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How do I? ...Can Vegetables

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Vegetables

Asparagus - Spears or Pieces

Quantity: An average of 24½ pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 16 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A crate weighs 31 pounds and yields 7 to 12 quarts--an average of 3½ pounds per quart.

Quality: Use tender, tight-tipped spears, 4 to 6 inches long.

Please read Using Pressure Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash asparagus and trim off tough scales. Break off tough stems and wash again. Cut into 1-inch pieces or can whole.

Hot pack – Cover asparagus with boiling water. Boil 2 or 3 minutes. Loosely fill jars with hot asparagus, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Fill jars with raw asparagus, packing as tightly as possible without crushing, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if desired. Add boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process as recommended in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the method of canning used.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Asparagus in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints 30 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 40 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Asparagus in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot and raw Pints 30 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 40 10 15


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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