Don't limit peaches to just one season. 

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As summer comes to a close and the weather begins to cool down, you've got two options for those fresh summer peaches: Freeze 'em or can 'em. Freezing is ideal for recipes that call for fresh, uncooked peaches. Take this Juicy Peach Crisp for example. 

Canned peaches on the other hand are great for any recipe that calls for cooked peaches. It's a shortcut to many recipes including Peach Kuchen, Peach Bread, or this Peach Banana Smoothie recipe. 

Three cans of peaches on dish towel with fresh peaches
Credit: Marty Baldwin/Meredith

New to canning? Don't worry, we'll take it step-by-step in this simple guide to canning peaches at home. And you do not have to have a special water-bath canner (although it doesn't hurt)  to can peaches at home. This method is as simple as it gets. Peach season just got a whole lot longer! 

How to Can Peaches Step-by-Step

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Large stock pot
  • Paring knife
  • Tongs
  • Rubber bands
  • Bowl of ice water
  • Dish towel or rag
  • Canning jars ($19; Amazon)
  • Medium pot
  • 4 pounds peaches
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 8 cups water

1. Sterilize Jars:

Wash jars with warm water and dish soap. Rinse with scalding hot water. Line the base of a large stock pot with either a canning rack ($15; Amazon), or make your own by lining the bottom with canning jar rings. This will prevent the jars from touching the heat source and cracking.

Place the jars right-side-up on the rack and cover with hot water. Bring water to a boil. Continue to boil for 15 minutes. Use tongs to remove the jars and place them inverted on a kitchen towel to dry.

2. Blanch and Shock Peaches:

Bring a large stock pot full of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut a small X on the bottom of each peach and add them to the boiling water. Allow them to boil for about 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove them and immediately dunk them in the ice water bath until cool. 

3. Peel and Slice Peaches:

Person peeling peaches with pairing knife over cutting board
Credit: Marty Baldwin/Meredith

Peel the peaches using either your fingernail or a small paring knife, pulling the skin from the X you created earlier. Slice the peaches into wedges and discard the pit. 

4. Add to Jars:

Divide the peaches between your jars (about one jar per pound of peaches). Fill the jars, leaving about one inch of space at the top. 

5. Make Simple Syrup:

In another medium pot, bring 8 cups of water to a simmer. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. 

6. Add Syrup:

Person holding ruler up to top of jar of peaches
Credit: Marty Baldwin/Meredith

Pour the simple syrup over the peaches in each jar. Leave about ¼ to ¾ of an inch of space from the top of the jar. Allow the syrup to settle towards the bottom of the jar. Tightly seal each jar with lids. 

7. Seal:

Person placing can of peaches into water bath canner using tongs
Credit: Marty Baldwin/Meredith

Add your canning rack to a large stock pot. Fill the pot about halfway with water, or until the tops of the jars are covered. Bring the water to a boil and carefully add each jar on top of the rack, using the tongs.

If your tongs aren't gripping the jars very well, you can always wrap each end with rubber bands for a better grip. Or you can invest in a pair of canning tongs ($7; Amazon). Allow the water to boil gently for 25 minutes.

8. Remove Jars and Cool:

Place a large dish towel or rag on the countertop. After the time is up, use the tongs to carefully lift the jars and place them on the towel. Allow the jars to cool completely. 

9. Test Sealing:

Close up of lid on jar of peaches with label
Credit: Marty Baldwin/Meredith

Once the jars have cooled, make sure they are properly sealed. To do so, simply press on the center of the lid. If it pops back, it didn't seal properly. This means you'll need to repeat the sealing process, refrigerate, and eat within a week.

For those jars that did seal properly, store them in a cool, dry, and dark space for up to two years.


This Story Originally Appeared On AllRecipes