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The Process of Canning Peaches: Everything You Need to Know

Fall is near, and that means it is time to gather the harvest that is in our gardens.  Processing those foods will help prevent them from spoiling so quickly.  If you happen to have a peach tree, you may be wondering how to process all those delicious peaches.  If so, you have come to the right place.  Today I'll be going over how to can your own peaches.  Canning peaches will help prolong the lifespan of your peaches.  Canned peaches can also be a tasty snack to have during those long winter days.  Are you ready to get canning?  Gather your supplies, because it is time to begin.

Supplies Needed

Let's start off with learning what supplies you need for canning.  Without the right supplies, canning is not possible.  There are so many different places to buy these canning supplies.  Hardware stores can be expensive, but you'll be getting brand new canning jars and supplies.  Other places to be on the look out for canning supplies are garage sales, thrift stores, and craigslist.  Amazon also sells a lot of canning supplies.  Click here to check out a canning kit sold on amazon.  Now, let's take a look at what supplies you should be on the look for.

  • Steam canner with rack or water-bath canner with rack
  • Canning jars
  • Canning lids and rings
  • Jar lifter
  • Large pot
  • Sharp knife
  • Towel

Ingredients Needed:

  • Peaches
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Fruit juice (optional)
  • Lemon juice

Amount of Time It Takes to Can Peaches

It takes about 25 minutes for the jars to be in the water bath.  Before that, the prepping and processing time will vary.  The prepping time takes around 30 minutes.  The amount of time it takes will depend on how quickly you can process them.  Overall, it takes around a hour to can peaches.  After that, you'll want to let them cool overnight.

How Many Peaches You Need

It takes about 5 good sizes peaches to fill one quart jar.  Many people have agreed that it takes about 17 pounds of peaches to make 7 quarts of canned peaches.  Of course, the amount of peaches needed will depend on how many peaches you plan on canning and how big your peaches are.  It will also depend on how you slice your peaches.  If you slice them into tiny dices, you may have room for more in each jar.  But if you slice them in halves, you won't have as much room for more peaches.

The Steps to Canning Peaches

After you have gathered all your supplies, it is time to get started.  Let's begin.

Select Your Peaches

Start by selecting your peaches.  You'll want peaches that are ripe and ready to be eaten.  If you are picking the peaches off of your peach tree, you will grasp the peach and gently pull it away from the tree.  If it is not ripe, it won't come off easily.  That means you should wait a little longer until your peaches are ripe.  If you are selecting peaches from the store, make sure they are not mushy, but aren't solid hard either.  Act like you are picking peaches you could eat right away, because whatever your peaches taste like now will be what they taste like when canned.

Prepare Your Canning Jars and Lids

Place your canning jars and lids/rings into a dishwasher on the sterilize setting.  If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can place your jars in your boiling water canner and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes.  Place the lids in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer, but don’t boil them.

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Remove the Skin from Your Peaches

It is possible to can the peaches with the skin on them, but most people choose to remove the skin.  Canning peaches with skins is easy, you just don't cut off the skins.  If you want to take the skins off, you can either use a knife to remove the skin, or you can try to blanch your peaches so that the skins slip off.  To blanch them, rinse your peaches, then place them into a pot of boiling water and blanch for 30 to 60 seconds.  After blanching, place them into a ice water bath so that the peaches don't cook.  After that, the skins should just slip right off.  If they don’t slip off, try putting them back into the boiling water for a few more seconds.  If they still don’t slip right off, your peaches might not be ripe.

Image Source: Food In Jars

Slice Your Peaches

You get to decide if you want to slice your peaches into halves, quarters, or into little dices.  The decision is up to you.  Once you decide how you'd like to slice them, use your knife to cut them and remove the pits.  Cut out any brown spots and mushy areas.

The next step is to place your peaches in the cans.  But first, you may want to sprinkle 1/4 cup of lemon juice or a produce protector over a bowlful of your peaches.  This will prevent your peaches from turning brown.  Peaches will turn brown when exposed to air, even if it is air in a sealed, sterile jar.  Stir the peaches so that the lemon juice is over all the peaches.

Place Your Peaches in the Jars

Put your cut peaches face down (pit side down) in your hot and sterilized jars.  Fill jars with peaches to the line of the lip of the bottle (where the curve ends.)  You'll want to try to fit as many peaches as you can without squishing them so that the peaches don't float to the top and become brown.

Make the Syrup

Now it is time to make the syrup.  If you want to make peaches without sugar, that is fine.  Canning peaches without sugar just means there won't be as sweet of a taste, and the peaches may not keep their color.  If you want to use sugar, read on.  The syrup is just a mixture of water and sugar.  However, you can use fruit juice in replace of water is desired.  Decide if you want a light syrup, medium syrup, or heavy syrup.  For a light syrup, mix 2 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.  For a medium syrup, mix 3 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.  And lastly, for a heavy syrup mix 4 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.  All three syrups will produce around 7 cups of syrup.  Add the mixture to a saucepan, and heat to a simmer.  Carefully pour the hot syrup into the canning jars until your peaches are covered with syrup.

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Seal the Jars

Using a knife, carefully slide it down all sides inside the jars so that any bubbles inside are removed.  Use a damp towel to wipe the rim of the jar.  Place the lid on top of the jar and screw the ring on.  Be careful that you don't over tighten it.  You can always tighten it later once the sealed cans have cooled down.

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Place Jars on a Steam Canner or Hot Water Bath

Place the jars on a Steam Canner or a hot water bath.  Start the processing time when you can see steam coming out of the hole in the lid or in a hot water bath when the water starts to boil.  The processing time takes around 25 minutes.

Image Source: The Canning Chick

Remove from Heat and Make Sure They're Sealed

Lift jars off of the steam canner or out of the hot water bath with a jar lifter and move them to a draft free location and let them cool without touching or bumping.  It should only take overnight for them to cool.  Once they are cooled, you can check that they are sealed.  To see if they are sealed, press your finger in the center of the lid.  If it pops up and down, it is not sealed.  Seal it, and store them in a place where they are easy to reach when you want a delicious snack.

Image Source: Food in Jars

How Long Will Canned Peaches Last?

Although canning peaches will help prolong the life span of peaches, there is an expiration date on all processed foods.  Your peaches should last for 1 to 2 years.  This is a long amount of time, since fresh peaches last only 3 to 5 days before going bad.  Of course, you will want to keep an eye out for signs that your canned peaches are going bad.  First, always make sure the lid is tight on the jar.  If your finger presses on the lid, it should not move.  If it does, you must seal the jar or your peaches will go bad.  Signs that your peaches are going bad include bubbling in the jar, bulging lids, a lid that spews when you open it, a lids that has lost its seal, peaches have an odd color, peaches that smell bad, or any kind of film on the top of the peaches.  If you notice any of these signs, your food has gone bad.

If you are looking for a way to prolong the life of your peaches for an even longer amount of time, you may want to dehydrate them.  Dehydrated fruit, including peaches, can last for 3 to 5 years.  Signs that dehydrated peaches have gone bad include an odor, weird looking fruit, chewy tasting peaches, and a weird taste.  But you shouldn't notice these signs for many years.  Learn how to dehydrate your own peaches and other fruits by clicking here.

Benefits of Canning Peaches

  • Canning peaches helps prolong the life span of peaches before they rot.  Fresh peaches only last for 3 to 5 days, while canned peaches last 1 to 2 years.
  • Some studies found that canned peaches can be healthier than fresh ones.  Keep in mind that they were studying store-bought canned peaches, and the peaches that did not have syrup.  When you add the syrup, it will become more unhealthy.  But still, canned peaches are a much healthier dessert than other foods such as cake or ice cream.
  • Canned peaches taste delicious.  When you are looking for something sweet to have, grab a can of peaches.  Peaches have many health benefits.  Speaking of health benefits, let's take a look at why peaches are so good for you.
  • Peaches can reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture, and help to fight skin damage caused by the sun.  They can also prevent cancer, since they contain antioxidant vitamin C.  Studies have shown that peaches were effective in killing even the most aggressive types of breast cancer cells and did not harm normal healthy cells in the process.  Peaches also help improve the health of your heart and eyes.  There are no side effects or dangers to eating peaches except that eating too many peaches may cause bloating.  Also, peaches contain salicylates and a compound called amygdalin which may cause a allergic reaction to some people.  Overall, peaches are loaded with many health benefits. 

Final Thoughts

Canning peaches help prevent peaches from rotting so quickly.  Fresh peaches will go bad within 5 days, but canned peaches last up to 2 years.  In 9 steps, you can have your own homemade canned peaches ready for you to eat.  In this article I went over in detail how to can peaches, how long they last, how long canned peaches take to make, how many peaches are needed, and the benefits of canned peaches.  If you are looking for a sweet, healthy snack, peaches are an excellent choice.  Hopefully this article was helpful to you, and now you can get canning your peaches for a long winter supply of fruit (if you don't eat them before then!)  Happy canning!

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Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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