In this post, we’ll be canning peaches together. I’ll walk you step by step through the process of canning peaches from preparing your peaches to processing them. We’ll learn how to can peaches at home so you can enjoy this seasonal fruit throughout the winter. I have the Canning Peaches printable for you at the end of this post. Let’s do this!
Peaches… I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like peaches! They are juicy and sweet and beautiful and delicious.
I can never get tired of peaches and I am hoping that in the very near future I’ll be planting my own peach tree (or trees!) here on the farm so we can harvest our own peaches.
I can eat and use peaches year-round and sometimes I can, in fact, find them in the grocery store even in the winter but there is nothing like a summer peach.
The ones that I find in the store when peaches are not in season here in the U.S. are expensive, with a sandy texture, and missing much of the glorious peach flavor.
So every summer I can peaches to last us until the following summer (or I try to, usually it’s hard to make them last!).
Canning Peaches Step by Step…
Canning peaches is very easy. There is some prep work involved but overall the whole process is easy and a lot of fun. You can get the kids or friends involved and enjoy an old fashion social event!
Here is the information we are going to go over…
- Best peaches for canning.
- Canning equipment for canning peaches.
- How many peaches do I need for canning?
- Peeling peaches and preparing them for canning.
- Preparing the water bath canner, jars, lids, and rings.
- Packing the jars with peaches.
- Making light syrup for canning peaches.
- Canning peaches in the waterbath canner.
- Storing your canned peaches.
Best Peaches For Canning…
Yellow flesh peaches – it’s best to choose a variety of yellow flesh peach for canning because they are a bit more acidic than the white flesh varieties.
In fact, the National Center for Food Home Preservation lists white-flesh peaches as a low acid food and not safe for home canning.
There are ways around this, like processing them in a pressure canner and so on, but if you’ve been hanging here with me for a while you know that I like to keep things stupid simple.
So let’s just use yellow-flesh peaches, shall we? We shall!
Freestone or Clingstone peaches – in Freestone peach varieties the flesh separates from the pit easily. Clingstone varieties are varieties that the flesh clings to the pit and it’s a bit harder to separate the pit from the flesh.
Both Freestone and Clingstone varieties are just fine for canning peaches, however, you can guess that prep work is going to be a bit easier with Freestone varieties than clingstone.
Most grocery stores these days sell Freestone varieties, but if you happen to pick a Clingstone variety don’t worry. You just have to cut around the pit when preparing your peaches for canning. That is the only difference.
I am going to note here that if you are in the process of choosing fruit trees for your homestead and you plan to can some of your peaches, you might want to choose a Freestone, yellow-flesh peach tree variety.
Ripeness – you want to choose peaches that are not too hard but also not too soft and ripe. It’s a bit harder to peel the hard peaches and they are not as sweet, but it’s a pain to mess with too ripe peaches that are falling apart on you as you try to can them.
So somewhere in between…
Canning Equipment for Canning Peaches…
Here is what we are going to need for canning peaches…
A large pot – the best way to peel peaches is to boil them before peeling (we’ll go over this soon), so we are going to need a large pot for boiling water.
A slotted spoon – we are going to need to scoop the peaches from the pot of boiling water into a bowl of ice water. A slotted spoon or a skimmer ladle comes in handy here.
A large mixing bowl – from the boiling water we are going to transfer the peaches into a large bowl of ice-cold water so make sure you have a large enough bowl for that.
Cutting board – just a good old cutting board to dice or slice your peaches on.
You’ll see that some peaches can be stubborn and don’t want to let go of their peel so we might need a tiny bit of extra help from a potato peeler.
Jars – you can go with quart jars or pint jars, whichever is just fine. I like using the pint jars because of the way that I dice my peaches (you’ll see below) the pint jars hold about two cups of peaches.
Two caps is exactly the measurement that I need for my peach cobbler which is a regular around here.
Lids and rings – we are going to need lids to cover the jars and rings to close the jars. Always use new lids to make sure the rubber seal is not damaged, but you can reuse rings.
A saucepan – to make the syrup in.
A ladle – to ladle the syrup into the packed jars.
A paper towel – we are going to need a clean paper towel to clean the rim of the jars before placing the lids on.
Canning utensils – we are going to need the jar lifter, the bubble remover, the funnel, and the magnetic lid lift… In other words, we are going to need canning utensils.
Waterbath canner – since we are using yellow-flesh peaches with are high in acid we can use a waterbath canner. Make sure you also have the rack that comes with the canner.
How Many Peaches do I Need for Canning?
As many as you want, of course.
Just to give you an idea, I ended up with 8.3 lb of diced peaches to can after I removed the skins and the pit.
This amount filled 10 pint-jars. As I said before, one pint-jar holds about two cups of diced peaches (a tiny bit less). I assume that a quart jar will hold somewhere between 3 to 4 cups of diced peaches.
If you prefer to can sliced peaches or halved peaches. It’s all good and you’ll do everything the same way, however, the amount of peaches that you can fit in each jar will obviously change.
Ok, we have all the information and equipment needed for canning peaches, let’s do this!
Peeling Peaches and Preparing Them for Canning…
You have your peaches and it’s time to can them. The first thing that we need to do is to peel the peaches.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling add a few peaches at a time and let them hang out in the boiling water for two to three minutes.
While the peaches are floating in the boiling water, set your bowl of ice-cold water on the counter close to the stove.
When the time is up, use a slotted spoon to scoop the peaches out of the boiling water and right into the bowl of ice-cold water. This will stop the cooking process.
Let the peaches float around in the ice-cold water for a couple of minutes. Once they have cooled take them out and peel them.
I usually use my knife as you can see in the picture above but in some cases, all you need are your hands. Some peaches peel very easily…
And some, not so much… I find that the ripe, softer peaches peel more easily than the firmer peaches. To help with the peeling you can cut an x at the bottom of each peach before you drop it into the pot of boiling water.
Sometimes even that doesn’t help so I simply use a potato peeler to get the job done.
As long as at the end your peaches are peeled it doesn’t matter how you do this. I actually liked the potato peeler. It was quick and less messy and there isn’t a lot of waste. I might skip the whole boiling part all together next year.
Next, we want to remove the pit and dice or slice the peaches. I can my peaches diced, but it’s up to you.
You can do diced, sliced, or even halved.
Preparing the Water Bath Canner, Jars, Lids, and Rings…
Put your peaches aside for just a moment, and prepare your waterbath canner, jars, lids, and rings.
We want to fill the waterbath canner with enough water so when we place the full jars in it the water will cover the jars by about an inch.
It takes time for this amount of water to heat, so I always like to fill my canner and set it on the stove at this point. I turn the heat on high, cover the pot, and let the water heat while I work on packing the jars with peaches.
You don’t have to sterilize your jars, lids, and rings. It’s enough to wash them with hot water and dish soap before you pack them. I like to place my jars inside the canner as the water heats.
Anytime you can food, keep in mind that your jars and the water you are processing those jars in have to be in a similar temperature. If you place cold jars in boiling water they’ll probably crack.
By placing my jars in the canner until I am ready to pack them I ensure that they are as warm as the water. When I’m ready, I use my jar lifters to take the jar out of the canner, empty the water (back into the canner), fill the jar, close it, and place it back in the canner.
Packing the Jars With Peaches…
All right, grab one of your clean, warm jars, and fill it with peaches making sure to leave one-inch headspace.
Keep going until all of your jars are full. Set them aside and let’s get to work on the syrup.
I am going to note here that if you’d like some flavoring you can add a cinnamon stick to each of your jars or maybe a couple of whole cloves.
Making Light Syrup for Canning Peaches…
We are going to fill the jars with syrup. There are a few options here like just using water or using fruit juice but again, I like to keep things simple so I’m going to give you two options…
Option number one uses good old sugar. In a saucepan, bring 9 cups of water and one cup of sugar to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves then turn the heat off.
Option number two is for those of us who prefer canning peaches in honey. In a saucepan bring 9 cups of water and one cup of honey to a boil. Stir until the honey dissolves then turn the heat off.
9 cups of syrup were just enough for me to fill all 10 pint-jars. Use your ladle and funnel to add the syrup to the packed jars…
Making sure to leave one-inch headspace.
Use your bubble remover to remove air bubbles (you just stick it down the sides of the jar)…
Next, use the paper towel to clean the rim of the jar. If it’s sticky from the syrup you can wet the paper towel with a tiny bit of water and then clean the rim of the jar.
Center the clean lid on the rim and close the jar with the ring finger tight.
Repeat until all of your jars are full and closed and ready for processing.
Canning Peaches in the Waterbath Canner…
Place your jars inside the waterbath canner on the rack (use your jar lifters to do that). Make sure that the water covers the jars by about an inch. If you are missing some water, add boiling water. If there is too much water, just scoop some out.
Cover the canner and let the water come to a boil again. Once the water in the canner is boiling process pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25 minutes if you live below 1000 ft in elevation.
Add five minutes to the processing time if you live in elevation between 1000 to 3000. Add 10 minutes to processing time if you live in elevation of between 3000 to 6000, and 15 minutes if you live above 6000 feet.
When the time is up, use your jar lifters to remove the jars from the canner and place them on a towel on your kitchen counter. Let them cool completely before storing in the pantry.
Storing Canned Peaches…
When your jars are cool, check them to make sure they all sealed simply by pressing on the top of the lid. If there is no movement there, your jar have sealed successfully.
If you find a jar that didn’t seal, you can take off the lid and ring, wash them well, wipe the rim of the jar clean, place the lid and the ring and process it again in the canner.
Or, you can place the jar in the fridge and it will last a few weeks. Just remember to use that one first.
Most of the time, I have no problem with sealing jars in this recipe. I remove the rings and use a damp towel to wipe the jars clean before I store them.
I like to store my jars without the ring because then I can monitor them better. If something funky is happening inside the jar it’s usually happening above the food. Storing the jars without the lids just allows me to see better what is happening inside the jar.
Canned peaches often turn just a touch browner. It doesn’t bother me. I actually don’t notice much of a color change. Some people add a little bit of lemon juice to their canned peaches to prevent that from happening. It’s up to you if you’d like to add some lemon juice, I’ve never added lemon juice to my canned peaches.
As long as your jars are stored at room temperature or a bit cooler, they should last for months. I usually use my canned peaches within a year.
When you open the jar remember that you can use the syrup too not only the peaches! It’s so good. It’s sweet and peachy. You can use it in baking instead of water or (my favorite…) in fruit smoothies.
I hope you enjoyed this canning peaches tutorial! If you are new to canning this is a great place to start.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them with me in the comment section below.
If you’d like to learn how to can peaches using the hot pack method, make sure to check this canning peaches post from Practical Self Reliance.
If you enjoyed this canning tutorial, make sure to check my other canning tutorials like my sugar-free strawberry jam, canning candied oranges slices, and my chia blueberry jam recipe. You can find even more on my preserving page.
Here is the handy printable…
- 10 lb of peaches (approximately)
- 9 cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar or honey
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few peaches at a time to the boiling water and leave them for about 2 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop the peaches from the boiling water and right into a bowl of ice-cold water. Leave them in the cold water for a couple of minutes.
- When the peaches are cool, peel them. Often you can just do this with your hands. If you need, you can use a knife or a potato peeler.
- Cut your peaches and remove the pit. Then dice or slice them (or you can do halves if you'd like).
- Fill your waterbath canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by an inch. Bring water to a boil. Keep the water simmering while you work on packing the jars.
- Clean your jars with warm water and soap. Pack each jar with peaches, leaving one-inch headspace.
- In a saucepan, bring 9 cups of water and one cup of sugar (or honey) to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Use a canning funnel and a ladle to fill the jars with syrup making sure to leave one-inch headspace.
- Use the bubble remover to remove bubbles.
- Use a paper towel to clean the rim of the jar before placing the lid. Close the jar with a ring finger tight. Repeat until all of your jars are full.
- Use the jar lifters to place the jars inside the canner on the rack.
- Bring the water in the canner to a boil and process pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25 minutes if you live under 1000 feet in elevation.
(Add five minutes to the processing time if you live in elevation between 1000 to 3000. Add 10 minutes to processing time if you live in elevation of between 3000 to 6000, and 15 minutes if you live above 6000 feet.)
- When the processing time is up, use your jar lifters to remove the jars from the canner. Place your jars on a kitchen towel on your countertop and allow them to seal and cool completely.
- Store your sealed jars in the pantry without the rings for up to a year.
Make sure to use yellow-flesh peaches that are not too ripe.
Feel free to add a cinnamon stick or a couple of whole cloves to each jar for flavor.
Canned peaches change their color just a tiny bit. Some people add a little bit of lemon juice to each jar to prevent this from happening.
Your peaches are still great even if they are a tiny bit darker in color.
When opening your jar, remember that you can use the syrup too, not only the peaches!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g