Home Canning Mandarin Oranges Recipe and Tips

Canned mandarin oranges in open jar

Is it Safe to Water Bath Can Mandarin Oranges?

Yes – it’s safe to water bath can mandarin oranges because they are high in acid, although less acidic than regular oranges. All types of mandarine oranges, like tangerines, Satsumas, and Clementines, can be raw-packed in a water bath canner. Hot-packing and pressure canning would expose the mandarins to excessive heat, causing them to disintegrate.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation also recommends pressure canning citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit using both hot- and raw-pack methods. The cooking and processing times in a pressure canner are considerably lower.

You can pack mandarins in plain water, syrup, or fruit juice, such as orange juice. Mandarins canned in plain water lose flavor with time, while those canned in fruit juice or syrup retain their flavor longer.

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Jar of home canned mandarin oranges

Canning Mandarin Oranges Recipe

  • Author: Alex
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 7 pints 1x


Here’s a step-by-step home canning recipe for sweet mandarin oranges without all the extra preservatives of store-bought varieties!


  • 78 lbs mandarin oranges
  • 6½ cups water
  • ¾ cups sugar


  1. Collect the best fresh mandarin oranges. These should be ripe and have a flesh that is between firm and slightly soft.
  2. Wash the canning jars and their canning lids and ring bands in warm, soapy water. Rinse the equipment with warm water.
  3. Lower a canning rack into a boiling water bath canner. Pour clean water into the canner until it’s half-full. Place the canning jars on the rack and heat the canner to a steady simmer at 180°F. Keep the jars hot until filling time.
  4. Wash the mandarins in lukewarm water to remove pesticides, bugs, and dirt. Rinse them under cool running water. You might have to wash mandarins bought from the grocery store with soapy water to ensure thorough cleanliness.
  5. Peel the mandarins, separate the segments, and remove the white pith and membranes. The white parts may make your canned mandarin oranges bitter. Avoid piercing the segments to prevent the flavor from leaching into the syrup.
  6. If you want your canned fruit to look like the store-bought type, soak the orange segments in Pectinase—a pectic enzyme that helps dissolve pectin and remove more membranes and pith. Rinse the segments to wash off the enzyme.
  7. Prepare a simple syrup. This could be extra light, light, or medium syrup, depending on your preference. Add water and sugar to a large pot and heat the mixture to a steady boil.
  • Extra light syrup: 6½ cups water and ¾ cups sugar
  • Light syrup: 5¾ cups water and 1½ cups sugar
  • Medium syrup: 5¼ cups water and 2¼ cups sugar

Hot Packing Mandarin Oranges

  1. Drain the jars and fill them with mandarin orange slices and the hot syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace. Pack the segments tightly to keep them from floating after shrinking when heated.
  2. Remove the air bubbles from each jar by running a wooden skewer along the inner walls.
  3. Wipe rims with paper towels dampened with vinegar. Add new canning lids on the jars and apply the accompanying ring bands on the jars to fingertip tightness.
  4. Using a jar lifter, lower each jar onto the canning rack without tilting or turning it. Check that the water covers the jar tops by 1-2 inches.
  5. Heat the canner on high to bring it to a steady boil. Cover the canner with its lid and process both pint or quart jars as per the elevations below:

Water Bath Canning Processing

  • 0 – 1,000ft: 10 minutes
  • 1,001 – 6,000ft: 15 minutes
  • Above 6,001ft: 20 minutes

Post Processing

  1. Remove the canner from the heat and open the lid for the steam to escape. Start taking out the jars after 5 minutes, placing them upright on a raised surface lined with warm dish towels.
  2. Cool the jars naturally for 12-24 hours to room temperature without tightening the lids.
  3. Remove the ring bands and check the lids for successful sealing. Properly sealed lids shouldn’t flex when pressed. Refrigerate any unsealed jars and eat the mandarins within 5 days.
  4. Wash the properly sealed jars, dry them, and label them by date and contents. Keep the canned oranges in a cool, dry place.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Canning Time: 10 minutes

What is the Best Way to Preserve Mandarin Oranges?

The best way to preserve mandarin oranges is to freeze-dry them for up to 25 years of shelf life. It’s best to eat freeze-dried mandarins within two years for optimum flavor and nutritional value.

Other food preservation methods suitable for mandarins include:

  • Dehydration: Dehydrate mandarins in a food dehydrator for a shelf of up to two years.
  • Freezing: Peel, pith, and freeze mandarins in freezer bags for 6-12 months.
  • Making mandarin orange jam: The jam will last up to 12 months at room temperature.
  • Making mandarin orange marmalade: Keep this refrigerated for up to 3 months or frozen for up to 1 year.
  • Refrigeration: Keep unpeeled mandarins in the crisper drawer for 2-4 weeks.
Bowl of peeled mandarin oranges with minimal pith remaining
Peeled mandarin oranges

How Long Do You Process Mandarin Oranges When Canning?

The processing time for raw-packed mandarin oranges is 10 minutes at 1,000 feet and below in a boiling water bath canner. Mandarins that are hot-packed in sugar syrup take 10-20 minutes to process.

What is the Difference Between Mandarins and Tangerines?

Although the terms are used interchangeably, tangerines are a type of mandarin orange, alongside Clementines and Satsumas. Tangerines have darker skin, while regular mandarins are more noticeable because of their oblong shape. The canning process is the same for both mandarins and tangerines.

What Kind of Jars Do You Need to Can Mandarin Oranges?

Regular pint or quart jars are the best for canning mandarin oranges. Mandarin oranges shrink when heated, which makes them light and buoyant. Using wide-mouth jars will cause more floating if you don’t pack the segments tightly enough.

Ball Golden Harvest Regular Mouth Mason Jars

1-pint regular mouth mason jars like this one are perfect for preserving mandarins.

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What are the Benefits of Canning Mandarin Oranges?

Here are some benefits you get out of canning mandarin oranges:

  • Canned mandarins are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin C.
  • Canning helps save storage space because more segments can be packed in a smaller space.
  • Hesperetin and naringenin flavonoids in mandarins may help reduce the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
  • Prolongs the shelf life of mandarins from a few days to up to 12 months.
White bowl filled with canned mandarin orange slices
Bowl of canned mandarin oranges

How to Store Canned Mandarin Oranges

Canned mandarin oranges should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark, dry place with no direct heat or sunlight. They should be stored in a place with good aeration and kept off the ground to prevent rusting of metallic lids. Maintain storage temperatures at 50-70°F with minimal fluctuations for best results.

What is the Shelf Life of Canned Mandarin Oranges?

Homemade canned mandarin oranges have a shelf life of 12 months in the pantry. Commercially canned versions last for 18-24 months in the pantry. For maximum flavor and nutritional value, use canned mandarins within six months. Once opened, refrigerate the jar and eat them within a week.


Alex has a farming background and cherishes growing, eating, and preserving his own food. He writes to share his homesteading experience with gardening and food preservation enthusiasts keen on canning and dehydration. When he is not writing, you'll find him tending to his vegetables and fruits or trying new recipes.

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