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


July 18, 2023 - Author: ,


Food Safety and Storage

  • Purchase fresh-looking vegetables that are not bruised or damaged.
  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
  • Wash peas under cool running Do not use soap.
  • Keep peas 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


Pressure canning is the only safe method of canning peas. Peas must be pressure canned to avoid the potential of the foodborne illness botulism. Sugar snap and Chinese edible pods should be frozen for best quality.

Select peas with filled pods containing young, tender, sweet peas. 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 hot jars loosely with hot peas, and add cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Fill hot 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, wipe jar rims with a clean paper towel and adjust headspace if needed. Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in the following tables that give process times, according to the type of canner used.

Recommended process time (in minutes) for peas in a dial-gauge pressure canner.


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


11 lb.

12 lb.

13 lb.

14 lb.


Recommended process time (in minutes) for peas in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.


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


10 lb.

15 lb.

Let jars stand undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours, remove rings, wash jars, label, date and store. Food in jars that did not seal must be reprocessed within 24 hours in a clean jar with a new lid, refrigerated or frozen.


Harvest when pods are filled with young, tender peas that have not become starchy. Wash and shell; water blanch* 1½ to 2½ minutes, cool immediately in ice water for 1½ to 2½ minutes and drain. Package in freezer containers or bags, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze.

*Water blanching: Use 1 gallon of water per pound of prepared peas. Put peas in blanching basket or strainer and lower into boiling water. Place lid on pan or blancher. Return water to boil and start counting blanching time as soon as water returns to a boil. It should take only a minute to come back to a boil. If it takes longer, too many peas have been put in the boiling water.


  • Andress, E., & Harrison, J. A. (2014). So easy to preserve (Bulletin 989). (6th ed.). University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
  • Complete guide to home canning. (2015). U. S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Growing vegetables. University of Illinois Extension.

More information



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