Canning peaches as home is a great way to preserve the fruit for later. Learn how to can peaches in juice with this easy, no sugar added, canned peaches recipe!
We grow small amounts of berries and tree fruits here on our homestead, but in order to put up enough fruit for the winter months we visit local farms to collect the various types of fruit for preserving. Getting your produce straight from the farm is one of the best options if you can’t grow it yourself.
Canning peaches is a simple process that lets you preserve all those fresh, local or homegrown peaches to enjoy all year long!
Plus since it uses a water bath canning method, canning peaches is perfect for beginning canners!
How to Can Peaches in Juice!
Choosing Peaches for Canning
The first step to canning peaches is to pick your fruit!
If you don’t grow your own peach trees, you can stop at a local orchard or market to get your peaches.
We love to visit the U-pick farms in our area to pick our own apples and peaches in bulk for canning and preserving.
When it comes to choosing peaches for canning, here are some tips:
- Choose a yellow peach variety. Yellow peaches are more safe to can and have been tested in home-canned recipes more than white flesh peaches. According to the NCHFP white-fleshed peaches might be less acidic, therefore might not be as safe to can at home.
- You can use either freestone or cling peaches. I prefer freestone because they are easier to work with when it comes to removing the pit. But if you have a favorite variety of cling peach you can use it but you will have to can sliced peaches and removing the pit will take more time.
- Consider the size of your peaches. If you are canning sliced peaches, choosing a large peach will save you time. If you are canning halves, choose small to medium sized peaches so that the halves fit in the jar more easily.
- Choose peaches that are perfectly ripe. Under-ripe peaches are harder to peel and will have a less flavorful final product. Over-ripe peaches tend to get too mushy during the cooking and canning process. Choose a just-ripe peach that is no longer green, but still firm.
A bushel of peaches will give you an average of 20 quarts of sliced, canned peaches.
I estimate about 6 peaches per quart sized jar, but this will depend on the size of the peaches you are using.
How much fruit you pick will depend on how many jars of peaches you intend to can, but use the above guidelines to help you determine how many peaches you need.
Gather Your Canning Supplies:
Before you begin canning peaches you want to have everything ready in order for the process to go more efficiently. You will need:
- A large canning pot-preferably with rack
- A large stock pot for cooking peaches
- A small saucepan for sterilizing lids
- A few different large bowls for holding peeled peaches, skins and sliced peaches
- A sharp knife and a vegetable peeler
- A canning kit– funnel, jar grabber, magnetic lid lifter, etc.
- Sterilized jars, lids and rings
I like to line the counters with towels for easier cleanup- washing, peeling, and cooking peaches can be a sticky job!
Fill the water bath canner half full with water, and set it on the burner at medium heat to start heating up. This way the pot will be near boiling by the time you are ready to use it.
I run my jars through the dishwasher to sanitize and heat them and keep them there until I am ready to fill them. If you are using a hot pack, you need to make sure your jars are warm before filling to reduce the chance of cracking.
Fill the small pot with water and place the lids in to simmer (not boil) to sterilize while you are working- I usually don’t turn the heat on this pot till much later in the process. This may be an unneeded step, but I prefer to do it anyway.
Now that you have your supplies ready, it’s time to can peaches!
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How to Can Peaches in Juice at Home
Step 1: Prepare Your Peaches
The first step is to wash the peaches. I just fill the sink with water and scrub them until most of the fuzz is gone. Then set them on a towel beside the sink. I like to work in batches of about 40-45, since that is about how many will fit in each 7-qt canner load.
Once they are washed, it’s time to peel. This step is totally optional, you can can peaches with their skins still on, I prefer to peel them since the skins get a little slimy after processing.
How to Peel Peaches for Canning
There are 2 ways to peel peaches before canning them.
The first is an easy way to peel peaches in bulk. Place the peaches in a pot of boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Then transfer to an ice water bath for a couple minutes.
If your peaches are ripe the skins should slide right off. If they are still on the hard side you might have to cook the peaches a little longer or use the second method.
The second method for peeling peaches is simple: peel the old fashioned way- with a vegetable peeler!
I actually find a vegetable peeler quicker and less messy than boiling and ice water, but choose whichever way works for you.
How to Cut Peaches for Canning
When it comes to cutting you can either can peach halves or slices.
For halves, simply cut in half and remove the pit.
For slices, cut in half, remove the pit, and then slice the peaches in uniform slices.
Place all of the peaches you are working with in a large bowl or pot while you prepare the syrup. You can toss the slices/halves with some lemon juice if you are worried about discoloration.
Step 2: Prepare the Syrup
You have quite a few options when it comes to packing your peaches in jars. Peaches are very high in acid, and can actually be canned in plain water with no added sugar.
Here are your syrup options for canned peaches:
- Water– plain and simple, just water.
- Sugar Syrup (heavy or light)- there are varying degrees of sugar syrup, from light to heavy, depending on the amount of sugar used
- Fruit Juice– apple juice or white grape juice makes a great juice syrup.
- Maple Syrup/Honey– you can use these natural sweeteners just like you do sugar
I don’t like to add sugar to my canned peaches so I pack mine in a fruit juice syrup made up of a 1:1 ratio of fruit juice and water. So that’s what I’ll show you how to do:
I like to use a mixture of apple and white grape juice because it gives the best flavor in the final product without being overpowering towards one flavor.
You will need approximately 10 cups of syrup per canning load. I use about 5 cups of water, 2.5 cups of apple juice, and 2.5 cups of white grape juice.
These ratios aren’t set in stone; you can use all juice or change the ratio of apple:white grape based on your tastes. Just be sure you have about 10 cups in all.
Place your juice and water in a large pot. Place on the burner, turn on the heat, and bring to a boil.
You can heat this syrup gently on the stove while washing, peeling and cutting the peaches so that it is ready to use when you need it.
Step 3: Packing the Jars
When canning peaches, you have 2 options when it comes to packing your jars.
- Raw Pack: You place your cut peaches directly into the jars and then pour the hot syrup over them
- Hot Pack: The peaches are boiled in the syrup for a few minutes before filling the jars
Either method is safe, but I prefer to use a hot pack, so that is what I will describe here.
Working in batches, place the cut peaches in your prepared syrup (now boiling) and allow them to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Then use a slotted spoon to transfer the heated peaches to your clean jars.
Pack the peaches as tightly as you can, but some settling may occur as you fill the jars so top them off just before filling the jars with the juice.
You want to leave about an inch head space between the rim of the jar and the fruit.
Once the jars are all filled with peaches, ladle the hot juice over them, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.
Before placing the lids, run a knife or spatula between the peaches and the jar- pressing in a bit as you do- to release any air bubbles and top with more syrup if needed to maintain the 1/2 in head space.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any juice and top with sterilized lids and rings, tightened just finger tight.
Related Reading: How to Can Applesauce at Home
Canning Peaches in a Water Bath Canner:
Once all 7 jars are ready, place them in the near boiling water of the canner and lower the rack.
The water should be about 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Turn the heat up to high and place on the lid.
Once the water has reached a full boil, start your timer for 25 minutes.
Once the pot is at a full boil I usually turn the heat down a bit to keep the water from spilling over. Once the 25 minutes are up, turn off the heat and remove the cover from the canning pot.
Life the canning rack up and allow the jars to sit in the canner for another 5 minutes.
Use the jar lifter to remove the finished jars from the canning pot and place the hot jars, not touching, on a towel covered surface to cool.
Put them in a place where they won’t be disturbed or bumped while they cool.
You might hear the pinging sound of the jars sealing as they cool, but be sure to check for a good seal once they are completely cool (or overnight).
If you press on the center of the lid it should not move up and down, if it does the jar is not sealed and should be placed in the refrigerator. You can also reprocess the jar with a new lid.
Did you run into trouble while canning peaches? Check out this list of canning mistakes to see where things might have gone wrong!
And you’re all done!
Repeat this process with the rest of your peaches until you have used them all. Now you will be able to enjoy summer’s harvest all winter long!
Canning Peaches FAQ:
How long will home-canned peaches keep?
Provided you have followed safe canning practices and the jars are properly sealed, home canned peaches will keep for at least 12 months.
Be sure you store them out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dark location for the longest shelf life.
How do you keep peaches from browning during canning?
Tossing your cut fruit in lemon juice or citric acid can help reduce browning.
Also, using a hot pack versus a raw pack can also help preserve the color of the peaches.
How much fruit do you need for canning peaches?
A bushel will give you about 20 quarts of canned peaches. On average about 6 peaches can fit in a quart jar.
Can you use a pressure canner to can peaches?
Yes, peaches can be pressure canned, but it’s not necessary. Water-bath canning is sufficient and more gentle, giving a nicer final product.
How do you use home-canned peaches?
We love to eat them fresh from the jar, but you can drain the juices and use them for all sorts of things- jam, cobbler, ice cream toppings- basically anything you want!
Got more peaches? Check out How to Make and Can Honey Peach Preserves!