How to Can Pumpkin At Home


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Learn how to can pumpkin at home using a pressure canner. Make your fall pumpkin and squash harvest shelf stable and ready to use all year long by following this easy recipe for home-canned pumpkin or winter squash.

* * *

It hardly needs to be said that anything with the word pumpkin in it is a much anticipated fall favourite.

An icon of sweater season, pumpkin (and pumpkin spice) has come to symbolize comfort and warmth and wholesomeness as we cozy up in our cable knits and enjoy brisk walks through fallen leaves on a crisp autumn day.

But as much as we tend to think of pumpkin as being strictly a fall fruit -and yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable because it comes from a flowering vine- we can benefit from eating pumpkin all year long by preserving it when it’s in season. 

 

How to Preserve Pumpkin

Canning is almost always my favourite form of preserving because it makes food shelf-stable for long periods of time and means that when I want to use that food, all I need to do is open a can and it’s ready to eat, (or at least ready to be added to whatever I’m cooking). 

When it comes to pumpkin and squash, my favourite way to preserve them is actually to do nothing at all because that means less work in the fall when we’re at the end of a long harvest and canning season. Both pumpkins and squashes store well for especially long periods of time when kept in cold storage so they really don’t require any special treatment in order to preserve them. 

But eventually after a few months they may begin to go soft and start to rot, especially if they’re keep in an area that’s room temperature or warmer. So if you find yourself with an abundance of any type of winter squash (this includes pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash and the many other varieties out there), you might want to preserve some by canning them in case you don’t get around to using them all before they start to go bad.

Another reason why you might want to can pumpkin is for convenience. Sure, it’s more work up front to prepare and process it all, but that means your work is done when it comes time to actually use it in a dish.

All you need to do is crack open a jar, strain out the liquid and toss your cubed pumpkin into a stir-fry, a pot pie, a pasta dish or simply enjoyed with a little butter as a side dish. Or you can purée it of course and turn it into a drool-worthy pumpkin pie. Either way, canning pumpkin means it’s ready to go when you are and frees you from worrying about your fresh pumpkins going bad before you get around to eating them all.

 

The Two Unbreakable Rules of Canning Pumpkin At Home

A couple caveats when it comes to home-canned pumpkin is that a) you must, I repeat YOU MUST use a pressure canner, and b) you cannot, I repeat YOU CANNOT can pumpkin purée.

The only safe way to can pumpkin or squash at home is in a pressure canner in cubed form. 

You can’t use a water bath canner for pumpkin and squash because they are low acid vegetables that can breed deadly botulism spores if they’re not processed at high enough temperatures that only a pressure canner can reach.

And you can’t can pumpkin purée at home because it’s too thick for a home pressure canner to be able to kill all potentially harmful bacteria. You can freeze pumpkin purée, of course. But when it comes to canning you must can it in cubed form and then purée before using if you want to use it to make pumpkin pie or blend it into a soup or something.

Alright, so now that we’re clear on the two unbreakable rules of canning pumpkin at home, here’s how to do it…

 

Preparing Pumpkins for Canning

Once you’ve got your pumpkin(s), you’re ready to start prepping them for processing. This is the most tedious part of the whole process as you need to slice, peel and gut your pumpkins before cutting them up into cubes. 

The best way I’ve found to do this is to cut each pumpkin in half first and scoop out all the guts. (Save the seeds for eating later!) Next, cut each half into slices approximately one-inch thick. I cut each half of a 5-pound pie pumpkin into 8 slices, giving me 16 slices total. If your pumpkin is smaller you might opt to cut each half into 4 or 6 slices. Use your discretion.

Next, use a vegetable peeler to peel the hard skin off each slice. I find it much easier to slice and then peel, rather than peel first, as I can get all of the skin off without leaving spots behind that were hard to get at with the peeler.

If you’re still having trouble using a vegetable peeler though you can use a kitchen knife to slice off skins.

Once your pumpkins are sliced, chop the slices into one-inch cubes. When you’ve finished cutting up all the pumpkin, put it aside and prepare your jars and canner.

 

Canning Pumpkin

Wash your jars!

First thing’s first, wash your jars and bands with hot, soapy water. And as per always, ONLY USE NEW LIDS WHEN CANNING! Sorry for yelling;)

Fill jars with hot tap water to keep them warm (or keep them hot in the dishwasher if using). They don’t need to be sterilized in the canner because the high temperatures achieved when pressure canning are enough to kill all bacteria.

Onto the canner…

The best thing about pressure canning is that you don’t need much water. It takes a lot of water to can in a water bath canner, but just 2-3 inches of water for pressure canning. Check with your owner’s manual for instructions on exactly how much water to add for your make and model.

Go ahead and put your water in now but leave the heat off. Make sure your canning rack is sitting on the bottom of your canner so your jars don’t touch the bottom directly.

Back to the pumpkin…

Transfer pumpkin cubes to a large, stainless steel pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.

How to Can Pumpkin At Home

Get hot jars ready for packing on a towel on the counter. (Never put hot jars on a cool countertop as it can crack the jar).

Use a slotted spoon to transfer pumpkin from the pot to the jars. I love my canning funnel too, and it works really well for canning pumpkin so the cubes all make it into the jar.

Fill jars up, leaving a generous one-inch headspace. Pour the boiling water from your pot over top of pumpkin cubes and leave one inch of headspace.

Learn how to can pumpkin at home using a pressure canner. Make your fall pumpkin and squash harvest shelf stable and ready to use all year long! #canningpumpkin #preservingpumpkin #howtocanpumpkin #homecannedpumpkin #pressurecanningpumpkin

Use the end of a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula (or this handy bubble remover tool that I really want for Christmas… hint to family members reading this;) and slide it around the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.

I always used to recommend using a knife or a spoon handle or something but I’ve recently read that now you’re not supposed to use anything metallic. Or maybe I’m just late to the party? 

I’ve never had a problem using a clean knife or spoon handle to release trapped air bubbles, so if it’s all you’ve got I wouldn’t worry too much.

Anyway, release air bubbles and then adjust head space as needed.

Wipe rims, put new lids on jars and screw bands down. Then pop ‘em in the canner. You might want these. (I won’t can without them).

Process pint jars in pressure canner for 55 minutes or quart jars for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure (15 pounds if you’re higher than 1,000 feet above sea level).

 

How to Pressure Can Pumpkin

For detailed instructions, tips and safety precautions on pressure canning, check out this post. If you’re already familiar and comfortable with pressure canning but want a quick and dirty refresher, read the following…

1. Place and lock lid onto pressure canner and set temperature to high. Do not put the weighted gauge on the lid just yet. 

2. First allow your pressure canner to get hot enough and build up enough pressure that steam starts to stream out of the spout steadily. Set your timer for 10 minutes and let the steam vent. 

3. Then place the gauge on top and wait until it starts rattling constantly. Place gauge on at 10 pounds of pressure if you’re less than 1,000 feet above sea level or place it on at 15 pounds of pressure if you’re more than 1,000 feet above sea level.

4. Once the gauge is rattling constantly, start your timer. For pint jars, set timer to 55 minutes. For quart jars, set timer to 90 minutes. Reduce temperature to around medium or just under, until weighted gauge only rattles between 1 and 4 times per minute. Keep canner operating here for the duration of processing time, adjusting heat if necessary to keep gauge rattling 1 to 4 times per minute.

5. Once time is up, turn heat off and allow canner to cool completely before removing gauge. Wait until it has completely stopped rattling and then wait another couple minutes. Use an oven mitt to remove gauge and watch for steam. Remove lid away from you so you don’t burn your face with hot steam!

6. Let jars sit in the canner with the lid off for another 10 minutes. Then remove and let cool completely on the counter before storing.

There you have it! Home-canned pumpkin that’s safe and healthy and homemade (maybe even homegrown??) with no added preservatives or questionable ingredients lurking in those jars. Food you can feel good about serving to your family and that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice, whether for a weeknight meal or a holiday dinner. 

Learn how to can pumpkin at home using a pressure canner. Make your fall pumpkin and squash harvest shelf stable and ready to use all year long! #canningpumpkin #preservingpumpkin #howtocanpumpkin #homecannedpumpkin #pressurecanningpumpkin

Use your canned pumpkin purée in:

  • Soups & stews
  • Stir fries
  • Pasta dishes
  • Sweet & Savoury pies
  • Baked casseroles & desserts
  • Smoothies
  • As an addition to oatmeal

And I’m sure there are many other creative recipe ideas out there. Do you know any? How else do/would you use home-canned pumpkin? As always, let me know down below 🙂

 

Canning tools I use and love:


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

3 Comments

  1. Valery

    Love to can pumpkin! But you can totally can pumpkin puree. I’m not sure where this rumor got started, but I keep seeing it posted. Sunset Magazine authored a book, “Canning Freezing & Drying” and the instructions for pumpkin say to steam until soft, then press through a colander or mash before boiling for a hot pack and processing at 10 pounds for 85 minutes or 115 minutes (pints/quarts). I’ve done it and it makes great soups and curries. May be too liquid for pie though. Haven’t tried.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Valery,

      Unfortunately there is a risk if/when you can pumpkin purée as it’s too thick for even the heat of a pressure canner to penetrate all the way through, which can mean not all botulism spores are killed, and since pumpkin is a low-acid food, this can lead to botulism poisoning. You may have been lucky so far but I would definitely recommend against canning pumpkin purée. Either can it cubed and purée it when ready to use, or freeze the purée. Here’s advice from the National Center for Home Food Preservation: https://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html#:~:text=Canning%20pumpkin%20butter%20or%20mashed,pureed%20pumpkin%20or%20winter%20squash.

      Reply
  2. Lisa Grace

    I love canned pumpkin! Hubs loves pumpkin pie. So easy with the canned cubes.

    I have a 10 year old doggo that has digestive issues, so I give her one cube with dinner every day to keep her system moving.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
3 Easy Ways to Help Save the Bees (And Why it Matters)

3 Easy Ways to Help Save the Bees (And Why it Matters)

Something that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time is the devastating drop in the global honeybee population. Honeybees ALONE are responsible for pollinating 80% of fruits and vegetables.Considering how much we depend on these little pollinators...

read more

Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

Homemade Pasta (Without A Pasta Maker)

* This article contains affiliate and sponsored links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Did you know it’s possible to make homemade pasta without a pasta maker? Because it is, and it’s actually a lot easier than you might...

read more

Have you ever thought about turning your homestead into a source of income?

One of the common traits I’ve noticed among many modern homesteaders is that they tend to have a sort of entrepreneurial spirit about them.

For starters, homesteaders are “do it yourself” type folks who get great satisfaction out of throwing themselves into new endeavours, creating things from scratch and being as self-sustaining and autonomous as possible.

Whether they’re growing a garden, baking bread, raising chickens, making soap, milking a cow, or building some contraption or another, homesteaders tend to want to do things themselves and do them on their own terms. This same attitude often extends to money and business, and it’s not unusual to see homesteaders go from growing a little bit of food and raising a few chickens in their backyard to feed their own family, to growing and raising enough to sell to others in their community too!

Entrepreneurship, then, is a natural extension of homesteading since it involves creating an income “from scratch,” and is completely founded on the principles of autonomy and independence, and of escaping the rat race or the stifling “9 to 5” schedule of working for someone else.

There are sooo many ways to earn an income through homesteading, and we’re exploring many of them, as well as featuring real life examples of homesteaders from all walks of life who have turned their homesteads, skills and passions into viable income sources in the very first special edition issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

No matter where you’re at on your own homesteading or entrepreneurial journey, there’s something for everyone in this issue! But today’s the last day to get your hands on it for free!

To get your copy, head over and click the link in my bio to become a member for just $7.99/year and you’ll not only get unlimited access to all current and past issues of Modern Homesteading Magazine (20 issues and counting!), you’ll also get the special edition Income Streams issue completely FREE!

Don’t miss out! This offer expires tonight at midnight!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/magazine-membership/
...

🐓 Ever since we got chickens, we've allowed them to free range in our backyard. But while we love being able to let them out of the coop to graze on their natural diet of bugs and greens, the biggest drawback to free range chickens on a small property like ours is all the poop they leave, well, everywhere!

Luckily we've got a solution to this problem, and it's called a chicken tractor.

The chicken tractor we're building today will allow our chickens to graze on different areas of our lawn each day while preventing them from running roughshod all over our yard and leaving you-know-what on our doormat and outdoor furniture.

In this video, we'll walk you through how we built our A-frame chicken tractor, complete with roof, roost and nesting box for under $30 with a bunch of scrap materials we had laying around our property.

Link in bio to watch the full video or go to YouTube.com/thehouseandhomestead and don't forget to subscribe while you're there!
.
.
.
#chickentractor #backyardchickens #chickensofinstagram #chickens
...

🥔 Potatoes, po-tah-toes...

However you say it, potatoes are one of the best crops to grow in your garden if you’re going for maximum food production.

Back during wartime when people were encouraged to grow their own food at home and the concept of Victory Gardens was born, potatoes were a staple crop in most vegetable gardens, and for good reason...

Potatoes have been a staple “survival crop” for millennia. They’re calorie-dense, carbohydrate-rich and high in essential nutrients like fibre, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. They’re also easy to grow and can be grown in the ground, in raised beds, containers, grow bags… even garbage cans.

Potatoes will give you more calories per square foot than just about any other crop. They also store well in cold storage and are extremely versatile and can be turned into everything from hash browns and French fries to mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, gnocchi, potato pies, pancakes and perogies!

They’re truly a must-have in any victory garden. But they’re just ONE of the best crops to grow in a Victory Garden (aka. a garden with the main goal being food production).

I’ll teach you about all the others and much more in my video presentation on the 10 Best Crops for Your Victory Garden, airing today as part of the FREE Backyard Vegetable Gardener’s Summit!

My video goes live today at 2:30pm PST. It will be available to watch for free for 24 hours after it airs (or you can grab the all-access pass to watch any time).

I’ll also be live in the chat box to answer any questions you might have when the video goes live this afternoon!

If you haven’t got your FREE TICKET yet, head over and click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/backyardvegsummit to register and watch for free!
.
.
.
#gardenersofinstagram #organicgardening #homegrown #victorygarden #vegetablegarden #vegetablegardening
...

I'm trying to take a more proactive approach to food preservation this year. In the spring, when everything is small and new, it's easy to think you've got loads of time to worry about preserving. But summer comes quickly, and before you know it you've got baskets full of food all over your kitchen that needs to be preserved all at once.

This year I'm trying to preserve food as it comes on, which means I've already started preserving herbs from our spring garden!

Spring is actually an ideal time to preserve herbs and leafy greens because they're fresh and new and in their prime. While I love drying herbs for use later on, there are some herbs that just don’t dry well (chives are one such herb, and they’re abundant right now). Plus I like to preserve herbs in a variety of different ways to enjoy all year long.

One of my favourite ways to preserve fresh herbs is by making herb butter (aka. compound butter).

I chop up fresh herbs like chives, parsley, mint, rosemary and even garlic and then mix them together with softened butter. Then I usually reserve some to use right away and I freeze the rest to use later. And ya know what? We’re still eating herb butter from our freezer that I made last year!

If you’ve got herbs growing in your garden now and/or you want to make sure you’re on top of your preserving game right from the get go, this is definitely a “recipe” you want to have in your arsenal.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-herb-butter/ to get my recipes and full instructions!
.
.
.
#herbs #homemade #fromscratch #homesteadkitchen #homemadeisbetter
...

Did you know that dandelions were actually INTENTIONALLY brought to North America by European immigrants centuries ago due to their many benefits?

Despite what many people think, dandelions are actually really good for lawns and gardens. Their long taproots help aerate the soil and their colourful flowers are some of the first blooms to attract pollinators to our gardens in the spring.

Second, dandelions are a nutritious and completely edible plant. In fact, every part of the dandelion plant is edible from the roots to the leaves to the flowers. You can make dandelion root tea, dandelion leaf salad and even fried dandelion flowers!

But perhaps most impressive is the fact that dandelions offer a huge range of health benefits from strengthening bones and fighting diabetes to detoxifying your liver and nourishing your skin in all sorts of ways.

Dandelions are also anti-inflammatory as well as high in antioxidants, and when applied topically they can help nourish and clear skin, fight skin infections and help relieve muscle and joint pain, including pain caused by arthritis.

One of my favourite ways to use dandelions is by making an infused oil and then turning that oil into a healing salve. It's super easy to make and it's a great way to put those dandelions in your yard to good use this year!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/diy-dandelion-salve/ to learn how to make your own dandelion healing salve. Then grab a basket and start gathering up dandelion flowers as soon as they make their appearance this spring! Just make sure to leave some for the bees:) 🐝
.
.
.
#diy #savethebees #dandelion #dandelions #natural #naturalhealing #springflowers #homeapothecary #herbalism
...

If you’ve been following my stories this week, you probably saw the bumblebee I tried to save. We found her in the middle of our driveway and moved her so she wouldn’t get squished.

She clung onto my hand and wouldn’t let go at first. It was almost as though she was just thankful to have someone caring for her in what would be her final days and hours.

We knew she probably wouldn’t survive. She wasn’t even attempting to fly. She seemed weak, and I couldn’t just toss her to the ground to die. So we got her a little plate of water and gave her a few flower blossoms and set her down.

At first she didn’t move at all. Then, the next day she seemed a little more lively and was crawling around on the flowers. Much like when humans are about to pass, they often get a short, “second wind.” But then yesterday I came out to find she was gone, and although she was just a bee, I felt connected to her in those moments we shared.

The fact is, we ARE all connected to each other, and we ALL depend on each other for survival. Bees and humans in particular have an important relationship. Did you know that honey bees alone are responsible for pollinating over 80% of the world’s fruits and vegetables?

And yet, there are many things that us humans do to our food (like spray it with pesticides and herbicides), that’s killing off bee populations in massive numbers. Because of our dependence on bees in order to feed our global population, their demise could spell our demise.

Whether or not you’ve ever felt personally connected to a bee like I did this week, I guarantee you’re connected to them through the food that you eat. And that’s why it’s so vitally important that we take steps to help bees out whenever we can.

I happen to have a few easy ideas that anybody can implement at home right now to help save these little pollinators from extinction, and in turn, help save our food supply too!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/3-easy-ways-to-help-save-the-bees/ to learn 3 EASY ways to help save the bees, and the many reasons why it matters!
...

Hot Cross Buns have always been one of my favourite parts of Easter. Growing up, I remember going with my mom to the bakery to pick up a dozen of these sweet buns, and we’d proceed to devour half the box before we even got home.

Honestly, I STILL love Hot Cross Buns from there bakery.But fresh out-of-the-oven HOMEMADE Hot Cross Buns are next level delicious, and they’ve fast become one of our family’s most anticipated spring treats!

If you love Hot Cross Buns as as much as we do, I highly recommend trying your hand at making your own this year!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-hot-cross-buns-recipe/ to grab the full recipe and instructions!
.
.
.
#hotcrossbuns #easter #baking #homemade
...

🥄 I’ve known for a long time that homemade yogurt was something that many homesteaders pride themselves on making.

I always considered making it myself, and I have to admit I’ve always been a bit jealous when I’ve seen other people making gorgeous batches of thick, creamy homemade yogurt, often made with milk from their own dairy cow. But since I don’t have my own dairy cow (or even dairy goats), homemade yogurt (and home dairy in general) has just never really been at the top of my list of skills to learn.

Plus, without my own dairy cow, I figured I would need to find a source of raw milk to make yogurt (which is illegal where I live) and I knew that even if I could get it, it probably wouldn’t be cheaper than buying it from the grocery store, so why bother?

But when I started putting the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine together (all about Home Dairy) I knew I needed to at least give homemade yogurt a try.

I quickly learned that you don’t need your own dairy animal or even a raw milk source in order to make your own homemade yogurt. I also learned that it’s possible to make it with the best quality, whole, local, non-homogenized milk, and still have it come out cheaper than it would cost for me to buy a comparable quality and quantity of yogurt at the grocery store.

Plus, it’s stupidly easy to make...

All you need is some whole milk, some yogurt starter culture (aka. plain yogurt from the store with live active cultures), and a way to heat up your milk (ie. a pot and a stove), and keep your incubating yogurt warm for a few hours after (a slow cooker, Instant Pot, dehydrator, warm oven, etc.)

While the original recipe appeared in this month’s issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, you can also grab the full recipe and instructions by clicking the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or by going to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-yogurt/

Also, if you haven’t yet subscribed for FREE to Modern Homesteading Magazine, go to thehouseandhomestead.com/magazine to get the Home Dairy issue delivered straight to your inbox:)
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs