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PRESSURE CANNING FRUITS & TOMATOES

Fruits and tomatoes may be processed using pressure canning or boiling water canning. The pressure processing method for fruits and tomatoes gives a heat treatment equivalent to the much longer processing time required with the boiling water canning method.

Select firm, fully-ripened but not soft fruit or tomatoes. Do not can overripe foods. Some fruits tend to darken while they are being prepared. To prevent the darkening, place fruit in an ascorbic acid solution (1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water) or use ascorbic acid or citric acid mixtures according to package instructions.

Although fruit has better color, shape, and flavor when it is canned with sugar, it may be canned unsweetened if desired. Sugar is used for flavor only. It is not used in a high enough concentration to act as a preservative.

White sugar is preferable to brown sugar for canning. Light corn syrup or honey may be used to replace up to one-half the sugar.

If you wish to use sugar substitutes, follow package instructions.

The amount of sugar desirable to use in preparing syrups will depend upon the tartness of the fruit and on family preference. It should be remembered that fruit, when heated, releases some of its juices which will dilute the syrup in proportion to the juiciness of the fruit.

SYRUPS FOR CANNING FRUITS

SYRUP
SUGAR PER QUART OF LIQUID
YIELD OF SYRUP
Very Light
1 cup
4 1/2 cups
Light
2 cups
5 cups
Medium
3 cups
5 1/2 cups
Heavy
4 3/4 cups
6 1/2 cups


Heat sugar with water or juice until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit and cook until heated through. Pack fruit into clean Mason jars to within 1/2-inch of top of jar. Cover with hot liquid leaving 1/2-inch headspace. The liquid may be syrup, fruit juice, or plain water. For instruction on boiling water canning, refer to our BOILING WATER METHOD section.

When pressure canning food in regions less than 2,000 feet altitude (dial gauge canner) or 1,000 feet altitude (weighted gauge canner), process according to specific recipe. When canning food in regions above 2,000 feet altitude (dial gauge canner) or 1,000 feet altitude (weighted gauge canner), process according to the following charts.

 

ALTITUDE CHART FOR PRESSURE CANNING FRUIT

ALTITUDE
DIAL GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
WEIGHTED GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
1,001 – 2,000 ft.
6 lbs.
10 lbs.
2,001 – 4,000 ft.
7 lbs.
10 lbs.
4,001 – 6,000 ft.
8 lbs.
10 lbs.
6,001 – 8,000 ft.
9 lbs.
10 lbs.

Processing time is the same at all altitudes.

 

 

ALTITUDE CHART FOR PRESSURE CANNING TOMATOES

ALTITUDE
DIAL GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
WEIGHTED GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
1,001 – 2,000 ft.
11 lbs.
15 lbs.
2,001 – 4,000 ft.
12 lbs.
15 lbs.
4,001 – 6,000 ft.
13 lbs.
15 lbs.
6,001 – 8,000 ft.
14 lbs.
15 lbs.

Processing time is the same at all altitudes.

 

 

ALTITUDE CHART FOR BOILING WATER
CANNING FRUITS AND TOMATOES

ALTITUDE
PINTS AND QUARTS
1,001 – 3,000 ft.
Increase processing time 5 minutes
3,001 – 6,000 ft.
Increase processing time 10 minutes
6,001 – 8,000 ft.
Increase processing time 15 minutes

 

APPLES
Wash, peel, and cut apples into pieces. Place apples in an ascorbic acid solution (1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water) to prevent darkening during preparation. Drain well. Boil apples in a light syrup or water for 5 minutes. Pack hot apples in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover apples with hot syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 8 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 8 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints and Quarts 20 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


APPLESAUCE
Wash, peel, and core apples. If desired, slice apples into ascorbic acid solution (1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water) to prevent darkening. Drain well. Place slices in a pan. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook until apples are tender. Press through food mill or sieve. Sweeten to taste. Reheat sauce to boiling. Pack into clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints 8 minutes and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints 8 minutes and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 15 minutes and Quarts 20 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


APRICOTS
Wash well-ripened, firm apricots. If peeled apricots are desired, dip 1 minute in boiling water, then in cold water and peel. Cut apricots in half and remove pits. Place apricots in an ascorbic acid solution (1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water) to prevent darkening during preparation. Drain well. Heat apricots through in a very light, light, or medium syrup or water. Pack hot apricots, cut side down, in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with boiling syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 20 minutes and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


BERRIES (EXCEPT STRAWBERRIES)
Wash firm berries carefully, removing caps and stems. Heat berries in boiling water for 30 seconds and drain. Pack berries in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with boiling syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 8 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 8 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


CHERRIES
Wash cherries and remove stems. Remove pits, if desired. If canning whole cherries, prick each cherry with a clean needle to prevent splitting. Heat cherries with 1/2 cup water or syrup to each quart of cherries. Cover pan and bring to a boil. Pack hot cherries and cooking liquid in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints 8 minutes and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints 8 minutes and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 15 minutes and Quarts 20 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


PEACHES
Wash fully-ripened but not soft peaches. Loosen skins by dipping peaches 1 minute in boiling water, then in cold water. Peel. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Slice if desired. Place peaches in an ascorbic acid solution (1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water) to prevent darkening during preparation. Drain well. Heat peaches through in very light, light, or medium syrup or water. Pack hot peaches, cut side down, in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with boiling syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 20 minutes and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


PEARS
Wash pears. Peel, cut in half lengthwise, and core. Slice pears, if desired. Place pears in an ascorbic acid solution (1 teaspoon ascorbic acid to 1 gallon water) to prevent darkening during preparation. Drain well. Boil pears 5 minutes in very light, light, or medium syrup or water. Pack hot pears in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with boiling syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 20 minutes and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


PLUMS
Wash firm ripe plums. Remove stems. If plums are to be canned whole, prick each side with a fork. Freestone varieties may be cut in half and pitted. Heat plums to boiling in very light, light, or medium syrup. Boil 2 minutes. Cover saucepan and let stand 20 to 30 minutes. Pack hot plums in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover with boiling syrup or water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 10 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 20 minutes and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


RHUBARB
Wash young, tender rhubarb. Remove ends and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add 1/2 cup sugar to each quart of rhubarb. Let stand until juice appears. Heat rhubarb slowly to boiling. Pack hot rhubarb in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 6 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 8 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 5 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 8 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


TOMATOES – WHOLE OR HALVED (packed raw without added liquid)
Wash medium, smooth, firm, ripe tomatoes. Loosen skins by dipping tomatoes 1 minute in boiling water, then in cold water. Peel and remove core. Leave whole or halve. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Add 1 teaspoon salt to each quart, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint, if desired. Fill jars with raw tomatoes, pressing until spaces between them fill with juice. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints and Quarts 85 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


TOMATOES – CRUSHED (with no added liquid)
Wash smooth, firm, ripe tomatoes. Loosen skin by dipping tomatoes 1 minute in boiling water, then in cold water. Peel and remove core. Heat about 1 pound of the quarters quickly in a large pot, crushing them with a wooden mallet or spoon as they are added to the pot. This will draw off some juices. Continue heating the tomatoes, stirring to prevent burning. Once the tomatoes are boiling, gradually add remaining quartered tomatoes, stirring constantly. These remaining tomatoes do not need to be crushed. They will soften with heating and stirring. Continue until all tomatoes are added. Then boil gently 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint, if desired. Fill jars immediately with hot tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 35 minutes and Quarts 45 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


TOMATO JUICE
Wash ripe, juicy tomatoes. Remove stem ends and cut into pieces. To prevent juice from separating, quickly cut about 1 pound of fruit into quarters and put directly into saucepan. Heat immediately to boiling while crushing. Continue to slowly add and crush freshly cut tomato quarters to the boiling mixture. Make sure the mixture boils constantly and vigorously while adding the remaining tomatoes. Simmer 5 minutes after all pieces are added. If juice separation is not a concern, simply slice or quarter tomatoes into a large saucepan. Crush, heat, and simmer for 5 minutes before juicing. Press heated juice through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to each quart. Add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint. Heat juice again to boiling. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint, if desired. Fill jars with hot tomato juice, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 35 minutes and Quarts 40 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


TOMATO SAUCE
Prepare and press as for making tomato juice (see above recipe). Heat in large saucepan until sauce reaches desired consistency. Simmer until volume is reduced by about one-third for thin sauce, or by one-half for thick sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid to each quart. Add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint. Pour hot sauce in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure - Pints and Quarts 15 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Boiling Water Canning—Process Pints 35 minutes and Quarts 40 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended time.


SALSA
Process salsa using the boiling water method. Refer to BOILING WATER METHOD section for method instruction and recipe.


SPAGHETTI SAUCE WITHOUT MEAT

  • 30 pounds tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery or green pepper
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Yield: About 9 pints

Procedure: Caution: Do not increase the proportion of onions, peppers, or mushrooms. Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water and slip off skins. Remove cores and quarter tomatoes. Boil 20 minutes, uncovered, in large saucepan. Put through food mill or sieve. Sauté onions, celery or peppers, mushrooms (if desired), and garlic in vegetable oil until tender. Combine sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, oregano, salt, black pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered stirring frequently to avoid burning, until thick enough for serving. At this time the initial volume will have been reduced by nearly one-half. Fill jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids.

Dial Gauge Canner — Process at 11 pounds pressure — Pints 20 minutes and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner — Process at 10 pounds pressure — Pints 20 minutes and Quarts 25 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.


SPAGHETTI SAUCE WITH MEAT

  • 30 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground meat (beef, sausage, venison)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery or green pepper
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Yield: About 9 pints

Procedure: Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water and slip off skins. Remove cores and quarter tomatoes. Boil 20 minutes, uncovered, in large saucepan. Put through food mill or sieve. Sauté meat until brown. Add onions, celery or green pepper, mushrooms (if desired), and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender. Combine with tomato pulp in large saucepan. Add parsley, oregano, salt, black pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until thick enough for serving. At this time initial volume will have been reduced by nearly one-half. Fill jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids.

Dial Gauge Canner — Process at 11 pounds pressure — Pints 60 minutes and Quarts 70 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner — Process at 10 pounds pressure — Pints 60 minutes and Quarts 70 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Go to: Pressure Canning Index

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