Canning Peaches … Delish!

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Canned peaches from the store = gross.
Canned peaches from home = divine … just ask my kids 😉

While there are a lot of good reasons to can your own food, I have to admit that peaches for my family are canned purely for the enjoyment of eating them. The cost savings is not significant … and I use enough sugar that I don’t know that I can say they are healthier. But boy oh boy we love to eat ’em.

If you are still nervous about canning, peaches are soooo easy. Here is my step by step process to help you out!

Tools you need

Water bath canner
Large funnel with the bottom cut off
Metal tongs

Jars and lids

Canning Peaches Tutorial

Step 1: Buy or pick peaches
Grandma Lori picked these up for me and my little girl was VERY excited to see them in our trunk
Step 2: Blanche the peaches
I dipped them in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then moved them to a bowl of cold water. Makes them VERY easy to peel. I did mine in small groups only peeling enough to fill one jar at a time.
Step 3: Slice the peaches
You can half or quarter them but we like them in nice small slices and you can pack more in that way. Fill a jar about 2/3 of the way full of peaches.
Step 4: Pour sugar into jar
Most canning books will tell you to make a hot sugar syrup and pour that in, but I found it way easier to just pour in a 1/2 cup of sugar at this point. You can adjust based on the sweetness of your peaches and what your family likes
Step 5: Add hot water
Once you have your sugar, fill the jar the rest of the way up with peaches. Then pour in hot water leaving about 1/2 inch of space from the top. You may need to stick a clean knife into the jar to let the peaches settle a bit and fit in some more water.
Step 6: Give it a good shake
After putting on sterilized lids and rings, make sure to shake the jar well, especially in a side-to-side motion. You want to get all the sugar dissolved in the jar.
Step 7: Burn your finger
Yes every good canning experience must involve an injury. I was trying to heat my jars in the oven and burnt my finger on the element. Ouch. Then I realized I didn’t need to heat them since I was pouring in hot water any way. *sigh*
Step 8: Boil those bottles
Put all the jars in your canner and fill up with boiling water, completely covering the jars. Process according to the instructions in your canning book, taking into account for your elevation (Utah = longer processing times)
Don’t follow this step
One of my jars BROKE during the last batch I was making. It was a huge mess but the other jars turned out just fine (just a little sticky on the outside). I have to share my failures so that it will make you all feel better if you have things that don’t work out perfectly either 😉 Glad to be of service.
Step 9: ENJOY!
I had 2 boxes of peaches which is about a bushel. I made 3 batches of 7 quarts each (and lost one to the explosion as noted above). We had a few rotten ones and had eaten a few, and had a few left over. Not sure if I could have squeaked out a full 7 more quarts though. Hopefully that gives you a little guideline when you are planning your own peach canning adventures!


Other Posts on Canning

How to Make Strawberry Jam
Canning Homemade Applesauce

Feel free to share your canning experiences in the comments below. My next project is canning ground beef, wish me luck! I’ll be posting updates about it on our facebook page.

  • LizW

    Two thing we do: use only 1/3 cup sugar per quart (still tastes super yummy!) and bake with the syrup that’s leftover after all the peaches have been eaten (don’t throw away those nutrients!)

  • newtocanning

    This sounds like a great recipe!  I’m new to canning and hope to can some peaches this year.  I was wondering if anyone had tried this recipe but substituted peaches with strawberries?  And if so, could you pack the strawberries after you washed them or would you still have to blanche them?  Thanks for your help!

  • Dixiedl_2000

    What is the shelf life for canned peaches?

    • As a general rule, unopened home canned foods have a shelf life of one year and should be used before 2 years. (Info from the Utah State Extension service)

  • Pat Robinson

    Jodi, In my canning experience, I too have had broken bottles.  Sometimes the bottles get old and will break, which is no fault of anyone.  But I figured out that I was pushing to get all my batches done quickly so I would put the new batch of bottles in the hot water before the temperature had cooled down – because I didn’t want to wait – thus I would have bottles break.  Soooo what I do now is: take the batch out, bail out about half the hot water, add the same amount of cold tap water and then test the water with my finger.  If it is too hot for my finger to stand, add more cold water.  Then I can add my new batch of bottles to start to process.  Most bottles have to come to temperature gradually not be shocked by hot water (even though you just put hot water in the bottles).  II can say I have not had bottles break for years (true) using this boiling water bath technique.  Pat R.

  • Susan B.

    This is the first year that I didn’t use sugar.  I used honey.  4 cups of water to 1 cup of honey.  Heat it up on the stove just long enough to dissolve the honey.  It ends up being liquid honey water. 

    • Anick

       I like that idea!  Thank you!

    • Trish

      has anyone ever tried using syrup & sugar, just to cut down on th sugar but still that yummy sweet flavor?

  • Rachel S

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that gets burned.  Man, oh man!!  I just did 40 quarts of apricots and 20 pints of apricot jam in the last few weeks and I’m gearing up for peach season in a few weeks.  Good to see that others try to streamline their process and things work out fine.

  • vmfisher

    I put about a cup of hot water in the bottom of the jar, then add the sugar, and swirl it around to dissolve it, then add the peaches, filling it with more hot water when it is full of peaches. That way the sugar dissolves better.

  • The6spencers

    If your canning jars are old and have been used many, many times, they crack from all the use.  Also, using cold or cooler jars and putting in boiling water will crack them.  A lot of my friends and myself have noticed that if you purchase the canning jars made in China then you have lots of problems.  They just aren’t made as well as the USA made jars. After using the Chinese jars twice or three times they start to bottom out.  Very odd thing to happen.

  • Shannon

    Also, start the jars canning in a warm not boiling water bath. The boiling water can crack jars.

  • Shannon

    Just a suggestion. Try using an electric instant hot water pot for heating the water.Clears up stove space and is really quick.

  • Lanna

    My kids had the same proclamation today! I got a few cans of store peaches and pears as backup (or to give to friends or the food bank), and we cracked one open today. My 7yo went on a 5-minute diatribe about how the peaches mommy cans are yummy and I cut off the bad spots and the ones from the store aren’t as yummy and they leave the bad spots on and so on and so forth. Cracked us up. 😀

    But I do my 8qt or 10qt pot of syrup on the stove so the sugar fully dissolves and all that before I can up my fruit – dumping sugar on top doesn’t always work for me. 🙂

  • Paige

    This year was my first time canning ever, and I had a jar break too when I did pears. I asked my mother-in-law what I did wrong (she’s a canning pro) and she said that I probably didn’t heat the jars up enough before adding the hot water/syrup. Oops! Good to know for the next time though 🙂

  • Msrogers1

    I just made some spiced canned peaches (pints) by adding a half stick of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp whole allspice, and about 5-7 whole cloves to each jar before processing. YUM!

  • I’ll have to try that sugar trick next time! I was filing my jars with hot water so I was hoping that didn’t cause the crack. These jars were o-l-d ones I got from my Grandma so it may have already been weakened or slightly cracked before I started. Oh well, no real harm done.

  • This is the first time I’ve ever heard of just adding sugar directly to the jars.. I’ve always messed up my counters with the sticky syrup that all of the books tell you to make. Thanks for a great tip!

  • Vmfisher

    I put about a cup of hot tap water in my jars, then add about 1/3-1/2 cup sugar, and shake that around to dissolve the sugar. Then I add the peaches. The sugar dissolves easier this way. Undissolved could have contributed to your jar breaking, the sugar gets hotter than the rest of the contents of the jar. Or else you may have added the jars to the canner when the water was too hot. Adding jars full of cool, juicy fruit to boiling water = broken jars. I keep my jars warm by filling them with hot tap water and leaving them in the sink until I need them–no burnt fingers! Last time I broke a jar it was my own fault, I added jars to boiling water. Oops!

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