Got extra summer squash? You could dehydrate it or freeze it, but canning is so much fun, don’t ya think? Learn how to can squash and zucchini and preserve it for a whole year or more!
Here’s a super easy way to can summer squash and zucchini using the raw pack method…
Clean and sterilize your jars. I either wash them in the dishwasher; or wash in hot, soapy water, then heat the oven to 250* or so, and put the jars in it. Then I turn the oven off and let them sit and stay hot while I get everything else prepared.
In a small pot, get some water almost to a boil (NOT boiling) and place your lids in there to sterilize, turn down heat to simmer.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
Wash your squash well; scrubbing with a vegetable brush helps get it good and clean. Cut ends off and slice into 1/2″ thick rounds. No need to peel.
Pack the slices into hot jars, leaving 1 in. headspace. Add salt if desired; 1/2 tsp pints, 1 tsp quarts.
Pour boiling water over the squash, leaving 1 in. headspace. Tap the jar gently on the counter, or use the end of a wooden spoon or something to remove air bubbles.
Wipe the rim of the jars with a wet rag, and adjust the two-piece lids.
Process pints for 25 min., quarts for 30 min. at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner.
Then sit back and admire your pretty little jars!
Update 4/17/13– Since first writing this article about two years ago, and after having a chance to use my canned squash, here are my thoughts…
- The squash was saltier than I would have liked. If I can them again, I will omit the salt. (Salt is added for flavoring, not for preservation.)
- The squash made really nice pureed baby food.
- I realized we don’t really eat squash much… at all. Since I don’t have a baby eating pureed foods anymore, I probably won’t can squash this year.
- We definitely prefer fresh squash and zucchini to canned.
Note: The National Center For Home Preservation has put out this statement about canning squash…
Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze summer squashes or pickle them for canning, but they may also be dried.
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