How to Pressure Can Carrots, a Beginner's Guide

Carrots, cleaned and without tops, ready to be chopped and pressure-canned.

Carrots are an easy, nutritious vegetable to preserve for beginning canners. Learn how to use a pressure canner to can carrots. This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to preserve carrots safely. 

How to Pressure Can Carrots

Even if the carrot seeds in your garden didn't sprout - like mine - or the grasshoppers ate your plants, or you didn't grow them for whatever reason, carrots are a great vegetable to can. 

Carrots are available in the supermarket year round at a very affordable price, and are very nutritious.

Carrots are healthy and nutritious

According to Medical News Today, carrots have been shown to have cancer-fighting effects by reducing free radicals in the body. [Source]

In particular, they have been shown to reduce the chances of lung cancer, colorectal cancer, leukemia and prostate cancer.

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Carrots are also extremely high in Vitamin A, due to the abundance of beta-carotene, which gives modern carrots their bright orange color. Vitamin A is important to our eye health. 

One medium carrot provides over 200% of an adult's daily requirement of Vitamin A, 6% of Vitamin C and 5% of Vitamin B-6, and contains only 25 calories.

Raw is probably the most nutritious way to eat carrots, and they do keep very well. However, if you want to preserve carrots so that you'll always have some on your shelves, you can dehydrate, freeze, or pressure-can the fresh carrots from your garden. 

My article about the many ways to preserve carrots will show you how to freeze and dehydrate carrots and also how to store them fresh so they'll last longer. You'll also find some of my favorite recipes for carrots.

Should you pressure can carrots, or can you water bath carrots?

Is it okay to can carrots without a pressure canner? No. Carrots must be pressure-canned; you cannot safely water bath can carrots.

Because they are low-acid, carrots must be pressure-canned in order to kill pathogens and be safe to eat.

You will need to use a pressure canner, such as this 23-quart Presto pressure canner, which is what I have and use.

A dial-gauge pressure canner

There are two types of pressure canners. One is a dial-gauge canner, which measures and indicates the pressure inside the canner. The other is a weighted-gauge canner, which "jiggles" a certain number of times per minute to indicate the inner pressure. 

Check your canner's manual to see which type you have and how to use it. The Presto pressure canner I use is a dial-gauge canner. 

How to can carrots with a pressure canner

A pint jar of canned carrots is simple to empty into a pot of soup or stew for a quick meal, or to heat and eat as a side dish.

A pint jar of pressure-canned carrots with canning equipment including a blue plastic funnel.

Carrots can be preserved using either the raw-packed or hot-packed method. 

The difference is that raw-packed carrots are put into the jars raw, while hot-packed carrots are simmered for five minutes before being put into the jars.

Other than that, the process for raw-pack and hot-pack are the same.

Gather your canning equipment

To begin, assemble your equipment:

A bowl of chopped raw carrots, ready to be pressure-canned.

How to prepare carrots for canning

Wash and peel your carrots, and slice them into rounds that are about the same thickness.

Pack the carrot slices, either raw or after simmering for five minutes, into hot jars leaving an inch of head space (that is, one inch between the top of the carrots and the very top of the jar). 

If desired, add 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt to pints or 1 teaspoon to quarts. 

Add enough boiling water to the jars to cover the carrots and still leave one inch of head space.

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Step-by-step canning directions

Add the recommended amount of water to your pressure canner (check your instruction booklet). 

Mine uses 3 quarts of hot water, so I fill a quart jar three times and add to the canner. I also add two tablespoons of white vinegar to help prevent mineral deposits on the jars. 

Turn the burner on Low and let the water warm up while you're simmering your carrots and adding them to the jars.

Check your jars for nicks or sharp edges on the rims. Using your canning funnel, fill your jars leaving one inch of headspace (the amount of space between the food and the top of the glass jar).

Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth. Then use a lid magnet or tongs to remove the lids from the warm water and place them on the jars.

 Apply the rings and tighten them fingertip-tight; don't overtighten. 

Using the jar lifter, place the jars in your pressure canner. Add water as recommended in your owner's manual and place the lid on top of the canner.

Close up the canner according to the directions for your brand, and turn the burner up a bit. 

You'll eventually notice steam flowing from the vent pipe. This is good.

Let the steam vent for ten minutes - don't rush anything when you're canning - place the pressure regulator on top and wait for the dial gauge to reach the correct amount of pressure.

Begin timing when the gauge reaches the correct pressure. 

How long to pressure can carrots

Once you begin timing your canner, carrots should be pressure canned for 25 minutes (for pints) and 30 minutes (for quarts) at 10 pounds of pressure. 

If you live 1,000 feet or more above sea level, you'll need to adjust either the weight or the pressure, depending on which type of pressure canner you're using. This is because the air is thinner at higher altitudes, so the boiling temperature of water is different. 

You can find your elevation at the What's My Elevation website. Then, if your elevation is more than 1,000 feet above sea level, go to this website and check the chart for the adjustments you'll need to make when canning.


For more step-by-step photos of the
pressure-canning process,
you might like to read How to Can Chicken Broth.

Remove the jars from the canner

When the correct time has elapsed, turn off the heat and move the canner carefully off the burner and let the canner cool down naturally. 

Don't try to rush this process. Do not try to cool down the canner by running cold water over it, or setting it in a sinkful of water. Do not try to open the canner before it has cooled down.

The air vent/cover lock will eventually drop down, and you can then remove the pressure regulator. Wait another ten minutes after removing the pressure regulator before you remove the lid of the canner.

Don't rush the times when you're canning. Let the internal pressure come down slowly and naturally. 

When you do open the lid, lift the side farthest away from you so that the rising steam won't be in your face.

Use the jar lifter to carefully lift each jar straight up - do not tilt them - and place on a padded surface such as a towel-covered counter. Leave the jars here undisturbed for 24 hours. 

Storing canned carrots

After 24 hours, wipe down the jars and remove the rings. Removing the rings is an important step - they can rust over time and be hard to get off the jars when you're ready to open them. 

The lids under the rings are sealed and it is safe to remove the jar rings.

Add labels or write on the lid with a Sharpie pen. Don't trust your memory! Include the date on your label.

Storing your canned goods in a dark cupboard will help preserve the quality of the food inside. For best quality, canned carrots should be eaten within 18 months.

You'll be glad you have canned carrots on your pantry shelves

Pressure-canning carrots is a safe and effective method for preserving carrots and extending their shelf life. By following the proper steps for preparation, processing, and storage, you can enjoy your home-canned carrots for months to come. 

Please note that the quality and safety of canned goods depend on using the correct procedures and guidelines. 

Always use trusted and up-to-date resources for canning instructions, and do not take shortcuts or make substitutions that could compromise the safety of your canned goods. You'll find the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

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Related posts:
How to Can Chicken Broth
Don't Stop Canning in the Winter
What to Look for When You Buy Used Canning Jars

The Beginner's Guide to Canning Carrots, a step-by-step tutorial


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Revised and updated 4/26/23