Canning Carrots

By Charlotte King

In recent years, canning has gained a lot of traction. Canning is a great way to preserve produce while maintaining its nutritional value. Carrots are one of the popular vegetables in the canning community. Canned carrots come in handy because they last for a long time and are easy to store. Canning carrots are also a great way to add variety to your diet.

Canning carrots at home is simple, and once you are familiar with the process, it will quickly become a part of your routine. This blog post will serve as a great starting point in your carrot canning journey. The steps for canning are straightforward.

  • Buy some great produce.
  • Clean and prepare them into the desired form.
  • Prepare your canning liquid and canning jars.
  • Fill your jars and process them in the canner for the recommended time.

Pressure Canning or Water Bath Canning

Canning Carrots

The first question that many of us wonder about is how to process your jars for canning. Well, in the case of carrots, they are a low acid food. So, to can and preserve them safely, you must use the pressure canning technique.

When you are canning acidic foods such as tomatoes, you can use either the pressure canning or the water bath technique. The science behind this is very straightforward. A water bath canner simply cannot reach the pressure canner’s temperatures. In the case of acidic foods, the acid present in the food and the temperature that the vegetables and fruits reach when canned in a water bath is what helps preserve them. However, using a water bath for low acid food for something like carrots leads to the risk of botulism. So, we will stick to using the pressure canning technique as we are canning carrots.

Key Ingredients for Canning Carrots

Carrots on a cutting board


You can use whichever variety of carrots that you like for canning. For example, you can use baby carrots or the normal type. Most people prefer to peel the carrots before canning; however, it is not required. The recipe below uses 5  pounds of fresh carrots. Prepare your carrots by cutting them into the form that you want to can them. A preferred way is to slice the peeled carrots into even discs that are approximately ¼ of an inch in thickness.

Canning salt (optional)

Adding salt to your canned carrots is something you will find in many recipes. However, this step is entirely optional and up to your own preferences. If you do end up using salt in your canning recipes, always make sure that you use canning salt and never table salt since it dissolves quickly and won’t end up clouding your canned produce.

Canning Jars

Rinse five pint-sized canning jars along with their lids and rings using soap and water. Once your jars are all clean, leave them in the dishwasher or oven so that they can stay warm while you prepare your carrots.

Hot Pack vs. Cold Pack

You can use either a cold or hot pack to can your carrots. In cold packing, the carrots are canned without processing them beforehand. Simply add them to your jars and fill them with your canning liquid. In the case of using a hot pack, you will have to process the carrots before you add them to your canning jars. The recipe below has instructions on using the cold pack method, with an additional section at the bottom for exploring the hot packing of the carrots.

Canning Carrots in a Pressure Canner

  1. Remove your jars from the dishwasher when all your carrots are prepared and ready to go. Using a jar funnel, add your carrots to the jars, tapping them occasionally on the counter to pack them in tightly. Leave about 1-inch headspace.
  2. Boil a pot of water on the stove. When the water is boiling, and your jars are filled with the carrots, add the water to all your jars while still maintaining the 1-inch headspace.
  3. Use a debubbler to get rid of any air bubbles that may have formed. You may need to add a few more carrots and water to make up for the space the air bubbles took up.
  4. Run a damp paper towel around the rim of all your jars to get them clean before placing the lids on the jars. You can use a magnetic lid lifter for this task. Finally, place the rings on the jars and twist them closed until they are just “finger-tip” tight.
  5. Get your canner ready by adding a few inches of water to the canner and placing a trivet at the bottom to stop your jars from coming in direct contact with the bottom of the canner. Please note that this step may vary slightly according to the canner you are using. So follow the instructions mentioned in your canners instruction booklet.
  6. Close the lid to your canner and turn on the burner. Let your canner vent until you see a steady stream of steam rising, after which you can place the weight according to the pressure needed for your elevation.
  7. Carrots in pint-sized jars need to be processed for 25 minutes and 30 minutes in a quart-sized jar. The processing time remains the same in the case of a hot and cold pack.
  8. When the processing time is up, turn off your canner and let the jars sit undisturbed in the canner until the pressure inside drops completely. Once the pressure has gone down, open the lid to the canner lift out all the jars using jar tongs onto a wire rack.
  9. Let the jars cool down to room temperature for 24 hours before you touch them. As the jars are cooling, you might even hear the signature “pop” of them sealing shut.
  10. When your jars are cool enough to handle, remove their rings and wipe the jars with a damp cloth to clean them. Test the seal of each jar before you label and date them with the canning date. These canned carrots are now ready to be stored in your pantry!

Canning Carrots in an Instant Pot

Canning food in a standard instant pot is not recommended. However, if you do plan to use an instant pot for canning purposes, always make sure the one you are using has the capabilities to safely can your food. For example, the Instant Pot Max is one of the industry’s first electric instant pots approved by the USDA for safe home canning in certain settings. The guide below explains the steps for canning carrots in an instant pot max.

  1. Remove your warm canning jars from the dishwasher. Suppose you are using salt while canning; add ½ teaspoon of canning salt to each of your jars. Fill all your jars with your carrots by packing them in until there is 1 inch of headspace remaining.
  2. Check your instant pot seal to ensure it is seated properly so that the pressure is maintained properly. Place the trivet in the instant pot. Add a splash of vinegar to the instant pot, and this will help prevent a residue from forming on the jars you are canning.
  3. Place a kettle of water on the stove to heat it. Once the water has heated, pour it into the canning jars, ensuring that you maintain the 1-inch headspace. Use a debubbler to get rid of any air bubbles that may have formed. At this point, you may be able to fit a few more carrots in the jars.
  4. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of your jars before using a lid lifter to place the lids on the jars. Put on your rings so that they are “finger-tip” tight.
  5. Place your ready jars in the instant pot while ensuring that none of the jars touch each other. Add some warm water to the instant pot so that jars are ⅓ immersed in water. Close the lid to the instant pot max.
  6. Adjust your altitude setting on the instant pot according to your elevation. Select the “Canning” setting and set the timer to 25 minutes for pints and 30 minutes if you are using quarts. Set the pressure to “Max” and set the venting to “No Venting.” Finally, hit start.
  7. Once the processing time finishes, your instant pot will release the pressure inside naturally for some time. Leave your instant pot undisturbed until the pressure inside the pot has released completely. When the pressure has released, you can open the lid to your instant pot and lift out your jars onto a wire rack.
  8. Let the jars cool down naturally until they are at room temperature. As the jars are cooling, you will hear the “pop” of the lids sealing. When they have cooled, remove their rings and wipe the jars with a damp cloth to clean them.
  9. Label and date your jars before moving them to the pantry for storage.

Remember that you need to adjust your canning pressure according to your elevation. Following is the recommended setting per  National Center for Home Food Preservation

How to Make a Hot Pack

You can also use a hot pack for canning your carrots. Whether you use a hot pack or a cold pack, the canning steps and procedure remain the same.

Add your carrots to a large saucepan and add enough water to immerse the carrots completely for a hot pack. Set the saucepan on the stove on low-medium heat and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Use these carrots to fill your canning jars and if you are a little short on the canning liquid, boil some water in a kettle and use that to top off your jars.

Canning Sweet Glazed Carrots

Cut Carrots

This is a great way to can carrots with a little bit of sweetness that is bound to be a hit with kids who are picky eaters.


  • 5 lbs peeled baby carrots
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup orange juice


  • Combine the sugar, water, and orange juice in a saucepan and heat it on low-medium heat.
  • Stir the mixture to help the sugar dissolve. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, your canning liquid is ready to be used. Keep it hot until you are ready to use it.
  • Fill your canning jars with the carrots and fill them with your sweet canning liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Once the jars are all ready, you can process them the same way you would process carrots with water.

Frequently Asked Questions


How to check the seal on the canning jars?

You can perform a quick tapping test to check the seal of your canning jars. Once your jars are all cool, tap the lid gently with your index finger and observe how the lid reacts. If the lid springs up, the lid has not been sealed properly, and the jar needs to be reprocessed. On the other hand, if the lid does not react in any way, your seal is good.

How long do canned carrots last?

Properly canned and stored carrots can last for 3 – 5 years with no problems in your pantry. Once opened, store the jar in the refrigerator and use it within 3 – 5 days. If at any point you notice the seal has broken on any of the jars in storage, discard the canning jar because you don’t know how long the jar has been unsealed. If you notice any mold on or in the jars, discard the jar immediately.


Canned carrots are a great way to meal prep and also add variety to your diet. There are several dishes that you can experiment with your canned carrots. You should definitely give canning carrots a try, given how simple it is to can them at home and long they last while still retaining their nutritional value. You can also check our ultimate canning food guide to get more tips about this process.

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