Canning Fruit Using Raw-Pack and Hot-Pack Methods

Rack-pack and hot-pack refer to two methods of getting the food product into the jars. Generally, both methods can be used by either water bath canning (boiling water method or hot water canning) or pressure canning (steam pressure canning). Whether you use one or the other is determined by the texture of the foods and its tendency (or not) to not fall apart from long periods of cooking. Whether you raw-pack or hot-pack also affects the processing times of the foods. Always refer to your recipe for guidance.

  • Raw-pack: A raw-pack is the preferred method for fruits that become delicate after cooking, such as peaches and nectarines. This method is what it says: packing raw fruit into hot jars.

  • Hot-pack: Hot packing heats your fruit in a hot liquid before packing it into your prepared jars. The advantages of hot packing over raw packing include fitting more fruit into the jars because the fruit's softer and more pliable, using fewer jars. Also less time is required waiting for the water in your kettle to boil because the filled jars are already hot in the middle.

With a few exceptions, most fresh fruits may be packed raw or hot. Always start with clean, ripe fruit and follow your recipe instructions.

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