Canning Rhubarb

Canning Rhubarb

Every year there is always the dilemma with certain fruits and veggies.

Do I can it or do I freeze it?

Normally when I put up rhubarb I freeze it. It’s simple and easy to put away and easy to thaw and use. But this year I decided I’d rather save the freezer space for more important items, (I’m hoping to stock up on some fresh local chickens later this summer!) and I decided that canning rhubarb would be the way to go.

Canning Rhubarb really isn’t any more difficult than freezing it, but with just a few extra steps you can have a shelf stable product that will make delicious Rhubarb Crumble and Old Fashioned Rhubarb Bars all winter long!

Canning Rhubarb

Let’s get started!

If you haven’t done much canning before you will want to check out my YouTube page first for some beginner canning videos to get you started.

Canning Rhubarb

What You Need:

  • Canning Tools (Stock pot, water bath canner, lids, jars, ect)
  • Rhubarb
  • Sugar

For every 2 pounds of rhubarb you will want roughly 3/4 cup of sugar. Yes, it may seem like a lot but in case you haven’t noticed…rhubarb is sour. One pound of rhubarb will fill roughly 1 pint.

Canning Rhubarb

Start by cleaning up your rhubarb. You can get more info on harvesting rhubarb here. Cut off the yucky parts on the ends.

Canning Rhubarb

Dice up the rhubarb and place it in a large bowl. Use kitchen shears to cut your rhubarb, it will make your life so much easier. I promise.

Canning Rhubarb

Add your sugar into the bowl with your diced rhubarb. Stir it around so it coats the rhubarb and let it all sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes. You want the rhubarb to create a juice before the next step.

Canning Rhubarb

Pour the rhubarb/sugar mixture into a large stockpot and turn it on low. Cook the rhubarb until it is soft. You can cook the rhubarb for less time if you would like it to retain a little more of a firm form.

Canning Rhubarb

Ladle the rhubarb into pint jars. Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of head space. Tighten the lids and rims on.

Canning Rhubarb

Process in the hot water bath canner for 15 minutes. Remove and let them cool without disturbing them for at least 12 hours. Make sure the lids are sealed before putting them away in the pantry.

Canning Rhubarb

Yum, enjoy! You can use this in most recipes that use rhubarb, just keep in mind that you already added sugar to the rhubarb. 🙂

Love rhubarb? You might enjoy this Rhubarb Smoothie Recipe!

Please check with your local extension office on changes in temp/times/high altitude.

Make sure you check out all the free Canning and Preserving Recipes we have on Little House Living!

I recommend a Presto Pressure Canner and the book Putting Food By for all your canning projects!

Have you ever tried canning rhubarb? What kinds of yummy things do you make with your rhubarb?


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  1. I just made rhubarb pie filling and canned that. I use holds up really well in storage. I am now doing the same with my strawberries. Can you tell we like pie? Actually,the fillings work for all sorts of things!

  2. G’day! love rhubarb and would love to learn more about canning!
    Viewed as part of the Wine’d Down Wednesday 40 Party!
    Cheers! Joanne

  3. can this be used for pies? if not how could you can it so it is ready for pies?…. thank you so much

    1. Tammy here is the recipe I like. It’s personal preference as to how cooked you want your filling. Rhubarb Pie Filling
      3 1/2 cups Rhubarb diced
      3/4 cups + 2 T. sugar
      1/4 cup+ 1 T. Clear Jel
      1 cup water

      3 T. bottled lemon juice

      Fill a stainless steel or dutch oven with water and blanch the rhubarb in boil water for 1 minute. Drain but keep heated fruit in a covered bowl or pot.

      Combine sugar, Clear Jel, and water in a pot stirring on medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

      Fold in drained rhubarb immediately and fill 1 quart size hot jars with mixture without delay, leaving 1 1/2 inch headspace.

      Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust hot lids/rings and process in water bath canner for 30 minutes at a full rolling boil.

  4. 1/2 inch head space is from the very top of the jar.
    I took a canning class thru West Virginia university
    And was taught that…it looks like urs is way below .
    They said that is how botulism sits in.

    1. The rhubarb will cook down if you do not cook it fully first so it may sit down lower in the jar than expected. As long as jars are properly processed and sealed there should not be a risk of botulism.

  5. Thank you for the wonderful information on canning rhubarb and for all you have done. I’ve been with you for quite some time and now you live just a few miles from me. I would like to gift you with a few perennial flowers which I have divided for over 30 years. Please contact me @ my email and I will give you more info.

  6. Brilliant tutorial, thanks! I love rhubarb! Planning to make my rhubarb crumble muffins next week so keep an eye out for the recipe if you are after something new to use your rhubarb for! 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing on the Four Seasons Bloghop! Ya”ll come back now! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

  8. Love the instructions! We still haven’t eaten rhubarb but are novice canners, so love hints, tips and recipes for canning. There are so many yummy recipes for rhubarb, we have got to try it! Thanks for sharing with us, Millie

  9. Hi Merissa love your site. I use the juice of half to one lemon when cooking rhubarb and find I can use a lot less sugar.

  10. Can I process the rhubarb in a pressure cooker, and still have
    a good consistency for pie filling?
    I cannot use water bath method as my stovetop takes forever to boil water

    Can’t rhubarb cooked down be used for pie filling as well?

    1. Yes you can but be sure and ask your local extension office about how that may affect the time or processing time of canning based on your altitude.

  11. Marissa.
    Hello just looked at your website for canning rhubarb as I have alot. I dont want to cook it down as I want to use it for pies. Am I able to do this and just put in after I let sit in sugar and add boiling water?