Canning pumpkin first in the pressure canner makes it safe to store and quick to use later in pumpkin butter, pies, muffins, or other pumpkin recipes.
I get questions on how to can pumpkin puree, or pumpkin butter. My best advice is to can it in cubes. Puree it when you want to use it in your recipes. Easy! And more importantly, safe.
The concern with pureeing it is that the density of the puree will be thick. The heat achieved in the pressure canner must reach all the way to the center of your jars. If your pumpkin is cubed heat will penetrate much better. Cubed is safer.
Pumpkin is a low acid food and MUST be processed in a pressure canner. There is no way around those recomendations. (except of course to ignore them.... which I don't suggest)
Gather your canning supplies
The procedure for canning pumpkin is actually very straightforward. Seed it, skin it, cube it up, place in jars. Process. I'll give my opinion here on the best way to do this. Then give the research based canning directions.
First step to canning pumpkin is seeding the pumpkin. Your best bet is to chop off the top of your pumpkin removing the stem and top portion. Then slice down the center to cut the pumpkin in half. This gives you better access to the seeds and strings. Then just use a large spoon to scoop them out. Save them for roasting or replanting in the spring if you have heirloom pumpkins.
Next you need to take off the pumpkin skin. I tried several things. A regular vegetable peeler was useless. Rind is far too tough. I tried using a knife to peel off the rind of each half. This was awkward. I had sharp knives slipping and I was destined to chop off a finger. I knew I had find a better way or I'll be here for HOURS! (not to mention ending up fingertipless)
Finally I found the best way was to slice my pumpkin in to strips.
Then use a knife to slice off the rind. This was much more manageable. The pumpkin did not roll around on me. I was able to slice down into my butcher block and my fingers were safe!
I was still there quite a while slicing and peeling pumpkin, but it worked.
When you are canning pumpkin you need to cut your pumpkin into cubes about 1 inch. (remember no pureeing!) Place in a large stock pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes. You don't need to cook thoroughly, just enough to warm the pumpkin up and place in your jars hot.
Using a slotted spoon I then scooped out the pumpkin and placed in jars. If you want salt, add one teaspoon per quart and 1/2 tsp per pint. Then fill each jar with the cooking water leaving a 1 inch headspace.
Using a plastic spatula or other small tool release any air bubbles. There is a tool you can buy for this step but I find my orange peeler is perfect.
Wipe the rims of your jar clean so there are no food particles to interfere with the seal and place your canning lids. Here I'm using traditional metal lids that I have left over and need to use up. But I usually use and love my tattler lids.
Place your jars in your preheated canner and process as directed below. For more information on how to use your pressure canner click here.
pints for 55 minutes
quarts for 1 hour 30 minutes
|Adjustments for Pressure Canner|
|Altitude in Feet||Dial Gauge Canner||Weighted Gauge Canner|
Canning Pumpkin source... National Center for Home Food Preservation.