For the past week or two, I’ve noticed in the “search engine terms” section, where I get to see the sometimes wacky ways that people surf their way to my blog, multiple searches for “canning carrots hot water bath.” This concerns me, because, if people wanted to pickle carrots, I would think they would search for “pickled carrots” and other than pickling (and other high-acid jams/chutneys/preserves), there is no safe way to can carrots in a boiling water bath.
Carrots, like all vegetables, are a low-acid food. In order for low-acid foods to be safely home-canned without any additional acid, they must be heated to 240 degres F, in order to kill harmful bacteria and spores; heating to this temperature requires a pressure canner. Even tomatoes, the most acidic of vegetables (and technically a fruit), require additional acidification in order to be safely home-canned, thus the addition of lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid when canning tomatoes or tomato sauce. I don’t use a pressure canner, so all of the recipes on this site focus soley on boiling water bath canning.
Safe water bath canning of carrots requires acid; either by pickling the carrots (vinegar), or by adding small amounts of carrots to acidic fruits (tomato sauce, salsa, carrot cake jam w/ pears and pineapple). Although I’ve never made carrot pickles (because even though I make them for Tai, I really loathe all things pickle), I’ve presented a recipe below from the Ball Book. Happy pickling!
Taken directly from Dilled Carrots in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry and L. Devine
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup pickling or canning salt (or 2/3 cup Kosher salt, which is safe, but will produce a cloudy brine)
- 4 cloves garlic, halved (I would probably double this amount)
- 14 flower heads of fresh dill, or 3 and 1/2 tsp dried dill seeds
- 3 and 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 5 lbs carrots (25 to 30 medium), ends removed, peeled and cut into 1-inch sticks
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve salt. Maintain brine at a gentle boil.
- Place 1/2 clove garlic, 1 head dill (or 1/2 tsp dill seeds), and 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes into a hot, sterilized jar. Pack carrot sticks into the jar with a generous 1/2 inch headspace. Top with second head of dill. Ladle hot brine into the jar to cover carrots, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe rim and affix hot lid. Screw down to fingertip tight and place jar in the canner. Repeat until all jars have been filled. Do not process half-full jars; store these in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.
- Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool, label and store.
Yields about 7 pints.
- This is a basic recipe for dilled, pickled vegetables. Greens beans, bell pepper, zucchini and summer squash, all these could be added to the carrots for a summer pickle medley.
- If dill is not your thing, you can leave it out. Consider adding a bay leaf, 3 whole black peppercorns, or 3 cloves to each jar instead.
In a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Summer into fall.