Pickling and Water Bath Canning Cauliflower Florets

Fresh and pickled cauliflower
Canning cauliflower should be done in a boiling water bath canner once the cauliflower is pickled. To pickle cauliflower, cover it in a hot pickling brine and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10-20 minutes. Pressure canning cauliflower is not recommended as there are no scientifically tested recipes for it.

Pickling and Canning Cauliflower

Boiling water canning is the preferred way to can cauliflower, but it must be pickled first for safety and to optimize taste and texture.

Follow this pickle recipe to preserve cauliflower safely and effectively by water bath canning:

  1. Prepare your canning jars, lids, and bands by washing them in soapy, hot water, then rinsing them. Sterilize the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, combine 1 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp pickling salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp celery seeds, and 1/2 tsp turmeric, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. You can also add peppercorns, dried jalapeños, red pepper flakes, and other seasonings as desired.
  3. Peel and slice one small onion. Peel two garlic cloves and add the onion and garlic to the hot brine and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. In another pot, blanch 4 cups of cauliflower florets by boiling them for 2 minutes, then immediately placing them in ice-cold water for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process.
  5. Pack the cooled cauliflower florets into sterilized jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  6. Pour the hot pickling liquid into the jars using a canning funnel, leaving ½ inch of headspace.
  7. Get rid of any air bubbles by running a plastic spatula or knife around the inside of the jar.
  8. Wipe the jar rims with a damp, clean cloth and fasten the lids and bands on the jars.
  9. Place the jars into a boiling water bath canner. Add enough hot water to cover the jars by at least one inch.
  10. Bring the water to a rolling boil and process the jars per elevation:

Recommended process time for pickled cauliflower in a boiling water canner. 

Altitude (ft)0 – 1,0001,001 – 6,0006,001 +
Half-pints10 minutes15 minutes20 minutes
Pints10 minutes15 minutes20 minutes
  1. Once the hot jars have been processed, carefully remove them from the canner and place them on a towel to cool. Leave them to stand undisturbed for 24 hours.
  2. Check the seals and store the jars in a cool, dark place.
Pickled cauliflower and peppercorns
Pickled cauliflower and peppercorns

Can Cauliflower Be Pressure Canned?

Pressure canning is possible theoretically, but no scientifically-proven recipes exist for pressure canning plain cauliflower. The ultra-high temperatures involved in pressure canning would soften the veggies too much, and the end result is unpalatable.

How Long Does it Take to Can Cauliflower?

The prep time needed for making pickled vegetables is 30-45 minutes, while the water bath canning process takes 30-45 minutes. The total time varies between 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Can You Put Cauliflower in Mason Jars?

Yes – Mason jars can serve as a temporary container for raw cauliflower. However, for long-term food preservation, it is best to use Mason jars to pickle and water bath can cauliflower. Use either half-pints or pint jars for the best results.

Open jar of pickled cauliflower with fork and bowl
Cauliflower in a canning jar

What Can You Do With Too Much Cauliflower?

Pickling and canning cauliflower is one way of preserving this vegetable. Another method is freezing it, and cauliflower may also be dehydrated.

How to Store Canned Cauliflower

Store canned cauliflower in a cool, dry place at room temperature between 50 and 70°F. Exposure to direct sunlight, high humidity, or extreme temperatures leads to spoilage, discoloration, or loss of texture.

Pickled cauliflower on plate
Pickled cauliflower on a plate

How Long Can Canned Cauliflower Be Stored?

Canned cauliflower retains its best quality for 1 to 2 years, depending on the storage conditions. According to the USDA, correctly canned low-acid foods such as cauliflower can be stored for 2 to 5 years. After opening, it may be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.


Adam was fascinated from an early age by his father's car and his mum's kitchen. His love of home food preparation stems from her. From baking to roasting and freezing to canning, he has always followed the lessons she taught him all those years ago.

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