How to Can Peaches in Light Syrup or No Syrup to Savor Summer

Peaches are high-acid foods, so they're easy to can with a boiling-water canner for canned peaches any time you like.

The process for canning peaches is as simple as prep, make a syrup, pack, process, and cool. The challenging peeling process of the prep step often turns people away, but that doesn't need to be the case. We'll show you our tricks for easily peeling peaches for canning. Plus, we'll help you choose how sweet to make your syrup and teach you how long to process different-sized cans using different packing methods.

We're here to make canning peaches easy-peasy, so you can start making fantastic ice cream toppers, peach cobbler, and more.

Prep the Peaches

As with canning any fruit, start with ripe, unblemished fruit that's washed well. According to Penn State Extension, some of the best peaches for canning are Glenglo, Ernie's Choice, Cresthaven, John Boy, Loring, Redhaven, and Sunhigh. includes Elberta, Fairhaven, GaLa, Glohaven, Halford, J.H. Hale, Midpride, Newhaven, Redglobe, Rio Oso Gem, Strawberry Cling, Summerset, Suncrest, and White Heath Cling varieties in its list.

Test Kitchen Tip:

If your peaches aren't quite ripe, place them in a brown paper bag on the counter for a day or two. Check the peaches daily; they can quickly go from perfectly ripe to overripe.

Once you've picked the best peaches for canning, peel, halve, pit, and, if desired, slice. Next, treat with an ascorbic acid color keeper solution; drain. Here's how to accomplish each of those steps.

How to Peel Peaches for Canning

Use this method for peeling peaches to make learning how to can peaches easier.

  • Cut a shallow X: Using a sharp knife on the bottom of each peach. This step allows for expansion whiles the peaches are blanched.
  • Blanch the peaches: Carefully lower peaches into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins start to split.
  • Quickly cool peaches: Transfer peaches to a large bowl of ice water using a slotted spoon ($4, Target).

Test Kitchen Tip: While it may seem like extra work, there are good reasons why we blanch peaches for canning. It firms the flesh, increases flavor, and loosens the skin for peeling.

  • Peel peaches: When cool enough to handle, remove peaches from water. Using a small sharp knife, peel off skins.
  • Remove the pits: Cut the peach in half to remove the pit. Continue to cut as directed in your recipe.

Test Kitchen Tip: Remember to treat peaches with an ascorbic acid color keeper and drain once your peaches are prepped.

Make the Syrup

Most canning recipes include syrup, but if you want to make a basic syrup without a recipe or you don't have a recipe, here's how to can peaches in syrup. First, choose the sugar level you want and place the following amounts in a large saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Skim off foam, if necessary, for a more clear syrup.

  • Very Thin or Very Light Syrup: Dissolve 1 cup sugar with 4 cups water to yield 4 cups syrup. Use this for already-sweet fruits or to cut down on sugar.
  • Thin or Light Syrup: Dissolve 1⅔ cups sugar with 4 cups water to yield 4¼ cups syrup.
  • Medium Syrup: Use 2⅔ cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4⅔ cups syrup
  • Heavy Syrup: Use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 5¾ cups syrup

Choose Raw-Pack or Hot-Pack

Peaches can be canned using either the raw-pack or hot-pack method. The raw-pack method is fast and easy and helps preserve the texture of delicate fruits like peaches. The downside to a raw pack is that peaches may shrink and start to float. The hot-pack method takes a little longer, but it breaks down the peaches to eliminate air so they're less likely to spoil and won't float in the can. Also, you can fit more peaches in fewer jars, and the processing time is reduced because the food is already hot.

To make a raw pack:

  1. Pack peaches cut sides down into jars.
  2. Pour boiling syrup or water over peaches, leaving a ½-inch headspace.
  3. Process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes.

To make a hot pack:

  1. Cook peaches in syrup before adding them to the jars.
  2. Fill jars with peaches, cut sides down, and syrup, leaving a ½-inch headspace.
  3. Process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes.
Packing canned peaches into jars spoon wooden table
Jason Donnelly

Add Peaches to Jars

Pack peaches and syrup into sterilized jars, leaving a ½-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue. Set lid on the jar and screw on the band.

Processing jars in boiling water canner
Waterbury Publications

Process Peaches in the Canner

Process pint and quart jars of filled peaches in a boiling-water canner ($100, Williams Sonoma) for 20 to 30 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling) depending on if you used a raw-pack or hot-pack method or as directed by your recipe. Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Store for up to a year.

Now that you know how to can peaches in light syrup, heavy syrup or no syrup, you can enjoy canned peaches straight from the jar, add to peach desserts, or deliver them as food gifts.

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