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Canning Peas {How to Can Peas}

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how simple Canning Peas can be. Having canned peas on hand means your favorite soups, stews, and side dishes can be ready in a flash. 

3 jars of green peas on a white board with a bowl of peas

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Home-canned peas are so much better than what you can find in the grocery stores. They taste better, fresher, and are also one of the easiest vegetables to pop into a canner to stock your pantry.

Can You Can Peas Without a Pressure Canner?

Sadly, no. And, I have to reinforce this point: you cannot safely can peas in a water bath canner. Peas, like all low acid vegetables, must be preserved using a pressure canner.

Once you master your pressure canner, use it for things like Canning Beets, Canning Potatoes, Canning Green BeansCanning CornCanning Pumpkin, and Canning CarrotsThis is the pressure canner I have had for eight years and I love it. 

If you don’t have a pressure canner, check out my tutorial for how to freeze peas.

SUPPLIES FOR Canning Peas

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

You’ll need:

How to Use Canned Peas

My favorite use is to just crack open a jar, heat, and top with loads of butter and some flaky Maldon sea salt!

But, you can also add (drained) peas to Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings, Whole30 Beef Stew, Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie, Healthy Green Pea Salad, Creamy One-Pot Pasta With Peas, or Pea and Sweet Corn Fritters.

HOW MANY PeaS DO YOU NEED FOR CANNING?

Overall you’ll need about 4.5 pounds of peas per quart jar. For seven quarts, you’ll need about 31.5 pounds. For nine pints, you’ll need 20 pounds. A US bushel is 30 pounds and will net you 5-10 quarts. (source)

HOW TO CAN PEAS

*I’ll walk you through it here with photos, and a detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Wash and clean your jars. It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

You can put them in a clean dishwasher and run them through a quick wash cycle, or place them in a large pan with some water in a low heat oven (my lowest temp is 170 degrees) until you need them. I’ve even just put hot tap water in them before and left them on the counter.

Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.

Choose young and tender peas, discarding any that look shriveled or spoiled.

Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.

Raw Pack: Add peas to the jars, carefully ladle in boiling water, leaving 1-inch of headspace at the top of the jars.

Hot pack: cook peas in boiling water for 2 minutes. Strain, then add peas to jars and carefully ladle in clean boiling water, leaving 1-inch of headspace.

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. Any food debris left on the rim may impact the seal of the lid in the canner.

Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.

8 photos showing step by step how to can peas

Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe (I call it the steam chimney). Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator (I call it the chimney cap) on top.

Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. That is a sign that you’re starting to build pressure inside the canner (get excited. This is happening!). Under normal conditions, peas need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes for pints or quarts. See chart below for any changes to processing times.

Processing times for pressure canning green peas

When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time. You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is super hot).

4 photos showing how to pressure can peas step by step

Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongsPro tip: allowing the jars to sit in the canner with the lid off can help reduce the siphoning of liquid in your jars. Siphoning is when liquid seeps out from under the lids and reduces the overall amount of liquid in the jar. 

canning tongs holding a jar of peas

If just a bit of siphoning has happened and your jars sealed, your item is still safe to eat but use your best judgment. I tend to quickly use any jar that has experienced siphoning simply because it can discolor the food at the top not covered in the liquid.

Place hot jars on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

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.

HOW LONG DO CANNED PEAS LAST?

If stored in a dark cool place, they will last for 12 months. If you open a jar for use and don’t use it all, you can store it in the fridge for up to three days.

PRO TIPS/RECIPES NOTES

  • You can add salt to each jar prior to canning it. Use pickling salt and add 1 tsp per quart. Personally, I find the unsalted version easier to use in recipes because it allows me to control the overall sodium.
  • Pressure canners can often leave white lines on lids and rings. It’s totally normal and safe. To prevent this, add 1/3 cup of white vinegar to the canner before processing.
  • 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 hand holding a canning jar of peas

MORE CANNING RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Canning Peas

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Pressurizing/Depressurizing20 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to can peas.

Ingredients

  • 20 lbs green peas {for 9 pints}
  • water
  • 9 tsp canning salt {optional}

Instructions

  • Wash and clean your jars. Fill with hot water or keep them warm in a clean dishwasher or oven.
  • Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl.
  • Choose young and tender peas, discarding any that look shriveled or spoiled.
  • Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.
  • Raw Pack: Add peas to the jars, carefully ladle in boiling water, leaving 1-inch of headspace at the top of the jars.
  • Hot pack: cook peas in boiling water for 2 minutes. Strain, then add peas to jars and carefully ladle in fresh boiling water, leaving 1-inch of headspace.
  • {optional}: add 1 tsp of salt per quart or 1/2 tsp salt per pint.
  • Use a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), to 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.
  • Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe.
  • Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator on top.
  • Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. Peas need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes for pints or quarts. See chart in post above for any changes to processing times.
  • When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time.
  • When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: use oven mitts to take the lid off because the steam is super hot).
  • Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a thick clean towel undisturbed for 12 hours.

Notes

Store in a cool dark place for 12 months.
For seven quarts, you’ll need about 31.5 pounds. For nine pints, you’ll need 20 pounds. A US bushel is 30 pounds and will net you 5-10 quarts. 

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