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Canning Pears {How to Can Pears}

An easy step by step tutorial for beginners on Canning Pears in an ultra-light syrup. This easy recipe is perfect for newbies and experienced canners alike. Home-canned goods are healthier and more delicious than storebought.

Three jars of canned pears on a wooden board with fresh pears and cinnamon sticks

Of all the things I can, pears get eaten the fastest. There are a thousand reasons to can (and about a hundred not to), but nothing is more rewarding after all that hard work than opening a jar of “fresh” pears on a cold and snowy January evening.

What Is The Best Pear For Canning?

It is generally agreed that Bartlett pears are the best for canning. At the end of the day, you can use any kind of ripe pear. Asian pears are safe to can but require a separate process to acidify them prior to canning. This post from the National Center for Home Food Preservation has more details.

Can You Can Pears Without Sugar?

You sure can! Sure “can”. Get it? Soooo much sugar is traditionally recommended and that is all the nopes from me.

Sugar is used in canning for flavor, preservation, and color. Sweet food generally tastes better, keeps longer, and the color of the food stays bright and fresh. That being said, most fruits have enough natural sugar and don’t need anything added to be considered safe. Your final product may look a bit different but should be ok.

Let me be frank and honest with you. You should always follow a trusted, official canning source. I am not official. But I have been canning for over a decade, and we’re all good.

Personally, I walk the line between no sugar and just enough sugar for canning peaches and pears. I use a ratio of 1 cup of sugar to 6 cups of water to make the syrup that goes in these jars. Please use your best judgment when altering any official canning recipe. Plan to eat the finished product within 9-12 months.

Can You Can Pears in Honey or Fruit Juice?

Yes! Use 3/4 cup of honey per 6 quarts of water.

If you want to use fruit juice, look for unsweetened apple juice. When using fruit juice, either cut it 50/50 with water or use it straight if desired.

Canning Pears Supplies

How to Can Pears Step by Step

Set up your work area. I don’t mind canning pears as much as some things because it allows me to sit down for most of the work. For the work area, I use a big cutting board, a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a vegetable peeler, a big bowl of cold water with 1/3 cup of bottled lemon juice mixed in, a refuse bowl, a clean towel (for wiping hands), and a bowl full of the fruit.

A cutting board with bowls, knife, pears, and a vegetable peeler

Cut the tops and bottoms (we call them pear butts) off of the fruit. I like to do about 12 at a time so that I’m not switching back and forth between using knives and peelers with slimy pear hands.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel off all the pear skins. I start from the top and make a straight peel downward. It takes a few times to learn how to thoroughly skin a pear, but you’ll get there by at least the third or fourth pound!

After that, cut the pear in half from the top to the bottom. Take the paring knife (they do make special pear corers, but a paring knife works great for me), and make a cut from the stem to the bottom on one side. Repeat on the other side, then jiggle the core out. Discard the core, and put the pear in the water with the lemon juice.

Three photos showing the steps for peeling pears for canning pears

When you have a bowl that is getting full of ready pears, start your syrup. In a large pot, mix 1 cup of sugar per 6 cups of water and heat over medium.

A bowl of pears and lemon juice being prepped for canning

Wash your jars and lids with hot and soapy water. Rinse. Set aside. I prefer wide mouth jars for canning pears.

Place a canning rack in your canner and fill it with enough water to cover your jars by 1 inch. Set it on the stove on high to start boiling. Pro tip: when you add the jars to the canner the water level with obviously rise. The water only has to cover all the jars by 1 inch once they’re all in the canner.

Back to the pears! Finish up the pears that still need skinning.

Once the syrup is boiling, add the pears one layer at a time (a canning term that means don’t totally fill the pot) and heat for 5 minutes.

Using a fork, grab the now cooked pears one at a time, and put them cavity down in the canning jar. After a while, you learn how to maximize your space when filling the jars. It’s like a fruity version of Tetris.

two photos showing the cooking step for canning pears

Using a canning funnel, slowly pour the hot syrup into the jars until the pears are completely covered. Pro tip: add the syrup very slowly as it needs to works its way through the jar to find the spaces among the fruit to fill.

Leave 1/2 inch of headspace. Headspace is defined as the space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. Remove the bubbles from the jar (I use a chopstick).

Two photos showing filling jars for canning pears

Use a wet clean rag and wipe the rim of the jars to make sure it is free of any food.

Place a clean lid on the jar and tighten the ring to fingertip tight (tight enough that it won’t come off, but not so tight that a normal person couldn’t budge it).

How to prep jars for canning pears

Once the water is boiling, gently place your jars in one at a time using tongs (I prefer canning tongs, but you can use any rubber tipped tongs). Once your jars (typically 6-7 quart jars can fit in the canner) are completely covered with the boiling water, put the lid on and boil for 20 minutes (pints) or 25 minutes (quarts). For canning at different altitudes, check out this guide for adjusted processing times.

Once your jars are starting to process, fill up your next 6-7 jars with hot pears, syrup, etc.

When the time is up, turn off the stove and let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

Pretty soon you’ll start hearing some “pops and pings” which are the sounds of the jars sealing. Yay!! You did it!

After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed. You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).

A bowl of canned pears with fresh pears and cinnamon stickson a white board

PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES

  • You’ll need about 20 pounds of pears to fill seven quarts.
  • No matter how well you pack those jars, your pears may/will float to the top of the jars after canning. This is called fruit float. This is totally safe as long as the jars are sealed.
  • Feel free to add some whole spices to the jars just prior to canning. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp whole allspice, and 1/4 tsp whole cloves to each jar.
  • Store in a cool dry place for up to 12 months.

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Three jars of canned pears on a wooden board with fresh pears and cinnamon sticks
Print
Canning Pears - How to Can Pears
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
 

An easy step by step tutorial on Canning Pears in an ultra-light syrup for beginners. This easy recipe is perfect for newbies and experienced canners alike. 

Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canning pears, homecanned pears, how to can pears
Servings: 7 quarts
Calories: 212 kcal
Author: Sarah Cook - Sustainable Cooks
Ingredients
  • 20 pounds pears
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Cut the tops and bottoms (we call them pear butts) off of the fruit. I like to do about 12 at a time so that I’m not switching back and forth between using knives and peelers with slimy pear hands.

  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off all the pear skins. I start from the top and make a straight peel downward. It takes a few times to learn how to thoroughly skin a pear, but you’ll get there by at least the 3rd or 4th pound!

  3. After that, cut the pear in half from the top to the bottom. Take the paring knife (they do make special pear corers, but a paring knife works great for me), and make a cut from the stem to the bottom on one side. Repeat on the other side, then jiggle the core out. Discard the core, and put the pear in the water with the lemon juice.

  4. When you have a bowl that is getting full of ready pears, start your syrup. In a large pot, mix 1 cup of sugar per 6 cups of water and heat over medium.

  5. Wash your jars and lids with hot and soapy water. Rinse. Set aside.

    Place a canning rack in your canner and fill it with enough water to cover your jars by 1 inch. Set it on the stove on high to start boiling. Pro tip: when you add the jars to the canner the water level with obviously rise. The water only has to cover all the jars by 1 inch once they're all in the canner.

  6. Back to the pears! Finish up the pears that still need skinning.

    Once the syrup is boiling, add the pears one layer at a time (a canning term that means don’t totally fill the pot) and heat for 5 minutes.

  7. Using a fork, grab the now softened pears one at a time, and put them cavity down in the canning jar. After a while, you learn how to maximize your space when filling the jars. It's like a fruity version of Tetris.

  8. Using a canning funnel, slowly pour the hot syrup into the jars until the pears are completely covered. Pro tip: add the syrup very slowly as it needs to go into the jar to find the spaces among the fruit to fill. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace. Headspace is defined as the space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. Remove the bubbles from the jar (I use a chopstick).

  9. Use a wet clean rag and wipe the rim of the jars to make sure it is free of any food.

    Place a clean lid on the jar and tighten the ring to fingertip tight (tight enough that it won’t come off, but not so tight that a normal person couldn’t budge it).

  10. Once the water is boiling, gently place your jars in one at a time using tongs (I prefer canning tongs, but you can use any rubber tipped tongs). Once your jars (typically 6-7 quart jars can fit in the canner) are completely covered with the boiling water, put the lid on and boil for 20 minutes (pints) or 25 minutes (quarts). For canning at different altitudes, check out this guide for adjusted processing times.

  11. Once your jars are starting to process, fill up your next 6-7 jars with hot pears, syrup, etc.

  12. When the time is up, turn off the stove and let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

  13. Pretty soon you’ll start hearing some “pops and pings” which are the sounds of the jars sealing. Yay!! You did it!

  14. After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed. You can reprocess them or store them in the fridge or freezer (only freeze jars that are wide mouth).

Recipe Notes

You’ll need about 20 pounds of pears to fill seven quarts.

 

No matter how well you pack those jars, your pears may/will float to the top of the jars after canning. This is called fruit float. This is totally safe as long as the jars are sealed.

 

Feel free to add some whole spices to the jars just prior to canning. Add 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp whole allspice, and 1/4 tsp whole cloves to each jar.

 

Store in a cool dry place for up to 12 months.

Nutrition Facts
Canning Pears - How to Can Pears
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 212 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Potassium 378mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 56g 19%
Dietary Fiber 40g 160%
Sugars 30g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 17%
Calcium 3%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

This recipe was originally published in October 2014. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

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An easy step by step tutorial on Canning Pears in an ultra-light syrup for beginners. This easy recipe is perfect for newbies and experienced canners alike. Home-canned goods are healthier and more delicious than storebought. #sustainablecooks #pears #cannedpears #canning #preserving

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8 comments on “Canning Pears {How to Can Pears}”

  1. Sarah, what variety of pears do you can? They look like bartletts. Locally ( I live in PA ), I’ve been told to can boscs as they are a little more firm when ripe.

  2. I hadn’t considered canning pears before. Right now I’m making apple butter (in a slow cooker) and canning it for gifts. I may need to do pears soon, though.

  3. I did up only 30lbs this year. But I can my pears in only water. My family has been canning pears (all fruit actually) in just water for years (like 40 years) and we’ve never had an issue. Just pure sunshine deliciousness in a jar! 🙂

  4. They’re yummy w cottage cheese!

  5. I canned mine Saturday in a honey vanilla syrup – yummy. 7 quarts – I used bartlett pears from Kroger since I don’t have a farm near by.

  6. Have you ever canned apple pie filling? Any step by steps on that? 🙂