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Canning Pumpkins and Winter Squash - Cubed


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Pumpkins and Winter Squash - Cubed

Quantity: An average of 16 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 10 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints - an average of 2 1/4 pounds per quart.

Quality: Pumpkins and squash should have a hard rind and stringless, mature pulp of ideal quality for cooking fresh. Small size pumpkins (sugar or pie varieties) make better products.

Note: There are no safe options for canning these foods in a boiling water canner.

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.

Recent research with pumpkin butter has been done at the University of Missouri. Pumpkin butter is mashed or pureed pumpkin that has had large quantities of sugar added to it, but not always enough to inhibit pathogens. Sometimes an ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice is added to the formulation to increase the acidity (decrease the pH). However, pumpkin butters produced by home canners and small commercial processors in Missouri have had pH values as high as 5.4. In fact, the pH values seemed to be extremely variable between batches.

It is not possible at this point to evaluate a recipe for pumpkin or mashed squash for canning potential by looking at it. At this point, research seems to indicate variability of the products is great, and in several ways that raise safety concerns. It is best to freeze pumpkin butters or mashed squash.

Procedure: Wash, remove seeds, cut into 1-inch- wide slices, and peel. Cut flesh into 1-inch cubes. Boil 2 minutes in water. Caution: Do not mash or puree. Fill jars with cubes and cooking liquid, leaving 1 inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 and Table 2.

For making pies, drain jars and strain or sieve cubes.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pumpkin and Winter Squash 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 Pints 55 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Pumpkin and Winter Squash 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 Pints 55 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 90 10 15



Canning Vegetables and Vegetable Products

Note: There are no safe options for canning these foods in a boiling water canner.

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.