Canning Grapefruit with these Easy Steps

Canning grapefruit provides a full flavor, preservative and metallic free fruit in a jar. Enjoy this seasonal fruit year round by learn how to can grapefruit in water or a simple syrup solution. Use these same instructions for canning citrus fruit such as oranges and pomelos.

Sunshine in a jar. That’s what is achieve by canning grapefruit. During the cold, dark days of winter consuming a jar of home preserved grapefruit is bound to brighten your day. Each jar is pack full of vitamin C, loads of flavor, and contains ingredients which can be pronounced.

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Once upon a time, canning citrus fruit was reserved for those who owned fruit trees. Nowadays, just about every fruit or vegetable is readily available at many local markets. Which is extremely exciting for those who are willing to try different foods.

When citrus is in season and plentiful in stores it’s time to stock up. Sadly, grapefruit has a very short shelf life of 6 weeks. In order to the enjoy the harvest well past this time, canning grapefruit is ideal.

Between the months of November through April(ish) many markets sell grapefruit and other citrus fruits at a ridiculously low price. Which is great for those who are looking to fill the pantry with home canned citrus fruit.

Another wintertime fruit to put up is pineapple. This fruit is available at many markets around the same time as citrus, and also sold at a discounted price.

Reserve the Peels

The nice thing about canning citrus fruit is the ability to utilize almost the entire fruit. Use grapefruit peel to make both a DIY natural grill cleaner and a great natural cleaner for the home.

The natural cleaner solution is a base for making a glass, bathroom, kitchen, and multi-purpose cleaner.

canning citrus fruit

Avoid Bitterness in Home Canned Grapefruit

The biggest complaint about home canned grapefruit and other citrus is that it is bitter. There are ways around this, though remember, grapefruit is naturally bitter. Canning this fruit will not remove the bitterness found in it, but it will soften the bitterness.

Here are steps to minimize the bitterness.

  • Remove as much of the pith, membrane, and seeds as possible.
  • Instead of a using a simple syrup mix as the liquid consider using boiling water and a pinch of salt.

The ions found in salt can block some of the taste receptors in our tongues, diminishing our ability to detect bitterness.

how to can grapefruit

Simple Syrup Solution

If the slight bitterness found in grapefruit does not bother you, consider canning grapefruit in a simple syrup solution or water.

Mixture:

  • Very light – 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water
  • Light – 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water
  • Medium – 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water
  • Heavy – 4 3/4 cup sugar to 4 cups water

Canning Grapefruit – Ingredients

When harvesting or purchasing grapefruit keep in mind, roughly 2 pounds will yield 1 quart. Making that roughly 15 pounds for 7 quarts, and 13 pounds for 9 pints.

  • 13 pounds grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
how to can grapefruit

For this recipe a light simple syrup mixture is used. Feel free to modify the type of liquid used – boiling water, honey water solution, or a different simple syrup mixture.

Canning grapefruit in a honey water solution is achievable. Follow the simple syrup recipe indicated above, replacing the amount of sugar needed with the amount of honey. Keep in mind, honey will produce a honey flavored canned good. Also, honey, once diluted, does not act as a preserving agent like sugar does.

Canning Grapefruit – Equipment

A steam canner is an efficient tool to use when processing grapefruit. Not to mention, it minimizes the wear and tear caused to an electric burner. This home canning tool preserves food with the use of 2 inches of water and steam. A steam canner is an ideal preserving tool to use on glass top stoves due to its light weight.

  • 9-pint size mason jars
  • steam canner or hot water bath canner
  • jar funnel
  • air bubble remover
  • medium stainless steel saucepan, copper or enamel dutch oven
  • silicone spatula
  • mini crock pot, for warming lids

It is important to remember that canning lids should never be placed in boiling water. Doing so can remove the paraffin wax. Simple keep the lids in warm water until ready to use, making the use of a mini crock pot ideal.

Canning Grapefruit – Instructions

Grapefruit is made shelf stable with the use of a steam canner, hot water bath canner, or pressure canner. However, the difference in processing time between a HWB canner and steam canner to a pressure canner is a short 2 minutes. Out of the three preserving tools, a steam canner takes the shortest amount of time to reach the temperature in which the processing time starts.

canning citrus fruit
  1. Wash and peel the grapefruit.
  2. Remove the skin, white tissue and the exterior of the pith in order to prevent bitterness.
  3. Cut the segments from the fruit, take care to not include the pith or seeds.
  4. Prepare the canner and warm lids.
  5. Boil water or make a simple syrup solution.
  6. Using a jar funnel to fill jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
  7. Add the liquid making sure to cover the fruit, be mindful to leave a 1/2-inch headspace.
  8. Wipe rim of jars, add warmed lids, and process jars according to you altitude.
canning citrus fruit

As mentioned, grapefruit can be canned with the use of a pressure canner. To find the processing time for a pressure canner visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation‘s website.

Printable Recipe Card – Home Canned Grapefruit

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5 from 2 votes

Canning Grapefruit with these Easy Steps

Canning grapefruit provides you with a preservative and metallic free, full flavored fruit in a jar. Learn how to can grapefruit in water or a simple syrup solution.
Servings: 9 pints

Equipment

  • 9-pint size mason jars
  • Steam Canner or Hot Water Bath Canner
  • Jar Funnel
  • Air Bubble Remover
  • medium stainless steel saucepan, copper or enamel dutch oven
  • Silicone Spatula
  • mini crock pot, for warming lids

Ingredients

  • 13 pounds grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  • Wash and peel the grapefruit.
  • Remove the skin, white tissue and the exterior of the pith in order to prevent bitterness.
  • Cut the segments from the fruit, take care to not include the pith or seeds.
  • Prepare the canner and warm lids.
  • Boil water or make a simple syrup solution.
  • Using a jar funnel fill the mason jars leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Add liquid until the grapefruit is filled.
  • Wipe rim of jars, add warmed lids, and process jars according to you altitude.

Notes

When harvesting or purchasing grapefruit keep in mind, roughly 2 pounds will yield 1 quart. Making that roughly 15 pounds for 7 quarts, and 13 pounds for 9 pints.
Simple Syrup Solution
  • Very light – 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water
  • Light – 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water
  • Medium – 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water
  • Heavy – 4 3/4 cup sugar to 4 cups water
 

Citrus is one of the easiest fruits to preserve, not to mention one of the most delicious. In addition to canning grapefruit consider dehydrating grapefruit slices, freezing or freeze drying the segments.

canning grapefruit

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Comments

  1. Alexandra Walker says

    5 stars
    This sounds delicious. I have one question with regard to the processing time. Do you start timing the 10 minutes from when the canner comes to a boil, or from when the filled jars are placed in the canner?

    • Ann Accetta-Scott says

      Sugar is not needed when canning fruit, but it does act as a preservant. Sugar helps hold the fruit’s texture and color. Honey will work as well, but it will alter the flavor of what’s being preserved.

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