By November 17, 2013 Read More →

Canning Asparagus

One of the reasons I do not grow asparagus is because it takes 2-5 years to produce. Maybe I am just lazy in that aspect, but it is just easier for us to buy it in bulk and can it from home.  Recently my neighbor brought us a big box of frozen asparagus. The tips and ends already cut. I don’t know about other canners out there, but seeing a box of vegetables like that is like Christmas morning for me! I get super excited.

Below I am going to walk you through the steps I use to can asparagus for our family and our food storage.  If you have any questions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comment section. (Links added to article are the equipment I personally use and am satisfied with.)

Safety First and Following your manual~ If you lost your manual and have not read it, I suggest doing so before doing any canning. Safety always comes first. Presto Canner Instruction Manuals.    All American Instruction Manuals. (I personally own and use the All American Pressure canner. I have never had to replace it.)

Tools Needed:
  • Pressure Canner ~ Not a water bath canner! Asparagus, like most other vegetables, does not have enough acidity in it to prevent the growth of bacteria. The temperature of a water bath canner does not get high enough to kill the bacteria spores. (Note: If you are pickling the asparagus then a water bath canner is safe to use.)
  • Canning Utensils ~ For grabbing hot jars etc…
  • Large Pot ~ For boiling water.
  • Ladle ~ To spoon boiling water into the jars.
  • Canning Jars ~ I use pint-sized jars but you can also use quart size jars if you have a larger family. We have 2 adults and 2 kids in our home and the pint size seems to work fine for portions.
  • Salt ~  One teaspoon per quart size jar or 1/2 teaspoon per pint. Salt is optional.
  • Asparagus ~ 10 pounds is a guess as to what we had and it made ten pint size jars.
Directions:

Preparations ~ In other words, get your work station ready!! Wipe down and sanitize all counter tops, tables and stove tops.  Fill your large pot with water and set it on low heat so it can begin to boil as you get your jars packed. Put 2-3 inches of water in your pressure cooker and set that to low as well so it doesn’t boil down dry. If it does boil down simply add hot tap water so your water level is at 2-3 inches again. Place your jars in the dishwasher to clean and sanitize your jars. Leave them in there on the heated dry cycle so the jars stay hot.  If you do not have a dishwasher then you will have to do it the old-fashioned way.

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Prepping your asparagus ~ Wash your asparagus with cool water. Break/cut off the tough bottom piece of the stem and then wash again.

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Cut~ Using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, snip the asparagus into 1 inch pieces similar to the size of canned green beans. Another option is to cut them into spears to fit your jar making sure to leave 1 inch head space.  (Tip: I usually turn up the water at this time to get the rolling boil process closer to done.)

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Packing your jars~ Fill your jars with the raw asparagus leaving one inch head space.  There is no need to cook these before hand. The temperature from the pressure canner will do that. Tap the asparagus down on the table to get a tighter pack. You can also push it down as well. Just make sure not to squish it to tight.  Add Salt to the jars at this time.

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Adding water~ Ladle boiling water into each jar still leaving a one inch head space.

Seal the jar~ Put on your lids and rings tightening the seals finger tight.

Add to pressure canner~ Your water level should be at 3 inches before doing this and if not add some hot tap water.  At this time, assuming your water is still boiling,  use your jar tongs to gently place the jars on the canner rack.   Once your canner is full, place the lid on and twist into place leaving the regulator weight off at this time. Turn on high heat. Let canner vent steam for a full ten minutes. Begin timing when it is at a full steady stream of steam.

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After Venting~ After the full ten minutes, add the weight regulator to the valve on ten. Allow pressure to build to 10 pounds or the pounds according to the chart below for your area.

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Below is a process chart to follow according to your area:

table asparagus

Once the gauge hits 10 pounds, (or recommended pressure by chart) start your timer going for 30-40 minutes. Make sure to adjust the heat level to maintain the amount of pressure suggested. Once you are adjusted, your gauge should rattle once or twice every minute.

When Processing Is Over~ When your timer goes off, turn off the heat under the cooker and let your canner cool until the pressure drops to zero by itself.  This could take up to an hour. Do not open the vent!! If the pressure drops to fast you will lose liquid from the jars. (I made this mistake a lot before I learned that trick.) Once the pressure drops to zero, begin opening the canner by lifting the lid from the back first away from your face.

IMG_20131115_080912Remove the Jars~ After removing the lid, use your jar lifter to remove the jars carefully and place them on a towel making sure not to touch/bump the jars together.  Do not touch until completely cool. (usually over night) Once your jars are cooled you can check to see if they sealed by pressing down on the middle of the lid.

DSC_0532If it pops up and down then the jar did not seal properly. If a jar did not seal, that is ok. You can place it in the fridge and use that jar with dinner or as a snack. :)

IMG_20131109_091320Voila! All Finished! I hope this article makes canning asparagus as easy for you as it can be. Any comments or suggestions are always welcome in the comment section below.



About the Author:

Cari is an editor and author for American Preppers Network. Her family currently live in Georgia. Cari spends her free time gardening, canning, testing products for review, helping other prepare and attending church. She believes preparedness is about love and taking care of your family. Click Here! Please Join My New Blog! Check out my Preparedness Store! Keepin It Spicy, Jalapeño Gal!!

5 Comments on "Canning Asparagus"

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  1. Cap'n Dave says:

    Cari:

    Great article and photos!

    May I butt in and defend ‘growing your own asparagus’?

    If you’re a foodie, you most definitely want to get some started. For both flavor and nutrition, asparagus is near the very top of veggies. Yes, it does take a few years to get them going, but in the meanwhile you can occassionally cheat and snap off a stalk or two with no great harm.

    When they visit my food-forest, asparagus is one of the first things I take visitors to sample; haven’t yet had anybody who didn’t brighten and say “Wow!” The “fresh” aspargus in your grocery don’t even compare for quantity and quality of pure nutritinal goodness.

    I see you’re in GA; I’m in N FL, and they do very well in this area, even in the heat and humidity. The’yre a gorgeous plant in the landsacape, and easy to grow and propogate with the bright red seeds they produce in the fall.

    • Thanks!! I appreciate the input and we may just start to grow them ourselves. I will do research on it but when is the best time to plant them? Any advise would be appreciated as you have experience :)

  2. Dennis says:

    Great article, thank you Cari.

    Asparagus is in the top three of my favorite vegetables. I’ve been known to “taste test” it in the pot as I was preparing dinner and had to make an additional vegetable because I must not have dumped a full can in the pot?

    Five years ago I went to the trouble of digging the deep ditch, adding fertilizer, tending it for the next three years, etc. You get the picture. Well, when the shoots are about plump and ready to harvest, a Harry Houdini occurs.

    Turns out our massive population of deer make night time runs on it. Three things the deer around here won’t allow you to grow; asparagus, sweet potato’s and grapes. Tried a number of deterrents to keep the deer out from electric fence to scents.

    So, like you it’s either canned or frozen :-(

  3. StoneyB says:

    Cari,
    I have to agree with Cap’n Dave. You’re missing a sure thing. I’ve found two years to be sufficient to begin grazing. I recommend Martha Washington (they’ll self seed) but there are many others. Buy good root stock and put them where they’ll get sun and will not be overly disturbed. Mulch them and leave them alone except for water and occasional fertilizer.

    Love your articles and site.

  4. JL says:

    I may plant this as part of a long term survival, for something different. But I think it’s overrated. I will eat aspargus if I don’t have to buy it. I would consider it a long term investment like fruit trees.