So today’s Canning Chat question is from Wendy who has a freezer full of vegetables. She’s not sure what to do. She wants to try to can them, but she’s wondering about canning vegetables from the freezer.
Hi, my name is Sharon Peterson, and I’m with SimplyCanning.com where you can find home canning tips, tutorials, and classes. Come visit me there, and I will help you get your pantry filled.
Video Transcript – Edited for Clarity
So let me read what she says.
“Being fairly new to canning, I was wondering about canning frozen veggies, as I have so much more produce than my freezer can possibly hold. I have used the water bath method for my soft fruits from my allotment, but I’m not sure as to how to can the veggies that I’ve already put in the freezer so they don’t spoil due to work commitments. Is it necessary to have blanched the vegetables? Do you can it straight from the freezer? What are the canning times for frozen veggies? I really need some guidance on canning frozen veggies as space is now becoming very limited.”
Okay, so there are three things I want to talk about: safety, quality, and then I have another recommendation for Wendy that I think might work better for her.
Canning of Vegetables from the Freezer: Safety Issues
So the first thing is whether it’s safe. Yes it is safe.
If you want to can your vegetables out of your freezer, it is possible to do that. You need to defrost them, warm them up, and do a hot pack. You’re going to follow the exact same processing directions you would use for fresh vegetables. If it’s carrots, you’re going to look at the carrot directions and use those hot pack processing directions, including the blanching time. That’s how you would go about canning vegetables from the freezer from a safety perspective.
Regarding blanching before canning. Yes, you’ll need to blanch because there has been no testing done without the blanching.
I’m tempted to say no, don’t blanch it, because it’s probably already been blanched. But since I really don’t know that, I would suggest you follow all of the directions from the beginning to end, just like you would as if it were fresh.
Canning of Vegetables from the Freezer: Quality Issues
Which leads me to the second point: quality.
When you have foods in the freezer, the whole freezing process does break down the food somewhat. So the food has already gotten a bit soft in the freezer. You’re going to thaw it out, and then you’re going to process it again in a pressure canner because vegetables must be in a pressure canner. I am afraid you’re going to end up with really soft, mushy vegetables and the quality is going to be pretty poor.
That is why I actually wouldn’t recommend canning vegetables from the freezer, even though technically you could, which leads me to my third point. That’s my recommendation for you.
My Recommendation Instead of Canning Frozen Vegetables
You said you get an allotment. So I’m assuming it’s once a month or once a week, I don’t know. But any new vegetables that you’re getting in, can those in a pressure canner and just start eating the food out of your freezer to start freeing up that space. I think you’re going to have better quality. It’s going to be less work for you in the end. That would be my recommendation for you.
So I hope that was helpful. You guys have a wonderful day, and we’ll see you in the next Canning Chat. We’ll talk to you later.
End of video…
Here’s another reader question that fits in the same category.
Last year, I put my green beans and peas in freezer bags, can I safely can them in a pressure cooker this year since I now have one? They still look great in the freezer bags but would rather can them now. Can I do that?Denise
Denise, It would be safe to can them now. Just defrost and proceed with regular canning. Your veggies must not be cold going into the canner. My only thought is, they might not have as nice a texture. Since they were frozen once, if you re-can them they might end up soft. If it were me I’d just plan on canning from now on and just use what you have out of the freezer.
Of course, it might be a case of needing to empty your freezer. If that is the case then yes, go ahead and can as usual.
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Page last updated: 10/3/2020