What to do with last jar when it is only half full?

gsevensAugust 23, 2009

When making pickles, relish, or anything I guess, what do you do with the last jar you are canning? What if you do not have enough to fill jar? Say you are doing pickles and you can only fill jar halfway, but you have enough brine to fill. Do you fill to 1/2" from top with brine, or is this a jar that always goes to the fridge?

I'm new to canning. I've done one batch of Linda Lou's Famous Sweet Chunks, and a sweet relish. The sweet relish was supposed to make 3 pints. If I divided into 3 pints, each was only 2/3 full. I had enough brine to fill 3 but didn't know what would happen so I made in into 2 pints instead.



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

For me it all depends on what the food is.

Say you are doing pickles and you can only fill jar halfway, but you have enough brine to fill.

Yeah in that case I'd fill the jar and process it with the rest. Pickles need time to turn into pickles. You could just put it in the fridge but since you have the brine - make pickles with it.

We did B&B pickles today and had left overs - too much for a pint but not enough for a quart. So we put them in a quart and filled it with brine and processed them all. It looks funny - 1/2 quart of pickles floating in all that brine but at least I know they are safe and can be stored. ;)

On the sweet relish - either approach is ok as long as making only 2 pints didn't overfill the jars. I would have done 2 jars to the normal fill line and, like the pickles, filled the 3rd jar with the leftovers and extra brine and processed it too. You can always drain it some when open.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:24PM
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I usually put it in the fridge and use it first.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:52PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I always prepare a smaller jar.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 11:48PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I put whatever is left in a small jar if possible and process like the rest. Once cooled I place it in the fridge and enjoy it a few days later. Then I can tell how well the rest of the batch is going to be like.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 1:10AM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Either store the partial jar in the fridge and eat or, depending upon the type of food, you can freeze that partial jar.
I keep all sizes of jars and use a small one, sometimes the little 4 ounce ones. You use the same processing time for the small ones. Using a small jar works well, if you don't want to eat right away.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:17AM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Depends on what it is I am canning. Jams and jellies I always have 2 or 3 4oz jars that I process to test in a few days. Pickles I either put in a jar in the frig or process with more brine to the proper headspace. Bread and butter pickles extra I pulse in the food processor and make relish for tuna or chicken salads.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:40AM
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For me, it also depends on what I'm canning. Jam or jelly I figure the last bit is the "cook's bonus", that goes in the refrigerator and I get to eat it. Pickles I'd just fill the jar with brine and process a whole jar but relish I'd probably go with a smaller jar.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:24AM
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Thank you everyone. So many options. I like the idea of using a smaller jar to end the batch. I may use smaller jars for relish anyway. Looks like it's another trip to Walmart for more jars.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 12:09PM
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