Canning Orange Juice

We just had a freeze here in Central Florida a couple of nights ago, so many of us were picking all the fruit from our trees.  Our trees are still young at 3 years old, but we were   able to fill a large cooler and a 5 gallon bucket full of pineapple orange juice oranges and the baby navel orange tree had about 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket along with two bushels of dark red grapefruits from the grapefruit tree.

We had a great year for such young trees and many of our neighbors have said the their trees had heavy crops this year as well.  We will be eating the grapefruits with our breakfast, but I wanted to get the juice oranges canned up to enjoy over the next few months. I know lots of folks freeze their orange juice, but I save that premium space for meat.

Pineapple Oranges from our tree-yrcg

I got this canning recipe from the Ball Blue Book for canning juice last year from my parent’s fruit trees, so I know it works perfectly. I followed the same directions as for grapefruit juice.  

First thing, you have to juice the oranges with a juice reamer, either the old fashion hand reamer or you can get the newer electric ones, but you can’t use the juicing machines that make juice from the peels and all,  the pith from the oranges and peels will make for a bitter juice.

My old fashion glass juice reamer - yrcg

I burned up my electric reamer just as I started juicing these oranges so I pulled out the trusty old fashion glass juicer that works with good old hand power! So here goes;

Canned Orange Juice  – from the Ball Blue Book

Wash the oranges; drain. Extract and strain the juice. I strained twice with a basic strainer  so I got all the seeds and the excess pulp removed from the juice. Pour strained juice into a large stock pot, add sugar to taste if desired, my oranges were pretty sweet so I only added 1/2 cup sugar to a full gallon of juice.  Heat juice to 190 degrees farenheit and then maintain temperature for 5 full minutes at the 190 degrees farenheit. DO NOT BOIL.  Ladle hot juice into prepared hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a spoon. Cap with two-piece canning lids. Process 1/2 pints (good for single servings) pints and quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

 

Fresh canned orange juice, looks like sunshine -yrcg

 

Yield: Varies with type and size of oranges. I got 8 pints  of juice out of a 5 gallon bucket of oranges. You can also can your grapefruit juice the same way.

Verdict: So far I have juiced and canned 8 pints and 15 – 1/2 pint jars from just over two gallons of juice and still have another 5 gallon bucket full of fresh oranges to go before I will be done with my juice oranges, so I should be ready to do some arm wrestling once I get done! ;)   This home canned homegrown orange juice is out of this world and I know exactly what is in it. The pulp will settle to the  bottom of the jar, just like the juices in the grocery store, that is why they say shake well before serving!  To serve; chill juice, shake well, open and enjoy home grown sunshine.   

 

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22 Responses to Canning Orange Juice

  1. Joni says:

    This is awesome! Would this work the same way with any other citrus fruits? I’m thinking lime juice with some sugar, so that in the summer I can crack a jar, mix in some tequila and have margs ready stat!

    • Hi There Joni,

      Yes it will work for lime and lemons as well. I have a large lemon tress and I did the same with the lemons. So limes would work the same and if you have a tee best ways to save if you do not have a lot of freezer space!. If you pick the citrus from the trees and leave them set at room temp. for about 5 days they ripen and soften and are easier to juice by hand and you get more juice. Perfect was to start margaritas!

      • Joni says:

        Sadly I’m in Northeastern NC and we’re just on the cusp of where citrus and other subtropical plants will most likely not make it. We have just about every other kind of fruit tree in the backyard, but I’m so jealous of you having citrus trees! I bet you enjoy them. Thanks for the info, great site!

  2. I’ve just hand reamed somewhere in the vicinity of 30+ kilograms of Valencia oranges and I have just over 10 litres of orange juice in the water bath at the moment. I’m not sure I EVER want to look at an orange again in my life but I look forward to opening my liquid sunshine throughout the orange-free months again.

    • I understand whole heartedly.;) I did that the first year. The next year I killed 2 electric reamers. Now I have a Reamer like they use at the bars and restaurants that presses the juice out one at a time. But it is so worth it when the citrus is not in season.

      • We try hard to keep things off grid when we can so I’d probably stick to hand reaming but I would like a slightly posher reamer than my $2.99 plastic one. Then again, it does have lovely sharp and efficient edges. :)
        It does look so divinely sunny too, a nice cheerful colour amidst the dark dreary winter colours we have here.

  3. Pingback: Orange | rabidlittlehippy

  4. Stephanie says:

    It doesn’t look like you left any head space. Do you need to? Thanks!

  5. debbie says:

    Thank you for posting this. I just processed 7 quarts of juice from 10 lbs of valencia oranges. I haven’t opened a bottle to try it yet, but I read another post that said home canned orange juice is bitter and they would not do it again, Have you experienced this. I have 40 more lbs to process so I am hoping this is not the case. Thanks

    • As long as you are extracting the juice using a “reamer” that just presses juice out which does not get the white pith from inside of peels into the juice , the juice will be great. If you used a juicer machine that grinds the entire fruit and peels together the juice will be bitter due to the pith. It tastes good when drinking straight from juice machine but when you process the pith becomes bitter. I learned the hard way ; ) and only extract juice with a reamer. You can buy a juice press from wholesale restaurant company for reasonable price which is what I did after burning up two of the smaller electric reamers and using the old fashion hand reamer that my grandmother had. I love canning my juice from my 3 fruit trees which are loaded again this year so can’t wait for winter.

  6. Vicky says:

    How long will this keep, and does it need to be refrigerated after canning?

    • Once you can the juice properly it is shelf stable for 12 months though will change from light orange to darker orange as it gets closer to 12 months ,it tastes exactly the same. Mine never lasts that long! Usually gone within 6 months. The juice settles in jar, so shake jar before opening, just like when you get juice in store carton says shake well before opening because juice settles you just do no see it! Be sure you are pressing juice from fruit with a reamer not running thru juicer machine that puts pith in the juice or it will be bitter. Once the jar is open then you need to refrigerator the juice. Enjoy some canned sunshine!

  7. April says:

    do you have to add sugar?

    • No the citrus has lots of acid already. I sweeten very lightly on most of my orange juice as it is sweet enough. Grapefruit juice I don’t sweeten at all, I like it tart. So your preference and Ball Blue Book for canning juice also notes sugar is optional. Taste the juice as it is heating up to temperature to see if you need any sugar. Once my oranges and grapefruits ripen I want to try Four Fruit Nectar in Ball Blue Book and will make a post at that time. My citrus trees are not usually ready until end of January about the time we have our first hard freeze.

  8. sophia says:

    what about canning a mix of juices, lemon,lime and orange for a homemade margarita mix? I found a recipe but would like to can it so I can give as gifts. It has a simple syrup then a 2 c lime juice, 1 c lemon and 1 c orange.

  9. Pingback: Canning Sunshine | Today's Yesterday

  10. Stephi A says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Very few recipes are available and yours was very simple and informative.

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