Grab those pineapples on sale at the store and fill your pantry shelf with home-canned pineapples!
Did you find ripe pineapples at the store for a great price? Canning pineapples is a great way to preserve these fruits without a freezer. Fresh pineapple tastes great when canned, and it’s one of the easiest canning recipes for beginners.
As inflation continues to rise, we all have to look for ways to save money. Pineapples are a fruit that stores put on sale regularly. If you want something yummy to add to your shelves, I highly suggest considering pineapples.
Yes, you can grab canned pineapples as well, but there is a reason why I prefer canning pineapples over canned pineapples from the grocery store.
Why Should You Try Canning Pineapples
Home-canned pineapple tastes great, and you’ll never turn back when you compare them to store-bought cans. Canning pineapples at home allows you to adjust the level of sugar used.
Canned pineapple lets you take advantage of sales during the peak season. Pineapples are rarely something I buy in the middle of the winter. Prices are higher, but I find pineapples for between $1-1.50 each when sales begin.
That’s a fantastic price, so I buy them up and can to save them for the winter season when I want a taste of the summer.
Another reason I prefer to preserve fruits and vegetables at home, including pineapples, is because I control what goes into each jar. That always gives me peace of mind.
Some canned pineapples at the store utilize heavy syrups. Pineapples are sweet enough without adding syrup. Canning pineapples at home allows you to control the amount of sugar used, if any!
Plus, most canned pineapples at the store utilize corn syrup or corn-based glucose, which is typically a genetically modified crop.
Is Water Bath Safe for Canning Pineapples?
Yes! Water bath canning is safe for home canning pineapples. Pineapples are an acidic food, as your mouth probably realizes after eating a few too many. Pineapples’ acidity level is perfectly safe for using a water bath or steam canner.
You could use a pressure canner, but it would cause the pineapples to become too soft and mushy. You want the pineapples to hold some of their shape, so pressure canning is a no-go for them.
Since pineapples are a high-acid fruit, they can be safely canned without using lemon juice, citric acid, or any other preservative, even if you can pineapples in water.
Raw Packing vs. Hot Packing Pineapples
When canning pineapples, you decide whether to use the raw or hot packing method. Both are safe for home-canning pineapples.
I prefer using a raw packing method when applicable. Raw packing is when you put the pineapple chunks (or whatever fruit or vegetable you want to can) into the jars raw and ladle the hot liquid into the jars.
Raw packing has a large advantage over hot packing; it’s quicker and easier. It takes less waiting time, and we all need to manage our time wisely during the day.
However, the major disadvantage is that raw-packed food tends to discolor over several months. Fruits, including pineapples, lose air inside of its structure. Packing fruits raw allows the air to stay in the jars, leading to discoloration and potentially impacting the flavor.
Hot packing requires simmering the pineapples for 10 minutes on the stove in the hot liquid before packing them into the jars hot. Some claim that hot packing improves the flavor of canned fruits, but I have yet to notice a difference.
Many canning experts agree that the hot pack method leads to a better result over time. Simmering the fruits in the hot liquid remove the extra air inside of the fruits, leading to a better finished product.
Ultimately, it is your choice, and both are SAFE, which ultimately matters most in the end.
Supplies Needed for Canning Pineapples
If you have canned anything before, chances are you have most of the supplies needed for canning pineapples.
- Water Bath Canner or Steam Canner
- Canning Jars: Half-Pints, Pints, or Quarts
- Large Knife
- Pineapple Corer – Optional
- Juicer – Optional
- Large Pot
- Slotted Spoon
- Jar Lifter
- Headspace Measurer
Aside from the pineapples and water, the only other ingredient you may need is sugar, if you want to create a syrup for canning.
Choices for Liquids for Canning Pineapples
When canning fruits, you have choices for the canning liquid. All are safe options; you decide what is best for you.
Your options include:
- Juice – Pineapple, Apple, Grape, etc
- Syrup – Extra light, light, or medium (heavy doesn’t seem to do well with pineapples)
Many people avoid the canned fruits at the stores because they are canned in juice or syrups. If you prefer, canning pineapples in water is a safe alternative. The downside is that it causes the pineapples to leach flavor into the water. So, the fruits may not be as flavorful in the end, but they are preserved in their own juices.
Juice is a good alternative and leads to less loss of flavoring. However, buying containers of pineapple juice is expensive. Here are some alternatives to consider.
- Juice your pineapples! With a juicer, you typically can juice one pineapple for every four that you want to can. It’s far more affordable, but you need to have a juicer on hand. Ensure you wash the pineapples well; the skin is great for juicing but needs washing well.
- Grab those cores you took out of the pineapples and boil them in water. It extracts the pineapple flavor and sugars. Waste not, want not. It may not be exactly like juice, but it has a similar flavor profile. Make sure to simmer them for 10-15 minutes before straining.
We prefer to can pineapples in an extra light syrup, but some don’t want to use syrup because fruit is already sweet enough. However, if you plan to use these pineapples in other recipes, such as pineapple jam or muffins, I would avoid the syrup, since it may alter the flavor of the next recipe.
How to Can Pineapples: Step-by-Step
I suggest getting your jars washed and water boiling in your canner before you start the steps for canning pineapples. This goes rather quickly. So, the pre-step is to start your canner and get your jars ready to be filled!
I prefer to leave my jars soaking in hot water in my sink until it’s time to fill them. As you clean and soak them, be sure to check your jars for any nicks or cracks. That’s how you lose entire jars in the canner!
Step 1: Peel and Chop the Pineapples
The first step is perhaps the most tedious and frustrating: peeling and chopping the pineapples. I delegate this step to my husband.
Start by chopping off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Then, using a large knife, slice vertically down the sides, removing the peel and spines. You also need to cut out the cores; they are tough and fibrous. However, if you opt to can pineapples in pineapple juice, you can save the cores to contribute to the juice.
Continue chopping the fruit into pieces. This is a personal preference; large chunks or spears work fine for canning. Some prefer smaller chunks for recipes or easy snacks. One-inch cubes are ideal for snacking or pineapple recipes!
The world is your… pineapple, when it comes to the size you want to can.
You will need a pineapple corer to can pineapple rounds (such as for pineapple upside-down cake). They remove the core, and you can make the slices, leading to beautiful pineapple rings.
In general, whole pineapples fill two to three pints per pineapple.
Step 2: Start Your Liquids
Hopefully, you have decided what liquid you want to use. Now is the time to start your canning liquid of choice.
If you want to use syrup, head over to the National Center for Home Food Preservation and look at their sugar-to-water ratio for syrups. This will help you decide and create the syrup that will work best for your canning preferences.
Be sure to bring your juice or water to a boil before using it for your fruits!
Step 3: Raw vs. Hot Packing
If you are raw packing pineapples, now is the time to pack the pineapples into the hot jars and ladle in the hot liquid you created in step 2. Leave 1/2 inch headspace when filling the jars.
If you are hot packing pineapples, put the pineapples into the canning liquid of your choice and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. There is no need to simmer longer than that.
After simmering, ladle the hot pineapple and liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace in the jars as well. Use a bubbler popper or a butter knife to move around inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles.
Remember to always wipe the rim of the jar with a wet, clean rag before placing the lid on the jar. Always tighten the rim to fingertip tight; you don’t want to overtighten the rims.
Step 4: Can the Jars!
Put the filled jars into a water bath canner. Ensure the water covers the jars with at least one inch of water. Start the timer when the water returns to a full, rolling boil.
Process a canner load of pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 minutes. If you use half pints, use the same processing time as pint jars.
However, those living at a higher altitude must adjust the processing time appropriately.
After the timer goes off, turn the canner off and wait five minutes before removing the jars from the water. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature and sit undisturbed for at least 12 hours before checking the seals. If any are unsealed, place those in the fridge to use soon.
Step 5: Label and Store
I always make sure to label my canning jars before putting them in storage. It’s easy to forget what something is or when you created it!
These small circle labels work great; I write on them, and they come off easily in the dishwasher. When I store jars, I remove the screw lids; it’s best to store them with the rims off so you easily know if the seal went back in storage.
Canning pineapples is a great way to take advantage of sales you find at the store and fill your pantry shelves. It’s great for new canners who want some easy canning recipes for beginners!
Looking for more easy canning recipes? Check out these recommendations.