Whether you spent all summer growing carrots or scored a great deal at the local farmer’s market, learning how to can carrots is incredibly easy.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t grow carrots as well as I grow other vegetables; it’s a work in progress for me. So, whatever carrots I manage to successfully grow in my garden must be treasured and preserved. So, I tried canning carrots, and I found out home canned carrots!
We love carrots. I add them to soups and stews, and roasted carrots are a divine side dish. Sometimes, I toss the carrots in some honey or brown sugar for a sweet dish.
If you love eating carrots as much as we do, canning carrots needs to be on your to-do list. Don’t feel intimidated – carrots are easy to can at home!
How to Safely Can Carrots
Carrots are safe and easy to can, preserving them for long-term storage and winter dinners when you need something hearty in your belly. However, you have to know one thing:
The only safe way to can carrots is to use a pressure canner.
Carrots are a low-acid vegetable that is not safe to use in a water bath canner. If you fail to use a pressure canner, you risk introducing bacteria to your family when they eat the carrots later.
It’s not worth the risk!
Raw Pack vs. Cold Pack
Before you start canning carrots, you have to decide if you want to use a raw pack or hot pack method. If you can other veggies, like green beans or corn, you have the same options.
Let’s take a look at both.
Raw packing is my generally preferred choice for canning vegetables because it takes less time, in my opinion. You put the raw carrots into the clean canning jars, cover with boiling water, and process them in your pressure canner.
Using the hot pack method does lead to higher quality canned goods because it removes some of the air pockets in the veggies. Sometimes, hot packing is preferred, like when canning peaches, but you can pick what you want to use when you can carrots.
How Many Carrots Needed Per Batch
The number of carrots needed for each canning batch varies based on the size of your carrots. My homegrown carrots typically are smaller than carrots bought at the store (this is one crop I haven’t fully mastered growing).
It also depends on how much you trim off the ends and the size you chop (or don’t chop) the carrots before loading them.
Here are the general guidelines for how many carrots fill up a canning batch.
- 16-18 pounds of carrots fills 7 quarts
- 10-12 pounds of carrots fills 9 points.
Equipment Needed for Canning Carrots
Before you dive into canning carrots, make sure you gather all the supplies you need. Here is a basic list of what you need to have on hand.
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Vegetable Peeler
- Canning Jars
- Pressure Canner
- Headspace Measurer
- Canning Funnel
Canning Carrots: Step-By-Step Instructions
Let’s go through all the steps you need to know to can carrots at home.
1. Prepare Carrots for Canning
The hardest part of canning carrots is peeling and slicing. While this is optional, peeling carrots seems to lead to better results. The peels end up turning stringy when canned, and they taste more earthy than my kids like.
TIP: Grab several bags of baby carrots from the store and put them directly into jars. it’s really that easy! You can find baby carrots discounted often in the store.
2. Get Your Pressure Canner Simmering
I always prepare my pressure canner ahead of time. Fill up the pressure canner to the indicated line on the side of your pressure canner, and let the water come to a simmer.
It’s important, when using the raw pack method, to keep the pressure canner at a simmer rather than a full boil. The raw veggies cool the water, and if you put the canner into boiling water, the jar might crack.
3. Chop Your Carrots
The next thing to do after peeling your carrots is to chop them into the size or shape you want. Some prefer slices while others want diced carrots. It’s also possible to can shredded carrots.
The choice is yours!
4. Raw Pack or Hot Pack
Bring a second pot of water to boil; this is the canning liquid. Now, you either use raw pack or hot pack methods. I’ll teach you both.
Fill the jars with the chopped carrots and top with boiling water. Make sure to leave one-inch headspace.
Blanch the carrots in the boiling water – the water in the second pot – for 5 minutes, and then pack the carrots into clean jars. Then, ladle in the cooking water and make sure to leave one-inch headspace.
5. Add Salt
Once fill your jars, add canning salt to your jars. This is an optional step, but I think it helps with the flavor of your canned carrots.
6. Seal The Jars
Clean the rims of the jars, making sure no residue is left behind. Place the lid on top and screw the rims on no more than finger-tightness. I always wipe off my jars as well since sometimes food gets stuck on them.
Related: Can You Reuse Canning Lids?
7. Process The Jars
Place the filled and sealed jars in the pressure canner, securing the lid in place. Turn the stove up to a high heat. Once the lock pops up and the steam vents, allow the steam to come out for 10 minutes before placing the weight on top of the canner.
Allow the jars to process at 10 lbs for 25 minutes (pints) or 30 minutes (quarts). Canning pressures vary based on your altitude, so always be sure to double check that you are using the proper pressure based on your altitude.
FAQs about Canning Carrots
Can Carrots Be Canned Without Peeling?
Yes, carrots can be canned without peeling, but the quality of your canned carrots will be better if you peel them beforehand. I suggest you try canning with and without the peels to decide if the texture bothers you.
It’s important to note that pressure canning heats up high enough to kill most bacteria, so that isn’t a major concern.
Can Carrots Be Canned in a Water Bath?
No, it’s not safe to use a water bath when canning carrots. These low acid foods, such as green beans, carrots, and potatoes, need to be pressure canned.
Are Canned Carrots Mushy?
You might be concerned that your canned carrots will end up mushy and nasty, but they aren’t. They have the same texture as boiled carrots. So, if you enjoy carrots in soups or stews, you’ll be happy with this texture.
All of our canned carrots taste great!
Do I Have to Add Salt When Canning Carrots?
No, you don’t have to add salt when canning carrots. This step is optional; if you want to can carrots without salt, that’s perfectly fine as well! This is a personal choice – I always add a bit of salt when I can veggies.
It’s recommended to add 1/2 tsp of salt per pint and 1 tsp of salt per quart. You also can reduce the amount since it’s all personal preference.
If you do add salt, add canning salt or sea salt not table salt.
Can I Add Orange Juice to the Jars for Flavor?
Some people like to add orange juice, brown sugar, or both when canning carrots. This is safe to do, but remember, as the jars sit on the shelf, the flavors get stronger. Don’t add too much!
How Long Will Canned Carrots Store?
Our home canned carrots never last longer than a year in our pantry, but, as long as you used proper canning methods and used a pressure canner, they should store for five years. Storing them in direct sunlight will reduce the shelf life.