Home canned asparagus will be soft, but the taste is mild, subtle and fresh, and absolutely enjoyable in its own right.
It’s a delicious, healthy and inexpensive way to enjoy asparagus year-round.
Quantities of asparagus needed
Numbers are approximate guidelines.
On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need about 1 1/2 kg (3 1/2 lbs) of asparagus per 1 litre (US quart) jar of canned asparagus.
- 11 kg (24 1/2 lb) of asparagus= 7 litres (US quarts) canned asparagus
- 7 kg (16 lbs ) of asparagus = 9 x 1/2 litres (US pints) canned asparagus
- 1 US crate asparagus = 8 kg (14 lbs) = 7 to 12 litres (US quarts) canned asparagus
Jar size choices: Either 1/2 litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 30 minutes; litres (quarts) 40 minutes
Serving size: 125 g (1 cup)
Fat: .5 g
- Wash asparagus.
- Trim off any tough scales.
- Break off tough ends.
- Wash again.
- Cut stalks into 2 to 3 cm (1 inch) pieces, or, leave whole.
- Put asparagus in a large pot of already-boiling water.
- Bring back to a boil, and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pack loosely into ½ litre (US pint) jars or 1 litre (US quart) jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Top up with clean boiling water (such as from a kettle, for instance), maintaining headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
- Processing time: ½ litre (US pint) jars for 30 minutes OR 1 litre (US quart) jars for 40 minutes.
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|1/2 litre (1 US pint)||30 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||40 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
There’s also a raw-pack option.
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.
You must be as ruthless in breaking the tough ends off as you would be if you were preparing it for eating right then: the pressure canning pressure will not make the tough bits any more edible or palatable. Freeze the tough ends, and use them later to make a delicious asparagus stock to add to soups.
While the general rule is that you may re-process stuff within 24 hours if the seal didn’t take the first time, for quality reasons it’s probably best not to try this with asparagus. It often just turns to moosh in the jar and becomes unsightly to look at.
Asparagus spears or pieces. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 4-5.
Serving size: 125 g, drained (1 cup. About one half of a 1/2 litre / US pint jar.)
Per 375 g (1 cup):
- 75 calories, 8 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 0 points (asparagus is free on Weight Watchers).
* Nutrition info provided by http://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
Packing liquid recommendations
The Ball / Bernardin Complete Book (2015) gives the option of using the blanching water as a packing liquid: “Drain, reserving cooking liquid for packing, if desired.” 1
The Ball Blue Book (37th edition, 2014) says, “Ladle hot cooking liquid or boiling water over asparagus, leaving 1 inch headspace.” 2
So Easy to Preserve (2014) also gives those two options: “Fill jar to 1 inch from top with boiling hot cooking liquid or water.” 3
The Bernardin Guide (2013) says, “Pack hot asparagus into hot jars and cover with hot cooking liquid.” 4
The USDA directions for this (as above) say “boiling water”, which presumably means fresh water, as opposed to the blanching liquid.
Cooking with canning recipes
Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 386. ↩
Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 110. ↩
Andress, Elizabeth L. and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Page 85. ↩
Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 102. ↩