Recommended Containers for Home Use

Recommended Glass Jars for Home Use

Common Name Capacity
Fluid Ounces Milliliters
1/2 Pint 8 236
Pint 16 473
Quart 32 946

Recommended Cans for Home Use

Common Name Size Capacity
Fluid Ounces Milliliters
1/2 pint (1 lb), tapered 307 x 200.25 8 oz 228 ml
Pint, tall salmon, tapered 301 x 408 16 oz 500 ml
No. 1 211 x 400 11 oz, (1 cup) 310 ml
No. 2 307 x 409 20 oz, (2 cup) 600 ml
No. 2, 30 oz 401 x 411 18 oz, (3 cup) 850 ml
No. 3, quart 404 x 414 33 oz, (4 cup) 1000 ml

Containers larger than quart glass jars or No. 3 cans are not recommended for home use because of difficulty of thorough heat processing. As a result some parts of the food might not be sufficiently heated and may not kill bacterial spores.

However, larger cans can be used for packing dry foods (peas, beans, coffee beans) that don't have to be sterilized. Commercial producers can afford to use containers of any size or shape as the recipes they use are drawn by professionally trained individuals. In addition, those plants work under the direct supervision of Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors and every recipe is thoroughly checked for safety. A home canner should follow USDA guidelines for canning food in round cans or glass jars.

There is very little information on processing times for metal cans as the USDA has stopped providing this information. University of Alaska in Fairbanks has a very comprehensive program in canning meats and fish, both in glass and metal containers. Pint and 1/2 pint cans are used as containers of choice.

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