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Canning Peaches {How to Can Peaches}

An easy step-by-step tutorial on Canning Peaches. This recipe for how to preserve peaches is perfect for beginners and experienced canners alike. Instructions include low-sugar and no-sugar options. 

3 jars of canned peaches with mint and a bowl of peaches

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Preserving peaches are one of the easiest fruits to can. Sure, you have to peel them, but that can be accomplished fairly easily.

Even better, I’m going to teach you how to make canned peaches in light syrup, so you can actually taste the fruit, and not just sugar.

And if you decided that peach preservation is just not for you, check out our Peach Freezer Jam, Homemade Peach Ice Cream, Peach Syrup, tutorial on How to Freeze Peaches, and our Ginger Beer Mocktail. All use delicious fresh peaches without canning.

can you can peaches without sugar?

Yes. That being said, 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.

Peaches have enough natural sugar and don’t need any sweetener added while canning to be considered safe. But your final product may look a bit different and have a shorter shelf life. Personally, I walk the line between no sugar and low sugar for canning peaches and canning pears

Canning peaches with honey

Please note, if you’re using raw honey, any of the beneficial properties will be killed during the heating process. It’s more affordable to use regular honey for canning.

Canning with Fruit Juice

You’ll need 48 oz of juice per 4 pounds of peaches using a hot pack process. Using frozen concentrated apple or white grape juice is a great and easy substitution for refined sugar syrup. Use one can of thawed concentrate mixed with three cans of water.

a chart showing syrup options for canning peaches

Which peaches are best for canning?

Most varieties will work for canning. You’ll find peaches come in two main types:

Freestone – when cut in half, the peach will separate easily from the pit. These make canning so much easier!

Cling – the peach flesh will “cling” to the pit, making it very challenging to cut them in half. If you use cling peaches for canning, you will likely be canning peach slices instead of peach halves. For help with tackling the task of working with the cling variety, check out this post on How to Cut a Peach.

Can you use white peaches in canning?

At this time, the National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend you can white peaches. The ph levels vary too much, making them generally unsafe to can. It is recommended you freeze white peaches instead of canning them.

Canning Equipment List

Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.

  • Peaches! You’ll need about 17 lbs per 7 quarts.
  • At least two large bowls. You can never have enough bowls when canning.
  • Large pot of water for blanching the fruit and a medium pot for syrup
  • Canner: simple water bath canner, a pressure canner (which can double as a water bath canner), or even a huge stockpot with a rack in the bottom.
  • Canning tongs/jar lifter
  • Jars – quarts or pints.
  • Lids and rings
  • Wide mouth funnel
  • Ice
  • Sugar, honey, or juice
  • lemon juice or citric acid
  • Paring knife
  • Cutting board
  • Metal spoon
  • Butter knife or plastic chopstick
  • Comfortable shoes. Don’t do this barefoot. Your back will hate you.
  • Clean washcloths and at least one thick clean towel.

Raw Pack for Canning Peaches

Raw packing simply means placing the peeled fruit in the jars without pre-cooking them, filling the jars with hot syrup, and processing them in the canner.

If you are canning your peaches without additional added sugar (sugar, honey, fruit juice), you must hot pack the fruit.

Raw packing is much faster than then a hot pack process, but there are some drawbacks. No matter how well you pack the jars, the density of the fruit will change during their time in the canner.

This often leads to something called “fruit float” in which the fruit will float to the top of the jar, leaving all syrup on the bottom. You’ll find this when you’re canning pears and canning whole tomatoes as well. There is nothing wrong with fruit float as long as your jars are still sealed.

Hot Pack for Canning Peaches

Hot packing involves cooking them briefly in hot syrup before packing the fruit into jars for canning. You’ll want to boil them in the canning syrup for about 2 minutes and then add them to your jars, ladling more hot syrup over the top. The benefits of hot packing are that you typically can fit more fruit per jar, and the near elimination of fruit float.

How to Can Peaches 

*I’ll walk you through the process with photos and tips below. And a printable and detailed recipe card is available at the bottom of the post.

CANNING PREP

Prepare your water bath canner by filling it with water. You just need to have enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch once the water is boiling.

Set the canner on the stove. Turn the burner to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce it to simmer. You want to keep the water hot so that everything is ready when the fruit is.

Wash and clean your jars. You’ll want to keep them warm to avoid having them crack when placed in the canner. You can fill them with hot water, or place them on a tray in the oven at 170F.

Wash your lids and set them aside in a clean place. You no longer need to simmer lids in water to keep them sterile. Woot!

Wash your fruit. I just run them under water and rub my hands on them to give the outside a scrub. Use a paring knife and cut the peach around the middle to separate.

a peach split in half on a cutting board with a paring knife

Remove the pit

a peach split in half on a cutting board with the pit removed

Put the halves in a large bowl of water treated with lemon juice or citric acid

In a medium-sized pot, combine your sugar/honey/or juice and water to create the syrup (see syrup chart at the bottom of the post). Pro tip: if you’re planning to do a large batch all at once, I use my crockpot to create and keep the syrup hot. It frees up space on the stove.

Add one layer of peaches at a time to a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds. Once you can see the skin starting to come away from the flesh, it’s time to take them out.

Remove using a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath for 1 minute.

peaches in an ice bath

Use the slotted spoon to remove the peaches from the ice bath. Grab one and gently peel the skin back.

a bowl of peaches with the skins peeling off

Proceed using either the raw pack or hot pack method mentioned above.

Add the fruit cavity-side down (where the pit was) to your sanitized and warm canning jars. This is easiest done with a fork. Repeat with other peach halves until you have filled the jar. Pro tip: depending on the size of the fruit, each quart will fit about 3-3.5 peaches.

At this point, return your water in the canner back to a rolling boil.

Using a canning funnel, ladle hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar. You may need to use a spoon to gently smoosh down the fruit a bit.

Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar. Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag. Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.

two photos showing jars being processed for canning peaches

Gently place your jars in the canner. Put the lid on, and set your timer. Pro tip: If you don’t have enough jars to fill the canner, consider Canning Water in a few jars to stock your emergency drinking water supplies.

a jar lifter putting a canning jar full of peaches into a canner

Hot packed pints should process for 20 minutes, and quarts for 25 (see chart below). Pro tip: the water must return to a boil in the canner before you can start the timer.

a chart with processing times for canning peaches

Once the jars have processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the burner, carefully take off the lid, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Pro tip: I tend to just slide it into the middle of my stove, as it weighs a ton.

Carefully remove the jars with canning tongs, and place them on a thick towel in a place where they can be undisturbed for 12 hours. The lids will likely start to pop within 20-30 minutes of being removed from the water. That popping sound is music to your ears, as it tells you that everything has sealed. It’s a reward for all your work!

After the jars have rested for about 12 hours, press down in the middle of each lid. If it “gives” at all, the jar didn’t seal. Either enjoy it that day, put it in the fridge, or reprocess it.

Help! Why Are My Jars Leaking Juice?

If you find that juice has leaked out after they have sealed, you have experienced a common canning issue called siphoning. It happens to the best of us!

Siphoning is typically caused by not allowing the jars to rest in the canner after they have finished processing. In the directions above, you’ll see that I recommend you remove the canner from the burner, remove the lid, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

This is important as it allows the jars time to rest before being allowed to cool on the counter. Doing this process will significantly cut down on siphoning.

If you have siphoning in your jars, follow these steps:

  • Check – are the lids still sealed?
  • Look – have you lost more than half of the amount of liquid in the jar?
  • Examine – does the fruit look fresh with bright colors?

If the answer to the above three steps is “yes!”, then they are safe to eat. If you lost quite a bit of syrup, the uncovered fruit will turn color more quickly. Plan to eat those jars first.

What if my jars don’t seal?

If you’ve correctly processed your fruit, and the lids still didn’t seal, you can reprocess them.

Double-check to make sure there are no:

  • Chips in the rim of the jar
  • Dried syrup or bits of peach on the rim (anything between the rim and the lid may prevent a seal.

Best practices would involve using brand new lids for the reprocessing. Set aside the old lids to use for dry storage (related: Pantry Essentials for the Home Cook).

If the jars don’t seal on the second attempt, you likely have a bad batch of lids or your canning process has a step missing. Email me and we’ll try to troubleshoot what is going on.

For unsealed jars, you can place them in the fridge. Eat the fruit within three weeks.

How long after preserving peaches can you eat them?

They are safe to eat as soon as the jars have cooled! Unlike a project like Refrigerator Dilly Beans, home canned peaches don’t need to rest before they’re ready to enjoy. Dig in!

a jar of canned peaches with fresh peaches and mint

How long are canned peaches good for?

You can safely keep them for 12 months in the correct conditions (dark space, not too warm). Make sure to label all of your jars and use the oldest ones first.

Can I make canned peach slices?

Yes! If you’d prefer to cut your fruit into slices, that is absolutely fine. Think about how you plan to use them after canning. Do you want to eat them as is? If so, halved peaches will be the easiest and fastest way to can them.

If you use them in crisps, other desserts, or yogurt (related: Easy Instant Pot Yogurt) slices make a lot of sense!

Pro tip: with canning peach slices, you’ll need to put a bit more effort into removing bubbles from the jars. There will be more opportunities for “pockets” to occur in the jars, and those bubbles need to be removed for safety.

Pressure Canning Peaches

Some people may prefer to pressure can peaches, but a word of warning – it does take longer compared with water bath canning.

If you plan to pressure can your fruit, they would need to be processed at 6 PSI for 10 minutes in a dial-gauge canner or 10 minutes at 5 PSI in a weight-gauge canner. You can find a complete guide for pressure canning times and PSI information here.

More canning recipes you’ll love:

Check out my entire category of Canning recipes for more ideas and inspiration.

a chart for timing and syrup ratios for canning peaches

<<<<click here to get the processing times and syrup cheat sheet>>>>

Jars of canned peaches on a wooden board
Print Recipe
4.98 from 43 votes

Canning Peaches {How to Can Peaches}

Prep Time1 hr 5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
An easy step by step tutorial on preserving peaches.

Ingredients

  • 17 lbs peaches
  • 5 3/4 cups water {+more for the canner}
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • ice

Instructions

Canning Prep

  • Prepare your water bath canner by filling it with water. You just need to have enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch once the water is boiling.
  • Set the canner on the stove. Turn the burner to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce it to simmer. You want to keep the water hot so that everything is ready when the peaches are.
  • Wash and sanitize your jars. You’ll want to keep them warm to avoid having them crack when placed in the canner. You can fill them with hot water, or place them on a tray in the oven at 170F.
  • Wash your lids and set aside in clean place.
  • Use a paring knife and cut the peach around the middle to separate. Remove the pit. Put the halves in a large bowl of water treated with lemon juice (~1/4 cup) or citric acid (1 tbsp). 
  • In a medium-sized pot, combine your sugar/honey/or juice and water to create the syrup. Pro tip: if you're planning to do a large batch of peaches all at once, I use my crockpot to create and keep the syrup hot. It frees up space on the stove.
  • Add one layer of peaches at a time to a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds.
  • Remove using a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath for 1 minute.
  • Use the slotted spoon to remove the peaches from the ice bath. Grab one of the peaches and gently peel the skin back.
  • Proceed using either the raw pack or hot pack method detailed above in the post.
  • Add the peaches cavity-side (where the pit was) down to your sanitized and warm canning jars. This is easiest done with a fork. Repeat with other peach halves until you have filled the jar. Pro tip: depending on the size of the peaches, each quart will fit about 3-3.5 peaches.
  • At this point, return your water in the canner back to a rolling boil.
  • Using a canning funnel, ladle hot syrup into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar.
  • Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar.
  • Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag.
  • Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.
  • Gently place your jars in the canner. Put the lid on, and set your timer. Hot pints should process for 20 minutes, and quarts for 25. Raw pack pints should process for 25 minutes and quarts for 30. Pro tip: the water must return to a boil in the canner before you can start the timer.
  • Once the peaches have processed for the appropriate amount of time, remove the canner from the burner, carefully take off the lid, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the jars, and place them on a thick towel in a place where they can be undisturbed for 12 hours.
  • After the jars have rested for about 12 hours, press down in the middle of each lid. If it "gives" at all, the jar didn't seal. Either enjoy it that day, put it in the fridge, or reprocess it.

Notes

Canned peaches will last for 12 months.
Nutrition Facts
Canning Peaches {How to Can Peaches}
Amount Per Serving (2 peach halves)
Calories 129
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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107 comments on “Canning Peaches {How to Can Peaches}”

  1. great article, thank you! First time canner here, just tried a batch of peaches, but my lids have not popped after cooling for over half an hour. Does that mean they definitely did not seal, or is the “press test” after 12 hours the true indicator they are sealed properly?

    • Rick, they may not make the popping sound (and sometimes I’m too busy cleaning up to hear it!). The press test is definitely the true indicator.

  2. Anything special to know if you use those canning jars with the wire snap shut lids and a plastic type seal?
    Is processing different?

    • Mike, I’d need to see a photo of what you’re talking about before I could advise. Do you mean the old-school type lids? Weck jars? There are very few jars like what you are describing that is considered safe anymore.

  3. Just so you know all honey is raw, if you look on any honey bottle it should say pure honey. There is no difference.

    • Thanks! I wonder if that is a USDA labeling requirement for things sold nationally. We purchase local honey and I know Washington State has slightly different labeling requirements.

  4. This is my 1st time canning. I wish I had a grandmother alive that could have shown and taught me how to can. And also answer questions I may have about it. I think I just ruined my1st batch of peaches. I did the hot method and I forgot to get air bubbles out before sealing. Do I need to pop and reseal? Also forgot lid was not on my water bath canner. I don’t know if I will do this again. It’s been a horrible experience with lots of crying. 

    • Oh, Melissa, I feel your pain. The first time I canned it was a traditional batch of jam (so much sugar and SO much stirring) and I hated it so much I didn’t do it for another two years. Deep breaths.

      The lid is required for it to be safe, otherwise, it is an outdated practice called “open kettle canning” which the USDA says is not safe. You can reprocess them in a closed water bath canner but my gut feeling is that they would become too mushy for your tastes.

      If you have any questions/want to rage cry with me (I so get it), you can email me directly and we can troubleshoot what to do next.

  5. I know there was a bit of confusion on some of this, but being a canner since I was a child (51 yrs) I knew just what to do. It’s been a long time since I canned peaches and wasn’t really sure if I was leaving out some of the process and hadn’t really planned on canning peaches, but this yr our local Produce stand friends have given me quite a few cases of peaches that they can’t put out on display. In return I give them some of my canning products. Thank you for sharing your recipes and I’m happy to say my peaches turned out beautiful.5 stars

    • Renee, I’m so glad it turned it out so well for you!

      I am curious as to what you mean by a bit of confusion. I’ve refined this post over seven years to make sure it is as clear as possible. If you have suggestions on where it can be improved, please email me directly. I’d love to make sure it’s 100% straightforward for my readers.

  6. I’m a little confused on the comment made about it taking longer in a pressure cooker canning process than a water bath. From the table it’s 20-30 min for a water bath and 10 min under pressure. I realize it takes time for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure, but I don’t understand the ‘word of warning’ point. It would seem to me it’s the same time to can regardless of water bath vs pressure cooker. Since I’m new at this, I’m just trying to understand the reason for the warning. I only have a pressure cooker and that made me hesitate over the instructions so that is why I’m asking about it. Thanks for the very detailed instructions. I’m hoping to try this canning process in the next few days.

    • P, it does take time to come to pressure but it also takes time to depressurize. If someone wants to can just 1 batch of peaches in a pressure canner, the timing is *about* the same as water bath. When you are canning multiple batches, pressure canning takes A LOT longer since you’re constantly waiting for it to come to pressure and depressurizing. The warning is to let you know it takes a lot more time.

      That being said, I too only have a pressure canner. I still use it as a water bath canner by removing the dial gauge from the middle. It then works as a water bath canner.

  7. Hi! These peaches look like they will be yummy!

    Is it possible to substitute Monk Fruit sweetener for sugar in any of your jam recipes for canning?5 stars

    • Hi Kerry, I had to go into a bit of a rabbit hole to find an answer for you since I have never worked with Monkfruit before.

      I couldn’t find anything on the National Center for Home Food Preservation or the Ball site, but I did find mention of it on the Pomona’s Pectin site. Pomona’s is the pectin I use for my jams since they will “gel” with little to no sugar. In this post down in the comments, you’ll find a Pomona employee noting that they have used Monkfruit with good results.

      So, long story short, it looks like it is safe. 🙂

  8. Sarah, My jars of peaches seem tightly sealed but I am worried as I never heard the “pop”. Is that a problem for preservation? Also the peaches did what I think is “float” to the top and some seem to be uncovered by the syrup. Is that also a problem?
    Thanks, Judy5 stars

    • Hi Judy, if you push down on the middle of the lid is there any give? If not, they’re sealed! Some jars just don’t make the popping sound or perhaps you missed it (because cleaning up after canning is a six-hour job!).

      The other thing is called “fruit float” and it’s totally normal. As long as the jars are sealed, it’s ok if some are above syrup. The peach on top will likely discolor after a few months but it will still be safe to eat. I just move those jars to the front of the shelf and make sure we eat them first.

  9. Hi, I am confused about the amount of peaches to use. At one point you say 17 lbs for 7 quarts but elsewhere it says 3-3.5 peaches per quart. When I weighed out 17 pounds I had 35 peaches. That’s 5 per quart. Doing the math the other way, 17 lbs for 7 quarts means 2.4 lbs per quart. Make that ounces for ease and it’s not quite 39 ounces. Divide that by 3 to 3.5 and that comes to giant peaches, on average 11-13 ounces. Mine are about 7 +/- and the internet thinks a large peach is 6 ounces. Very confused! Can you clarify? Thanks for your post – I am looking forward to trying canning.5 stars

    • When you’re working with fresh produce, things get complicated, especially if you’re using homegrown vs farm-grown. The 17 lbs is an average as set by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Each crop/source is different so it’s just a general starting point.

      On average, I can fit 3-3.5 peaches from the farmer’s market into a quart. If you have big ones, it might be fewer. Small peaches might mean more. Just layer them in the jar like you see in the photos in the post and it will work out. 🙂

  10. Why would you say it takes longer to pressure can then water bath can. That’s patently false. Both methods require water to come to boil or pressure. 10 minutes under 5 lbs for 10 minutes, or 25 minutes after boil starts. There seems to be a simple math problem here. Unless your using a giant pressure canner, there’s no comparison.

    • Valorie, you also need to take into account the time it takes to depressurize. Depending on the size of the canner, it can take 15-20 minutes before it is safe to remove the lid.

      If you’re canning one batch and want to use the pressure canner, the math is about even. But it gets more cumbersome to pressure can multiple batches.

      Whereas if you use the water bath method, you can start another batch almost as soon as you’ve finished the last batch (5 minutes resting time plus a few minutes to get back up to a rolling boiling). You’re not waiting for it to pressurize and depressurize each and every time.

      Information for both options is provided to allow people to choose their preferred method.