How to Can Applesauce the Easiest Way in the World

*This post originally appeared on October 17, 2011.  I have taken new pictures to update the post. *

I have made applesauce every year for the last 10 years. After living in the Pacific Northwest (Portland area) for 5 years I became spoiled by all the amazing apple splendor.  One particular house we lived in had two large apple trees and I became accustomed to pillaging the trees every fall to make apple butter, sauce, and filling along with several pies, cobblers, and muffins.  So when I moved to the midwest I was super bummed to have to now pay for apples. Boo! But since apples have a near and dear place in my heart and I was spoiled by homemade applesauce for years I still take time to can every year.  This year I had a friend named Jen who wanted to learn how to can applesauce.  So I invited her over and took pictures of the process to update this post.

How to make applesauce the wrong way that works every time

Now I will tell you about the secret gadget for making quick and easy homemade applesauce.  The Fruit & Vegetable Strainer Kitchen Aid Attachment.  It is not a cheap toy but I got it from Kohl’s a few years back and I think I got it right around $35 after rebates, a great sale and some Kohl’s cash back. It is great for making purees, baby food, and grinding meat.



Kitchen Aid

The Fruit & Vegetable Strainer Kitchen Aid Attachment

One bushel of apples (I use a variety)


Lemon Juice

Quart sized canning jars regular or wide mouth work

canning rings and new lids (FYI once a lid has been sealed you can no longer use it again to seal a jar)

Large spoon



Large pot

Optional: cinnamon

Note: I do this process two to three times for one bushel so I would separate your bushel of apples before you begin.

1.  Wash your apples really well and then cut them into quarters.  There is no need to peel them or cut out the seeds.



2. Place them in a large pot with hot water and let them boil until soft (about 30 minutes).


3.  Also boil your rings and lids to sterilize them as well.


4.  Once the apples are soft all you have to do is attach the fruit strainer attachment to the front of your Kitchen Aid and add the drained apples into the chute.


This thing is awesome…it separates the skin and seeds from the applesauce and gives you pure applesauce in one pot and the skins and seeds in another.



5. I run my skins and peels through one more time just to get all the liquid out of them.  I am shocked at how much more I get from running them through twice.



While I have updated this post with new pictures I can’t help but keep these precious ones of my babies 4 years ago.  So sweet.  So as you can see, it is a family affair.

Kayla age 3

how to can applesauce (12)

Isaac age 5

how to can applesauce (19)

6.  Pour all of your sauce in a large stockpot. It will be kinda pinkish if you use red skinned apples.


7.  Add  1 1/2 cups of lemon juice and 1-2 cups of sugar depending on your preference.  Here is where you can add cinnamon to it if you wish as well.  YUM!

canning-applesauce (2)


8.  Heat the oven up to about 200 degrees and set the washed quart jars in there to sterilize them.


9.  After you get the sauce to your liking, boil it, stirring constantly. You don’t want the sauce to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.


10.  Remove from heat and ladle the sauce into the hot jars.


11.  Add the cap and ring onto the top of the jar leaving about 1/4” headspace.  Turn the hot jars upside down to seal.


Now many a canner will tell you to water bath them at this point.  But in my opinion, if a jar seals it is sealed. Since I sterilize my jars and boil my applesauce I feel this way is good enough. If it was good enough for my grandma it is good enough for me.  After this post, and some of the comments about my lack of water bathing, I was freaked out, so I water bathed them and I lost two jars from cracking during the bath. I have sealed my jars like this for a decade and have had one bad jar out of hundreds.  But you are more than welcome to water bath them if you wish, and according to the experts – Ball Blue Book you should.

12.  Let them cool completely and then turn them right side up.  Make sure all the jars have sealed by making sure there is no give in the lid.  If one didn’t seal then pop it in the refrigerator and let that be your first jar of sauce that you eat.


Homemade applesauce is like dessert for me.  I warn you not to give it as gifts because people will give you the empty jar back begging for a refill!

For more old canning posts (forgive the pictures):

Strawberry Jam Labels

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling

How to Make Apple Butter

How to Make Pumpkin Butter

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  1. Ahh I’ve been wanting to can forEVER. Thanks so much for this post!

  2. i canned applesauce this year too but i didn’t have an attachment for my kitchen aid. i’m going to have to look into that because i peeled and seeded all of my apples.

    i always do the waterbath when i can them because one time i didn’t. the jars sealed but ended up getting moldy and i had to throw them out. i add cinnamon to mine too but i also add a little allspice. it’s like eating apple pie out of a jar…..yum!!


  3. Ah, the same mechanism I use! It’s wonderful isn’t it? A couple tips: you can add your spices and a 1/4 C water to each pan of apples (assuming dutch-oven size-ish), which lets you bottle up right away. Of course, you would probably need to waterbath then – so anyone planning to do that step anyway can season in advance and save recooking the sauce. Also – run your peels/waste back through a second time. You’ll be amazed how much more pulp you almost threw away.

  4. Our friend Dee told my hubby to buy me that attachment for Christmas one year! Best thing evah!!!! I made blackberry syrup in like 10 minutes this year 🙂

    And friend, here’s the thing about the sealing. The water bath isn’t just for sealing. You’re using an old method that will seal almost anything. The water bath is for heating everything up to kill all the bugs. In case your ladle, funnel, etc aren’t sterile. So friend to friend, you really should throw them in the bath 🙂

    • Ummm I have major blackberry envy right now!

      • Agree! It isn’t about the sealing, it is about food safety. Always follow modern canning recomendations and remember water bath times need to be adjusted for your elevation (higher elevation = longer time, to compensate for the temperature water boils at).

  5. I have been eyeballin’ that kitchen aid strainer attachement and wondered how well it worked. Thanks for showing it off.

  6. That looks like quite the attachment to have! Of course I’ll need a kitchen aid mixer first…

  7. I didn’t realize you were Portland. I just recently moved to Bend from The Dalles – I live on the sunny side! 🙂 I wish I saw this post a few weeks ago since I just did a ton of applesauce and my freezer is FULL. I had an EXTRA 100# of apples this year because the annual family apple pressing near Eugene got cancelled, so I’ve been busy. I don’t have the attachment, but I have a manual crank that does the same thing.

  8. How funny, we just canned a batch of applesauce this morning. I don’t have the Kitchenaid, so I just use a potato masher or my immersion blender. One tip I do have is to call your local orchard or farmer’s market and ask if they will sell you seconds (the ones that are a little too soft or might have a bruise or two) Seconds are perfect for canning and usually really cheap. I bought about 80 lbs of peaches to can this year for about $25.

  9. This is the way that we have canned tomatoes all of my life. We’ve maybe had one or two bad jars, but not that many. We have also never gotten sick. We also boil the lids in water in addition to putting the jars in the oven. Works great!

    • Oh dear!-you really should be more careful with tomatoes. They are very dangerous if you don’t have the acid/ph balances right. I wouldn’t skip the water bath with them! Follow modern canning guidelines. They are there for a reason!

  10. Hello, I was wondering if I make my applesauce in a slow cooker can I still follow the canning directions? I feel like it is a stupid question, but I had to ask. I actually really would like to give my applesauce to some people as a gift.

  11. Yummy… I made some this week and your tutorial was super helpful!

  12. Your blog looks great! I am excited to try your applesauce and apple butter with a water bath added, too. What does a bushel of apples weigh?

  13. Abigail Jones says:

    Why do you add lemon juice? Is it necessary?

    • I believe it adds acidity and preserves the color. You could certainly try it without. I always use it though, so I can’t say for sure what the difference is.

    • Meaghan Poole says:

      I believe it keeps the applesauce from turning a brownish color over time. We eat ours so fast that we don’t need to do this.

  14. What is the shelf life? I have a bunch of apples and mason jars but no desire to do the water bath to preserve.

    • Hi Amanda, As I mention in the post, I just turned the jars upside down to seal and didn’t do the water bath either. The shelf life is a year. Hope that helps! 🙂

  15. How long to do you need to put the jars in the oven for?

  16. Anja Skrba says:

    OMG it’s that time of the year!!! I just love Fall and all the fruits and vegetables that goes with that – I would literally jcan everything :))) Applesauce is on my list this weekend so keep your fingers crossed :/

    I’ll definitely try this technique! Thanks Beckie for sharing!


  17. Amy Popsicle says:

    Just made the applesauce with my 7 year old daughter. It was a great mother daughter activity and we plan on making more for Christmas gifts! Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. Happy New Year! I just made a small batch of applesauce today and used your method of turning the jars upside down. It worked beautifully. Every jar is sealed and lovely! Now I’m interested in the Kitchen Aid attachment as well. Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh, thank you for telling me, Joan. I am so glad it worked just as well for you as it does for me. I know the attachment isn’t cheap, but it’s worth the investment, at least for me. I am a total gadget girl! 🙂

  19. I’m having major applesauce cravings now. I haven’t made it since my kids were little. I live chunky sauce thigh and can’t remember how I even used to make it! I had no idea you couldn’t use the kids twice. I’m pretty sure I remember my mom re using them. What’s the rain you aren’t supposed to?

  20. Is there any safety concerns when boiling the seeds due to the cyanide in them? Would it leech into the applesauce?

  21. I was given an Amish pickle recipe this year. They do not put the pickles in a water bath, but instead put the jars(filled, with lids and bands) in a pan(like a shallow cake pan) in a 200 oven for 20 min. The lids seal but the pickles stay crisp. I wonder if this could take the place of a water bath in any canning? Seems like a water bath over-cooks things.


  1. […] three things, I still have to come up with some stuff to either make, freeze, or can. I will likely can some applesauce (there is an easy method here that even claims you don’t need to water bath them, but […]

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