How to Can Pickled Asparagus

Asparagus web Asparagus will start showing up in abundance at area farmers' markets in a few weeks. Below is the recipe for Canning Pickled Asparagus from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Always use a trusted, scientifically based home canning recipe and never improvise the recipe. Feel free to add some foodie flair when you're ready to use the asparagus. Note that if you are just going to can asparagus in water you will need to use a pressure canner.

Go here for my series on home food preservation from the Master Food Preserver Class. I plan on adding to and updating the section on food preservation this summer.

Pickled Asparagus

For six wide-mouth pint jars
10 pounds asparagus
6 large garlic cloves
4½ cups water
4½ cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
6 small hot peppers (optional)
½ cup canning salt
3 teaspoons dill seed

For seven 12-ounce jars

7 pounds asparagus
7 large garlic cloves
3 cups water
3 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
7 small hot peppers (optional)
1/3 cup canning salt 

2 teaspoons dill seed Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.


   1.   Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

   2. Wash asparagus well, but gently, under running water. Cut stems from the bottom to leave spears with tips that fit into the canning jar with a little less than ½-inch headspace. Peel and wash garlic cloves. Place a garlic clove at the bottom of each jar, and tightly pack asparagus into jars with the blunt ends down.

   3. In an 8-quart Dutch oven or saucepot, combine water, vinegar, hot peppers (optional), salt and dill seed. Bring to a boil. Place one hot pepper (if used) in each jar over asparagus spears. Pour boiling hot pickling brine over spears, leaving ½-inch headspace.

   4. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

   5. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Allow pickled asparagus to sit in processed jars for 3 to 5 days before consumption for best flavor development.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pickled Asparagus in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Raw 12-ounce or Pints 10 min 15 20