Thursday, February 3, 2022

Canning Jar Sizes

Canning Jars Sizes and Their Common Usages

Mason jars have many uses, but the glass in them is particularly molded for use in home canning to preserve food. The mouths of Mason jars have threads on their outer perimeter so they can accept a metal ring when it is screwed down onto them.

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There are six common canning jar sizes. In addition there are slight differences in the shapes of the jar. The recipe you intend to make and pressure can will determine the size and type of jar that is recommended.

Mouth Shapes

There are two types of mouth shapes on Mason jars; wide mouth and regular mouth. The diameter of the jar opening determines the mouth size. There are wide mouth and regular mouth available for each jar size, except jelly jars which all have a regular mouth.

Wide Mouth jars work best with whole fruits and vegetables or when you need a large mouth for filling.

Regular mouth jars have a narrower mouth and usually have shoulders. They are better suited for things you want to pour out, like soup or chili, jams, jellies, salsas, sauces. etc.   The shoulders can help to push foods down under the canning liquids. 

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Jar Sizes and Common Uses 

Regular Mouth Jar Sizes That Are Freezer Safe

Jelly Jars (4 oz) Jams, jellies, mustards, ketchups, dipping sauces,  flavored vinegars, small portion sizes

Jelly Jars (8 oz) Jams, jellies, conserves and preserves

Jelly Jars (12 oz) Jams, jellies, conserves and marmalades

Half Pint (8 oz) Fruit syrups, chutneys, and pizza sauces

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Regular Mouth Jar Sizes that ARE NOT Freezer Safe

Pint (16 oz) Salsa, sauces, relishes and pie fillings

Quart (32 oz) Sliced fruits and vegetables, pickles, tomato-based juices and sauces

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Wide Mouth Jar Sizes that ARE Freezer Safe

Pint (16 oz) Salsas, sauces, relishes and fruit butters

Pint & Half (24 oz) Asparagus, pickles, sauces, soups, stews

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Wide Mouth Jar Sizes that ARE NOT Freezer Safe

Quart (32 0z) Pickles, tomatoes, and whole or halved fruits and vegetables

Half Gallon (64 oz) Apple and grape juices

Wide-Mouth Half-Gallon Jar 

The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends using half-gallon jars only for canning apple juice and grape juice. Due to the large size, these jars are hard to heat all the way through and it’s impossible to ensure that the food in the center of the jar has been heated and cooked properly.

Reused Commercial Jars

A bit about using commercial jars as canning jars.

Although the idea of reusing commercial tomato sauce jars as canning jars may be tempting and seem economical, they are not appropriate for canning homemade goods. These jars have a greater possibility of sealing problems and breaking. They also have smaller necks, which makes them hard to fill. These jars are perfect for storing dry goods such as rice, flour or pasta but never use them for canning.

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Whether you can your home grown food or take advantage of store sales, canning food is one of the most satisfying things you can do to bring you another step closer to sustainability. 


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