Canning Blueberries

By Charlotte King

With summertime around the corner, what better way is there to stay refreshed than with blueberries? If you want to enjoy them in dishes all year long, canning blueberries is a great way to do just that.

To start canning blueberries, all you need are some basic supplies and equipment. First, prepare fresh berries, canning liquid, and a canner. You can then use a water bath canner or a pressure canner to can your blueberries!

With summertime around the corner, what better way is there to stay refreshed than with blueberries? If you want to enjoy them in dishes all year long, canning blueberries is a great way to do just that.
blueberries in a metal bowl

Preparing to Can Blueberries

blueberries in cartons

How to Pick Fresh Blueberries

Blueberries are a summer fruit, so canning them during their seasonal peak of flavor will deliver the best results. Here are a few tips to help you pick and buy fresh blueberries.

Tip #1: It is best to use ripe berries to get the best flavors. Ripe blueberries are plump and have a deep blue color. Blueberries that are tart and underripe will still be quite firm. So, always make sure that you use only the best blueberries for canning.

Tip #3: Make sure that the blueberries you buy are not smushed.

Tip #4: Ripe blueberries will roll right off the plant as soon as you try to pick them. If you feel some resistance when you try to pluck any blueberries, it is probably still underripe.

Supplies You Need

Blueberries

We use 8 pounds of blueberries to get 9 pints of canned blueberries in our recipe. However, feel free to use as many blueberries as you need. 

When you have your blueberries, sort through them to remove any stems, mushed blueberries, or any other unwanted elements from them. Next, empty the blueberries in a colander and give them a thorough rinse, gently agitating them with your hand. You can even soak the blueberries in water to clean them; however, be warned ripe blueberries may become mushy when soaked.

Canning Liquid

Like any other canning recipe, you require a canning liquid for canning blueberries. You can either use plain water or syrup. If you are using canned blueberries to make pies, cobblers, or jams, a syrup will give you that extra hit of sweetness. However, plain water is an excellent choice if you use canned blueberries in pancakes, waffles, or any sugar-free dishes.

Using Water as the Canning Liquid

To use water as the canning liquid, set some filtered water on the stove to come up to a boil. You can even use a kettle to heat your water. Whether using the hot pack or cold pack method, you need to use a hot canning liquid. So, make sure that the water is hot when you are ready to can.

Using Syrup as the Canning Liquid

Another way to add a little sweetness to your blueberries is to use syrup for canning. You can use a light to medium syrup for the canning liquid. For a light syrup, combine 5¾ cups water with 1½ cups of sugar and let it come up to a boil on the stove. For a medium syrup, you will need to combine 5¼ cups of water with 2¼ cups of sugar. If the syrup has cooled by the time you start canning, reheat it before using it.

Canning Jars

You are free to use pint-sized or quart-sized jars for canning. However, make sure that they can withstand the canning process. For our recipe, we will use nine pint-sized jars.

Prepare the jars and jar rings by washing them with hot, soapy water. Once cleaned, keep the jars in the oven or dishwasher to warm until ready for use. Additionally, soak the canning lids in hot water until ready for use. 

How to Can Blueberries

blueberries in glass jars

Hot Pack Method

In a hot pack, the blueberries are processed before canning. Hot packs yield better results because the blueberries do not shrink after canning, and they retain their color better. 

For the hot pack method, bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Once the water starts boiling, add in your blueberries while still letting your water boil. Once the water has reached a roaring boil, set a timer for 30 seconds. You should notice the blueberries get plump in the water. Once the time is up, drain the blueberries and add them to your canning jars for canning.

Cold Pack Method

The cold pack method is a faster and more convenient way to can blueberries. In this method, you add the fresh berries directly to the canning jars without processing them in any way. However, you will notice that the blueberries float to the top after canning. After a few months, you will also see a noticeable change in their color. 

Water Bath Canning Method 

Blueberries are acidic, so you can safely use a water bath canner. We will use a large stockpot as our water bath canner.

  1. Fill a large stockpot with water and place it on the burner so that the water can come to a boil. In another pot, heat more water. We will need the extra water to top off the water bath canner.
  2. While the water comes to a boil, fill the canning jars with your blueberries, leaving about ½ inch of headspace for pints. Next, fill the jars with the canning liquid while maintaining the headspace. You can use a debbubler to free any air bubbles that might be trapped.
  3. If needed, top off the jars with additional canning liquid and blueberries. Do this before you clean the jar rims and place the canning lids on the jars with the help of a magnetic lid lifter.
  4. Close the jar rings to twist them to be finger-tip tight. Next, use a pair of jar tongs and load the jars into the water bath canner, ensuring that no two jars are touching.
  5. Add water to the canner to immerse all jars an inch underwater. Let the water come to a roaring boil, then set a timer adjusted to your altitude to process the jars. You can follow the altitude recommendations by the National Center for Home Food Preservation below.
  6. Once processed, turn off your burner and, after 5 minutes, open the lid to your canner. Using jar tongs, lift out the canned blueberries and set them on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Let the canned blueberries cool undisturbed for 24 hours. You can then remove their rings and wipe them off before labeling and moving them to storage.
Jar SizeCanner Pressure (PSI) at 0-1000 ft Canner Pressure (PSI) at 1001-3000 ftCanner Pressure (PSI) at 3001-6000 ftCanner Pressure (PSI) at 6000+ ft
Pints or Quarts (Hot Pack)15 min20 min20 min25 min
Pints (Cold Pack)15 min20 min20 min25 min
Quarts (Cold Pack)20 min25 min30 min35 min
Table 1. Recommended process time for blueberries in a boiling-water canner.

Pressure Canning Method

  1. Start by adding the blueberries to your canning jar, moving them around so that they occupy as much space as possible. Remember to leave about ½ inch headspace. Next, fill the jar with the canning liquid of your choice.  
  2. Once you fill in the canning liquid, use a debbubler and move it around the outer edge of the jar to free up any air bubbles that might have formed. If there is any room, use a few more blueberries or canning liquid to maintain the ½ inch headspace.
  3. When your jar is ready, wipe off its rim with a damp paper towel before using a magnetic lid lifter to place the lid on the jar. Lastly, place the canning jar lid and twist it closed until it is just “finger-tip” tight.
  4. Prepare your pressure canner by adding a few inches of water to it and placing a trivet in it to prevent the jars from coming in direct contact with the canner. Load your prepared jars into the canner carefully, ensuring they do not touch each other.
  5. When the canner is loaded, close the lid to the canner and let it vent for 10 minutes. After which, you can process the jars for the time and the pressure required for your elevation. Below is the recommendation by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  6. When the processing time is up, turn off the burner and let the pressure in the pressure canner come down. Open the canner lid only after the pressure has released completely. Remove your processed blueberries carefully using a pair of jar tongs and set them on a kitchen towel or wire rack so that they can cool down.
  7. Leave the jars undisturbed for at least 24 hours to cool them completely. Then, you can remove their rings and wipe them off with a damp cloth. As the jars cool, you will hear the jars’ signature “pop” sound sealing shut.
Jar SizeProcess TimeCanner Pressure (PSI) at 0-2000 ftCanner Pressure (PSI) at 2001-4000 ftCanner Pressure (PSI) at 4001-6000 ftCanner Pressure (PSI) at 6001-8000 ft
Pints or Quarts (Hot Pack)8 min6 min7 min8 min9 min
Pints (Cold Pack)8 min6 min7 min8 min9 min
Quarts (Cold Pack)10 min6 min7 min8 min9 min
Table 2. Process times for blueberries in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Jar SizeProcess TimeCanner Pressure (PSI) at 0-1000 ftCanner Pressure (PSI) at 0-1000 ft
Pints or Quarts (Hot Pack)8 min5 min10 min
Pints (Cold Pack)8 min5 min10 min
Quarts (Cold Pack)10 min5 min10 min
Table 3. Process times for blueberries in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Your pressure canned blueberries are now ready to be labeled and dated before moving them into the pantry!

How to Use Canned Blueberries

You can use canned blueberries in all the dishes where you would otherwise use fresh blueberries. Recipes that require cooked blueberries are an excellent way to use canned blueberries. Canned blueberries taste delicious in pies, cobblers, muffins, bread, jam, and so much more! Honestly, let your imagination run wild and use the blueberries to your heart’s content!

Frequently Asked Questions

bowl of blueberries on white cloth

How Long Do Canned Blueberries Last?

Properly canned and stored blueberries will last 12-18 months without any problems. Once opened, store the jar in the refrigerator and use it within seven days. You should inspect the canned blueberries every few months to check their quality. If you find any broken seals or spoilage, discard them immediately.

Can Blueberries be Canned Without Sugar?

Blueberries can be canned without sugar using hot water! If you are looking for an alternative to sugar, you can even use honey as a sweetener. However, too much honey will overpower the taste of the blueberries.

Conclusion

white bowl filled with blueberries on a wooden board

Blueberries are an excellent fruit rich in nutrients and vitamins, and canning blueberries allows you to enjoy them all year long! So the next time you pick up blueberries, do not forget to pick up an extra batch to can. If you want to learn even more canning tips and tricks, check out our ultimate canning guide!

blueberries in a metal bowl

Canned Blueberries

With summertime around the corner, what better way is there to stay refreshed than with blueberries? If you want to enjoy them in dishes all year long, canning blueberries is a great way to do just that.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Preparation
Servings 9
Calories 2068 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 lb blueberries
  • water
  • sugar optional

Instructions
 

Canning Liquid

  • You can use plain hot water or syrup for canning. If using syrup, you can again choose to use a light syrup or medium syrup.
  • For a light syrup, combine 5¾ cups water with 1½ cups of sugar and let it come to a boil on the stove.
  • For a medium syrup, you will need to combine 5¼ cups of water with 2¼ cups of sugar.

Water Bath Canning Blueberries

  • Fill your jars with blueberries. If you use the hot pack method, blanch the blueberries for 30 seconds before adding them to your jars.
  • Next, fill the jars with the canning liquid, leaving ½ inch of headspace.
  • Wipe off the jar rims with a damp paper towel and place their lids on. Twist on the jar rings so that they are “finger-tip” tight.
  • Prepare the water bath canner with hot water and load your prepared jars in the canner. Top off the canner with more water so that each jar is immersed at least an inch underwater.
  • Process the jars for the time required for your elevation.
  • Once processed, remove the jars from the canner and let them cool for 24 hours before removing their lids. You can then label and move the jars into storage.

Pressure Canning Blueberries

  • Fill your jars with blueberries. If you use the hot pack method, blanch the blueberries for 30 seconds before adding them to your jars.
  • Next, fill the jars with the canning liquid, leaving ½ inch of headspace.
  • Wipe off the jar rims with a damp paper towel and place their lids on. Twist on the jar rings so that they are “finger-tip” tight.
  • Prepare the pressure canner by adding a few inches of water and a trivet before loading your jars. Close the lid to the jar and let it vent for 10 minutes.
  • Adjust the canning pressure on the canner according to your elevation.
  • Once processed, remove the jars from the canner after the pressure has come down completely and let them cool for 24 hours. You can then remove their lids. Finally, label and move the jars into storage.

Nutrition

Sodium: 36mgCalcium: 218mgVitamin C: 352mgVitamin A: 1960IUSugar: 361gFiber: 87gPotassium: 2794mgCalories: 2068kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 12gProtein: 27gCarbohydrates: 526gIron: 10mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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