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Canning Summer Squash

Chopped squash 2

Summer squashes should be enjoyed all year long, don’t you think?  They are a little bit of heaven on the squash scale.  Just what qualifies as a summer squash, you ask?  Think of your favorites: zucchini, pattypan, and yellow crookneck.  Known for having thin skin and cooking quickly, these squash are full of flavor and are wonderful served as a side or added to other dishes.  Now… to make them last!

Washing the squash

First, you will need a bushel of summer squash.  If you are curious about just how much food makes up a bushel… fear not, for someone posted the U.S. Commercial Bushel Sizes in chart form online.  So helpful!  Anyway, I washed them in cool salted water using a vegetable brush and rinsed them well.  This is a good time to boil your quart or pint jars and lids.  I opted not to use pint jars for this particular canning venture for two main reasons: 1.) I did not want to wash, boil, and pack that many jars and 2.) I did not want to wash, boil, and pack that many jars.  I am a lazy home-canner, y’all.

Trimming the squash

Now, chop them into bite-sized pieces.  Don’t worry about peeling them.  Herein lies the beauty of canning summer squash: no removing seeds and no peeling.  Bliss, I tell you.

Chopped squash

Place the chopped squash in a kettle and cover them with water.  Heat to a boil — then boil for 2 to 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, place the rack in the bottom of your pressure canner and add boiling water to the proper fill line (see the directions for your particular pressure canner).  Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the water in the pressure canner which keeps film from forming on the jars during processing.

Hot squash in hot jars

Using a slotted spoon, dish out the boiled squash and fill each jar within an inch of the top.  Place 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt on the squash.  Ladle boiling water over the squash until just covered (maintain the inch head space).  Remove bubbles in the jar.  Use a magnet to lower a lid on the jar and then secure the lid in place with a ring.  Now, place the jar in the canner.  Repeat.

Hot squash

Process pints for 30 minutes or quarts for 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.  Be sure you follow the directions you have for your canner so that you don’t have any mishaps.  Also, do not expedite the cooling process in any way.  Then, just soak in the results of your labor:

Ready to go in the canner

  • Twitter Trackbacks for Canning Summer Squash : Razor Family Farms [razorfamilyfarms.com] on Topsy.com - [...] Canning Summer Squash : Razor Family Farms razorfamilyfarms.com/cooking/canning-summer-squash – view page – cached Summer squashes should be enjoyed all year long, don’t you think? They are a little bit of heaven on the squash scale. Just what qualifies as a summer squash, you ask? Think of your favorites:… (Read more)Summer squashes should be enjoyed all year long, don’t you think? They are a little bit of heaven on the squash scale. Just what qualifies as a summer squash, you ask? Think of your favorites: zucchini, pattypan, and yellow crookneck. Known for having thin skin and cooking quickly, these squash are full of flavor and are wonderful served as a side or added to other dishes. (Read less) — From the page [...]ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - That’s a great idea! I bet they’ll taste wonderful…

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - I love yellow squash! I also love that I can pour out a jar of squash into a casserole dish, gently heat it, and then serve it with pepper or nutmeg. Dinner in minutes and it didn’t come from a box and was not laced with preservatives. Good clean food.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie - We call them: yellow courgettes( zucchini )!!!

    My father has had them in his garden!!

    I So love them,..MMMMMMMMM!! Thanks for those useful tips!!ReplyCancel

  • YDavis - Looks good! I don’t have a pressure canner so I usually just freeze them.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Sophie — I have made a courgette souffle in the past… now your comment has me wondering if I could make a yellow courgette souffle. I bet that would be gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - ydavis –

    I have blanched and frozen them before I got my pressure cooker/canner. Having limited freezer space isn’t so bad when one can put almost everything in quart jars on shelves. :)

    Wish you lived closer! We could share and swap from our gardens!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Just bought me a pressure canner. Have yet to post about it although I did post a pic of it tonight on FB. I have only done beets. Looking forward to the endless oppurtunities canning next garden season. Never thought to put up summer squash this way.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Kim — Congratulations on your new baby (pressure canner)! I know you’ll love it! I promise to post more pressure canning tutorials in the future. :) ReplyCancel

  • warren - Cool! And welcome back to the electronic world!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Warren — Thank you! I’m trying!ReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - So pretty. I love squash.

    Nice to “see” you, too.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Thank you, Julie!!! It’s nice to be back again. :) ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - I have yet to get a pressure canner. I have been wanting one for beans as i love the tenderness of canned beans. Perhaps next year or the year after I will get one. I haven’t even frozen summer squash except grated for making zucchini loaf. Hmmm… I did cut up a soft skinned pumpkin and it seemed to smell more like zucchini and was more solid when I cooked it. I labelled it as vegetable pumpkin in the freezer bags so we can have it as a vegetable rather than mashing for pumpkin pie which I have some more traditional looking and smelling pumpkin for.ReplyCancel

  • Donna Cann - Thanks for pictures and directions on pressure canning summer squash. This will be my first year canning. Living in Southern oklahoma and early summer squash is flowering and little babies are coming. Thanks for info.ReplyCancel

  • Donna Cann - was reading articles on internet about canning zuchinni and summer squash. All info seems to say that it is dangerous to even pressure can summer squash or zuchinni due to low acid and botulism. that it is better to freeze. Just wondering how long your family has been canning squash. Any comments on the process/ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Hi Donna!

    I’ve never had any trouble with home-canned goods. I process both acidic and nonacidic foods. I check to make sure that the lids have sealed properly and I use them within a year of canning them. You will probably find an article discussing the dangers of canning for every vegetable, yet generations of people have canned foods at home without incident. In fact, I would venture to say that there are more cases of botulism from commercially canned items (like the kind found on the shelves of your local grocery store) than from home-canned items.

    Follow the directions carefully. Purchase the Blue Book of Canning (I’ll be giving one away in a few weeks). The recipes have been tested and if you follow them carefully, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden goods all year long.

    Hope that helps!

    Thank you for your comment. :)

    Blessings,
    LacyReplyCancel

  • Martha Hamm - This is the best instructions for canning I have ever seen. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Norma - I canned a batch for the first time ever doing any pressure canning. The squash was really very mushy and about 1/2 of the fluid boiled up out of the jars. I thought I had the lids screwed on tight but I guess not tight enough. The jars did seal though. What am I doing wrongReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Hi Norma!

    Liquid levels may be too low after processing if jars were too full or packed too tightly. This causes the food to boil over during processing and a siphoning action occurs. Also, the liquid may be too low if air bubbles are not removed before processing. Sometimes, starchy foods will absorb water which creates lower liquid levels. Processing problems, such as fluctuating pressure within a pressure canner can also cause low liquid levels in the finished jars.

    The canned squash will be mushy but works quite well in soups, casseroles, and other dishes.

    As long as the jars have sealed properly, then you did just fine. I wouldn’t worry about the liquid levels. :)

    Blessings and thanks,
    LacyReplyCancel

  • marcia - I thought it was a little too salty. Not sure if I processed too long in canner as it was soft. My husband does like it and is glad he will have it all winter.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - My grandmother has canned all of her life and she just this year canned some squash but failed to cook for the suggested amount of time. She only left in the canner for 10-15 minutes on 10lbs of pressure. Is there any danger in eating this since most directions say to cook for 30-40 minutes?? Just wanted to know what you know about thisReplyCancel

  • Ron Anderson - No! No! No! To add water to crookneck squash only makes it necessary to drain before serving. Pouring all the vitamins and flavor down the drain is not the thing to do!

    Have you ever made microwave squash? You cook it in a covered glass/ceramic casserole dish in the microwave without adding any water, there’s plenty of moisture in the squash itself. That way you need not drain any liquid off before mashing it and adding the salt and pepper. Much more flavorful.

    I tried canning it in a pint jar and pressure cooker. I just sliced up the squash, added a little salt, chopped dried onion, and packed it in the jar to the top without adding any liquid. I set the timer for 25 minutes. After removing from the pressure canner, there was liquid in the bottom of the jar maybe 3/4 to 1″ deep and the squash had cooked down at least 1/2″. I Opened the jar 24 hours later to heat in a saucepan and mash it up. It was overcooked and left much to be desired. I’ll try cooking it at 15 minutes and 15psi next but am a bit concerned that cooking it for such a short time may be dangerous???ReplyCancel

  • Hunt - Hi:

    I processed my yellow squash for 40 minutes at ten pounds pressure in quart jars, but then after the fact I saw you comment not to expedite cooling. Does this mean I need to throw out all my squash I just processed???ReplyCancel

  • Thelma - I use to can my squash all the time. The recipe was in the canning book. Not sure which book I had. I raw packed them and ladled boiling water over the top and then pressure canned them. They stayed pretty and yellow .ReplyCancel

  • bobby brink - Hello everyone, got a question, is there a way to can squash without a pressure cooker? One of my family members said she canned some apple sauxe 2 years ago without a pressure cooker,she did say she cooked the squash fullay & put them into jars & turned them up side down,also said she open a jar a week ago & there were fine, I still like to get other opnions on this matter,Any help on this matter would be Greatly be Appreciated,

    Thanks bobbyReplyCancel

  • candi - do I have to use a pressure canner for squash? I dont have one and will more than likely be unable to buy one this year. I have the big pot with a rack that goes in it that i use for pickles and tomatoes and peppers. Can i use that?ReplyCancel

  • tornados - This is the best instructions for canning I have ever seen. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Gary - I’m getting conflicting advice about canning squash. Something about the acid being too low to stop botchelism(sp). Is there something you should add to bring up the acid level? Thanks.

    Gary & Diane (1st time canners)ReplyCancel

  • Lynne - Can you can yellow squash without a pressure cooker?ReplyCancel

  • Deb Dahlberg Rowland - Just got a gift of a bag of beautiful squash. Thanks for the post. I am going to pull my pressure cooker and put it up so I will have it year round!ReplyCancel

  • Sally Clayton - Dear Lacey,
    Thank you for the crookneck squash recipe. Can you cold pack squash then pressure can? I’m looking for a way to keep it a bit crisper. Your site is wonderful and you are now in my favorites. Thanks again!ReplyCancel

  • Philip - I searched and searched for yellow squash canning directions; seems the USDA has removed it from the recommended veggies to can due to the problem of getting enough heat to the center of the jars. I’m guessing if you pack pieces that are boiled for a short time that they will be slightly mushy and pack tighter. I opted to do a raw pack; cubed to keep the product from packing down while filling. I saw where someone asks about letting the canner cool before opening it. It is important for this reason. The cans are very hot and will be under pressure. The canner maintains enough pressure while cooling to keep the product from trying to escape. If you release the pressure around the jars then it will allow the pressure inside the jar to push product under the sealing lid causing an unsuccessful seal in some cases. It’s always best to allow the canner to cool under pressure until the release valve drops.ReplyCancel

  • Philip - Just another note on using anything other than a pressure canner for some veggies. Yes you must use a pressure canner for low acid content veggies. Water boils at a higher temp under pressure, thus enabling the process to kill what it needs to. The best reference is the USDA canning guide. It not only has some tried and tested rules but it explains the reason for canning under pressure.
    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.htmlReplyCancel

  • Beverly - I would like to know where can I find the Blue Book of canning?ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Thank you for posting this. The instructions for canning summer squash have been removed from the new additions of the Ball book per USDA recomendations. I guess it was ok to do for the last 50 years or more but now it will kill us all right along with the raw milk.ReplyCancel

  • Kye - I have been getting so many squash this summer..about 8-10 every other day.. Canned 9 pints today and have that many more to go.. I use my Grand mothers pressure caner and it works great.. Doing green beans and squash and beets and tomatoes and so on and so on.. Love your site
    Thanks
    Kye(46yr old male)ReplyCancel

  • Beth Watson - Thanks so much for the info on canning squash! My pressure canner book and “Blubook” dd not have anything on summer squash. Interesting, huh!
    Anyway, i appreciate the info. One question, though. Do I see onions in the jar of squash you have posted?ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - I would like to hot water bath them instead of presure how long would that be. Thanks RebeccaReplyCancel

  • Greg - Can you chop up onions and cook with the squash and can them all together as well.ReplyCancel

  • janice - Anyone have experience with pressure canning cream soups? I love making Cream of Squash Soup using yellow summer squash and Cream of Broccoli Soup. I have frozen these before but my freezer is getting full, so am wondering about pressure canning it.ReplyCancel

  • Paula - I have canned quarts of yellow squash and zucchini (separately and together) for years and raw pack it, adding 1/2 t salt boiling water to the 1″ mark, then pressure canning at 10 lbs for 40 minutes. They stay bright and flavorful, and it is wonderful to add to homemade soups and stews, casserole, chili, or just heat it up fast and add salt, pepper, and butter. By far my favorite veggie is yellow summer squash! And they look sooooo pretty in the jars lined up on my pantry shelf =0)
    Also, I always expedite the cooling process, and have never had an issue with non-sealing lids or losing contents, or botulism. I don’t expect everyone to do it my way, I’m just saying I’ve always done it that way unless I’m canning chicken, beef, or pork alone. If I’m canning soup fixins (bits of meat with chopped veggies and broth) I expedite, too.ReplyCancel

  • Frannie - Thank you for the fantastic pics and info on how to can summer squash! I’m a visual learner so your instructions are a big help. I am a city girl, but did live on the farm for 5 years when I was first married. So, I learned to use a pressure cooker. That was a long time ago. With your guidance it all came back! I now have 35 qts of yellow squash canned. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Crystal Gallimore - My family loves squash! I can some with just squash and some I will add a little bit of chopped onion & bell peppers from the garden for a veggie mix! Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Gabriele - I’m wondering when you’ve processed your jars, does the liquid look cloudy? Did 12 Quarts this weekend, and the liquid is cloudy. Its not a big thing, but I just wanted to check.
    Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • sue - I have a question actually……stumbled on this site a few days ago for canning info…..well….I have tomato sauce that i’d like to can but I also have tomato sauce that i’ve already frozen (thinking I wouldn’t have many more tomatoes) big ooops….anyway…..is it possible to defrost what I already did and can that as well?…..Love this site btw…..really awesome….even how to kill chickens : >ReplyCancel

  • Therese - Just read that USDA no longer recommends canning summer squash. Although I usually follow all recommendations, this is one I will ignore, but with caution. I can quarts of yellow squash for only one purpose, and that is to make Squash Bisque. Canning recommendations for low-acid foods state that home-canned food should always be boiled for 10 minutes to kill any possible present botulism bacteria. I always boil my canned squash with the other vegetables for 20-25 minutes before pureeing, so I feel I’m safe, as long as there is no evidence of spoilage when I open the jar. Because canning is no longer recommended due to the squash becoming mushy so quickly that the denseness in the middle of the jar can prevent the heat from getting all the way through, I might actually try raw-packing next time. I would like to say to bobby brink’s comment that the USDA does not recommend the ‘turning the jars upside down’ method anymore, even for high acid foods. High acid canning should be done in a hot water bath, and low acid canning always in a pressure canner.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Actually their ridiculous recommendations come from them lacking information. Insanity rules them. Did you know that in all parts of the world besides us no one looks to them for advice on canning lol!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - I sincerely hope that everyone has found success canning summer squash. If done properly, I can not see any reason why canning summer squash would be considered dangerous or risky. I process all sorts of things — from fish and venison (not together..lol) to squash and goat milk (again, not together). The USDA can’t recommend canning certain items for the same reason that jars of peanuts must have labels like “product contains nuts.” I assume (and I believe I assume correctly) that my readers are intelligent and don’t need to this site to be “idiot-proofed.” :-) –LacyReplyCancel

  • granny - can I can squash with onionsReplyCancel

  • Diane - I have been canning for 36 years and everytime I turn around people new to canning are going on about the USDA and Do Not Can….as one other poster said-people have been canning it and other low acid items for years before there was an internet in which to look things up on and have faired well. It was probably some person who worked for the USDA who tried to can squash and messed it up-so wa laa…it is not safe to can it now!ReplyCancel

  • Alice Walters - Please tell everyone to check their pressure canner to make sure they have the correct pressure on their dail pressure gauge. I did not know about this until I had done most of my canning one summer and had to throw all of it out. For my canner was way off. but my gauge read 10 pounds. But it was like 6 pounds.ReplyCancel

  • debra - Can I just do a water bath with the squash. Instead of a pressure cooker?ReplyCancel

  • Susan - My mother has always canned zucchini with tomatoes and onions.
    It’s wonderful as is winter or summer. She has also used the canned mixture to add to soups and stews for cold winter meals.
    We have always loved it, and I’ll be canning my zucchini this way this summer. The tomatoes and onions have been cooked on the stove and added to the raw pack zucchini. A wonderful memory, and one to make my own now. I’ll also be canning my first yellow squash this summer. Thanks to every one for the suggestions.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Forgot to mention that the zucchini my mother always used was the large ones. They retained their shape and texture so well. This isn’t possible with the small fresh zucchini.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I don’t have a pressure cooker, but a gadzillion squash- I pickled a bunch of them as well as zucchini and canned them using my favorite pickle recipes- I did spears and bread and butter style.They came out really good- and because the brine has vinegar (acid) no worries- just an alternative tip. A friend also just told me that chopping and adding to my next batch of salsa gives extra texture and taste- I am going to try that next!ReplyCancel

  • Tonya - Great recipe,I tried and the saquash taste awsome.Thanks:)ReplyCancel

  • BeagleHappy - Since winter is coming up soon, I will following your recipe quite a bit this fall :) ReplyCancel

  • Juli M - I know everyone would love to be able to can summer squash and zucchini. Me too!!! However, there is legitimate science behind the recommendation from the USDA not to. The reason these foods were pulled from the recommended list is that the duration and degree of heat exposure needed to kill botulism spores completely leads to a product that is almost inedible. It is just a jar full of goo after being cooked that high and that long. If someone wants to take the risk, by all means, it is your health and that of those you serve your food to. However, we have all seen advances in scientific knowledge that have made our lives better, even if Grandma did it that way for 50 years before the new information came out. Whatever your choice, please consider whether the risk is worth it. Frozen, safe squash really isn’t a bad alternative to potential illness. Best wishes to all, JuliReplyCancel

  • Kathy T., Georgia - You can can, You can’t can–well how does the yellow squash make it to the grocery store shelves ? so someone had to can it–and maybe they had a metal can–canner–but it is still CANNED; so my point is that is I can search and find that someone is canning something that I can’t find in the Blue Book or the USDA site and they tell me it is fine after some months–then I’m willing to give it a go, and because here in Georgia, we have some awful storms and the power maybe out for hours–and so I am taking out of my freezer and putting up in jars all that I can find instructions for.
    THANKS FOR THIS SITE AND YOUR HELPFUL INSTRUCTIONS ;0).ReplyCancel

  • pam peterson - Thanks for your lovely page, I have yellow squash coming out of my ears and don’t want them to go to waste! really appreciate your helpReplyCancel

  • AmBre Hurley - Thank you, this is my first year to can. I was lazy and froze everything. Some good and some not so good. So this year will be diff., we will eat our fresh delights instead of the chickens ….ReplyCancel

  • Helen - can you can w/o a pressure canner ?ReplyCancel

  • Linda - Have you canned any squash this year?
    I want to try it, because my freezer is full!
    I have canned green beans for many years, why should I have to worry about botulism with squash and not green beans, if they process the same time in a pressure canner?
    Thanks for the help.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I know how to actually can teh yellow crookneck squash.. what I am needing are things I can do with it ..later.. after it is canned..recipes.. I have only ever just sliced and fried squash..so I am not sure how to do anything with canned squash.. HELP :) ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I have seen a lot of people asking weather or not it is OK to use a hot water bath in place of pressure cooking. I however, have not found the answer to that question posted anywhere. So, is it alright to do a hot water bath in place of the pressure cooking option??? Thanks a bunch…ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Ps..The Instructions are fabulous on this site!!!! Very simple and concise! Love it!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - “Bliss, I tell you.” Thanks for a great recipe! I never knew about putting white vinegar in the canner to prevent the film that sometimes covers my jars. That has always annoyed me.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Please do not use a boiling water canner on any non-acidic foods (like squash). It’s not a safe practice and I think each and every one of you are precious. I want you to be healthy and happy!

    Thank you for your wonderful comments!

    LacyReplyCancel

  • Lesia - I’m just wondering, being a fairly new canner, what does it mean to expedite cooling … I love summer squash and always figured it would turn to mush if ever I canned it. Thank you in advance for your advice!ReplyCancel

  • Jenell Brinson - In response to questions I’m seeing here. NO, you cannot can squash or any other low-acid veggie with just a water bath canner, MUST be pressure canned to reach high enough temps. I’ve found zucchini holds its texture much better than yellow crookneck, which turns to mush. Some of the new yellow/golden zucchini varieties work better that yellow crookneck. Plants fewer yellow crookneck or similar soft straightneck for eating fresh, the zucchini for canning. Other kinds that can reasonably well are the firmer calabaza and Eastern types. The problem USDA is concerned about with density and not reaching high enough internal temps mainly concerns quarts, now I understand the concerns, I will can squash only in pints. The BEST results I’ve had with canning squash was canning zucchini or firm fleshed calabaza or eastern types combined with tomatoes, usually with a bit of onion and garlic, sometimes a pinch of Italian herbs added when boiling to prepare to serve. The acidity of the tomatoes seems to help the squash maintain better texture than when canned alone. and my family loved them as a side veggie with meals.ReplyCancel

  • Jenell Brinson - PS… about pressure canned foods losing liquid… NEVER do anything to try to make the canner cool down faster, just remove it from heat only. Do NOT pour cool water over, or remove petcock to allow steam to escape, just let it cool naturally. Forcing the canner to cool down faster results in lowered pressure, which allows liquid in jars to boil over, resulting in loss of liquid in jars.ReplyCancel

  • ERNEST ARMSTRONG - HOW LONG DO YOU CAN YELLOW SQUASH IN WATER BATH METHODReplyCancel

  • Cathy Kinlyside - G’day from ‘DownUnder’, I am new to the canning game (we call it bottling). I have a heap of choko’s (you may know them as chayots or mirlitons) do you know if I can can them in the same way as you do summer squash? I love your site. Thanks for sharing with us.ReplyCancel

  • Sherie - Been reading that some of you like to use your canned squash for soup. I would love recipe for the squash bisque. If using as a purée I. A soup could you can the purée ? Would it be safer that way?ReplyCancel

  • Mike - Thanks. All of the “Cook Books” do not even mention this and many other veggies we raise.ReplyCancel

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