Hi I am very new to canning. In fact my canner is in the box waiting for it's first use. Is there a minimum of jars that I can can (i.e. 1-2)?
Not every recipe will work out perfectly to making 7 jars (at least that's how many jars my canner fits.) In fact, I think its more the norm that they don't. So you absolutely can can as little as one jar.
Agree you can do a single jar. It just isn't an effective use of time, energy, water, etc. But we all have to do it now and then.
Thank you for the answers! I know it's very important to follow proven recipes exactly for safety. Is it okay half a recipe in quantity as long as you are using the same proportions?
You should be able to scale a recipe and dividing in half is probably the easiest. You may also want to look for some resources for small batch recipes. I've linked one I've used quite a bit. I think most of the recipes make about 4 jars. I have also seen some newer books -- I think one is called Preserving by the Pint. I haven't flipped seen more than the cover or used that one, but it might be worth checking out (look at reviews online too).
Another idea - if you aren't doing that many jars, you can use a smaller pot if you have one that will allow your jars to be covered by at least an inch of water plus have some room so the water won't spill over when it bubbles. If you use the shorter jars, that wouldn't have to be a very tall pot. A dutch oven or tall saucepan might do 2-4 jars more efficiently than a big canning pot.
A Dutch oven typically isn't tall enough for regular mouth half pints or pints, but if you use the widemouth jars you can use that as a BWB - if you have the food cooking/heating in another pan.
I flipped through Preserving by the Pint and can't comment on food safety though I think the author (Marissa from Food in Jars) is pretty careful. I just am not too interested in preserving such small quantities, if I want to try a recipe I'll just make a small amount and stick it in the fridge.
Some people use an asparagus steamer (tall small diameter pot) as a BWB - I think it might only fit a single jar though, since you're not supposed to stack jars directly on top of each other.
lascatx forgot the link - she may have been thinking of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp? Good book, not all the recipes are canning recipes but the ones that are call for BWB - no PCing required.