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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Vegetables and Herbs > Canning Pieces or Spears of Asparagus

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Vegetables and Herbs


Canning Pieces or Spears of Asparagus

William Schafer

Vegetables must be canned in a pressure canner for the correct time and pressure (PSI) to ensure their safety. If not canned correctly, these low acid foods may contain the deadly botulism toxin.

Vegetables may be canned without salt. Salt adds flavor but does not prevent spoilage. If you use a weighted-gauge canner and can at an altitude less than 1000 feet, you may use 10 PSI instead of 15 PSI for the canner pressure. This will improve nutrient and quality retention of the vegetables. Check with your local county extension office or Soil Conservation District for altitude information.


Quantity: An average of 24-1/2 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 3-1/2 pounds per quart.

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

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 head space.

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 jar, if desired. Add boiling water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.

Process Time (Hot and Raw Pack)

1) Dial-gauge Pressure Canner
Pints – 30 minutes 11 PSI
Quarts – 40 minutes 11 PSI

2) Weighted-gauge Pressure Canner
Pints – 30 minutes 15 PSI
Quarts – 40 minutes 15 PSI

Source: Selecting, Preparing and Canning Vegetables -National Center for Home Food Preservation

Reviewed by Suzanne Driessen 2014

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