Pressure Canning Caramelized Onions and Recipes

Caramelized onions in canning jar
The process of canning caramelized onions begins by slow-cooking onions on a stove for several hours. Ladle caramelized onions into pint-sized canning jars with 1-inch headspace. Seal and process in a pressure canner for 70-75 minutes.

Pressure Canning Caramelized Onions Guide

Onions are a low-acid food that must be pressure canned to kill botulism spores. If you’re a beginner or seasoned canner, use the following steps:

  1. Prepare 10 pounds of onions by washing and cutting the tips and bottom ends. Peel the leathery outer layer off and discard.
  2. Cut the onions into halves before slicing them into ¼-inch slices.
  3. Put 5 tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a slow cooker or crockpot. Add onion slices, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cook the mixture on medium-high heat for 6 hours.
  4. If the slices don’t have a golden brown color, reduce the heat to allow slow cooking for up to 11 hours until the desired color develops.
  5. Wash pint jars, canning lids, and rings in hot soapy water. Rinse well and place the canning jars in a pot of simmering water for 10 minutes to sterilize them.
  6. Prepare your canner per the manufacturer’s instructions and place 2-3 inches of water inside, along with a canning rack.
  7. Ladle the hot caramelized onions into the prepared canning jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  8. Use a clean cloth or paper towel dipped in hot water to wipe the jar rims.
  9. Place the lids on, add the screw bands, and tighten until fingertip-tight.
  10. Carefully load the filled jars into your pressure canner. Bring the water to a boil, then place the lid on top.
  11. Remove the pressure regulator and allow the canner to release steam steadily for 10 minutes.
  12. Place the weight on, and wait for pressure to build up to 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for your altitude.
  13. Set a processing time of 70 minutes for half-pint jars or 75 minutes for pints.
  14. After the processing time lapses, turn off your stove. Wait for the canner’s gauge to reach zero before opening the lid.
  15. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from the hot water. Place them on a clean, towel-lined counter to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
  16. Remove the screw bands and check the seals on the jars. Sealed lids will not flex up and down when pressed.
  17. Refrigerate and use any unsealed jars within five days.
  18. Label the sealed jars with the contents and canning date. Store the jars in a cool, dry place.
Jar of caramelized onions that had been pressure canned
Pressure-canned caramelized onions

Can You Water Bath Can Caramelized Onions?

Yes – some canning recipes for caramelized onions, such as relishes, are safe for water bath canning. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, relishes are high-acid foods due to the large amounts of vinegar added. Therefore, processing in a water bath for 10 minutes effectively kills botulism spores and other harmful pathogens.

Best Canning Recipes for Caramelized Onions

Other excellent canning recipes for preserving your summer onion harvest include:

1. Caramelized Vidalia Onion Relish

Transform your sandwiches, sausages, and burgers with this easy-to-make relish recipe, which is shelf stable.

2. Sweet and Savory Onion Jam

This condiment creates memorable family moments by adding incredible flavor to family recipes.

Bowl with wooden spoon of caramelized onion jam
Caramelized onion jam

What Are the Best Onions for Canning Caramelized Onions?

When choosing onions for caramelizing and home canning, choose medium-sized onions with thick skins. While it’s possible to use any onion type, some of the best sweet varieties include yellow onions, pearl onions, Vidalia, red onions, Maui onions, and Spanish onions. These onions are great for onion canning recipes due to their balanced flavor profile and texture.

What is the Difference Between Caramelized Onions and Pickled Onions?

Some of the key differences between caramelized and pickled onions are:

  • Flavor: Caramelizing onions makes them sweeter, while pickled onions are tangy.
  • Texture: Pickled onions are crunchy, while caramelized onions are soft.
  • Cooking time: Carmelized onions take several hours to prepare, while pickled onions can be soaked inside the canning jars.
Jar of pickled onions with bay leaves
Pickled onions

Tasty Recipes that Use Caramelized Onions

1. Broccoli with Caramelized Onions & Pine Nuts

Here’s a perfect blend of veggies, tangy onions, and crunchy nuts.

2. Caramelized Onion Spinach Quiche

Turn your quiche into a sophisticated dish with this caramelized onions recipe.

3. French Onion Soup

Do you love French cuisine? Try this sweet and creamy onion soup with hearty herbs and crusty bread.

French onion soup in a bowl
French onion soup

How to Store Canned Caramelized Onions

Store canned caramelized onions in a clean, cool, dry place. Fluctuating temperatures, moisture, and direct sunlight cause spoilage of canned foods.

What is the Shelf Life of Canned Caramelized Onions?

Successfully canned caramelized onions can last 2-5 years. The USDA recommends using this condiment within one year for the best texture and flavor. Once opened, refrigerate caramelized onions and consume them within seven days.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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