How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

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How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home Rhubarb is one of those things that I hated as a kid and discovered I liked as an adult. It is a perennial that has a fairly short season during April and May. In the Northwest US they can sometimes get a second harvest in the fall. The taste reminds me of tart apples with a texture that resembles celery. Only the stems are edible, the leaves contain toxic amounts of oxalic acid.

The color of rhubarb can range anywhere from a bright ruby to a soft pink all the way to a light green, and makes a beautiful presentation whether it’s served as a crumble, juiced for a salad dressing, made into jelly, or used to flavor water kefir.

Canned rhubarb is one of those things I love to have on hand in the dead of winter when you just. want. some. fruit!

If you are new to canning, or just need a refresher, you can read all about it here.

This recipe can be processed either in a waterbath canner or a pressure canner. I used a pressure canner so that’s what you’ll see in the pictures.

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How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

Here’s what you need to can rhubarb:

  • Rhubarb stalks, washed, trimmed of leaves with the bad spots removed, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Sugar – for every 2 cups of sliced rhubarb you will need a scant 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Pint canning jars
  • Rings and new lids, or Tattler reusable lids
  • and, of course, a canner 🙂
How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

slicing rhubarb

Approximately 3 cups of raw sliced rhubarb will yield a pint of canned.

Here’s how you pressure can rhubarb:

Mix the sliced rhubarb gently with the sugar in a large non-reactive bowl or pot.

How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

rhubarb mixed with sugar

Cover loosely and let sit until the juices begin to run. That should take about 2 hours.

How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

juicy rhubarb

While that is sitting, prepare your jars and lids. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for your lids. Remember to check the rim of the jars for cracks or nicks.

When the juices have begun to run, transfer the rhubarb and sugar mixture to a non-reactive pot. Unless it’s already in one. 🙂

How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

rhubarb starting to boil

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Ladle the hot rhubarb mixture into the jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Using a canning funnel will reduce the mess you have to clean off of the jar rim. 🙂 Release any trapped air with a thin knife or a bubble popper.

Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth and put on the lids and rings.

I only had 4 jars, so I put another jar in the center with water in it so that the jars wouldn’t tip over during processing.

How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

extra jar keeps everything on the up and up


Process in a pressure canner at 6 pounds pressure for 8 minutes for pints or quarts, following the instructions that came with your canner. For a waterbath canner, process for 15 minutes for pints or quarts. Don’t forget to adjust processing times for your altitude.

After processing, remove from canner with a jar lifter and allow to cool without moving for at least 12 hours. After the jars are cool, check the seal, wipe them down, label and date, and enjoy looking at these pretty jars for a few hours before you put them away!

And because I love you, here’s my famous Rhubarb Crumble recipe so you can use some of those beautiful jars. 🙂


More yummy things you should can:

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9 comments on “How to Easily Can Rhubarb at Home

  1. I have thought about growing rhubarb for the past couple of years. I’m rather impatient and was not sure I could wait the 2 years for it to be harvested (plus so much more opportunity for something to go wrong!) You’ve inspired me to rethink this and maybe have the courage to try growing this under-appreciated plant! 🙂

  2. I usually freeze my rhubarb but want to can some this year to take to Florida for the winter but it usually thaws somewhat before we get there. Do you have to add the sugar or can you just can the rhubarb to use in baking? Thanks,

  3. So glad to see someone proclaiming our saviour! , and acknowledging what he has provided for us. Thank you ! Melissa. I also love to can!

  4. Using your recipe, I canned rhubarb for the first time. The jars look great when finished and I feel like I really accomplished something. I have a Power Canner XL using your recipe and their recipe….it worked. Now I am ready to do tomatoes and beans.

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