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Canning Cantaloupe Pickles


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Canning Cantaloupe Pickles

  • 5 pounds of 1 inch cantaloupe cubes (about 2 medium under-ripe* cantaloupe)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 one-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 1/2 cups cider vinegar (5%)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

*Select cantaloupe that are full size but almost fully green and firm to the touch in all areas including the stem area.

Yield: About 4 pint jars

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

Day One:

   1.   Wash cantaloupe and cut into halves; remove seeds. Cut into 1 inch slices and peel. Cut strips of flesh into 1 inch cubes. Weight out 5 pounds of pieces and place in large glass bowl.

   2. Place red pepper flakes, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger in a spice bag and tie the ends firmly. Combine vinegar and water in a 4-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat off. Add spice bag to the vinegar-water mixture, and let steep for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

   3. Pour hot vinegar solution and spice bag over melon pieces in the bowl. Cover with a food-grade plastic lid or wrap and let stand overnight in the refrigerator (about 18 hours).

Day Two

   4.   Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

   5. Carefully pour off vinegar solution into a large 8 to 10 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Add sugar; stir to dissolve. Add cantaloupe and bring back to a boil. Lower heat to simmer until cantaloupe pieces turn translucent; about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

   6. Remove cantaloupe pieces into a medium-sized stockpot, cover and set aside. Bring remaining liquid to a boil and boil an additional 5 minutes. Return cantaloupe to the liquid syrup, and bring back to a boil.

   7. With a slotted spoon, fill hot cantaloupe pieces into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Cover with boiling hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

   8. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Cantaloupe Pickles in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 15 min 20 25



Pickled Fruit

These documents were adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009 &
From "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.