Canning Applesauce

What kind of apples are best for canning applesauce? Maybe you like extra sweet or extra tart.

We love a Jona-Gold apple we get from a local orchard. Especially for applesauce. Not only is it the best tasting (in our humble opinion). No sugar needed!

Though I always use just jona gold I've read that using several types of apples will give your applesauce a nicer flavor. You might want to experiment and see what combinations will do for your family. If you use a red skinned apple the applesauce will have the most beautiful pink color.

The jars you see below are 3 types of apples in canned applesauce. Can you pick out the Jona-gold? The Jona-Gold has a mottled red and yellow color which gives the applesauce a nice pink color.

home canned applesauce

The basic idea behind how to make apple sauce is to cook the apples, mush them up, add sweetener if desired, getting rid of the skins and cores somewhere along the way.

If you have a food mill or strainer, you can cook the apples before getting rid of the skin and cores. The strainer does the work of peeling and coring. If you do not then you must peel and core apples prior to cooking.

When canning apple sauce you may process in a Water Bath Canner


Gather your canning supplies
  • Apples - You will need about 21 pounds per canner load of 7 quarts
  • Sugar -to taste
  • Cinnamon - optional, a nice addition

Canning applesauce if you have a Food Mill:

canning applesauce

Wash, and quarter apples. Place in large pot (approx. 5-6 quart).

Don't overfill your pot as you need to be able to stir the apples even before they have softened. Otherwise they will stick. (ask me how I know) I have two pots that I will sometimes get going at the same time.

Once (and only once!) I tried to cook all my apples at once in a huge stock-pot that I have... big mistake. I could not get the apples stirred up very well and they scorched to the bottom. I rescued the apples off the top and continued. Sometimes we can try to save time but only make more problems.

Add 1-cup water to help prevent sticking. Cover and simmer until tender, stirring often.

Press through your food mill. If you are canning applesauce with a red skinned variety of apple, it will pick up the color. Pink, gorgeous, and appetizing.

I use my squeeze straino. Put the apples skins cores and all into the hopper, press down as you turn the crank and the skins will be pushed out the end while your applesauce will emerge from the strainer.

canning applesauce food mill

Canning applesauce without a Food Mill:

If you don't have a food mill you just need to peel and core your apples before cooking.

apple peeler

First peel, core, and quarter apples.

This is where the apple, peeler, corer, slicer comes in handy. It will cut your time in half.

If you use one, see instructions that came with it. Otherwise just peel core and slice the old fashioned way with a paring knife.

Tip: Thinner slices will soften much faster.

Place slices in a large pot, (see my over filled stock-pot fiasco above) add 1 cup water to prevent sticking.

Cook until tender, stirring often.

Mash with a potato masher. This works well especially if you like chunky applesauce. If desired you can use a wire whisk on the apples at the end of cooking to get a smoother consistency.

Finishing your applesauce

canning applesauce

Add sugar to resulting applesauce to taste. I prefer not to put any sugar but it all depends on the type of apple. Go ahead and taste it and add sugar if you want. Cinnamon is another option.

Reheat sauce to a boil, again stirring often to prevent sticking.

Fill jars with hot applesauce leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids. For more details follow water bath canning instructions.

Process pints or quarts for 20 minutes.

Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet Increase processing time
1001-3000 5 minutes
3001-6000 10 minutes
6001-8000 15 minutes
8001-10,000 20 minutes

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Apple Chutney Recipe

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Canning Books by Sharon

I have attempted to share safe preserving methods. However, I make no promises. You alone are responsible for your health. Be aware of current safety recommendations.
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