Looking for How to make and bottle your own homemade canned Lemon juice, or other Citrus juice in 2019? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.
Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years, and require no special attention. If you'd rather make orange juice, see this page
The most important step! You should choose the best lemons you can get and make far better lemon juice. Don't get me wrong, it is fine to use small lemons and less attractive varieties, as long as they are firm and unspoiled!
You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store. But for large quantities, you'll find that real* farmer's markets, like the Farmer's Market in Forest Park, Georgia have them at the best prices. In 2004, they were available from late September at $11 to $16 per bushel. 2005 prices have been in the $14 to $20 range at the real farmer's markets, like the Atlanta-Forest park Georgia State Farmer's Market and orchards in the southeast of the U.S.
You'll get about 12 to 20 quarts of lemon juice per bushel of lemons. Count on 15 or 16 quarts per bushel.
* - not the cutesy, fake farmer's markets that are just warehouse grocery stores that call themselves farmer's markets.
Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot lemon juice.
Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 10 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in plain cold water. If you have a juicer or squeezer, it obviously makes it much easier. If you don't have a juicer, don't fret, just peel the fruit (as shown in the photo), then chop or crush the fruit with a potato masher and continue to the next step.
Pretty simple put about 2 inches of water (I used filtered tap water) on the bottom of a huge, thick-bottomed pot. Put the lid on, and the heat on high. When it gets really going, turn it off - you only want to release the juice from the pulp.. Obviously, if you used a juicer, you can skip this step and step 6.
Hardware stores sell a fruit steamer. I haven't used one yet, but I hear they work well.
Now you want to separate the liquid from the pulp, skins, seeds, stems, etc. There are quite a variety of ways to filter the lemons.
Note: One of the easiest ways to extract juice is by using a steam juicer available at many hardware and variety stores. If you plan on making a lot of juice or doing this every year, it may be worth buying one. This unique piece of equipment allows you to conveniently extract juice by steaming the fruit which is held in a retaining basket. The juice drops into a reservoir which has a tube outlet for removal. Follow manufacturer's instructions for using steam juicer.
If your goal is to make lemon juice, you will still have a lot of lemon pulp left, so I'd recommend you make lemon curd from it (see this page)
Put the lemon juice into a large pot.
The lemon juice does not need any further cooking; just get it heated to a low simmering boil and keep it hot until you get enough made to fill the jars you will put into the canner (Canners hold seven jars at once, whether they are quart or pint size)
Fill them to within 1/4-inch of the top, wipe any spilled lemon juice of
the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Put them in
the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 or 2 inches of water and
boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint or quart
jars for 5 minutes and half gallon jars for 10 min. This assumes
you kept the juice hit until you filled the jars. If you are at an
altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see the chart below Recommended process time for
Lemon Juice in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack
0 - 1,000 ft
1,001 - 6,000 ft
Above 6,000 ft
Pints or Quarts
Recommended process time for Lemon Juice in a boiling-water canner.
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
From left to right:
Home Canning Kits
See the seller's website for features, pricing and user reviews!
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used
to make everything from lemon juice to jams and jellies to tomato and
spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the
canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel,
labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll
never need anything else except more jars and lids!
Victorio V250 Food Strainer (the same as the
comparable Villaware and Roma models)
See the seller's website for features, pricing and user reviews!
Deluxe Food Strainer & Sauce Maker
With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy apple sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/apple screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.
The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/Lemon Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note
Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes? Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!
Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!