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Easy Tips for Preserving Fresh Pears

Buster began cooking as a wee pup by watching his mother fix the kibble. He was hooked. He loves preparing—and writing about—food.

Save money and can your own pears. It's an easy and fun process.

Save money and can your own pears. It's an easy and fun process.

Delicious Home-Canned Pears

I put up a lot of different kinds of fruit during the year, but I think canning pears is probably the easiest. This recipe really captures all of that fresh taste and goodness—and when you're all done, those canned pears look fantastic in the jars, too.

Tips for Preserving Fresh Pears

  • Step 1: Sterilize the jars and lids.
  • Step 2: Prepare the pears.
  • Step 3: Make the sugar syrup.
  • Step 4: Can the pears.

What You Will Need

The amounts you'll need are described later in the recipe.

  • Pears—You can use any kind. I usually use Bartlett or Bosc.
  • Lemon—To keep the pears from browning.
  • Sugar syrup—Recipe provided below.
  • Canning jars—I use the wide-mouthed ones because it's easier to get the pear halves inside.
  • Potato peeler—To peel the pears.
  • Melon baller—This isn't absolutely necessary, but I think it makes the process easier.

Step 1: Sterilize the Jars and Lids

When it comes to canning and preserving, sterilizing your equipment is very important.

  • Jars—I use wide-mouthed pint jars, as well as wide-mouthed quart jars. I load them into my dishwasher and start it. I know that it takes my dishwasher about an hour to finish a complete cycle, so I time everything so that the cycle will finish right around the time I need to use the jars.
  • Lids—Place a small pan of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place the jar lids into the boiling water. This sterilizes the lids, and the heat softens the rubber seals.

Step 2: Prepare the Pears

These are the steps I use to prepare the pears for canning.

  1. Place a skillet on the counter and fill it with water. Squeeze a lemon into the water. This liquid is where you'll place the pears after you've peeled and cored them. The lemon keeps them from browning.
  2. Using a potato peeler, peel the skin from the first pear. Cut pear in half vertically (stem to base). Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds. Use a small knife to remove the stem and the section of the stem that extends into the pear (you'll see it when you cut the pear in half).
  3. Place the peeled pear halves into the lemon water, and then repeat step 2 with all of your pears. (Note: I haven't specified the number of pears for this recipe because—if you're like me—you will use whatever number of pears you can get your hands on. This recipe is so easy that you can adjust it for a small batch of 6 or 8 pears, or an entire boxful, like I finished canning this evening.)

Step 3: Make the Sugar Syrup

The pears you buy in cans at the store are usually packed in heavy syrup. I think that the sweetness gets in the way of the fresh taste of pears.

I make my own light sugar syrup—and it's incredibly easy to make.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water


  1. In a large pot, combine the sugar and water and stir over a low flame. (Use a large pot because you will soon be adding the pears.)
  2. Once sugar has dissolved, increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. I usually start my sugar syrup when I'm about halfway finished with preparing my pears. The syrup will be boiling by the time I'm finished with the pears and ready for the next step.

Step 4: Can the Pears

Ok, now we're ready to actually can the pears.

  1. When sugar syrup has come to the boil, add prepared pears to the pot and return to the boil. This won't take long—and the moment it begins to boil, you're ready to go.
  2. Once jars are clean—and hot—from the dishwasher, carefully begin packing them with the hot pears. I use a slotted spoon to remove the pears from the hot sugar syrup. Some of the pears will easily fit as halves, but sometimes you'll need to cut them into quarters so that you can pack more pears into the jars.
  3. Using a funnel, pour boiling sugar syrup over pears. Make sure that the pears are fully covered by the sugar syrup, then place a lid on top of it. Screw the bands onto the jars, and then turn the jars upside down on the counter.
  4. Once all jars have been filled, and they're all upside down, set a timer for about 12 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn the jars right side up.
  5. Allow jars to come to room temperature for about 24 hours. I usually wipe the jars with a wet cloth, since you may have sticky jars where a little syrup might have spilled.

That's all there is to it! Now you can store your canned pears in the pantry. Later, when you want the taste of fresh pears, you can place a jar in the refrigerator (I like mine cold) and have them as a snack, as a topping for vanilla ice cream, or as a filling for cobblers or pear crisps.

That's pretty easy, isn't it? And they look beautiful in the jars.

Tips About Timing

  • With all of these steps, some people wonder about how to time everything in the kitchen. I usually start the jars in the dishwasher, then I start prepping the pears. When I'm halfway finished with the pears, I begin making the sugar syrup on the stove. Once the sugar syrup comes to the boil, I'm usually ready to add the pears to the pot.
  • In terms of how long the canned pears will be good for, I think that you should plan to eat them within six months of canning.

A Word About My Technique

This is the way I've been canning pears for years. Some people aren't comfortable canning without putting the jars through a pressure cooker or using a hot water bath. If this is the way you prefer to do it, then by all means, continue to do it that way! This article just explains my own canning technique.

Good luck!

Want to Freeze Your Pears Instead?

  • How To Freeze Fresh Pears
    It's so easy to preserve pears in your freezer. I love a delicious pear, and when they start coming into season, they're everywhere. We have friends with trees and they give us boxes full of them.

Questions & Answers

Question: i am preparing a fruit platter using pears how long before they turn brown?

Answer: You can delay the browning of pears by squeezing fresh lemon juice over the slices. Keep the fruit plate refrigerated. As to how long before they brown .... difficult to say because it depends on the type of pear, the temperature of the room and the ripeness of the pear. I would prepare the plate about 45 minutes before your guests arrive.


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on July 30, 2020:

Hi Jeannine,

Sure you can. Here are two ways:

1. in your browser, click File, then choose Print. The Print dialogue box shows, then click Print.

2. On the left, you'll see an icon of an envelope -- click this, which allows you to email the recipe to yourself. Then, you can print it from your email.

Good luck!


Jeannine Brodie on July 30, 2020:

Can I print this recipe

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 22, 2019:

Hi Cecile,

Ahhh, shucks. How sweet of you to take the time to write. I hope your pears turn out beautifully!


Cecile on September 22, 2019:

Wow ! I LOVE how you write! I feel like you are beside me . Love your style of teaching. I fell less pressure. Thank u!! I will try this!!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 30, 2018:

Excellent! And yes, they're delicious on ice-cream or spooned over pound cake.

Thanks for letting me know about your success, Larry.


larry from leominster,ma on September 30, 2018:

wow, what an easy process. never made it two hours before the first jar was warm over ice cream. YUM!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on April 29, 2017:

Hi Kathy,

That's a good question. It's the way my mom always did it, and I do it, too. I think it improves the seal... but that's just a guess.


Best regards,


Kathy Schneider on April 22, 2017:

Love the recipe...why turn the jars upside down. I do a lot of canning and have never heard of this. Thanks

Liz Dixon on October 02, 2014:

Found your recipe and thought I'd give it ago. I've only done a small batch (11 half pint jars), if they are well liked I'll do a lot more. Thanks for the recipe.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 20, 2013:

Hi Elderberry Arts,

I'm envious of all your pears! Good luck with your preserving -- I'm glad this info will be helpful for you.



Claire from Lincolnshire, UK on September 19, 2013:

My pear tree has produced a huge amount of pears this year so I will definitely be giving this a try to save some to use at a later date. Already made lots of jam and frozen some. Thanks for sharing.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on February 05, 2013:

Hi Andrea!

Great to hear from readers in lush lovely New Zealand!

Enjoy your pears --


Andrea on February 05, 2013:

Writing from Whiritoa beach coromandel New Zealand..

Weather is perfect!, Pears are abundant...and your recipe is awesome...

Thanks so much!!

nurseamy on August 29, 2012:

Just finished canning a 40# case of pears to make 21 quarts. Thanks for the recipe. They are beautiful if I do say so myself. This rookie loved your easy to follow and basic recipe to make a long time family favorite.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on November 08, 2011:

Hi gw,

Loved the wonderful stories! Thanks for taking the time to write to me. Your pears sound fantastic.


GWStocks on November 08, 2011:

Just finished "canning" (Why canning when we are using jars?) 17 qts of Pears. I'm in SW Missouri (Table Rock Lake) where I have a farm and land development. I bought the place in 2003. There is an old home site that I found by almost falling in the cistern. Nearby there are two Kieffer (?) pear trees that are over 80 years old. One has no heartwood left (hollow) I have predicted their demise with each windstorm, but they just hang in there.

This pear is referred to locally as a Homestead Pear, is crisp as an apple and as sweet as I have ever tasted! It will not win any beauty contests as some of the fruit more closely resemble potatoes. The pears were especially big this year, some 5" in diameter.

This was my first effort at canning these and I try to stay away from refined sugar. I made my syrup using 2 cups of local honey to 4 qts of water. The pears are so sweet, they don't need a lot of help. Used half a cinnamon stick split lengthwise and 2 whole cloves in each qt. Threw some peppercorns in a few just to see what happens. Try to follow up in a few weeks.

Because these pears are "hard when ripe, they maintained their firmness even after being brought to a good boil. Put mine through a hot water bath and expect to enjoy them all winter!

An extra surprise was also finding an asparagus patch!

serena on October 16, 2011:

i love peaches

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 10, 2011:

Hi Mettafore,

I don't think the cinnamon stick will be a problem. A whole stick of cinnamon will impart lots of flavor... which will increase as time goes by. In fact, you might discover that the pears will taste overwhelmingly of cinnamon...

... so I encourage you to plan to eat your pears within the next few months.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me.



mettafour on October 10, 2011:

Hi! Thanks for this information! I just canned 4 quarts of of pears! This is the first time I have canned anything! It is very exciting.

I do have a question, though. I'm afraid I messed up. I was trying to be clever and put a cinnamon stick in the jars of pears. It is sticking up slightly above the liquid. Is this going to be a problem? Thank you so much for any help.

Kul Cuthbert on September 08, 2011:

what a great easy to following instructions! of ' how to can Pears' we just had a good crop this year and always sad if they get wasted… thanks for that I will try it out this weekend…

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 03, 2011:

Hi Angela,

That drink you make sounds fantastic!

Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

Best regards,


Angela on September 02, 2011:

Thanks for your wonderful tips, your information is very helpful. I’m starting to love my Bartlett pear tree. I thought about cutting it down because of the mess. Now I’ve decided to try them and they were very delicious. I sometimes make oatmeal drink with pear, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, organic protein powder and ice all blended together. My family loves this drink.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on August 29, 2011:

Hi Jesnjp,

Yes, you can use this method for apples, too.

However, if you have space in your freezer, you might find that freezing apples (and some of your pears) is really easy.

Click my article below for the details for pears.


and here for apples:


Good luck!


Jesnjp on August 29, 2011:

I am so happy to hear that you can can pears this way!!! I always make my jams and jellies using the inversion method, but did not know you could do pears that way too. I inherited all my aunts canning supplies but just don't seem to find the time to get it all out...Our best friends just bought a new house with 3 super abundant pear trees and since she is not interested in them at all, I have about three bushels of pears to do things with...I can't wait to try! Do you know if you can do apples the same way as long as you add the sugar?

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on August 15, 2011:

Hey Bluegillmaster,

You can find my article for freezing blackberries here:


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on August 15, 2011:

Hi Bluegillmaster,

The easiest, and best way to put away blackberries is to freeze them.

I'm writing an article about that right now. I hope to have it published in the next day or two.

Best regards,


Bluegillmaster on August 14, 2011:

What is the best way to put away blackberries?

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on May 16, 2011:

Hi John,

Yes, simply substitute apples for pears!

Thanks for reading, John.

Best regards,


john on May 16, 2011:

this article is very useful with me ... but can i use the same for apples? .. many thanks

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on March 13, 2011:

Hi Laraine,

No, I haven't, but it sounds like it would be delicious.


Laraine on March 12, 2011:

Have you ever tried canning them in pear juice, Buster?

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 26, 2010:

Hi Kirstin,

Congratulations on finishing your pears. Yes, cinnamon is delicious with pears, and so is nutmeg... though I prefer one OR the other, not both.


Thanks for taking the time to write --


Kirstin on October 25, 2010:

Well I finished the rest of my pears this afternoon, they turned out great. One thing I did different from your recipe on all my batches of pears was add cinnamon to the syrup - delicious!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 25, 2010:

Hi Jim,

I suppose "everything in moderation" ... even, uh, pears.


I was glad to help!


Jim Wheeler on October 25, 2010:

Waaahoooo! Funny story. I had to get a blood test last week (long story) and found that I have "boarderline low thyroid". So, I looked up the possible causes. One of them? Pears......and white flour. So, I guess I have to slow down on my chocolate chip cookies and canned pears

;-) NOT! Thanks so much for your help with all this. I can now look and my supply of pears with pride again.


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 25, 2010:

Hi Jim,

We've had unexpected, heavy rains and no electricity. My apologies -- I haven't been able to get online.

The pears are indeed fine. No need to eat them in a month.


In fact, if you pour them into a pan, squeeze a little lemon juice onto them, and bring to a simmer, the brown will disappear. You can then add sugar, or nutmeg (or both) and they're fantastic.

Enjoy all those great pears, Jim.

All the best,


Jim Wheeler on October 24, 2010:

So,..................how did it go? Mine taste fine brown.

Kirstin on October 24, 2010:

Yep I thought the same thing, I saved my syrup and am letting the second box of pears ripen up. I will probably do them tomorrow. Thanks for your help and great recipe!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 23, 2010:

Hi Kirstin,

Hope you get this in time. Sounds as though that second box of pears isn't ripe yet. Wait until they're ripe before canning them.

You'll know they're ripe when the skin will just barely give when you press it with a fingernail.

When I've had a lot of pears to can, I've often canned them over several days because they don't ripen at the same time.

Good luck!


Kirstin on October 22, 2010:

I used your recipe last week, and it worked great! I bought more pears to can, and the second box of pears is more crispy than the the others....should I let them sit a day or two? I only peeled about three of them and then thought I should maybe wait...what do you think?

bre on October 21, 2010:

This was so easy I had a wonderful time doing this tonight I will be doing it again tomorrow love love love thanks

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 20, 2010:

Hi Jim,

Wow, 22 quarts! That was a lot of work.

I have a few jars of pears I canned where I didn't pack them tightly enough, and the tops are browned. I'm going to open one of them and try a recipe I know. If I get good results, then I suspect that you're going to be fine... and you can avoid the compost heap.


Keep your fingers crossed, okay? I'll have more info for you in a few days after I've tried this experiment.


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 20, 2010:

Hi Jim,

Wow, 22 quarts! That was a lot of work.

I have a few jars of pears I canned where I didn't pack them tightly enough, and the tops are browned. I'm going to open one of them and try a recipe I know. If I get good results, then I suspect that you're going to be fine... and you can avoid the compost heap.


Keep your fingers crossed, okay? I'll have more info for you in a few days after I've tried this experiment.


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 19, 2010:

Hey Jim,

No, not compost! I have another idea. Am leaving right now, and won't be able to write until tomorrow late, but wanted you to know that there might be another option.

Take care,


Jim Wheeler on October 19, 2010:

Oh, I packed. Until I was squishing the lower ones and splitting the upper ones in half. Yes, I tilted and rolled to eliminate the air bubbles that may have been trapped between or under them. I canned 22 quarts this time. I don't see being able to eat that many in a month. Thanks for the help........again. There's always next year. Seems like kind of expensive compost though.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 18, 2010:

Hi Jim,

A quick story... that has a point: when I first made pickles (by myself) I couldn't figure out why my pickles were floating up above the vinegar. My mom offered to show me how she canned pickles the next time I was in Texas visiting her.

She picked up a hot jar, then started packing her cucumbers into the jars. She packed... and she packed... and she packed... pushing the cucumbers (and then more cucumbers) into the jars. I suddenly realized what I hadn't understood: that "packing" really meant, well, packing them tightly into the jars.

I know you see how this story applies to your pears. You have to pack them tightly into the jars. Then... you push another pear in, even if you think that the pear "won't fit." Those pears are packed tightly, and then you pour your boiling syrup on top of them.

And that's the part you're missing. It isn't about that 1/2" from the top... it's about packing the pears tightly enough so that once you pour the syrup in, the pears won't float above the level of the syrup.

You did right to tilt the jars at a 45 degree angle to eliminate air pockets, then pour in more syrup.

If it's any consolation (and I recognize it *isn't*) the first couple of times I canned pears I had the same problem. I felt as much frustration as you're experiencing.

I have two ideas, but... how many jars did you can?


Jim Wheeler on October 18, 2010:

Ok, now I fee llike a complete idiot and maybe I'm not understanding something. This time I used 1/4cup lemon juice in about 1 1/2 gallons of water to "hold" the pears before I canned them. So, I peeled and cored them and then put them into the lemon water. I then took the hot jars and placed the pears in the jars squishing them as best I could to pack the jars trying to keep the air pockets to a minimum. I then filled the jars about halfway and then rolled the jar around at about a 45 degree angle to remove as many air bubbles as I could. I then filled the jar up to between 3/8" and 1/2" from the top with the boiling/simmering sugar water. I then placed the jars in the processor and got it up to a boil and then boiled them for 25 minutes (quarts), took them out and let them cool. I "think" I did everything right. I still have brown topped pears and yes it's the part that sticks out of the sugar water. So, let me see if I understand the program here. You only fill them up to 1/2" from the top because as it boils it expands the water to that point and when it cools it gos beack to the 1/2" from the top. So, what keeps the pears from floating above the water? What am I missing?

JIm Wheeler on October 11, 2010:

I will. You have been so incredibly helpful I can't thank you enough for that. I "may" try the bear bread too, but that might take a little more courage. Funny, I thought the "boil them in the syrup" step was one it didn't remember doing before nor did I logically think it was needed. I did read something about high moisture content fruits didn't need the step but it didn't define pears specifically so.....I boiled. Off to find more pears later this week.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 11, 2010:

Hi Jim,

To a kettle of water, I squeeze a whole lemon. If you have a really large kettle, then squeeze in a second lemon. The goal is to keep the pears from browning until you're able to can them.

Your plan is right on target. The pears will pack easily right out of the lemon water, then you can cover them with syrup, then "cook" them via the processing.

Of course you can cook! Of course you can can!

If you get the chance, let me know how this weekend's batch turns out, okay?

All the best,


Jim Wheeler on October 10, 2010:


Thanks again. After reading your last post I figured out what I did wrong. I went from the vinegar water to the simmering syrup to the jars and it seemed like when I went from the simmering syrup to the jars the pears were too sfot to "pack" without becoming mush. So, it sounds like I am revising my plan for this weekend. I am going to take the peeled, cored pears from the now lemon water (what strength?) solution, then directly to the jars, packing them tighter to keep them from moving and "floating", then add the hot syrup and the process them. Does this plan work?.....to take the boiling the pears in the syrup step out? As for baking. Hey, I didn't can until this weekend so now I'm invincible right? Baking? Of course I bake, I can don't I? Thanks again


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 10, 2010:

Hi Jim,

Let me see if I can clear up a few things: putting pears into the water/vinegar/salt mixture prevents them from browning until you can get them into the syrup.

I use lemon juice to accomplish the same purpose. So... while I'm peeling and coring pears, I'm dropping them into a kettle of water that's been acidulated (the fancy word for using lemon or vinegar) until I can cook them in the boiling syrup.

For the next batch? Put your pears into the jar; use a large spoon to push them down (gently) to create room for more. You want to completely fill your jars with pears and THEN pour in your boiling syrup.

When they're packed in, they'll remain in place, and when you cover them with syrup they won't float to the top... which is what I suspect has happened.

Fully cover the pears with syrup. Then put your sterilized lids on, screw on the caps, and you're going to be good to go.

Does your daughter bake? Do you bake? If so, then click to my pear bread recipe. It makes two loaves, and she (or you) can double the recipe and you'll have four loaves in the freezer. They freeze beautifully. This will be another way to use up those pears over the next month.


Feel free to write again, Jim. Good luck!

All the best,


JIm Wheeler on October 10, 2010:

Oh, you had to come out with the bad news didn't you? Ok, it's my daughter and I and I canned 15 quarts and 4 pints. In a month? Yikes. I might try the pearsauce but not sure about that one though. Ok, I went by the Ball Blue Book which told me to peel and core the pears and then place them into a water, vinegar, salt mix which was supposed to keep them from browning, which I did. Then it told me to put them into the simmering syrup for five minutes, which I did (at that point didn't you just reverse the effect of putting them in the salt & vinegar water?) Then put them in the jars, added the syrup that I boiled them in and so on. I don't ever remember having this problem before. So, if I'm going to do this again where do I put the lemon juice and how much. I plan to do another 40# of pears this coming weekend I guess. And thank you so much for your help. I despise doing things wrong and you have been a big help.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 10, 2010:

Hi Jim,

I have good news and bad news.

No, the browning isn't "bad" for you. You can still eat them, and in fact when you cook them if you'll add a bit of lemon juice, you'll see that much of that browning will disappear.

BUT. (I know, I know... here's the bad news.) I think that you should eat your pears within the next month. The parts sticking up out of the syrup aren't protected by the sugar, and I wouldn't trust them for much longer than that.

If you've canned a dozen jars, you'll be eating pears for a while. However, if you've canned a LOT of jars, then I would open them up, pour the pears into a large kettle, cook them down with a couple cups of sugar till you have pear sauce (apple sauce except with pears) then freeze the result in freezer bags. They'll keep for up to a year, and then you won't have to eat pears three meals/day for weeks.


I admire that you've taken on canning. Once you get the hang of it, you'll see that it really is easy. I've made many mistakes over the years as I learned how to do it. (And yes, I've had to eat a lot of food in a short time when I wasn't sure if I'd canned correctly, too...)


Take care, and thanks for writing.


Jim Wheeler on October 10, 2010:

This is my first attempt to cann since my wife passed away 2 years ago. She did some parts I didn't see. So, I peeled, cored and put into viniger/salt/water solution to prevent browning (I thought), then put them into the simmering syrup, canned and processed them. Now I have browning just where the pears sticking out of the water in the jar. Is the browning "bad" for you or will it spoil the other pears. Bottom line, do I have to throw them out or am I ok? Thanks

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 04, 2010:

Hi Denise,

The pears should be ripe. Always preserve your fruit when it's at its peak.

When the pears have come to a full boil in the syrup, then you should immediately begin putting them into your jars.

Good luck with your first canning -- I bet you'll enjoy the process, and I know you'll love having fresh pears you've preserved yourself.

Thanks for writing!


Denise on October 04, 2010:

I have never canned anything before and you make it sound so easy that I'm going to give it a try. I have just picked all of the pears off of the allotment. Now for tow questions that probably sound stupid but I'm going to ask anyway. Do the pears need to be ripe or still hard? When you say put the pears in the syrup then bring back to the boil then you are ready to go does that mean this is the exact time to put the pears in the jars with the syrup or is it a bit later?

curious on September 30, 2010:

Thank you very much!!! I was able to preserved my pears. It felt wonderful going through the process. Now I am in the process of freezing some. Thank You!!!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 23, 2010:

Hi Curious,

I only use white sugar.

Good luck with your canning!


curious on September 23, 2010:

what kind of suger do you recommend...brown,light brown or white??

Melinda on September 23, 2010:

Hi Buster!

Thank you so much for responding. We tried them out the other day, and yum! Our daughter loved them.

This is the first time we've canned pears. My husband's meemaw used to can everything she could and it made my husband a bit nostalgic when we were canning. It was such an enjoyable experience to think that we were doing the same exact thing his ancestors used to do. It made us feel close to his culture and now I'm so excited to make it part of our children's!

Thanks again for your advice and time!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 21, 2010:

Hi Lori,

Like any hobby, there are things to learn, and canning is no different. I'll do my best to answer your questions.

First, the word "preserves" and "jam" are, essentially, the same. So making pear preserves is another way of saying pear jam. (There are those who would disagree with me, however; they're the ones who believe that a true jam must contain the peels of the fruit. Oh well.)


Some recipes call for letting the pears set in sugar overnight -- I don't think that's necessary. It's a matter of taste, in my opinion. After you try my method, you could try some of the others, and then make your own decision based on your taste buds and which method you enjoyed the most.

As to the "bigger slices in big jars" and "smaller slices in small jars" -- it's all a matter of which you prefer. Some people like small pieces of pear; others like to eat whole (or half) pears. There's no real difference, and yet... so much depends on which you would enjoy more.

Not sure? Then try one approach, then another approach the following year. I think that all of us who can regularly have learned over the years to try different recipes until we find the one that suits us best.

Feel free to write again, Lori. I'll do my best to answer.

All the best,


lori adkins on September 21, 2010:

Hi Buster,

I am sorry for sounding like a complete dunce but I am new to canning and such. But, I am beginning to get confused. What is the difference between canning pears and making pear preserves. I have looked at several ways on the net and was all set to use yours but then I noticed some of them letting them set overnight with the sugar and yours are in bigger jars with bigger slices and theirs are small jars with small pieces. Could you help me out here ? I now gave to 5 gal buckets in my kitchen and my husband wants preserves. LOL




Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 19, 2010:

Hi Lori,

Yes, you can use the method for other fruits, just follow the directions as written.

I grew up around Muscadines, but I don't know how muscadine syrup is made in a crockot, so am unable to tell you if you could use the crockpot method for the pears...



Lori Adkins on September 19, 2010:

Hi, thank you so much for the directions regarding the pears. You make it so simple. I had just made Muscadine Syrup for my husband and was all in the mood to do some more canning. Luckily my daughter has a pear tree that is over loaded. So while looking I found you. And I am so glad. I have wanted to put up fruit preserves for forever and you make it so simple and explaining the water canning was priceless. Now my question. Can you use your method with other fruits....do you think you could use it with muscadines and could you do the pears with a Crockpot. That is what I used for my muscadine and the syrup is wonderful.


Lori Adkins


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 18, 2010:

Hi Melinda,

Yes, putting up pears goes much quicker than you think you will.

A hot water bath means putting the jars (once they're filled and the tops/lids screwed on tightly) into a kettle, covering them with hot water, then bringing that water to a boil, and keeping them submerged in the boiling water for a certain number of minutes. The time varies depending on what you're canning. It's purpose is to further sterilize the jars -- by bringing the contents of the jars (in this case, the pears and syrup) to a high temperature and keeping it there.

For pears, I don't use that technique. It causes the pears to completely (or nearly) disintegrate, and I don't like the texture.

I know some people who would never can pears without using a hot water bath. Everyone should can the way they wish to.


I hope you enjoy your pears!


Melinda on September 18, 2010:

Hi Buster,

My husband and I tried your recipe today and we were surprised that we finished so fast. What is the purpose of a water bath? Thank you so much for sharing. We can't wait to try them out!

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 16, 2010:

Hi Jenessa,

Yes, the pear sauce would go into the same type of canning jar.

Personally, I would eat the pear sauce within 6 months or so.

I've never tried freezing pear sauce... so I'm unable to answer that question!

Good luck -- you're lucky to have so many fresh pears as close as your own tree.

Thanks for taking the time to write --


Jenessa on September 15, 2010:

This is my first time canning anything, lol, but we have a ton of pears on our tree so I want to try this year. The recipe sounds easy to follow and I will give it a try tomorrow. :) What I was wondering is if I make the pear sauce, do I put it in the same type of canning jar? And how long will the sauce last? Can it be frozen? Sorry for all of the questions - I'm new at this! LOL Thanks! :)

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 11, 2010:

Hi Katie,

Wow, 7 quarts of pears, that's really fantastic!


As to your last questions: a water bath is a good idea for pear sauce (because there shouldn't be lots of sugar) and no, I don't have a recipe for pear butter. Wish I did!

Thanks for taking the time to write --

All the best,


Katie L. on September 11, 2010:

Thanks so much for sharing this! My husband and I recently bought a house that had two pear trees in the back yard, and we were sooo excited. I knew I wanted to put lots up so we could enjoy them through the year, but I really didn't know what to do. I used your method, and so between last night and this morning, I have put up 7 quarts of our fresh home-grown pears. They are beautiful, and I can't wait to try them! My next project is to make and can some pear sauce. I saw your recipe for that above in the other comments.

But, I have a couple questions. Do you have a recipe for pear butter? Also, is a water bath necessary for canning pear sauce or pear butter?

Lynn on September 06, 2010:

Finished my batch of pears and they look fantastic. Sealed perfectly too! Thanks to you and your easy to follow receipe.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 06, 2010:

Hi Lynn,

If you follow the directions closely, all of your jars will seal.

If, however, the fruit isn't boiling hot when you put them into your jars, it's possible you won't get a good seal.

When putting them into a hot water bath, it's best if the water comes to the "shoulders" of the jars, not completely submerged.

Good luck!


Lynn on September 05, 2010:

A friend of mine gave us a bag full of pears from his pear tree. I plan on using your receipe and cannot wait to buy the jars tomorrow. However, I read your response about what to do if the seal does not pop. Your instructions were to place the jar in boiling water. Does the jar need to be completely submerged in water or does the lid stay above the water line?

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on August 09, 2010:

For what it's worth... when I'm finally through, and see all of the jars filled with fresh pears, it really *does* feel like it was worth all the work.

Good luck Kathy.



Kathy on August 09, 2010:

Thank you for info Buster - looks like I'll be very busy this weekend and the next and the next

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on August 09, 2010:

Hi Kathy,

When canning, the skins get "ragged" -- you'll have pieces of skin floating around in the jar -- and (to my tastebuds, anyhow) they develop an unpleasant chewey texture that you want to avoid.

So, yeah, they really do need to be peeled.

Good luck with your pears!


Kathy on August 08, 2010:

I loved reading all the comments and suggestion.

Is it really necessary to peel them? I don't mind coring them, but I kinda like the idea of leaving the peel on

on August 04, 2010:

Bought a home last year that has 2 wonderful pear trees that are as old as the house (30 years). Im going to attempt to jar them this year, thanks for this.

Holle Abee from Georgia on May 08, 2010:

Great tips! I used to put up A LOT of pears!

ros.england on January 12, 2010:

I pick my pears just as colour starts changing from darkgreen to light.I then store them in any old containers all bundled together, at about 1-5 degrees in an old fridge in the shed (ie. normal to low fridge temp).They usually keep right round to mid January. Ripen them as you want them by bringing them in the warmth of the kitchen for a day.However after a bumper crop this year,I still need to bottle some to keep them even longer as they are just

starting to change colour to yellow,denoting ripeness. Apples should be picked ripe, but can keep well in the same way although they don't need such low temperatures. I keep mine for months in an old 'dead' freezer outside. The RHS books on fruit-growing have a lot of info. Thanks for pear recipe, regards Ros.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 20, 2009:

Hi Anne,

Your ideas sound great. This year I made pear jam, and added freshly-grated nutmeg. It has made them so incredible that I'm writing a hub about it. It should be ready in another week or two.

Thanks so much for writing, and for describing how you spice your syrup.


Anne on October 19, 2009:

Thanks very much for the recipe! I add a couple of cloves, a cinnamon stick (or two) and some port to the syrup, making very tasty pears to go with game (plenty of it here in Dorset, UK, and my husband is the hunting-fishing-shooting type) or Christmas dinner.

Thanks again,


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 03, 2009:

Hi Sherry,

Yes, you can use lemon juice.

I have no idea whether honey can be substituted. Don't forget that the sugar acts as a preservative, and though honey itself doesn't spoil, I don't know if it has preservative properties for fruit.

Good luck finding the answer!


sherry on October 03, 2009:

question can i use honey instead of sugar, and if so how much, also can i use lemon juice and how much thank u sherry

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on October 02, 2009:

Hi there,

Here's my article for handling apples -- it's really easy.



on October 02, 2009:

thanks buster for the pear recipe , do you have one for apples,i have a glut of apples and i would like to do something like the pears but i dont know if it would work and if i do the same thing , thanks kath

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 28, 2009:

Hi LNelson,

I wish I could help you, but I've never used Stevia. Best of luck finding the answer elsewhere.


Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 28, 2009:

Hi Gary,

Turning the jars upside down improves the chances for the lids to seal. As to "12 minutes" -- it's the amount of time I use: I think 5 minutes is too short, and 15 minutes is too long...

Is it "right"? I have no idea.


I'm just describing how I do it.

Thanks for writing!


LNelson on September 28, 2009:

I am anxious to try your technique. It is much easier than using a pressure cooker or hot bath method. Although, I am trying to cut down on sugar. Can I use Stevia in place of the sugar? If not, what is the least amount of suger that can be used?

Gary CA on September 27, 2009:

What does turning the jars upside down for 12 minutes do?

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 26, 2009:

Hi Kath,

They're ready to eat right now. I usually put a jar or two in the fridge right after canning, so I can have some that evening, ice-cold, for dessert.


Thanks for writing -- I'm so glad your pears turned out.


kath on September 26, 2009:

i have just finished bottling my pears it was so easy and they look delicious, how long do i have to leave them before i can eat then

thanks kath

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 23, 2009:

Hi Gail,

Glad those pears turned out for you -- thanks for taking the time to write to me.

Hope you like the muffin recipe --


Gail on September 23, 2009:

Hi, just finished my pears and it was really easy, i had looked through cook books and was put off by the water baths seemed to much hassel but i now have three jars of pears done thanks for the easy verson (now going to try your muffin recipe


Gail in England

Jean Merritt on September 17, 2009:

Thanks so much for your quick reply. You were totally right.

Will be more careful next year when I do pears again.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on September 16, 2009:

Hi Jean,

I suspect that you didn't fully cover the pears with the sugar syrup. If a portion of pear is exposed, it will turn brown. They ARE good to eat, but I would eat them in the next 3 weeks or so.

I've now amended my directions to state, clearly, that the sugar syrup must fully cover the fruit.

Thanks so much for writing.


Jean Merritt on September 16, 2009:

I followed your directions and now on some of my jars at the top, the pears have turned brown. I'm worried the rest will follow.

Are these safe to eat? I've put them in the fridge now just in case.

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on August 15, 2009:

Hi Elsza,

My neighbor called me last night to say he had a tree full of ripe pears. I'm going over there today to pick them up and I'll be in the kitchen working this afternoon.

Please do let me know how your Conference pears turn out!

Thanks so much for taking the time to write.


Elsza on August 14, 2009:

Hi from North Wales, England. My 'Conference' Pear Tree has given me enough fruit this year to try your preserve recipe. I'll let you know how it goes. Best regards. Elsza

Buster Bucks (author) from Sonoma County, California on January 03, 2009:

Hi Yvette,

The pears will last about six months -- after that they begin to discolor a bit (though they still taste good.)

Sure, you can use store-bought pears. However, make sure they're excellent fruit -- you can't turn so-so pears into delicious fruit in the canning process. You have to start with Yummy to end up with Yummy.

You'll need to use canning jars -- applesauce jars aren't thick enough, nor do they create a reliable seal.

Thanks so much for coming by -- good luck with your pears!


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