Making/canning preserves
August 10, 2007 6:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm making raspberry preserves. I want to use half-pint jars instead of the pint jars the recipe specifies. However, I'm a little paranoid.

I'm an experienced home cook, so I frequently modify/ignore recipes. But it's different when I'm doing home-canning. I scrupulously follow the recipe because there are food safety issues at play.

This is the second summer now that I've done a lot of canning/preserving, using the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. One of the frustrating things is that, for example, on Page 32, it gives a recipe for berry jam and says it makes "3 pints." My question: I can use half-pint jars and process them for the same amount of time, right? Because a full pint of raspberry preserves is rather a lot.

I cannot see how harm would come from using a smaller jar and processing it for the same time as you would process the larger jar (setting aside possible taste issues and focusing only on safety). But I would be comforted to hear from others on their experience here.
posted by veggieboy to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Yes. Process in the same way for the same amount of time.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:56 AM on August 10, 2007


It's not a problem. A half-pint is a cup, right? It's a 250 ml jar? It should not be an issue. 10 minutes of boiling (at sea level) is sufficient. 3 pints would be 6 (half-pint) jars which is a typical recipe size.

Yeah, a pint jar is really only good for things like canned peach slices, IMO. It's too much jam.
posted by GuyZero at 7:03 AM on August 10, 2007


I agree with your reasoning it's safer to use a smaller container. Also, there should be a table that shows you how much less time you can use for your elevation. Otherwise, the full time isn't going to hurt anything.
posted by Listener at 7:11 AM on August 10, 2007


Arg, sorry. I meant just as safe to use a smaller container.
posted by Listener at 7:12 AM on August 10, 2007


No problem whatsoever. Good on you for not wanting botulism.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:23 AM on August 10, 2007


I do this all of the time with my preserves. If anything, decreasing the jar size decreases the processing time in the water bath. I usually process for the same amount of time as the larger jar just to be sure.

The folks on this forum are a great resource for this type of information. I've gotten great advice there.
posted by Flakypastry at 7:28 AM on August 10, 2007


No problem. (And the issue, if there were one, would be jam that doesn't set. Jam is not a good host for botulism.)
posted by ottereroticist at 8:04 AM on August 10, 2007


Thank you all for the quick answers. The half-pints are boilng away as I write this.
posted by veggieboy at 8:35 AM on August 10, 2007


Does this mean we all get a jar? :D
posted by Thorzdad at 8:42 AM on August 10, 2007


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