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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Fruits > Canning Whole Cherries

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Canning Whole Cherries

Cherries and pits

William Schafer


An average of 17½ pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 11 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A lug weighs 25 pounds and yields 8 to 12 quarts – an average of 2½ pounds per quart.


Select bright, uniformly colored, mature cherries which are ideal for eating fresh or cooking.


  1. Stem and wash cherries. Remove pits if desired. If pitted, place cherries in water containing ascorbic acid to prevent stem-end discoloration. If canned un-pitted, prick skins on opposite sides with a clean needle to prevent splitting.
  2. Cherries may be canned in water, apple juice, white grape juice, or syrup. If syrup is desired, see preparing and using syrups.

Hot pack

In a large saucepan add ½ cup water, juice, or syrup for each quart of drained fruit and bring to boil. Fill jars with cherries and cooking liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace.

Recommended process

Raw pack

Add ½ cup hot water, juice, or syrup to each jar. Fill jars with drained cherries, shaking down gently as you fill. Add more hot liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

Recommended process

See also: pressure canner process times for fruit.


National Center for Home Food Preservation. 2009. Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit. Sweet or Sour Cherries - Whole

Related Resources

Revised by Suzanne Driessen 2015

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