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Friday, March 1, 2024

How to Can Rhubarb from the Garden or Farmer's Market.

How to Can Rhubarb. From your garden or the Farmer's Market. Canning rhubarb is a great way to have ready-to-serve rhubarb and to conserve freezer space. Home-canned rhubarb is perfect for pies, cobblers, or just eating as is, right from the jar!


I had never canned rhubarb before, but it turned out to be easy!

My usual method from past years was to freeze it in 1-inch slices as soon as I picked it. Usually quick freezing on a jelly roll pan, then storing the slices in a gallon freezer bag. Once the growing season was over, I then repackaged the frozen rhubarb into one pound (approximately 4 cups) packages. 

With freezer space being in short supply as the year moves along, it seemed a better idea to can the rhubarb. With that thought, there was only one thing to do, pull out the trusty Ball Blue Book.....The decision to can, rather than freeze our rhubarb crop, means I will have ready to eat rhubarb, right there in my own pantry. And I can tell you, these jars of canned rhubarb are perfect to eat right from the pantry! 

The instructions for canning rhubarb are easy and straightforward. 

Plus they are adaptable to use for any amount you harvest or might purchase from your favorite Farmer's Market. Meaning you can can a lot or just a little. To my way of thinking, one can never have too much rhubarb! We had 6 quarts of sliced and prepared rhubarb from our first picking. With more to follow as the season progressed. And I can tell you, each and every jar was thoroughly enjoyed!

Ingredients needed for this process:

  • fresh rhubarb
  • sugar

You will also need the following:

  • kitchen knife
  • cutting boards
  • measuring cups
  • large stainless steel stockpot
  • water bath canner
  • canning jars, lids, and rings

Now we are ready to begin!

How to Can Rhubarb
from: The Ball Blue Book
UPDATED: 03.2.2024

To show you how easy this really is, here are the preparation steps in the photos. With full directions for processing and canning directly below. 

Wash, dry, and slice into 1-inch slices.

Mix with the desired amount of sugar. 

Let sit until juice has formed at the bottom of the bowl. 

Boil 2 minutes, pack into jars for processing. 

Processing the Rhubarb:

Wash, dry, and slice the rhubarb into 1-inch slices

Measure the rhubarb into a large stainless steel stockpot. For each quart of sliced rhubarb, add 1/2 - 1 cup sugar (Note: I used the smaller amount, it was more than sweet enough for our family.)

Combine the sugar and rhubarb together and let stand 3-4 hours to juice out. 

When ready to can:

Place a half full water bath canning kettle; covered, on the stove to come to a boil. You want this ready for the filled jars of rhubarb.

Place jars upside down in a large pan add 1 inch of water. Place the pan of jars in the oven set on 300 degrees. You will need the jars hot to receive the boiled rhubarb. 

Prepare the flats and rings as needed. 

Bring the stock pot of rhubarb and sugar mixture to a boil, over medium high heat. Let boil for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent scorching.

Carefully spoon the hot rhubarb into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Divide the syrup left in the stockpot into the jars of rhubarb evenly. Wipe the top of the jars making sure no syrup remains. Cap with the flats and rings. 

Important note: the jars will not be filled with syrup. However The jars will fill up completely when processed and the fruit has cooked during the canning process. 

Place the jars into the water bath canner. Bring to a full boil. Process the filled jars of rhubarb for 15 minutes for pints or quarts. 

Note, for those who live above sea level (like me!), you will need to add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level. 

When the processing time is up. remove the jars from the boiling water to a thick towel or a wooden board. Let cool completely, remove the rings, wipe jars clean if needed. Store in a cool dark area. 

Note: Six quarts of raw rhubarb produced 5 pints of canned rhubarb for our pantry.

For those new to home canning, here is the basic process, from the National Center for Home Food Preserving.  Don't let being new to canning stop you, it is a lovely way to bring something special to your family meals.




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Would you like to comment?

  1. I love roasted rhubarb too! So good.

  2. Where are you from northern U.S.? The reason I ask is Rhubarb is not grown in the south specifically Alabama because I cannot find any place that sells it farmer's market included. I am a transplant from Minnesota and Rhubarb is abundant up there when in season.

    1. Yes northern Montana. So far not in our garden, but soon, very soon! I am not above buying it whenever I can! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  3. That rhubarb sounds so tasty, mind you I store buy mine, so am never sure how fresh it is in the first place. Thanks for sharing at the #SSPS linky

    1. I love having it canned and ready to go on the shelf, thanks for stopping by.

  4. I didn't know you could can rhubarb. I will pin this for the summer!

    1. Amy, I love the convenience of having it ready to go! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  5. Hmmm. I'll have to try growing rhubard. I only know the Strawberry Rhubarb combination. I'll have to see what other things I can do with it. Looking up recipes. I always enjoy your posts.

    1. I know it prefers cooler weather, I am beginning to learn which type of rhubarb will do best here in East Texas. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  6. Melynda, thank you for this information on canning rhubarb. I found it very helpful. Thank you for sharing with us at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #27.

    1. Stephanie, you are welcome. And thanks so much for hosting, I appreciate being able to share with your readers.

  7. I never try rhubarb before. Would like to grow it and when I do I would try this canning recipe out.

    1. I hope you do, it has so many uses, and because it grows so well, people have come up with some wonderful recipes!

  8. Oh boy, how I love rhubarb pie. 😋

    1. Paula, you and me both! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.


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