Canning Carrots

Canning Carrots

“Canning Carrots” is easier than you might think, even while using a pressure canner!  In this tutorial, I will take you through the entire process, step by step, so that you’ll have the confidence to can carrots at home yourself!

I prefer to can carrots by the “raw pack” method, meaning that the carrots will not be cooked, but rather packed raw.  I feel that more nutrients are preserved this way.

First, we’re going to need some fresh carrots to can!  I picked up these carrots at a farmer’s market and I couldn’t wait to get home and process them.

pressure canner

Many times, there is confusion about canning methods.  Why are some foods preserved in the steam-pressure canner and yet other foods are preserved in the water-bath canner (boiling water)?

It’s simple science, let me explain because as a new canner, this is very important for you to understand.

 

Canning Carrots: Understanding High-Acid vs. Low-Acid Foods

Foods are grouped into 2 categories:

  • High-acid foods
  • Low-acid foods

High-acid foods consist of mostly fruit and include tomatoes.  High-acid foods have a pH of 4.6 or less.  Sometimes, lemon juice or vinegar is added to increase the acidity, as with tomatoes and figs.  However, it is considered safe to water-bath can these foods.

Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level.  When food is processed in boiling water, the heat is transferred to the product because it surrounds the jar, lid and band.  The instructions will indicate how long the 212 degrees must be maintained to kill molds, yeasts and some bacteria, including inactive enzymes.

 

Common High-Acid Foods:

  • Lemons
  • Pickles
  • Gooseberries
  • Apricots
  • Tomatoes
  • Pears
  • Sauerkraut
  • Peaches
  • Sour cherries
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Plums

Common Low-Acid Foods:

  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Okra
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Green Beans
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Lima Beans

Low-acid foods cannot be processed by the water-bath method because boiling water cannot reach a high enough temperature to kill all of the bacteria present.

In order to achieve 240 degrees, the temperature required to kill bacteria, their spores and other toxins, you must use a steam-pressure canner.  Period.

It doesn’t matter if your mom, aunt or grandma did it another way and so far hasn’t made anyone sick.  I couldn’t live with myself if I made a family member sick.  Remember, you can’t see or smell botulism, and this is some serious bacteria, enough to be fatal.

Don’t be afraid, just follow the recipes for either water-bath canning or steam-pressure canning.

 

 The answer is that high-acid foods don’t require that kind of heat or pressure to be preserved safely, and you will find yourself with poor results i.e. very soft/mushy fruit. More about that here.

Now let’s get down to the business of pressure canning these carrots!

 

Canning Carrots – Raw Pack Method

What You Need:

  • Steam-pressure canner – I will be using the one with a weighted gauge
  • Jars, lids and rings
  • Canning utensils: jar lifter, jar funnel, bubble remover, lid wand and head space tool
  • Always clean your produce before anything else!  Remove any debris or dirt the best you can.

cleaning carrots in a sink

Next, put your canning jars in hot, soapy water to wash, and rinse with hot water.  When pressure canning, it is not necessary to sterilize the jars, just make sure they’re clean.

Place your clean jars into a large pot of simmering water to keep them hot until ready to use.  Do not boil them, just keep them at a simmer over medium to medium-high heat.

How to Pressure Can Hamburger

mason jars in soapy water

Decide how many lids you will need and put them in a pot with a couple inches of water and simmer…do not boil!

Start to simmer more water in a tea kettle or another pot of water on the stove, we’ll use this in a bit.

lids in sauce pan

Always clean your work area before canning.

clean counter

Set up your work area, you’ll need:

cutting board with knife and bowl

Peel all of the carrots that you will be pressure canning.

peeling carrots over a bowl

Once they’re peeled, go ahead and rinse them off again.

washing carrots

Then bring your carrots over to the cutting board and cut them however you prefer.  I like mine in bite-sized chunks because I frequently use them in soups.

cutting carrots on cutting board

Ok, so fill your jars until you have 1″ of head space.

raw carrots in canning jars

It’s time to add the salt, 1/2 tsp. for pints, 1 tsp. for quarts.  There is no need to stir the salt.

carrots in mason jars with salt

 

chopped carrots in mason jars with salt

Now we’re going to pour boiling hot water over our carrots until the water reaches that 1″ space line.

carrots in canning jar with hot water being poured over

It’s important to slide a rubber spatula around the edges of your jar to release any air bubbles.  After doing this, you may need to add a little more water to meet that 1″ head space.

chopped carrots in mason jar

Wipe the rim with a clean wet rag to make sure there will be a clean seal. Just one granule of salt can interfere with the sealing process.

mason jar

Using tongs, lift one lid at a time from your simmering pot and place it on the jar.

carrots in mason jar with lid

Put the rings on and tighten, just finger tight.  Don’t crank down on them.

Before putting your jars in your canner, fill the canner up to the indicator line with warm water.  Every canner is different.  It’s important that you find this indicator line or read your instruction book.  The arrow shows where the line is for my canner, which is about 3″.

Also, place the trivet on the bottom of the canner for the jars to sit on.

Space your jars so that they aren’t touching each other or touching the side of the canner.  This allows the hot water to flow around all of the sides of the jars.

jars in canner

Place the lid on the canner after checking your seal to make sure it’s intact.  Make sure the lid is on correctly and locked.

Turn the burner on high.

pressure canner on stove top

Pressure and heat will begin to build up inside the canner, forcing the cooler air out of the vent port.  This process is called “venting” and it’s an important and necessary step.

You’ll hear a “hissing” sound, don’t be concerned, it’s normal.

You should “vent” your canner for 10 minutes.

Once 10 minutes have passed, place the pressure regulator on.

parts of a pressure canner

You will notice that the safety fuse will pop up, another indication that you’re building up pressure within the canner.

pressure canner valve

Keep the heat on medium-high, and continue to build the pressure we need for canning carrots.  

When the pressure regulator begins to “jiggle”, enough pressure has been built up. 

At this point, turn your timer on and turn the heat back just a bit.

We want to stop building pressure at this point and begin to maintain the pressure.  The pressure regulator should be “jiggling” at a steady rate, but not “hissing”.

If the “jiggling” sounds more like “hissing”, there’s too much pressure in the canner.  Turn the heat down in small increments until it sounds more like “jiggling” again.  

You want to hear a consistent “jiggling” sound throughout the canning process.  With some experience, you’ll get used to the sounds of your pressure canner.

 

How to Pressure Can Dry Beans

pressure canner top

Canning carrots require 10# of pressure.

pressure canner top

This part is frightening for many new canners.  Let me assure you that if your seal was in good shape and you put the lid on correctly, the chances of something “bad” happening is extremely low.  There would almost have to be a structural problem with the canner itself i.e. damaged or cracked.

Try not to worry and enjoy the process of preserving your own food and canning your beautiful carrots!

How to Dehydrate Carrots

oven dial

From this point, let the canner do it’s thing until the timer goes off, although you need to stay nearby.  Never leave a canner unsupervised! 

Carrots in pint jars take 25 minutes of processing time, quarts take 30 minutes.

 

Once time is up, you are going to want to gently slide the canner off the burner to another burner that isn’t on.  Don’t try to lift the canner, please.  Just slide gently.

Let the canner cool, this will take quite a while.  When the canner completely stops hissing, you can remove the weighted gauge. 

You will likely hear more hissing.  Let it finish releasing all of the air inside until you hear absolutely no more hissing or air being released.

 

Then wait 10 more minutes.

 

Now, you can open your canner’s lid facing away from you, because believe it or not, there will still be steam inside!

Place a kitchen towel on the countertop where you want your jars to cool.  At this point, using your jar lifter, gently lift the jars one at a time and place them on your clean towel.

Give the jars space in between to allow airflow so that they can cool off.

As the jars cool, you will begin to hear the lids “pop” or “ping”, signally that they have sealed.  That’s one of my favorite sounds ever!

jar of carrots being lifted from canner

Look at how beautiful they turned out!!!  You did it!

How to Dehydrate Carrots

 

jars of carrots

 

Canning Carrots

Learn how to can carrots, with a pressure canner, using the raw pack method!
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Keyword: canning carrots, how to can carrots

Instructions

 Prepare a clean work area. 

  • Set up pressure canner, add water (as per directions) and begin to warm. 
  • Wash jars and put lids in warm (not boiling) water. Keep additional hot water available in a kettle for carrots.
  •  Wash, peel and cut carrots.  Fill jars with carrots. 
  • Add salt: 1/2 tsp for pints, 1 tsp for quarts.
  • Fill jars with water to 1" head space line. 
  • Wipe rims of jars, add lids and rings. 
  • Place jars in canner, leaving space between for water flow. 
  • Put the lid on the canner and turn heat on high to build up pressure. 
  • "Vent" the canner for 10 minutes.
  • Add pressure weight to canner. 
  • Wait for the weight to "jiggle". 
  • Then turn heat down to medium or until the weight has a steady and consistent jiggle. This will vary by canner and stove, but you'll soon know what works best for yours.
  • Process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes. 
  • Gently slide canner off burner once processing time is complete. Let
  • Let the canner slowly cool down, do not remove the weight! 
  • Once all hissing has stopped, remove weight and once again, let all of the remaining pressure release. 
  • When all pressure has been released and you don't hear anymore hissing, go ahead and remove the canner lid, making sure it's facing away from you, there will still be steam.
  • Remove your jars and place them on a towel on your countertop where they can finish cooling and sealing.  Listen for the "ping" sounds as your jars seal!
  • Listen for the "ping" sounds as your jars seal!

Notes

  1.  Prepare a clean work area.
  2.  Set up pressure canner, add water and begin to warm.
  3.  Wash jars and put lids in warm water.
  4.  Keep hot water available in a kettle.
  5.  Wash, peel and cut carrots.
  6.   Fill jars with carrots.
  7.   Add salt.
  8.  Fill jars with water to 1" head space line.
  9.  Wipe rims of jars, add lids and rings.
  10.  Place jars in canner, leaving space between for water flow.
  11.  Put the lid on the canner and turn heat on high to build up pressure.
  12.  Wait for pressure safety valve to rise.
  13.   Add pressure weight to canner.
  14.   Wait for the weight to "jiggle".  Then turn heat down to medium or until the weight has a steady and consistent jiggle.
  15.  Process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes.
  16.  Gently slide canner off burner once processing time is complete.
  17.  Let the canner slowly cool down, do not remove the weight!
  18.  Once all hissing has stopped, remove weight and once again, let all of the remaining pressure release.
  19.  When all pressure has been released and you don't hear anymore hissing, go ahead and remove the canner lid, making sure it's facing away from you.  There will still be steam.
  20.  Remove your jars and place them on a towel on your countertop where they can finish cooling and sealing.  Listen for the "ping" sounds as your jars seal!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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