How to Can Apples

Having canned apples on hand makes for an easy desert when guests show up unexpectedly. There are many varieties of apples: for canning choose the sweeter apples like Gala, Fuji, Rome, Red and Golden Delicious. Remember that Red and Goldens are softer fruit, harder to manage, but are 'oh so sweet'.


  • Apples
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Apple juice, optional (add if you want it to have a more sweet, syrupy flavor)


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    Before you begin, decide how many jars you want to end up with and choose the appropriate amount of apples accordingly.
    • For 3 1-pint (473 ml) jars, use 10 lbs. (4.54 kg) of apples.
    • For 7 1-pint (473 ml) jars, use 12 1/4 lbs. (8.62 kg) of apples.
    • For 9 1-quart (946 ml) jars, use 19 lbs. (5.56 kg) of apples.
    • One bushel of apples yields approximately 17-19 quart (946 ml) jars and 21-25 pint (473 ml) jars.
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    Find a way to keep the jars and lids heated. Jars and lids should be placed in a dishwasher &/or oven to keep hot until use. Heat/wash jars and lids for sterilization then keeping the jars hot will prevent breakage. Boil lids until placed on jars. This helps create a clean sterile seal. Remember to use your magnetic lid lifter.
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    Wash apples in cold water.
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    Peel and core apples, removing all bad spots, and place immediately in a large bowl of water(apple water).
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    Slice apples between 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
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    Add three tablespoons of lemon juice to the apple water to keep apple slices from turning brown. Be careful not to add too much lemon juice this will result in sour apples!
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    Blanch apples in boiling water for five minutes. You only want to heat up the apples not cook them; otherwise you will have applesauce before you know it.
    • This blanching stops the enzymes from degrading the flavor during storage.
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    Spoon the hot apple slices into the hot jars, leaving a 12 inch (1.3 cm) of free space at the top of the jar. Pack the apples into the jars tightly.
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    Fill the jar with remaining liquid/syrup from blanching pot.
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    Decide if you want your apples extra sweet. If the apples need a little extra sweetness, add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on top. The sugar will then dissolve and be absorbed by the apples during the processing.
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    Wipe off all spills and sugar from the jar using a rag or paper towel, paying particular attention to the lid area. Place the jar lid on the jar and tightening until secure.
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    Place jars in can, leaving 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm) of water above the jars.
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    Calculate the canning time. Canning time varies depending on the type of canner and the altitude of your location. Always check your canner instructions. Here are some general cooking-time guidelines for use with a water canner:
    • 0–1,000 feet (0.0–304.8 m) above sea level cook for 20 minutes
    • 1,001–3,000 feet (305.1–914.4 m) cook for 25 minutes
    • 3,001–6,000 feet (914.7–1,828.8 m) cook for 30 minutes
    • above 6,000 feet (1,828.8 m) cook for 35 minutes.
      • If you use a dial gauge pressure canner. A weighted gauge pressure canner needs about 8 minutes. Verify with instruction manual.


  • Be careful when using a pressure canner; they can explode if not used properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Canning jars with lids (available at local grocery stores or superstores such as Walmart).
  • Canner (A canner is a simple device for canning. It is available at most local stores such as Walmart, JC Penney's, or Macy's in the kitchen department.)
  • Jar funnel
  • Magnetic lid lifter
  • Jar grabber
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Large pot
  • Large spoons
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat

Article Info

Categories: Food Preservation Techniques