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Canning Peaches {How to Can Peaches}

An easy step by step tutorial on preserving peaches.
Jars of canned peaches on a wooden board

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 83 ratings

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
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 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). 
    17 lbs peaches, 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 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.
    5 3/4 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 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.
    ice
  • 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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142 comments on “Canning Peaches {How to Can Peaches}”

  1. I tried canning peaches for the first time using this recipe. I must say they are simply amazing! I am canning more today 5 stars

  2. Do you use your water bath canner on your flat top stove? I was looking into buying one but we have a glass flat top stove and the description says not to use on there. Thanks for your input and all of you’re exiles! 

    • It depends on which kind of flat stovetop you have. I got induction once we remodeled our kitchen and my canner does NOT work on it. My dad lives with us and has his own stove in an inlaw style apartment. I use his stove now when I am canning.

      I used to use my canner on our old glass top stove and it was fine. But it was also a very cheap stove and I’d be nervous about breaking a good one. You could get a standalone electric plug-in burner for your canner. I have also seen people use a burner on their BBQ for canners.

      • Thanks for your quick response! I dug around more on the internet and found a water bath canner that is made to use on glass stove tops. Also, sorry about my typo – I love all your recipes – not exiles! 🤦‍♂️😂

      • Ha, no worries!!

  3. Followed your recipe to a “T” and they turned out amazing! Thankful for your step by step detailed instructions for this newbie canner. ❤️🍑 thank you for making it super easy for me.5 stars

    • Melissa, congrats on your first batch of peaches!!! I’m so glad I could help in any way. Think of me this winter when you’re enjoying them. 😊

  4. So I tried canning peaches today and I’ve messes up. I got lost and didn’t hot pack the fruit before canning and putting the fruit in the jars. They have made their round in the canner and the jars are popping. Will these still be usable? I used fruit juice. Should I just throw them all out?

    • Hot packing is not required – it is just one of two methods. It sounds like you chose the raw packing method which is perfectly safe.

      Test the lids in a few hours. If they’re sealed, they’re safe.

  5. Thank you for this recipe! For doing hot pack, and utilizing the pro tip of making they syrup in the crock pot, how do you get it to boil for 2 minutes?
    Thank you!

    • I either transfer syrup from my crockpot to a smaller pot on the stove to heat it up, or leave the peaches in the syrup a little bit longer in the crockpot.

      Hot packing is just meant to heat the peaches. Peaches don’t need to be fully boiling in the syrup to be safe. The boiling the jars in the canner is what makes the canning process safe.

  6. Thanks for a great article. Love the pro tips!
    Question – Is it possible to use granulated maple sugar or coconut sugar instead of regular white sugar? 

  7. Hi!
    In the hot pack method, you stated to boil the peaches in the syrup for 2 minutes. Does that mean to wait until the water starts boiling again? Or time if for two minutes once the peaches are put in the boiling syrup? Sorry for the specific question, I just don’t want to overcook them and make them mushy! Thanks!

    • Great question!

      You can start the timer as soon as you add them to the syrup. With hot packing, the cooking process is only meant to heat the peaches, not sterilize them. You can get a bit more “squishy” with that part of the cooking process vs. when they’re actually in the jars and in the canner.

    • Hello! I’m looking at this recipe and it sounds good. I want to try canning peaches but I have Georgia peaches. I don’t know if they’re cling or freestone. But they’re super juicy and sweet. When canning can I quarter the peaches or do they have to be in halves? Is there a way to do this without so much sugar?

      • Hi Terrie, Georgia peaches are more of a marketing thing than a type of peach. I live outside of Seattle so that’s like me saying “Washington apples” even though we grow and sell hundreds of varieties.

        If you’re buying peaches from a local farmer, ask if they are cling or freestone; they will absolutely be the expert in which variety they have. You are able to can halves or quarters safely.

        As to the sugar, I really encourage you to read the body of the post. I know it’s super long but that is because it’s packed with tons of info and variation (like no sugar vs. heavy sugar) and I don’t want you to miss any important info. It will make the process easier if you have all the information before you get started.

        Yes, you are able to can without sugar or even super-low sugar. Within the post there is a chart on how to make super-light all the way to heavy syrup. I tend to can my peaches with about 1 cup of sugar to 6 cups of water, but you can also use fruit juice, honey, or even no sugar at all.

        I’m going to copy and paste some of the info from the post below, but I promise there is even more good stuff in the body of the post:

        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.

        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.

      • I actually have peaches delivered from georgia. They’re way better than these nasty things we have in Michigan lol! Getting ready to work with him now. So hopefully it comes out good!

  8. Where the lemon juice used I did not read it in the directions

    • Hi Jerry, it’s in step 5 of the recipe card. I’ll copy and paste below:

      5. 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).

  9. Pit cavity down? Wouldn’t that trap air?

  10. I have a question do you take the time to scrape out the pink part of your peaches before you can them. They look like you do but you don’t say anything about that. If you don’t does it turn a different color after awhile on the shelf.

    • Hi Jodie, the “pink” part is more common in cling peaches. When canning, you want to use freestone peaches. Cling peaches are annoying because you cannot easily remove the pit and you have to cut them into slices instead of halves.

      The canning peaches (AKA freestone) I can get locally at my farmer’s market don’t really have the pink part around the pit. I’m sure there are strains of freestone peaches out there with pink sections. I would not remove them because they’re totally safe to eat. And that’s too much work for me. 🙂