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Canning Blueberries: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

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Canning blueberries is so easy! Learn how to can blueberries in a pressure canner or waterbath canner with step-by-step instructions.

blueberries on wooden board

Don’t you just love fresh blueberries?

I think having your own blueberry patch is a little bit of heaven on earth.

Those little bits of sweet tartness exploding flavor in your mouth. It’s like nature’s nerds! 

At the peak of the season I find myself with a kitchen full of these little gems as I work to preserve them for the winter months.

Blueberry syrup, blueberry jam, dehydrated blueberries, and of course, blueberries in jars! 

Blueberries are one of the easiest things to can. 

Really.

You can can blueberries in a syrup or in water. I like to can them both ways.

Syrup for the quart jars that will turn onto cobblers and pies, and water for the pint jars and half pint jars I’m going to add to sourdough muffins, pancakes, or my famous Blueberry Coffee Cake.

Not only are blueberries pretty darn tasty, but they are an excellent source of dietary fiber.

Just one cup of these lovely purply globes contains almost 16% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C! 

Did you know that? I sure didn’t.

So if you can’t grow citrus, now you’re covered!

They also contain significant levels of Vitamin K and Manganese, and are very high on the scale that measures antioxidants.

A super food that tastes good!

Move right along, kale…

Now that you’re in the know, here’s how to can up some beautiful jars of powerful blueberry goodness.

Supplies for canning blueberries

  • blueberries ~ about 3 pounds of fresh berries gives you 1 quart of canned
  • filtered water or syrup*
  • canning jars ~ I usually use quarts and half pints

*Syrup for canning blueberries

  • extra light syrup ~ 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water
  • light syrup ~ 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water
  • medium syrup ~ 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water
  • heavy syrup ~ 4 3/4 cups sugar to 4 cups water

You can use honey instead of sugar if you would prefer. 

Keep in mind that a strong tasting honey will change the taste of the fruit. So a mild honey works the best.

Dissolve the sugar or honey in the water in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Bring the syrup to a boil then remove it from the heat and keep hot until needed.

I usually use the light or extra light syrups because I am trying to decrease my sugar intake.

And isn’t that the best part of making your own stuff? Being able to control what’s in it is so worth it!

How to can blueberries

You can can blueberries in a boiling water bath canner or a pressure canner.

I used a pressure canner so that’s what you’ll see in the pictures, but I have included directions for both canners.

Prepare your jars. Make sure they are clean and keep them hot until needed. Prepare your lids following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Put the berries in the sink with enough water to cover. Swish them around in the water to wash off any dirt.

Remove any stems that might be still attached. Then I put them into a strainer over the sink to drain.

wet blueberries on strainer

You can use either the hot pack or cold pack method for canning blueberries.

Cold Pack Method for Canning Blueberries

In the cold pack (or raw pack) method, you pack the cleaned blueberries into one hot jar at a time leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace.

Then fill the jar with hot syrup or syrup, again, leaving a 1/2″ headspace.

Use a bubbble want or this knofe to remove the air bubbles.

Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth, and seat the lids.

Then put on the rings, tightening them to finger tight.

Hot Pack Method for Canning Blueberries

In the hot pack method, you put the blueberries into the boiling water or syrup for about a minute, then pack them into the hot jars.

Leave a 1/2″ of headspace and then fill the jars with the boiling water or syrup, removing the air bubbles with a bubble wand or thin knife.

Wipe the rim of the jar, seat the lids, and put the rings on finger tight.

blueberries in canning jars
blueberries waiting for boiling water or syrup

How do you know which method to use? It’s entirely up to you!

But here’s what I do.

If I am using water, I’m raw packing. If I am using syrup, I’m hot packing.

The reason I use hot pack with the syrup is because if I have syrup left over, it’s now flavored with the blueberries.

So I can up whatever is left to use as blueberry syrup. I do that with all my fruits that I can.

That gives you lots of syrup options when you whip up a batch of sourdough waffles some Saturday morning.

Whichever method you use, the next step is to put the jars into the canner.

My pressure canner has a 2nd rack so that I can do more than 1 layer.

I have quarts in the bottom and the half pints on the top in this picture.

jars of blueberries stacked in pressure canner
in the pressure canner

If you are using a pressure canner, add the amount of water your directions tell you to add.

Then put on the lid and lock it.

If using a water bath canner, add hot water until the jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches and put the lid on.

Processing Blueberries

Follow these instructions for either pressure canning or waterbath canning.

Pressure Canning Blueberries

In a pressure canner, process at 6 pounds of pressure for 8 minutes for half pints, pints, 1 1/2 pints, and quarts.

Make sure you adjust pressure according to your altitude using this chart.

Waterbath Canning Blueberries

In a boiling waterbath canner, process for 15 minutes for half pints and pints, and 20 minutes for 1 1/2 pints and quarts.

Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch and that the water comes to a full rolling boil before you start your timer.

Make sure you adjust processing time according to your altitude using this chart

After processing, remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter lifting the jars straight up. Don’t tip them. That could cause the jars to not seal.

Put the jars on a towel covered cabinet out of drafts, and leave undisturbed for a minimum of 12 hours.

quarts of canned blueberries on towel
cooling off

After 12 hours check the seals. If the seals are good, remove the rings, wash the jars, and label and date them.

If the seals are not good, you can reprocess them with new lids or simply refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

When stored in a cool, dark place, canned goods can stay good for several years.

Now put them on your pantry shelf and enjoy looking at your beautiful jars of blueberry goodness!

Always check with the National Center for Home Food Preservation for up to date canning information.

More Canning Recipes You Should Try:

blueberries in white bowl

Canning Blueberries

Canning blueberries is so easy! Learn how to can blueberries in a pressure canner or waterbath canner.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Waterbath Processing 15 mins
Course Pantry Staple
Cuisine American
Servings 8 pints
Calories 485 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Canner
  • Waterbath canner
  • Pint jars and rings
  • New lids
  • Canning Tools

Ingredients
  

  • blueberries ~ about 3 pounds of fresh berries gives you 1 quart of canned
  • filtered water or syrup*
  • canning jars
  • new lids & rings
  • jar lifter
  • magnetic lid wand
  • pressure canner or waterbath canner

Syrup for canning blueberries

  • extra light syrup ~ 1 cup sugar (or honey) to 4 cups water
  • light syrup ~ 2 cups sugar (or honey) to 4 cups water
  • medium syrup ~ 3 cups sugar (or honey) to 4 cups water
  • heavy syrup ~ 4 3/4 cups sugar (or honey) to 4 cups water

Instructions
 

Making the Syrup

  • Dissolve the sugar or honey in the water in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Bring the syrup to a boil then remove it from the heat and keep hot until needed.

Getting Prepped

  • Prepare your jars. Make sure they are clean and keep them hot until needed. Prepare your lids following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Put the berries in the sink with enough water to cover. Swish them around in the water to wash off any dirt.
  • Remove any stems that might be still attached. Then I put them into a strainer over the sink to drain.

Cold (or Raw) Pack Method

  • In the cold pack (or raw pack) method, you pack the cleaned blueberries into one hot jar at a time leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace.
  • Then fill the jar with boiling water or syrup, again, leaving a 1/2″ headspace.
  • Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth, and seat the lids.
  • Then put on the rings, tightening them to finger tight.

Hot Pack Method

  • In the hot pack method, you put the blueberries into the boiling water or syrup for about a minute, then pack them into the hot jars.
  • Leave a 1/2″ of headspace and then fill the jars with the boiling water or syrup.
  • Wipe the rim of the jar, seat the lids, and put the rings on finger tight.

In a Pressure Canner

  • Add the amount of water to your canner that your directions tell you to.
  • Put the jars in the canner, then put on the lid and lock it.
  • Exhaust the air for the length of time specified in your instruction manual.
  • Add the weight and process at 6 pounds of pressure for 8 minutes for half pints, pints, 1 1/2 pints, and quarts.
  • Make sure you adjust pressure according to your altitude.
  • After processing time, remove the canner from the heat and allow to cool on it's own. When the pressure has dropped to zero, carefully remove the lid.

In a Waterbath Canner

  • Place your jars into the water bath canner, add hot water until the jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches and put the lid on.
  • Bring the water to a full rolling boil, and process for 15 minutes for half pints and pints, and 20 minutes for 1 1/2 pints and quarts.
  • Make sure you adjust processing time according to your altitude.

After Processing

  • After processing, remove the jars from the canner lifting the jars straight up. Put the jars on a towel covered cabinet out of drafts, and leave undisturbed for a minimum of 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, check the seals. If the seals are good, remove the rings, wash the jars, and label and date them.
  • If the jars are not sealed, you can reprocess them with new lids or simply refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

Notes

When stored in a cool, dark place, canned goods can stay good for several years.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pintCalories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 124gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 524mgFiber: 16gSugar: 93gVitamin A: 367IUVitamin C: 66mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg
Keyword blueberries, Canning Blueberries, canning recipe
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By on March 10th, 2022

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