow, Thank you so much for sharing . My husband will be so delighted this winter not to mention myself.
Is the processing time the same ifni use pint jars instead of quart jars?
Hi. I picked peaches for the first time today. They are small and I didn’t ask if they were Freestone or Clingstone. Is there a way to tell?
Hi! You will have to cut one open, then you will know right away when the peach either clings to the pit or pulls away easily. I’ve found that some peaches that claim to be good for canning really cling to the pit, which make them pretty useless for canning peach slices, but they are great for making peach jam.
I use small cling peaches all the time to can and I’ve never had a problem. I made jam last year and everyone loved it as well.
Hey, I’m curious how ripe are the peaches supposed to be?
You want them to be very ripe so that the skin will come right off. If they are squishy though they are too soft 🙂 There is a pretty short window for canning peaches. It seems like they are only perfectly ripe for a couple of days!
I don’t want the syrup on my canned peaches how would I put the peaches in the jar
Hi! Peaches have a high enough acidity level that you do not have to put sugar in the syrup. You can put the peaches in the jar with just water. You will need to prepare the peaches in a hot pack, which means to place the sliced peaches in a pan of water and bring the water to a boil. Then place the sliced peaches into the jars along with the hot water. I will add this to the instructions for other people who are wanting sugar free peaches.
If you have to much liquid in the jars after proceeding and not enough peaches but the jars are sealed , will you need to open jars, fill with more peaches from already processed jar and reprocess?
Hi! I would just leave them in the sealed jars. Peaches will often shrink and float toward the top when you can them.
I want to can peaches but I’m diabetic. What ratio do I use to use very little sugar but still have great peaches?
Hi! You actually don’t have to put any sugar in your peaches. The sugar is not used as a preservative in this recipe, it just adds flavor. However, sugar does help keep the color and texture of the peaches close to the original quality. You can also cut down the amount of sugar instead if you like, maybe try half the sugar the recipe calls for. You can’t always change the ingredients in canning recipes, but in this recipe it is okay.
If I don’t have a canner pot can I use any pot with a lid?
Hi Jessica, yes you can! You don’t even need a lid, just a pot that is big enough that the water will cover the jars by 1-2 inches. You do need something on the bottom of the pot to keep the bottoms of the jars from sitting on the bottom of the pan. I’ve seen people zip tie metal canning rings together and put them in the bottom of the pot, just something to keep the jars from touching the pan.
Why can’t the jars touch the bottom? I just canned tomatoes for the first time yesterday, and I had nothing on the bottom of the pot. I have peaches ready to go right now…using your canning tutorial. Thank you!
Hi! The jars touching the heat of the bottom of the pot without any airflow underneath them can cause your jars to crack and break, that’s why you need to have them up off of the bottom of the pan. You can buy just the canning rack without buying the whole canning set up. Here is the link for Amazon. They cost around $10. Good luck with your canning adventures! 🙂
Have a batch in the wb canner right now. I think I might have put to much fruit fresh in the water before putting them in the jar. Will it hurt them?
Hi! I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think it will do any harm 🙂
Super easy to follow! Very informative! Thank you!
Came upon your site through Pinterest. Can’t wait to dive into all your content!! I’m busy right now with peaches, lol. Looks like alot of great info!! Thank you!!
You’re welcome! 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions.