How Long Do Homemade Canned Peaches Last?

A perfectly ripe peach is a piece of summery heaven, juicy, sweet, and delightfully tangy. The problem, of course, is that the season for peaches is sadly short; Pick Your Own explains that the earliest varieties grown in the warmest places in the U.S. don't begin to ripen until May each year, and the season's over, even in the coolest peach-growing regions by September. Because peaches are climacteric fruits, meaning they continue to ripen after they're picked, according to Peach Depot, the ones you find at the grocery store or market are often not quite ripe yet. Once they're ripe, peaches are delicate, and while refrigerating them can buy you a little time — about three to five days — they're in a use-'em-or-lose-'em state.

Even if you make gallons of peach sangria and piles of pies, canning your own peaches provides two benefits: You can use up those ripe peaches and also ensure you have delicious fruit in the pantry for those bleak months when peaches aren't in season. Once you've put in the hard work of canning your fresh peaches, it's important to understand how long they'll stay both safe and tasty when properly stored.

How long will your canned peaches stay fresh?

The University of Minnesota Extension explains that the best way to store canned food is at cool, but not cold temperatures, ideally between 50-70 degrees. While they recommend that the best practice is to carefully rotate canned food — so the oldest cans are used first — ideally, canned fruits should be used within about one year. Tastes Better From Scratch gives a slightly longer timeline, saying that canned peaches will taste their best for 12-18 months though they're safe to eat for even longer.

And once you've opened your canned peaches, the USDA recommends using them up pretty quickly. An opened can of peaches should be refrigerated, and it's best to use up your summer bounty within five to seven days. Since Colorado State University Extension points out that most recipes for canning peaches call for adding sugar syrup to help retain the fruit's firm texture and color, you may find your canned peaches are a little sweeter than you'd like. A great tip for brightening the flavor of overly sweet canned peaches is adding a little lemon juice — even some chili powder or ginger — for extra zing.