Canning food enables the home cook to preserve food items for a longer period of time, while keeping a fresh taste and texture. It is important to follow certain guidelines when canning to make sure that the food stays safe to consume for the longest time possible. Pineapple is a good candidate for canning due to its high level of acidity, which helps to keep it from growing dangerous bacterias and molds. Proper precautions should be taken when preparing the pineapple for canning, as well as throughout the canning process. Before canning pineapple, it should be briefly cooked so that it is soft enough to be placed into jars.
To prepare the fruit for the canning process, remove the skin and the eyes with a paring knife. Cut the pineapple into slices or cubes, then cover the pieces in water in a pan on the stove. Heat it until the water boils for approximately five minutes. Remove the hot pineapple pieces from the water with tongs, placing them into prepared jars. Jars should be sterilized beforehand by placing them, as well as their lids, in boiling water for one minute.
Continue canning pineapple by pouring juice or water over the pieces. Typically, apple juice, grape juice, or a simple syrup can be used, though some prefer to use plain hot water. The liquid should be heated to boiling for five minutes on the stove before it is poured into the jars. Fill the jar almost to the top with liquid, and secure the cover tightly. This will keep the pineapple pieces moist during canning, and keep the fruit fresh while it is stored.
The next step in safely canning pineapple is submerging the jars in a bath of boiling water for thirty minutes until the lids are fully sealed. They should be completely covered in water and removed after 30 minutes, at which time the lids should be indented. When the top of the jar is pressed upon it should not make a popping sound. This means that the seal was successful and the jars should be cooled off and placed in storage for up to six months.
Canning pineapple can also take place in a pressure canner. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions so that you heat the canner to the proper temperature. This is a faster process that results in canning pineapple that can last for up to six months.