Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Peas (HNI115)


January 21, 2015 - Author:

Purchase item on Shop.msu.edu


Recommended varieties 

Daybreak, Spring, Sparkle, Little Marvel, Green Arrow, Wando, Snowbird, Dwarf Gray, Sugar Snowflake

Storage and food safety

  • Purchase fresh-looking vegetables that are not bruised or damaged.
  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
  • Keep away from raw meat and meat juices to prevent cross-contamination.
  • For best quality and to preserve nutrients, preserve no more than your family can consume in one year.


31 1/2 lbs. (in pods) = a canner load of 7 quarts
20 lbs. (in pods) = a canner load of 9 pints
A bushel weighs 30 lbs. and yields = 5-10 quarts, average of 4 1/2 lbs. per quart

How to Preserve


It is recommended that sugar snap and Chinese edible pods be frozen for best quality.

Select well-filled pods containing young, tender, sweet seeds. Discard diseased pods. Shell and wash peas. Add ½ teaspoon of salt per pint or 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to each jar, if desired.

Hot pack – Cover peas with boiling water. Bring to a boil in a saucepan, and boil 2 minutes. Fill jars loosely with hot peas, and add cooking liquid, leaving 1 inch headspace.

Raw pack – Fill jars with raw peas and add boiling water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Do not shake the jar or press the peas down.

Remove air bubbles and wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 below, according to the type of canner used and altitude.

Let jars stand undisturbed for 24 hours, remove rings, wash jars, label, date and store. Food in jars that did not seal must be reprocessed in a clean jar with a new lid or refrigerated.

Table 1. Recommended process time for peas in a dial-gauge pressure canner at different altitudes

Canner pressure (PSI) at altitudes of
Style of pack Jar size Process time (minutes) 0-2,000 ft. 2,001-4,000 ft. 4,001-6,000 ft. 6,001-8,000 ft.
Hot or raw Pints or quarts 40 11 lb. 12 lb. 13 lb. 14 lb.

Table 2. Recommended process time for peas in a weighted-gauge pressure canner at different altitudes.

Canner pressure (PSI) at altitudes of
Style of pack Jar size Process time (minutes) 0-1,000 ft. Above 1,000 ft.
Hot or raw Pints or quarts 40  10 lb. 15 lb.


Harvest when pods are filled with young, tender peas that have not become starchy. Wash and shell; water blanch l 1/2-2 1/2 minutes, cool and drain. Package, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze.

Water blanching:  Use one gallon of water per pound of prepared peas. Put peas in blanching basket or strainer and lower into boiling water. Place lid on pan/blancher. Return water to boil and start counting blanching time as soon as water returns to a boil. It should only take a minute to come back to a boil. If it takes longer, too many peas have been put in the boiling water.


  • Andress, Elizabeth and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. Bulletin 989, 6th edition. Cooperative Extension University of Georgia, 2014.
  • Watch Your Garden Grow. University of Illinois Extension. Available at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/.
  • Gardening in Michigan: www.migarden.msu.edu.

More information

Prepared by: Laurie Messing, Extension educator


Tags: michigan fresh, vegetables


Laurie Messing

Laurie Messing

You Might Also Be Interested In

Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at anrcommunications@anr.msu.edu.