Mandarin Oranges (and other Citrus)
Water Only - No Sugar
Citrus is easy to can, but I find that it does not
have the long shelf life that vegetables or meats
do. Plan on using your canned citrus in 6 to 9
months for best flavor -- longer is safe, just not as
I can all my fruits in water or water/juice blend and I
never use sugar. Mandarins are sweet enough, so I
only use water.
Also - this recipe is a waterbath method
1) Peel mandarin oranges - carefully removing ALL pith
inside the center of the orange and the fibrus 'threads'
that are around the outside. The pith will make the
canned oranges bitter.
For larger citrus that can be sectionized, separate each
section and deseed - also removing all pith.
2) Put a large pot of water on to boil - this pot is for the
waterbath so make sure the pot is deep enough to cover your
jars by 1" or more. When the water is boiling, turn
down to low simmer. Carefully add the empty jars to
the water to heat them. When you are ready to pack the
jars, remove them and place the empty jars on a cookie sheet
or pan to catch any overflow.
3) Put another pot on to boil - this is the water that you
will use to fill the jars. Also put a small pot of
water on to boil as well -- when boiling, turn off, add
seals, cover and set aside.
Do Not boil the seals - just heat them (modern seals
should not be boiled)
4) Pack the mandarin sections into hot jars - press
slightly, but do not 'smash' the orange sections. With
a clean paper towel carefully clean the rims and just inside
5) Fill the jars with hot water, leaving 1/2 to 3/4"
headspace. Debubble and top off with more water if
needed. Add seals (lids) and rings - only screwing the
rings on finger-tight.
|6) If the large pot of water is boiling, temporarily lower
temperature to low simmer (too hot may crack a jar).
Place the filled jars in the water. When all jars are
in the pot, the water should cover the jars at least
1". If necessary, add more hot water from the extra
pot. Bring water back to boil.
It is always a guess as to how much water you need to
have in the pot - too little and you cool the water down
when you add more
- too much and it goes over the top - NOT an option!
Here's my trick:
I fill the big pot slightly less than half way and start
Then I fill another fairly large regular cooking pot with
water and start that heating, too. Hot water from
this 2nd pot will be added to the larger pot as necessary
after I have the jars in the water and if I need more to
cover the necessary 1".
Waterbath Canning citrus
is slightly different than some other fruits. Be
careful with your timing and do not overcook the
Side Note -- I have tried canning citrus juice - it has
a VERY short shelf life - there is just too much
acid. The fruit itself works beautifully because
there is enough water to balance the acid - but I will
not try the juice again.
| Process Times for
WaterBath Canning of Citrus
||0 - 1,000 ft
|1,001 - 6,000 ft
|Above 6,000 ft
|Half Pint / Pint or
|Process jars at full boil
If you are new to canning - or just want to see how I do it - check
out my Personal Canning Routine