How to Can Peas

How to Can Peas

Canning peas is extremely easy and many people are turning to canning as a way to help cut costs on their grocery bill. Some people feel that canning is something our grandmothers did and is outdated, but it is actually coming back and more and more people are doing it. For canning peas, you start with purchasing or picking the peas themselves. You only want to use fresh, crisp and firm peas. Do not use soft, limp or old peas because they will make your canned peas taste really bad.

You want to pick peas that are immature and fully expanded in the pod. The reason for this is they get starchy when they are picked hard and fully mature. If possible, it's best to pick your peas right before you're going to can them. This retains their sweetness. The peas on the bottom part of the plant mature quicker than on the top part.

How to Get Your Jars and Lids Ready to Can Peas

You need to get your jars and lids ready to can before you actually can. You need to steralize your jars by boiling them for 10 minutes or by putting them in the dishwasher. You also want to boil your lids for 5 minutes and leave them in the warm water. Always purchase new lids, never re-use ones that have already been used. For the bands you can re-use them. Just make sure there is no rust on them.

How Long to Pressure Cook or Water Bath Peas

The easiest way to get the peas out of the pod is by running your thumb nail up the seam, squeezing the pod. You can also use the tip of a paring knife, just be careful not to puncture your peas in the pod. A bushel of peas will make between 13 - 20 quarts of canned peas. 14 pounds of peas will make 7 quart jars, while 9 pounds of peas will make 9 pints of canned peas.

Fill your jars with the hulled peas making sure to leave an inch space from the top of the jar for expanding. Now fill your jars with boiling water making sure to leave an inch space from the top. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth, put the lids on and tighten the bands so there is a snug fit. Put your jars into your pressure cooker with 3-4 inches of water. Let the pressure build to 11 pounds for 25 minutes.

Turn the heat off and wait for the pressure to return to zero. Take the jars out and leave until completely cool. Store in cool dry place.

It is not recommended to use the water bath method of canning for peas. Because of the low acid that peas contain a water bath will not kill bacteria.

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