Home canning is a great way to preserve food, along with being a fun and useful hobby. Besides, does anything taste better than homemade jam? Anyone who knows a thing or two about canning knows that the supplies you use are important and can make the process a breeze or a complicated and time-consuming event. The mason jar size that you use, in particular, is an essential detail that should not be overlooked when beginning your canning adventure.
Although this may seem like an irrelevant detail, having a container that's not quite right can put quite a wrench in your canning plans. If the mason jar is too small, you'll need to separate the batch into multiple jars, which can be annoying and inconvenient. An even worse problem is if you have too large of a jar for the amount of food you're storing. Too much headspace, which is the gap between the food and the lid, can keep extra air in the jar. This can cause the top of the food to become discolored and can even lead to food spoilage, which defeats the entire point of canning!
Along with the size of the jar as a whole, the size of the jar's mouth is important. Sometimes having a wide mouth jar is most convenient, and other times you'll want a regular mouth jar for the most effective canning. Here are 10 mason jar sizes that are ideal for home canning, whether you're preserving pie fillings, soups, or jams!
1. Regular Mouth 4 oz Jar
The 4 oz jelly jar is ideal for small amounts. While it may seem pointless to own such a small jar, this is perfect when you're saving a dip, salsa or sauce that you made too much of. It's also a good size if you've collected berries for a jam or jelly, and the picking was slim.
2. Regular Mouth Half Pint Jar
Another useful mason jar size, the 8 oz jar holds a standard amount of jam or jelly. This is about the size you'd find if you were to buy jam or jelly from the grocery store, so the 8 oz is perfect if that's what you have in mind! This is also good for conserves and preserves, along with fruit syrups, chutneys or sauce.
3. Regular Mouth 12 oz Jar
The 12 oz mason jar size is sort of an in-between when it comes to different sizes of jars, and it's a good option for large portions of jams and jelly. This is an excellent jam jar to can enough jam to last a few months, and it's also useful in crafting or gift giving. To get fancy, try a 12 oz quilted crystal jelly jar for a creative décor that's also perfect for canned goods!
4. Regular Mouth Pint Jar
A 16 oz pint jar is very useful for food storage, since this size will be able to fit many different foods. Some canners feel that the smaller sizes are hard to work with, so the pint jar is often the solution. This is a good preserving jar to store foods like corn, tomatoes, or green beans, and it's also excellent for salsa and sauces. You can find this online at amazon or at any store with a home and kitchen section.
5. Regular Mouth Quart Jar
The 32 oz canning jar is one of the best mason jar sizes for large amounts. Ideal for fruits and veggies, juice or sauce, this size is easy to work with and will allow for plenty of canned foods. The 32 oz quart is a good size if you don't want to use multiple jars or if you prefer to make big batches to last through the winter.
6. Wide Mouth 4 oz Jar
Similar to the regular mouth 4 oz jar, this mason jar size is a great way to store small quantities of food. Its wide mouth makes it easier to use, making it simple to pour liquid into or spoon food out of. These are a favorite of many canners who make their own baby food, since you only need small amounts of each kind!
7. Wide Mouth Half Pint Jar
Wide mouth mason jars are beloved by many home canners, who say that the mouth size is ideal for filling jars with minimal mess. You can fit larger foods in these glass jars, and you don't need to worry as much about spilling! The 8 oz half pint wide mouth jar is smaller than most wide mouth jars, and is best for jams, jellies or sauces.
8. Wide Mouth Pint Jar
The 16 oz pint sized wide mouth jar is a classic size, and its versatility and ease of use is well-known among canners. This mason jar is great to can larger foods, whole fruits or vegetables, along with large amounts of sauces or fruit butters. Fresh preserving is much easier when you can pour more of the food into the jar at once, which is why wide mouth jars are so wonderful.
9. Wide Mouth Quart Jar
The 32 oz wide mouth jar is one of the largest mason jar sizes, and it is often used to keep pickles, tomatoes, and whole fruits or veggies. Some of the most popular brands are kerr and ball mason jars, both of whom sell glass mason jars in many sizes.
10. Wide Mouth Half Gallon Jar
The 64 oz half gallon jar is the largest jar you'll find when buying canning supplies! This huge jar size is the way to go for big batches of canned goods. For those who make large quantities of juice or sauce, the half gallon jar is super useful. If you're making a food that needs to be spooned out of the jar, like pickles, a wide mouth half gallon jar is perfect.
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