How to Can Grapefruit Juice

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It’s the end of the citrus season here in Texas and it seems all citrus is on sale everywhere! My husband and oldest son love grapefruit juice so I thought I’d can some for them. Grapefruit juice is really easy to can and if you can your own you know exactly what goes into it—no preservatives!

How To Can Grapefruit Juice Step by Step:

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 I bought grapefruit on sale 5 for a dollar. I started with about 35 grapefruit. Wash all your grapefruit thoroughly.

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I have a centrifugal juicer so I needed to remove the skin before putting the grapefruit into the juicer. I start by removing the ends.

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 Then working around the fruit removing the skin.

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 Your grapefruit should look like this when you’re done.

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Here is my juicer. In the picture (on the right) you can see the juicing glass that comes with the juicer. You can find the juicer here on Amazon.

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 I replaced the juicing glass with a large bowl since I have a lot of grapefruit to juice.

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It’s fun to watch the juicer work. This juicer produces a fair amount of foam that I had to strain off but I think it’s still easier than a citrus juicer.

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 Put the juice in a large pot and heat it up. It’s not necessary to boil the juice.

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 Wash your canning jars.

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 And wash your lids.

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And your rings.

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 Place all your canning jars on a cookie sheet and place in the oven.

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Sterilizing jars and lids is not necessary for processing times of 10 minutes or longer, I place them in the oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm. You want hot grapefruit juice and hot jars to go into your water bath canner. If you let either cool down too much you could end up with broken jars.

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Place all your lids and rings in a small pot. I bring this pot to a boil briefly and then turn it to low to keep it hot. This is to loosen the seal so you will have a good seal between the lid and the jar. (Update: Ball no longer recommends doing this. So after you’ve washed your lids just place them in a bowl and set them aside until your ready to use them)

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When the grapefruit juice is heated take the jars out of the oven. I added 3 T of sugar per quart for this batch but this is optional.

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 Fill the jars with juice.

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Grapefruit juice needs 1/4 in. headspace. Headspace is the distance between the jar and the lid; this handy tool helps measure.

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The other end removes the air bubbles from the jars. Although it seems I can never get them all out.

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 Wipe off the rims of the jars so you can get a good seal.

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Remove the rings from the pot. This tool has a magnet on the end that makes it easier to grab the rings and the lids.

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 Place the lids on the jars.

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Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them.

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 Place the jars in the canner.

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Here I have five-quart jars in my water bath canner. Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Grapefruit juice should be processed (boiled) for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for about 5 minutes.

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 Then remove the jars from the canner. The jars will be hot!

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Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours, then remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) and the ring is still on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the juice should not be consumed, with the ring left on there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out. Label and put away.

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Now, you can have grapefruit juice you made yourself with no preservatives all
year long!

  • lisa says:

    technically , sugar is a preservative

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, sugar can be a preservative but not in this case. In order for sugar to preserve food it has to be in a much higher quantity than 3T per quart. When I said no preservative I was referring to chemical preservatives. Thanks so much for helping me clarify this point!

      • K. says:

        Hi Jennifer,

        Thank you for taking the time to develop this tutorial. Can you tell me now after a year…how long did your grapefruit juice keep? My friend tried it last year and all hers fermented. Of course, I don’t know if she did it your way–if there was a breakdown in sanitizing the jars…too much headroom, etc.
        But before I go to the bother, I’d like to know how many months your grapefruit juice kept. Thank you.
        K. Fotis

        • Jennifer says:

          As soon as I read your comment I ran to grab a jar out of storage to taste it, just to make sure……:) It tastes great! If you can the grapefruit juice correctly it should last up to a year. Many people claim it lasts longer but for disclaimer purposes I’m going to say one year…….:)

  • Bama Girl says:

    Hello Jennifer! Hope you’re having a good weather day! That’s great that they love grapefruit juice, it’s so good for them! And what a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

  • Elisha says:

    Thank you for this. I have been searching for some way to preserve all the citrus I am receiving during the winter months. You blog is so very helpful. My project today is to create juice and can it and then make candied peels. I am in so much gratitude for your efforts and your sharing. Thank you so much.

  • Karly says:

    Hi! I’m new to canning but completely intrigued. Thank you for this post. My question, once the juice is removed, as with anything we put in a juicer, what do you do with the leftovers from the grapefruit? I love my juicer but it hurts my feelings to put the solids in the trash. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Karly,
      Well, you could put them in the compost…..:) I know what you mean and I don’t juice a lot for that very reason, but for citrus I’m fine with it.

      • Sally says:

        I dry many of my left over scraps making a snack i call (name of fruit or vegetable) snack crap it is very tasty, can be portioned out and sealed for east storage and transport in anything. For added substance puffed rice can be added also. This is a wonderful painkiller recipe I use that contains the pith of citrus fruit (bioflavinoid). I also often grate the peel from my citrus before juicing and dry it for later use as added flavor in many things. Hope you find these helpful.

  • Deborah says:

    Very good tutorial. I love all the pictures. I am getting ready to can my 2nd year of juice. I noticed that last year’s juice has turned dark, although it still tastes good and the jars are sealed. Is there something that can be added to the juice to prevent the color change,. Someone suggested a crushed vitamin C tablet. Do you have any knowledge or experience regarding this?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Deborah,
      You could try adding a little vitamin C and you might try adding a little sugar, both will help retain the color of the juice.

  • jerry cummins says:

    Love the quality of your web page and the manner information presented. With the exception of tangerines, which require a standard juicer, I have found the process to go faster and easier by using a citrus juicer I have arthritic hands and can still juice several bushels a day for canning. Additionally, oranges and red grapefruit require minor straining but white grapefruit requires several layers of straining unless you prefer heavy pulp. Upon rare occasion I have kept grapefruit juice for 2 years after a single season crop failure.

  • Bobbi Dudo says:

    Thanks for your photos and your guidance. I have a few questions:
    (1) What happens if you DON’T skim off the foam?
    (2) What happens if you leave too much headspace?
    (3) Several websites mention botulism if you don’t follow proper canning procedures, yet there are many different procedures. One in particular is water coverage. I’ve seen from 1″ to 2-1/2″, and yet your photos show the jars above water by about 2 inches. Does it mater?
    Thanks again!!

  • Bobbi Dudo says:

    I forgot a questions. I started to warm a pot of juice before I realized I had to delay to process, so I refrigerated the juice until today. Is it still okay to can?

    Thanks!

  • Stephanie says:

    I have pomegranate juice, will this process work for it since it’s not a citrus?

  • Toni says:

    I have a Mehu-Liisa steam juicer would it work for citrus?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Toni,
      I would not use a steam juicer for this because of the rind. Plus you’d be cooking the juice twice. I think it would be beyond bitter and tart.

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