Are you ready to learn how to safely pressure can asparagus?
When spring is full of cool, rainy weather and the harvest is bountiful, you might be needing a great way to preserve asparagus. There are a few ways to preserve asparagus. Here, I’m going to focus on how to safely pressure can it.
Pressure canning can sound daunting, but canning is a really great way to preserve vegetables, such as asparagus. I have a full tutorial about how to safely pressure can for beginning home canners as well as water bath. Find them below in the “related posts” section.
In this post, I will:
* Give you the full tutorial for how to safely pressure can asparagus.
* Share with you some asparagus nutrition facts that might inspire you to do so.
* Why you might want to think about canning asparagus.
Pressure canning is an awesome way to keep asparagus fresh to enjoy later. I’m going to help you easily learn how to do it. Let’s dive right in!
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Choosing Quality Asparagus to Can
There’s a “standard size” for harvesting asparagus. Asparagus spears are typically cut at 4 to 6 inches long. The diameter of the spears also matter a lot.
If you look at the picture above, you’ll see spears that are about 1/4 in to 1/2 inch or less in diameter. You really don’t want them any thicker than that. The smaller the better. These are the spears that are crisp and not stringy.
From there, you’ll need to decide whether you want to can whole asparagus spears or cut spears. If cut, go ahead and cut them about 1 inch long as shown in the above picture.
Whole or Cut?
Whether you choose to can asparagus whole or cut doesn’t matter. It’s all up to you and what you like. You can always cut the spears later after you open the jar to use it.
Wash the whole asparagus thoroughly and then trim off scales and tough ends. Then, wash again.
From there, the asparagus is ready to either leave whole or cut into 1-inch pieces. Let’s talk about some other supplies that will be helpful for canning asparagus.
Supplies Needed for Pressure Canning Asparagus
You can find a complete supply list in my Pressure Canning tutorial but here is a short list needed for canning asparagus:
* A dial gauge or weighted gauge pressure canner.
* Ball jars, lids and bands.
* Canning spatula and head space tool.
* Hot pad holders
* Vegetable knife for preparing asparagus.
* Canning Salt
Let’s go into the different options for pressure canning asparagus.
The first option for canning asparagus is the hot pack option. This is where you cook the asparagus first before you jar them up.
First of all, cover asparagus in a pot with boiling water. Then, boil 2 or 3 minutes.
Next, pack hot asparagus into hot jars leaving 1-inch head space. Add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt to pints and 1 teaspoon to quarts. Fill jar to 1 inch from the top with boiling hot water. Use spatula to sweep the sides and remove the air bubbles.
Wipe the jar rims with a dry paper towel or cloth for better sealing. Adjust the lids, tighten rims and then process. Keep reading on for processing times. There’s still one more option for canning asparagus I want to talk about.
This is the option we use most often for canning asparagus. It doesn’t require any cooking and leaves the asparagus crisper than the hot pack option. Here’s how to do it:
First of all, pack asparagus tightly into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Then, add 1/2 teaspoon salt into pints, 1 teaspoon to quarts, if desired.
Next, fill jar to 1 inch from top with boiling water. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims with a towel for better sealing. Adjust lids and rims and process.
Let me give you some more information on processing times.
Brief Canning Tutorial
Need more tips for canning asparagus easily and successfully? I’ve got you covered!
* Use the tall jars for whole asparagus or cut the spears to fit. The 1-inch headspace is very important for sealing. Too much air or too little will keep the lids from sealing properly.
* Make sure all of your equipment is sanitized and clean. I have my kids clean my jars and lids for me in a sink full of hot soapy water. Even if your equipment has been in storage, you need to do this. Then, run it through the dishwasher to sanitize before using.
* Also, heat the jars for better processing results. I like to just set them on the rack as the water is heating up. You can also place them in an oven on warm.
* Use a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner or a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner. I have a Dial Guage and the one I use is linked over to the side. If you have a weighted gauge, you’ll need to get it tested at your local Extension Office. The dial gauges don’t have to be tested.
* Finally ~ Processing times for canning asparagus. If you have a dial gauge pressure canner, process pints at 11 pounds pressure for 30 minutes and quarts/tall jars for 40 minutes.
For a weighted gauge pressure canner, use 10 pounds pressure for the same amount of time. Again, that’s pints for 30 minutes and quarts/taller jars for 40 minutes. Now, you’re ready to enjoy asparagus nutrition in the off season!
Why Must We Pressure Can Asparagus?
You might be wondering if there’s easier ways to can asparagus. Can we water bath can it? The short answer is: No, it’s not advised to water bath asparagus. This reason is purely for safety to prevent botulism.
Asparagus is a low acid vegetable at about a 5 pH value. Therefore, it needs to be pressure canned at a temperature higher than boiling. At 10 or 11 pounds of pressure, the temperature is 240 degrees F. At this temperature, the bad bacteria is destroyed and your asparagus will be safe to eat.
Because spoiling of your hard work is just devastating. It’s best to just do it right according to science and to prevent any spoilage and contamination from happening.
Canning Asparagus Can Be Easy
As I mentioned, the raw pack method of canning asparagus is pretty simple to use. It’s the one I always use to can our extra asparagus to have delicious asparagus nutrition when we need it the most through the winter months.
Asparagus is packed full of vitamins and nutrients. When it is preserved while fresh and in season, the nutrients are as well!
I hope this post has helped you to learn how to pressure can beautiful asparagus easily in order to enjoy asparagus nutrition later.
~ Much Love ~
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