Canning Apples: a full guide on pressure canning apples

By Charlotte King

Wondering how to can apples? Apple Canning is a safe, important method for preserving your extra apples. The process of canning applies involves putting the fruits in containers such as jars and heating them to temperatures that destroy micro-organisms causing food spoilage.

During the process of heating, the air is squeezed out of the jar. A vacuum seal is then formed as the jar cools. This vacuum sealing technique prevents air from becoming re-introduced into the products and bringing in micro-organism contaminants.

Pressure Canning Apples

One of the safest methods of preserving apples is through pressure canning. Food jars are placed in water two to three inches high in a special pressurized cooker.

The temperature is then heated to at least 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Only the method of pressure canning reaches temperatures this high. The main reason why it is necessary to pressure can apples is due to the Clostridium botulinum microorganism.

Pressure canners are heavy pots made especially with a lid that can be steam-tight closed. The fitted lid has a vent, a weighted pressure gauge or a dial. There is also a fuse for safety. These may or may not have gaskets. New models have extra locking covers for additional safety.

There is a rack inside the pressure pot. Be sure to read the instructions before you operate these. For canning apples, pressure canners are not interchangeable and are not the same thing as pressure cookers.

For pressure canning options, dial the gauge for pints or quarts at six pounds for eight minutes or a weighted gauge at ten pounds for eight minutes.

Though boiling temperatures kill bacterial cells, these can still form spores that can withstand temperatures such as these. In lower acid food, the spores thrive quite well. They also thrive in the absence of air such as in canned lower acid food like vegetables or meat. When spores begin growing, they begin producing the deadly toxin botulinum.

Botulinum spores can only be destroyed by pressure cooking the apples at 240 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures or higher for s specified time depending on the altitude and food type. Low acid food has a pH of over 4.6. Due to the botulism risks, these foods need to be prepared through pressure canning.

The Boiling Water Bath Method

Canned apples

When it comes to how to can apples using the boiling water bath method, it is easier than you think. High acidity food with a pH of less than 4.6 contains sufficient levels of acid so that the spores of Clostridium botulinum are not able to grow and produce poisonous toxins. Foods with high acidity can be canned safely using the method called boiling water bath as well.

To begin canning apples, wash and soap your hands thoroughly under hot water. Wash and rub the back of your hands, wrists, fingernails and between the fingers for half a minute. Rinse well and dry using paper towels Turn off the faucet using paper towels.

Next, use hot soapy water to prep and wash sinks and countertops. Add one teaspoon of unscented chlorine regular bleach to one-quart water. Pour this into a squirt bottle.

You can also use a commercial disinfectant cleaner and follow the label’s directions. Spray the sink and countertops with a solution of bleach and air dry. Wash your hands, cutting boards, utensils, and dishes in hot soapy water and air dry.


  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Granulated White Sugar
  • Crispy juicy apples

To can your apples, using a pressure canner, dial the gauge for pints or quarts at six pounds for eight minutes or a weighted gauge at ten pounds for eight minutes as previously mentioned. For the boiling water bath method, first, prepare the jars. Inspect them for any cracks or chips. Wash and rinse using soapy water. Fill the canner with warm clean water half full.

Water bath canners are large pots for cooking with a wooden or wire rack inside to keep jars from touching each other. It has a lid that fits tightly. The rack inside the pot lets boiling water flow beneath and around each jar for evenly heating each jar. Also, the rack keeps each jar from breaking, cracking or bumping each other. If there are no racks available, clean dish towels made of cotton can also be used to pack around each jar.

If there are no standard canners in your area, any large metal pot can be used as long as it is tall enough to fit jars with an inch or two of water boiling briskly above each jar. The canner’s diameter needs to be not more than four inches more of the width of the stove burner for each jar to be heated properly.

Over the burner, center the canner and preheat the water to one hundred forty degrees Fahrenheit for foods raw-packed and for foods that are hot-packed, one hundred eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Monitor the temperature using a food thermometer. Put each jar into the canner so they get filled with water. While preheating the jars, prepare the apples.

Under running water, rinse each apple Scrub them using a clean brush for produce as you hold them under running water. Next, core and peel each apple. Dissolve half a teaspoon of 1500mg ascorbic acid in two quarts water to prevent browning. Core and peel each apple. Any discolored or bruised areas needs to be trimmed off. Slice each apple and put each slice into the ascorbic acid and water solution.

For the syrup, for every five pounds of sliced apples add a pint of very light syrup, a pint of apple juice or a pint of water into a large kettle. You can make a very light syrup by combining a half cup of sugar for every quart of water. Add the apples to the kettle and gently boil for five minutes. Prevent the mixture from getting cold by stirring it now and then.

Prepare the jar lids by washing them with soap and water and letting them air-dry at room temperature until you need them.

The next step is to remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter. Pour water back into the canner from the jars. Use a cake cooling rack or towels to cool the hot jars. Ladle hot syrup or liquid and the hot slices of apples into each hot jar using a funnel. From the top of the jar, fill up to half an inch headspace.

Remove trapped bubbles of air by inserting a plastic utensil. If necessary, add extra liquid or apple slices to re-adjust headspace. Use a damp clean paper towel to wipe jar rim’s topmost part. Use a lid wand or tongs to remove the lid from the saucepan. Place the lid on the jar. Apply the screw band and close tightly. Do not over-tighten the jars.

Use a jar lifter to place filled jars into the canner one by one. Securely position the jar lifter below the jar neck just beneath the lid’s screw band. At all times, keep the jar upright. Food could spill into the lid’s sealing area if you tilt the jar at any time.

If necessary, add more boiling water so that the level of water is an inch above the tops of jars. Turn the setting of heat to the highest level. Use the lid to cover the canner and heat until the water vigorously boils. Maintain a gentle rolling boil to reduce heat. For twenty-five minutes, process the quarts or pints.

You can keep track of the time by setting the timer. During the process, add more boiling water if necessary to maintain the level of water an inch or two above the tops of the jars. At any time during this process, if the water ceases to boil, bring up the heat to the highest level once again. Begin the process of timing all over again by starting from the beginning.

Unloading the canner is the next step. The moment the timer buzzes, turn off the heat and uncover the pot. Before removing the jars, wait for five minutes to ensure good seals and to prevent any spilling over.

Use the jar lifter to lift each of the jars one by one. Be careful not to tilt any of the jars. Arrange the jars directly on the cake cooling rack or the towel with at least an inch of space between each jar as it cools.

As the jars cool, let them sit undisturbed for twelve to twenty-four hours. Do not press down on the flat metal lid center or tighten the lid ring bands until all the jars are cooled completely. From the sealed jars, remove the band rings. Test the seals by pressing the lid center.

You will know that the jars are sealed when there is no sound of clicking. Use all the unsealed jars first. Put all of the unsealed ones in the refrigerator. Use a wet cloth to wipe the lids and jars. Label with the date, contents, and name. Store this in a dry, dark, cool place for up to one year.

Affiliate Disclosure

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site.

Read More