Pressure canning asparagus is an easy way to store this favorite spring vegetable for use all year long. Follow along step by step.
One of my favorite things about spring is watching the tops of the asparagus poke up through the soil.
Because I know that means that I’m not too far away from eating that asparagus that is poking up through the soil.
Grilled asparagus, bacon wrapped asparagus, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, Steamed Asparagus with Balsamic Vinaigrette, pickled asparagus…the list could go on for days.
And while I prefer to eat my asparagus fresh in the spring, it’s nice to have some available for other times of the year.
We typically serve canned asparagus spears at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a special treat and at other times when cravings hit, so I don’t can huge amounts of asparagus like I do, say, tomatoes for instance.
So today, I thought I’d teach you how to pressure can asparagus.
For canning asparagus, you need to have about 2-ish pounds per pint jar. You can either buy it all at once from your local farmers’ market, or you can harvest your own as you get it.
Fresh raw asparagus from your garden will keep for 10-14 days in the fridge if you put it upright in a glass of water. If you get it at the store it will last about 5-7 days.
Because we like the tall spears, I use 1-½ pint jars so I don’t have to cut so much off of the ends. 1-½ pints are the same size around as the pint jars, they’re just taller. So they use the same amount poundage wise as the pints.
If you’re new to canning or just need a refresher, you can go here for information and general safety guidelines.
Ingredients and Equipment for Canning Asparagus
- Fresh asparagus spears (about 16 pounds for 8 pints or 1-1/2 pints)
- Canning jars (pints, 1 ½ pints, or quarts)
- New flat lids (If you are using the Tattler reusable lids, make sure you follow the directions that came with them.)
- Rings/screw bands
- Boiling water
- Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
- Pressure Canner
- Jar lifter
- White vinegar (if you have hard water)
NOTE: Plain asparagus MUST be pressure canned!
Prepare your jars by washing them in hot soapy water or running them through your dishwasher. Keep them hot until you’re ready to fill them.
Get your lids ready to go.
Prepping the Asparagus
To prepare the asparagus, wash them in a sink of cold water by swishing them back and forth.
Now, bend the spears near the bottom until they snap in two. This separates the “woody” part of the stem from the tender part. Don’t throw those ends out, though. Toss them in the freezer for later.
You need to measure the height of the jars you will be using. You need a 1 inch headspace, so your spears need to be an inch shorter than the jars.
So put the spears on a cutting board and measure them. Cut the stem off so they are the correct length.
You can add those pieces to the ends you snapped off in the step above. Use them later to make Creamy Asparagus Soup.
Raw Pack Method for Canning Asparagus
Before you begin, make sure your jars are clean and hot, and your lids are prepared according to the manufacturer’s directions. And put some water on to boil.
Pack the spears into the clean, hot jars as tightly as you can. The spears will shrink up dramatically, so really pack ‘em in there.
If you are canning asparagus pieces pack them as tightly as you can leaving 1 inch of headspace.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints, 3/4 teaspoon salt to 1-½ pints, and 1 teaspoon of salt for quarts.
Now fill the jar with boiling water, again leaving 1 inch of headspace. Using a bubble popper or thin knife, release any trapped air bubbles and top off the water if needed.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Now seat the lid and put on the ring, tightening just until finger tight.
Fill and close the remaining jars. Place the jars in the canner, adding the amount of hot water appropriate for your canner.
Secure the canner lid, turn on the heat, and vent for the amount of time specified for your canner.
Place the weight on the vent and bring up to pressure.
If you are using a dial gauge canner, process at 11 pounds pressure for 30 minutes for pints; 40 minutes for 1-½ pints and quarts.
If you are using a weighted gauge canner, use the 10 pound weight and use the same processing time.
Don’t forget to adjust for your altitude if necessary.
After processing allow the canner to cool down on it’s own.
Remove the jars and put them on towels in a draft free location to cool.
After a minimum of 12 hours, check the seals, make a cool label with the contents and the date, and put them in your pantry.
Store your canned asparagus in a cool, dry, dark place.
Always check with the USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation for up to date home canning guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions About Canning Asparagus
No it cannot. Asparagus is not acidic enough to can in a waterbath canner.
However, if you want Pickled Asparagus, that can be processed in a waterbath canner.
As long as the seal is intact pressure canned asparagus will last for many years. The recommendation is to eat it within 2 years for the best nutrition.
Unfortunately, yes it is. Adding salt will help a little, but not really enough that it’s like fresh steamed asparagus.
More Pressure Canning recipes you should try:
Pressure Canning Asparagus
- Pressure Canner
- Pint jars and rings
- New lids
- Canning Tools
- 16 pounds fresh asparagus spears for a full canner load of 8 pints
- Sea salt
- Prepare your jars and lids and keep them hot until needed. Check the air vent and overlock on the canner lid to make sure they are not blocked.
- Rinse spears under running water.
- Break off the woody ends and trim to fit your jars.
- Pack the spears tightly into the jars leaving 1 inch headspace.
- If you are adding salt, use ½ teaspoon in pints, ¾ teaspoon in 1 ½ pints and 1 teaspoon in quarts.
- Pour boiling water into jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Release the trapped air with a thin knife or bubble popper. Top off if needed.
- Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean dry cloth or paper towel. Place lid. Screw rings on finger tight.
- Put proper amount of warm water in canner, adding a splash of white vinegar if you have hard water.
- Place jars in canner. Seal the canner lid and turn heat to high.
- Allow the canner to vent for the specified length of time for your canner.
- Now put the regulator on the air vent and bring it up to pressure. Once it has reached the required pressure, start your timer.
- Process pints at 10 pounds pressure for 75 minutes, process 1½ pints and quarts at 10 pounds pressure for 90 minutes.
- Don’t forget to adjust the processing pressure for your altitude.
- When the processing time is up, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to return to zero.
- Once the pressure is zero, remove the regulator and wait another 5 to 10 minutes before unsealing the lid.
- Make sure the lid is facing away from you when you open the canner.
- After processing, remove the jars from the canner and allow to sit undisturbed for a minimum of 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, check the seals, wash and label the jars, and put them away.