Canning carrots is an easy way to preserve carrots without needing freezer space and makes quick work of meal time later on.
Carrots are one of the few vegetables my kids readily eat. If I cook up a few with hobo burgers or a pot roast, the carrots are the first part of the dish to go.
Slather a bit of butter on some yummy cooked carrots and we will all enjoy them until we run out.
We actually grow enough carrots to feed our family for the whole year and while we enjoy them fresh, they don’t stay fresh long. Besides, cooking fresh carrots takes quite a while.
We often freeze carrots for preservation, but our freezer space is at a premium since we bought a cow, bought a pig, harvested several deer, and have chicken, duck, and rabbit to store so I don’t plan to store many of our vegetables in the freezer.
Instead, I decided canning carrots is a great way to preserve them. Not only do they take no time at all to cook, you simply have to warm them, they’re also shelf-stable and take up zero freezer space. All win-wins in my book.
Canning carrots is pretty straightforward, but like all low acid foods, it does require a pressure canner. But, don’t let that stop you from preserving these yummy veggies, pressure canning isn’t near as scary as a lot of us think. Besides, it allows us to can green beans, venison, and dried beans for quick, easy meals.
How to Pressure Can Carrots
Canning carrots is pretty easy, you just need equipment, carrots, and water. This step-by-step tutorial will have you feeling confident to can your own carrots in no time.
- Carrots (approximately one pound per pint two pounds of carrots per quart)
- Boiling Water
- Canning Salt (optional)
Step 1: Prepare Carrots
Typically, I say prepare your canner and jars, but carrots need peeled and sliced before they’re canned and that takes a while, so for this recipe, you’ll prepare the carrots first.
Peeling carrots isn’t necessary, they only need to be washed. However, if you leave the peels on, they become stringy and can take on a strong flavor once canned. I opt to peel them. I often incorporate my kids who are quite handy with a vegetable peeler to make quick work of the task.
If you really don’t want to peel carrots, remember that you may not like the flavor of the vegetable in the jar. Or, alternatively, you can purchase baby carrots at the grocery store and can them. These are already peeled and sliced up, so you don’t have to do anything to them. We grow our own carrots, so this is rarely an option for me.
Once they’re peeled, larger carrots will need cut. If you have small carrots, you can leave them whole. They can be cut into lengths, or you can coin them. We generally coin our carrots in 1/2″ wide pieces. Don’t make the pieces too small or they tend to get mushy.
Step 2: Prepare the Canner, Jars & Lids
Once you get all of the carrots ready, it’s time to prepare your canner, jars, and lids. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Then, fill your canner with 2-3″ of water. Fill clean jars 2/3rds full with water and place them in the canner.
Place your lids in a small saucepan filled with water. Put the saucepan with the lids and the canner with the jars on to simmer to heat jars and lids. Do not allow your jars to get too hot if you plan to raw pack the carrots or you’re running the risk of thermal shock and broken jars. Just let it simmer.
Raw Pack vs Hot Pack
There are two ways to pack jars for canning carrots raw pack and hot pack.
The raw pack is my method of choice. The prepared carrots are packed into warm, not hot, jars. No cooking of the carrots is required. To me, this is easier as you’re not fumbling with hot carrots. It also results in less mushy carrots in my experience. Plus, it saves time and makes less mess.
The hot pack method takes a little more time, but will naturally remove the air pockets from the vegetables before they’re packed which some say results in the best quality. I haven’t found much of a difference aside from mushier carrots so I choose not to hot pack.
Step 3: Boil Water and Pack Jars
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring the pot of water to boil over high heat on the stove. Once the water is boiling, you’ll begin packing your jars.
A quick note on salt, it is not necessary for proper canning. I don’t add any, personally. If you choose to, you’ll add 1/2 teaspoon to pints or 1 teaspoon to quarts. Use canning salt or kosher salt as table salt contains anti-caking agents and will give your canned carrots cloudy jars and an off-color.
Raw pack method: pack raw carrots tightly into warm jars leaving 1-inch headspace. Add salt, if using. Carefully ladle boiling water over carrots, remove air bubbles, and adjust headspace if necessary. Wipe rim of jar with a damp cloth. Center lid. Tighten the screw band to finger tight and place it back into the canner with a jar lifter repeating until all the jars are full.
Hot pack method: blanch carrots for 5 minutes in boiling water. Pack carrots into hot jars as tightly as possible, leaving 1-inch of headspace. Add salt, if using. Remove air bubbles, top with boiling water adjusting headspace as necessary. Wipe rims of jars with a damp cloth. Center hot lids. Tighten the screw band to finger tight and place it back into the canner with a jar lifter, repeating until all the jars are full.
Step 4: Vent Canner
Once the canner is full, place the canner lid on the canner but do not put on the weight. Over high heat, allow a steady steam vent to escape from the vent pipe. Once it begins venting a steady stream, allow it to continue for ten minutes.
This step is essential to properly and safely pressure canned goods. It allows the air to escape from the canner and the canner to fill with steam. If all of the air does not escape the proper temperature may not be met, which results in under-processed goods.
Step 5: Bring to Pressure and Process
Once the canner has vented for 10 minutes, put the weight on the canner and allow the vessel to come to pressure. 10 pounds of pressure is appropriate for those of us at 1,000 ft or lower elevation. 15 pounds of pressure is appropriate for anyone 1,001 ft or higher elevation.
Once the canner reaches pressure, process pints for 25 minutes, quarts for 30 minutes.
Once processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to reach zero naturally. Carefully remove the canning weight once zero pressure is met. Remove lid. Allow jars to sit in an open canner for 5 minutes before removing them with a jar lifter to a towel-lined counter.
Leave jars undisturbed for 12 hours before checking for proper seals. Any jars that did not properly seal need refrigeration and should be used within one week. Alternatively, they can be reprocessed in a clean jar with a fresh lid after bringing the contents in the jar back to a boil, but they will be mushy.
Properly sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for 12-18 months.
Pressure canning carrots is easy, makes meal time a cinch, and only requires two ingredients.
- 11 Pounds Carrots
- Boiling Water
- 5 teaspoons Canning Salt (divided, optional)
- Begin by peeling and slicing carrots. Small carrots can stay whole, larger carrots can be sliced to the desired size.
- Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Prepare the pressure canner by filling with 2" of water, fill jars 2/3rds full of water, and place them in the canner. Warm lids in a small saucepan full of water.
- Put on a large pot of water to boil, once boiling, begin packing jars:
Raw Pack: tightly pack jars with raw carrots, leaving 1-inch of headspace, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pints, and 1 teaspoon to quarts if desired, top with boiling water, remove air bubbles and adjust for headspace if necessary.
Hot Pack: blanch carrots in boiling water for five minutes. Carefully pack jars with hot carrots, leaving 1-inch of headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pints, and 1 teaspoon to quarts if desired Top with boiling water, remove air bubbles and adjust for headspace if necessary.
- Wipe jar rim, center lid, tighten screw band finger tight and put the jar back in canner.
- Once all jars are packed, place the lid on the canner, leaving the weight off. Wait until a steady stream of steam begins to escape the vent pipe. Once this occurs, time for 10 minutes before placing weight on the canner.
- Bring the canner to appropriate pressure, see notes. Process pints for 25 minutes, and quarts for 30 minutes.
- Allow the canner to come back down to zero pressure naturally. Remove the lid and allow the jars to sit for five minutes before using a jar lifter to carefully remove them to a towel-lined counter where they should remain undisturbed for 12 hours before checking for proper seals.
Process at 10 pounds of pressure for 0-1,000 ft above sea level.
Process at 15 pounds of pressure for 1,001 ft and above.
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 337mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g