Author: Serina Penner • Date: December 9, 2014 • Appears in:
Every year I cache away too much winter squash. I always have such high hopes! “I will make soup after soup” I say; but I never make as many as I dreamed I would. The good news is that canning is always an option. Almost any squash can be canned. Keep in mind though that all squashes are a love-acid food and therefore must be processed using a pressure canner or pressure cooker.
Equipment Needed for Canning Winter Squashes:
- Pressure canner
- Large roasting pan for roasting squashes
- Wooden Spoon (for filling jars)
- Knives (for cutting squash)
- Canning funnel (wide mouth)
- Jar lifter
- Tongs, for lifting lids
- Pot for scalding lids
- Canning jars, quarts or pints
- Canning lids
- Vinegar (optional), for adding to canner water to avoid hard water stains.
- Towel or large board to set cooling jars upon.
Step 1: Prepare the Squash
It’s important to wash the squash well before roasting it. With warm water and soap be sure to scrub the entire squash thoroughly. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and stem, and place in roasting pan or container with some water at the bottom. Bake until soft.
Step 2: Let the Squash Cool
Once you’re able to handle it, remove the pulp from the skin and place it in a large cooking pot to be boiled later. Be sure to remove any excess seeds or stringy bits in this step.
Step 3: Prepare your Canning Equipment
Sterilize jars by placing them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 225 for about 20 minutes. Boil lids and place wooden spoon, ladle, and canning funnel in boiled water to sterilize it before use. While doing all this, bring squash to a light simmer on the stove. Fill your pressure canner with the allowed amount of water and bring to a boil. Add a splash of vinegar into the water to prevent hard water damage.
Step 4: Pack that Squash in!
Using a ladle scoop the squash into the jars using the canning funnel. Use the end of the wooden spoon to pack it in! Also, don’t be afraid to tap the jar onto the counter to help things move down.
Step 5: Pressure Time!
Wipe the rims of each jar with clean, damp cloth to make sure nothing gets in the way of that seal! Put lids on, place jars in the canner rack. Seal that puppy up, put the heat on low to medium until the steam vent begins to hiss and spit. Wait 7-10 minutes to place the weight for 10lbs of pressure. Waiting ensures the canner is properly pressurized. Process 80 minutes, then turn off heat and cool completely.
Voila! There you have it! You can make squash soup, pumpkin chili, or whatever you want all the way into July!
Header image from Rurification.