Canning Blackberries: A Delicious Way to Preserve Nature’s Bounty

If you’re a fan of sweet, succulent blackberries, then you’re in for a treat. Canning blackberries at home is not only a great way to preserve their freshness but also a gateway to a plethora of culinary possibilities. These berries withstand the canning process exceptionally well, ensuring they last long on the shelf and can be used in numerous ways. At BDK Restaurant, we’ve discovered the secret to turning these wild, thorny nuisances into jars of pure culinary delight.

Embracing the Wild Beauty of Blackberries

Imagine owning 20 acres of farmland in North Carolina. Now, picture that land teeming with wild blackberry plants. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it can quickly turn into a thorny situation. Blackberry plants are notorious for their prickly nature, capable of piercing even the most well-protected gloves. Their roots have an insidious plan for world domination, with tendrils that seem to stretch for miles beneath the surface, spawning new plants at every turn.

But instead of battling against this formidable foe, we decided to befriend these wild berries. We turned our blackberry foraging expeditions into a delightful adventure for the whole family. And thus, the idea of canning blackberries was born. Join us on this journey as we share our step-by-step tutorial on preserving these delectable treasures.

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

Before we dive into the canning process, let’s make sure you have everything you need. Here’s a list of ingredients and kitchen tools necessary for the job:


  • Blackberries: Choose firm, ripe, and sweet berries that aren’t overly ripe and falling apart.
  • Sugar: Good old white sugar works perfectly. If you prefer a honey option, check our FAQ section.

Kitchen Tools

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wide and deep pan
  • Pint or quart jars with two-piece lids
  • Canning utensils
  • Paper towel
  • Water bath canner

Raw Pack Vs. Hot Pack: Which Method to Choose?

When it comes to canning blackberries, you have two options: raw pack or hot pack.

Raw Pack Method

The raw pack method involves not cooking the blackberries. Here’s how it works:

  1. Wash the berries, jars, and two-piece lids.
  2. Prepare a light syrup by simmering 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 5 1/4 cups of water in a saucepan.
  3. Pack the jars with fresh berries, then pour the syrup over them, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
  4. Remove air bubbles, clean the rim of the jar, and seal the jar finger tight.
  5. Process the jars in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.

While the raw pack method is simple and quick, the hot pack method offers some additional benefits.

Hot Pack Method

In the hot pack method, you cook the fruit before packing it. This method tends to preserve the taste of the berries better in the long run. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prep the berries by washing them thoroughly. Place them in a mixing bowl and cover them with sugar. Let them rest for two hours.
  2. Cook the berries and their juice in a deep and wide pan over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the fruit and juice warm up.
  3. While the berries cook, prepare a water bath canner by filling it with enough water to cover the jars by at least an inch. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Pack the jars with the cooked berries and juice, adding boiling water if needed to fill the jars and leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
  5. Remove air bubbles, clean the rim of the jar, and seal the jar finger tight.
  6. Process the jars in the boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

The Joy of Canned Blackberries

Once the processing time is up, the real magic begins. Here’s how to store and savor your canned blackberries:

  1. Turn off the heat and uncover the water bath canner. Let the jars rest in the water for five more minutes.
  2. Use jar lifters to carefully lift the jars out of the water and place them on a wooden cutting board or kitchen towel on the counter.
  3. Allow the jars to cool slowly and undisturbed for 12 hours.
  4. Press the center of each lid to check if the jars are properly sealed. If they are, remove the bands, wipe the jars, and store them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight.

Creative Ways to Enjoy Canned Blackberries

Now that you have jars filled with the sweet essence of summer, let’s explore some delightful ways to enjoy your canned blackberries:

  • As a snack: Indulge in the juicy berries straight from the jar, savoring their natural sweetness. Don’t forget to keep the precious juice for baking or homemade drinks.
  • Over pancakes or crepes: Elevate your breakfast game by topping pancakes or French crepes with these flavorful blackberries, accompanied by a drizzle of condensed milk.
  • With yogurt: Enhance your yogurt experience by adding a generous serving of canned blackberries and homemade granola for a delightful crunch.
  • With sour cream: For a quick and satisfying snack, combine a few tablespoons of sour cream with canned blackberries and a splash of their juice.
  • In shakes or other drinks: Elevate your fruit smoothies or homemade cocktails by adding a handful of blackberries for an extra burst of flavor.
  • In baking: Incorporate these canned blackberries into your favorite baked recipes that call for blackberries. Adjust the sugar amount if the berries are already sweet from canning.
  • For homemade ice cream: Let your culinary skills shine by experimenting with homemade blackberry ice cream. The possibilities are endless.


Preserving the vibrant flavors of summer is truly a joy. Canning blackberries not only ensures year-round access to these luscious fruits but also adds a touch of nostalgia to winter mornings. At BDK Restaurant, we’re passionate about sharing the wonders of homesteading and culinary exploration. We hope this tutorial has empowered you to embark on your own blackberry canning adventure. So gather your ingredients, choose your preferred packing method, and savor the sweet rewards of your labor. For more exciting recipes and canning tutorials, be sure to visit us at BDK Restaurant.

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