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How to Can Okra

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Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Renee’

I am very blessed to have a dad who has an organic garden. This year he outdid himself. We have had so many Green Beans, Squash, Tomatoes, Okra etc…

I have been trying to preserve it all by freezing, canning & fermenting. Right now, the okra is really keeping me busy. 

So I researched several articles & most of them all said pretty much the same thing. I was concerned that they didn’t use a pressure canner or a water bath canner. After researching,

I felt pretty confident that this would work. This is the same way my mom & grandmother can tomatoes, without the vinegar, of course. Because tomatoes are acidic they don’t need the vinegar. Since Okra isn’t you have to add the vinegar for the acidity. If you aren’t sure, you can always freeze it. I prefer to can it because of saving freezer space and avoiding freezer burn.

It was so easy, especially to do just 2 quarts at a time. You can always double or triple the batch if needed. 

I wanted to preserve all this wonderful okra so that I can add to gumbo’s & soups. But the main reason was so that we could have our favorite Paleo Southern Fried Okra during the winter.

This recipe makes about 2 quarts. 

Ingredients:

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Tools Needed:

 

Directions:

  • Wash & cut okra into bite-size pieces removing ends.
  • Fill Large Pot with water, add jars & bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Fill Small Pan with water, add rings & lids & bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Add Filtered Water, salt & ACV to Large Pot. Bring to boil.
  • Add Okra. Bring to boil. Cook 6 min. 
  • Remove Jar from boiling water with a jar lifter. Put Canning Funnel on the jar.
  • Use a slotted spoon to put okra in the jar until full leaving 1-inch headspace. May need to shake a couple of times to settle the okra. 
  • Use a stainless measuring cup to pour boiling liquid over the okra until covered with liquid leaving 1-inch headspace.
  • Make sure to remove air bubbles. 
  • Use a clean towel (paper is fine) dampened to clean rim of jar.
  • Use tongs to remove lid & ring from boiling water & put on jar. Use a towel if necessary to tighten lid. Jar & lid will be hot. 
  • As Jar cools you will hear a pop. That means it has sealed.
  • Repeat for 2nd jar & so on if using pints or doubling the recipe.

Here is my recipe for Paleo Southern Fried Okra. It is sooo good & tastes just like fresh out of the Garden. 

Paleo Southern Fried Okra

Paleo Southern Fried Okra is sooo good you wont be able to tell that its Paleo. Just like Grandma used to make except healthier. AIP, Whole 30, Keto, Gluten Free, Grain Free & Vegan #paleo #okra #southernfried #aip #whole30 #lowcarb #keto #vegan #glutenfree #grainfree #healthy #recipe #thehealthnutmama

Disclaimer:

  • I had a reader very concerned that this wasn’t pressured canned & that it is no longer recommended to can it this way. If you are concerned please pressure can it for 40 min. at 10 lbs. pressure. This recipe was gotten from several “old-timers”.  I haven’t had any issues & we are still eating what we canned last summer. Or if you are unsure, you can freeze your okra. If you do choose to can it this way do at your own risk. 
  • Please refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for pressure canning info.

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*Scroll down for a printable recipe card.

Some Okra Recipes:

More Canning & Freezing Recipes:

Pin It for Later 

 

How to Can Okra for Long Term Storage. Perfect for Frying Southern Style or using in Soups & Gumbo's. #howto #canning #okra #longtermstorage #aip #paleo #whole30 #lowcarb #keto #vegan #southernfried #soup #gumbo #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

 

More info on canning & preserving here & get your free guide to canning here.

 

Yield: 2 qts

How to Can Okra

How to Can Okra
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash & cut okra into bite-size pieces removing ends.
  2. Fill Large Pot with water, add jars & bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Fill Small Pan with water, add rings & lids & bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Add Filtered Water, salt & ACV to Large Pot. Bring to boil.
  5. Add Okra. Bring to boil. Cook 6 min.
  6. Remove Jar from boiling water with a jar lifter. Put Canning Funnel on the jar.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to put okra in the jar until full leaving 1-inch headspace. May need to shake a couple of times to settle the okra.
  8. Use a stainless measuring cup to pour boiling liquid over the okra until covered with liquid leaving 1-inch headspace.
  9. Use tongs to remove lid & ring from boiling water & put on jar. Use a towel if necessary to tighten lid. Jar & lid will be hot.
  10. As Jar cools you will hear a pop. That means it has sealed.
  11. Repeat for 2nd jar & so on if using pints or doubling the recipe.

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53 comments

  1. T.W. says:

    It is not safe to process with water bath or pressure canning. Just because the jar sealed, does NOT mean something is canned. My jars pop down when in a hot car, or I put hot foods in them before they go in the canner. If you have been okay eating this, it is because the vinegar was acidic enough to knock down the bacteria. However, recalls are made of foods everyday, due to them not being made correctly, and not being quite right, etc. People who say they’ve done this many times and it has not killed them yet. Well, that’s like saying that you run red lights all the time and haven’t had a wreck yet. People in the old days grew vegetables in soil that wan not polluted, plus their bodies were way different than ours today. They had stronger immune systems from dirt and germs. . They also died from many other things that we no longer do, and we don’t HAVE TO risk it.
    WE HAVE KNOWLEDGE. Why risk it?? Good Lord! You only have to boil them in a big pot for a few little minutes. Don’t be stupid! Just ask the lady who posted a video about getting botulism for not properly canning her green beans. She could not smell or taste that they were bad. She ended up in ICU, and had to learn to walk and talk again. It’s NO joke. Please can safely!!

  2. John says:

    My mother processed foods in this manner.
    I was born during WWII. I have lived this long and have eaten foods canned in this manner at least an average two times a week.
    As you have stated repeatedly, if one is uncomfortable doing it this way, do not do it this way.
    We have so much produce from our garden, it would be extremely hard to freeze all of it.
    Especially in the event of a prolonged power outage!

  3. Deborah Martinez says:

    Renee, what’s the name(s) of the old-time canning group on FB? I’m new to canning. I follow two standard practice groups, but I want to expand my knowledge with reliable old school wisdom. TIA.

  4. SassyGardener says:

    I would never can a low acid food without pressure canning it, unless you pickle it, then you water bath can it. Saying that Grandma did it like this, and she didn’t die, and we haven’t gotten sick yet, is not a guarantee that it won’t happen. You can say that you run red lights all the time, and you haven’t been killed yet. Grandma never stopped at stop signs and it never killed her. Considering that there are spores all around in every house that, if given the right environment in a jar, can give you brain damage from eating, or kill you, I think I will do the safe preparation. You can not trust that companies, who have recalls all the time, made the vinegar with the correct amount of acid to protect your brain and your life. It’s that simple. Thank you for the recipe, and all the great recipes on your site. 🙂

    • Renee' says:

      Thank you for your comments. I agree not to can it this way if you don’t feel comfortable. I also agree not to can low acid foods this way. This is why you add vinegar. I just did 8 qts. last week. I’m more concerned now about the canning lids that are being produced. I have seen more people losing food because of the poor quality lids.

  5. Betty says:

    You hear the scare all the time about canning with added vinegar but I would like to know all the incidents of deaths by canning this way.

  6. Jacqualyon Robertson says:

    I would love to can okra. Do you find the slime comes out when you boil? Just wondering as your end jars look beautiful and clear.

    • Renee' says:

      I open, rinse & add my (paleo) flour & seasonings & fry or either add to soups & stews. It’s so easy. I did 3 qts my first time to see how they would turn out. We love them. Let me know how your’s turn out! The slime goes away just like fresh when you cook it.

    • Heidi Baudoin says:

      I used this last summer and the okra was fine. Thanks for sharing because even down here in the deep south, not many older people remember how to can okra. Everyone freeezes it. Summer of 2020, I pressured canned okra and it was too mushy for anything but adding to gumbo. It even discolored with pressure canning.

    • Kevin says:

      The slime will come out when you drain it before flouring and frying. It will be the best fried okra you’ve ever eaten!

  7. Darlene says:

    Hey so you don’t have to water bath these for 15 mins? I just did it like you said so I hope it turns out great ! I’m just starting out canning and I have a pressure cooker but that thing is aggravating I like to do things old school! Don’t listen to these negative comments people think they know everything!

    • Renee' says:

      I don’t use a water bath but if it makes you feel more comfortable I would do so. I’m in an old-time canning group on FB & get a lot of great advice from people who have been canning for years Old School. As another woman told me, She would rather trust grandma than the government. I have to agree. Thank you for your comment & let me know how they turn out.

  8. Harriet Cummings says:

    This is brining and we have been doing this for year with peppers, and will try the okra recipe. These recipes were handed down by my ancestors from Germany and I have not died yet after 55 yrs of canning. If you want water bath for 15 minutes if it makes you feel better but the vinegar is the secret and make sure it is 5%

  9. Jimmy says:

    For the people doubting this method look up how They can meat in India and some European countries. They don’t use pressure canners. The ancient’s knew something or we wouldn’t be here.

  10. Katie Muncher says:

    Hey! So I followed this recipe and after about 12 hours the liquid in my jar is a bit cloudy and also doesn’t completely cover my okra anymore, even though it did when I put it in the jar. Everything sealed properly and is still sealed, so you think this is okay?

    • Renee' says:

      I don’t know why I’m just seeing your comment. I’m sorry about that. They do look a little “cloudy” after. They should be fine. I wonder if there were some air bubbles that caused the water level to go down. It still should be fine. Just make sure to run a knife or something down the sides to get the air bubbles out & add more water mixture to cover before adding the lids.

  11. Donna says:

    Thank you so much for your recipe and directions. I can my squash and zucchini in a similar way. It’s not an approved method but was given to me by an old timer. Your replies to the negative comments were great. You are obviously a patient person. What ever happened to “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? Thanks again

  12. Lori says:

    Hi Renee, I’m so excited to try your recipe! When you add the boiling water to the jars of okra, is that fresh boiling water or the water you cooked the okra in? Thank you for your response ~

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Lori, I’m excited for you too! I use the water that I boiled the okra in. Just make sure it is filtered. No tap water. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Marjorie says:

    Renee, you are very fortunate that you haven’t gotten sick. However, I agree totally with earlier objections. ALL high acid foods MUST be at least water bath canned. Low acid foods and meats MUST be pressure canned.

    • Renee' says:

      Thank you for your comment. I have added a disclaimer to the recipe. This is an “old-timers” recipe. You do add vinegar for the acid. I’ve never had a problem, but of course, I wouldn’t want anyone to do it this way if they weren’t comfortable.

  14. Catherine Boeckmann says:

    This isn’t done correctly. You need to process in a boiling water-bath canning AFTER you seal the jar.

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Louise, AVC is Apple Cider Vinegar. You need to use an acid in the okra in order to can it. There should be a link in the post on what kind I used. You should be able to get it at any grocery store.

  15. Robin Downing says:

    I am wondering if the vinegar changes the taste of the okra. I want it to taste like it would if frozen.

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Robin, This was my thoughts exactly before I canned it the first time. When you open the jars you drain them & rinse. You can’t taste the vinegar at all. One good thing is you can can as few jars as you want then you can try a jar to see if you still want to can them. I was pleasantly surprised. I drain & rinse, then coat with (Paleo) flour & fry like normal. So delicious! Also perfect for gumbo!

      • Jessica nolley says:

        This is the way my grandmother and myself has done okra! Love it! I didn’t get to learn how she did green beans and was wondering if this would work for them also? Hers had a vinegar taste that we loved, but I don’t want to have to pressure can because I do so much at one time.

        • Renee' says:

          Hi Jessica, I just got through doing green beans yesterday, but I fermented them. That may be how she did them. Basically pack them in the jars very tightly then pour a saltwater brine over the beans & let ferment for a few days to a couple of weeks. They are so good!!! I should have a new post written on how to make them in a few days.

  16. Carolyn Myers says:

    My granny canned in a big black iron wash pot. She had to put a quilt in the pot to keep jars from being on the bottom of the pot and keep jars from breaking. It was hard to regulate the temperature of the water over an open fire but it worked.

    For those worried about not pressure canning using the ACV changes the acidic level therefore it works.

  17. Pam says:

    What an incredibly dangerous process. You’re worried about flouride in your water but you don’t care about botulism? You’re endangering yourself and your readers. Get a pressure canner and learn to use it.

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Pam, I researched online & this was the recipe that kept popping up when I was trying to preserve the okra my dad had grown. I noted this in the post. We have been eating ours all winter & it’s been just fine. This recipe is from several “Old Timers”.

      Of course, I care about botulism. I would never want to endanger anyone including myself or my family. I also have a pressure canner & I do know how to use it. If you are concerned you should pressure can it by all means. I haven’t tried it, but I will definitely do so this summer & will update the post accordingly. If pressure canning you would want to pressure can it for 40 min. at 10 lbs pressure for quarts. If you can it, please report back how it turns out. Thanks, Renee’

      • Catherine Boeckmann says:

        You don’t need to pressure can. But you need to water-bath can. There is a difference between boiling water canning and pressure canning; it depends on the acidity of the food. You need to refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for today’s safety rules. This recipe does not adhere. Remove OR update it.

        • Renee' says:

          Hi Catherine, This recipe is definitely old fashion. From everything that I have heard it needs it to be acidic in order to can it this way. That’s why you add the vinegar. I have okra that I canned last year that we are still using. We have had no issues. I had already noted in the recipe no longer recommended to can it this way. Thanks for your comment.

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