does jam jar size matter?

thefishersApril 26, 2012

I'm planning on canning some jam as fruits come into season this year. We eat loads of jam.

All of the jam canning recipes always call for 8 oz jelly jars. Is it OK to use bigger jars - say 16 oz pint jars?

The canning recipes always warn not to changing anything for food safety reasons. I'm wondering if the time in the steam bath has to change depending on jar size?


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

if the time in the steam bath has to change depending on jar size?

Steam bath???

Most all NCHFP jam/jelly recipes are for either half-pints or pints and the BWB processing is the same.

As long as it is an acid fruit recipe rather than one of the low acid fruits then it will make little difference safety wise. Quality may suffer with some of the more complex recipes if you increase the jar size.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:47PM
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16 ounce of 1 pint canning jars use the same processing time for jams as do 8 ounce jars. I usually always use 16 ounce jars because of the increasing costs of lids (1/2 as many with double sized jars).
I process jams for 10 minutes to eliminate need to sterilize jars.
Now, this is the rule with jams because it is a high acid food and you are processing it to kill any molds that might develop. You are not at risk from the bad boys that you might find in a low acid food like green bean or corn.
So make jam in pint jars to your hearts delight without worry of any kind.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:48PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

When I'm not gifting them and am out of jelly jars, I will use my everyday wide mouth (16 oz) pints for jelly and jam....The finished product is fine and DH doesn't mind a bit what his jam is processed in or what kind of jar he is opening :)

As above, 10 minutes BWB so I don't have to sterilize jars.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

You can get softer jams in the pints.

Also, I hope you are not using a steam canner as they are deemed unsafe for canning of any foods.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 1:43PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

linda lou, i like the 12 oz. jars for jams. my ball book of home preserving calls for 8 oz. jars in all recipes . if i use 12 oz jars in a 10 minute BWB, will that be okay and also give a firm product ?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:14PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Not Linda_Lou, but yes, you can. The risk of textural change (i.e. softening) is more likely with a delicate jelly. I've never noticed any difference with other preserves.

I disagree on the use of a steam canner for high-acid sweet preserves as long as you are willing to accept the possibility of waste from mold. But it's not "unsafe" per se since mold is easily detectable. I'm only referring to this single category of foods, not other canned goods. Boiling water bath is still the optimal choice for long-term storage.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:32PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

carol, thanks for easing my mind...especially since i don't have many 8 oz. jars. but now i have to disagree about mold being easily detectable. everything is, when there's enough of it . ever look at mold or fungus under a microscope ? there's a lot more than meets the eye ! i'd rather trust a vacuum seal.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:40AM
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