Canning blueberries is a great way to keep these delicious fruits all year round whether you grow them in your garden or get them from the grocery store or farmer’s market.
That way you can easily enjoy them on your favorite dessert, pour them over your waffles or pancakes, or stir them into your oatmeal or baked goods.
Below I’m going to show you all you need to know about how to can blueberries, including tons of tips so that you will have the best success.
Can You Can Blueberries Safely?
Yes, since they are acidic, you can safely can blueberries, raw or hot packed, using either a pressure canner or a boiling water bath.
You can use plain water to can them, make a sugar-water brine, or use white grape juice as your liquid.
Best Types Of Blueberries For Canning
The best types of blueberries to use for canning are ones that are ripe and as freshly picked as possible.
You can tell they’re in perfect condition when they are a nice bluish-purple color and firm yet supple to the touch.
If they have any green on them it means they are not ripe, and using them would result in a poor-tasting end product.
Related Post: How To Grow Blueberries At Home
Preparing Blueberries For Canning
To prepare your blueberries for canning, all you need to do is remove any stems, then rinse them and use a kitchen colander to drain them.
Discard any unripe ones that are fully or partially green, as those do not can well.
Methods For Canning Blueberries
There are a few ways to can blueberries – by either raw or hot packing them. Each will give you slightly different results.
The method you choose depends on how you’ll use them later on, how much time you want to spend canning, and your personal preference. Try them both to see which one works best for you.
Hot packing simply means that you flash-cook the blueberries in boiling water for 30 seconds before canning them.
This generally preserves their color better, and gives them the perfect texture for fruit compote.
So they would be good to use poured over desserts, on top of pancakes and waffles, or mixed in yogurt or oatmeal.
With raw packing all you need to do is add the whole, raw blueberries to the jars and pour hot water or a brine liquid over them.
This method is a bit faster, since you skip the extra step of cooking them. It also results in firmer blueberries that are good to use in recipes for baking or in smoothies.
You may notice your blueberries float more with this method, or discolor sooner, but they will still taste great.
I prefer to use plain water as my “brine” because I think blueberries are sweet enough on their own, and I can always add sugar later on if a recipe calls for it.
However, if you would like yours to be sweeter, you can use white grape juice or apple juice as your brine. Or make a homemade syrup by adding 1 cup of plain sugar to 4 cups of water.
Processing Canned Blueberries
The good news is that you can either process your jars of blueberries in a boiling water bath or use a pressure canner. So you have options.
Can Blueberries Be Water Bath Canned? (w/o Pressure Canner)
Since blueberries are naturally acidic, you can safely use a water bath canner to process your jars.
The standard processing time is 15 minutes after the water in the canner comes to a full boil, and below 1,000 feet in elevation.
How To Can Blueberries In A Pressure Canner
Though you don’t need a pressure canner for processing blueberries, you certainly can use one if that’s what you have on hand.
If you prefer to use this method, then process your jars at 6 pounds of pressure for 8 minutes.
Tools & Equipment Needed For Canning Blueberries
Here is a list of items you’ll need. Gather everything before you start to make the process easier. You can see my full list of canning tools and equipment here.
- Pressure canner
- OR a water bath canner
- Pint canning jars
- New jar lids
- Canning funnel
- Measuring cups
- Bubble remover tool
- Jar lifting tool
- Dissolvable labels
- OR a permanent marker
How To Store Canned Blueberries
Once they’ve cooled, you can store your jars of canned blueberries in a cool and dark location, such as a cabinet, pantry, or basement shelf.
Before you store them, test each lid to make sure it’s sealed. Simply press gently on the center of the lid, if it’s properly sealed it won’t move.
If any of the lids didn’t seal, that’s ok. Just put those into your refrigerator and use them up first.
How Long Do Canned Blueberries Last?
When stored and sealed properly, canned blueberries will last up to a year. Once opened, keep them in the fridge and use them up within a week.
Related Post: How To Make Blueberry Jelly: Easy Recipe
Below are my answers to your most common questions about canning blueberries.
Do you have to blanch blueberries before canning?
No, you don’t have to blanch blueberries before canning them. But it is a good way to preserve their flavor, texture, and color.
Can I use canned blueberries instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use canned blueberries instead of fresh. They are especially good for baking, as dessert toppings, or mixed into your oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast.
Can frozen blueberries be canned?
Yes, frozen blueberries can be canned, however they’re not usually as firm and flavorful as using fresh fruit. You will need to rinse them and let them defrost first. Also be sure to raw pack them, as cooking them will cause them to become mushy.
Can You Raw Pack Blueberries?
Yes, you can raw pack blueberries for canning. Just keep in mind that they tend to float as you add brine to the jars, and they may not hold their color as well as they do with the hot packing method.
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More Food Canning Posts
- How To Can Blueberry Jam (With Recipe!)
- How To Can Strawberry Jam (With Recipe!)
- How To Can Apples
- How To Can Pears
Share your tips for canning blueberries in the comments section below.
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