Canning in Half Gallon Jars

Discussion in 'Recipe Share' started by kappydell, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. kappydell

    kappydell Well-Known Member

    it seems nobody except amish families and other large families can in half-gallon jars anymore. Even the jar companies will not give out recipes for anything other than apple or grape juice in half-gallon jars - they have not tested them.

    However, for the adventurous, as late as 1982 the Kerr Home Canning & Freezing Guide gave guidelines for using half gallon jars for canning. “Backwoods Home” magazine canner Jackie Clay confirms these times and adds in her articles that as long as the food is boiling hot when you put it in the jars, and you can it right away (packing hot into hot jars, and keeping it hot) you should get good results.
    Use the usual check for spoilage when opening: appearance, spurts and smell; then simmer 15 min to be sure.

    The guidelines say that you add:
    10 min to quart jar times for water bath canned acid foods
    5 min to quart jar times for pressure canned acid foods
    20% more time to quart jar times for non-acid pressure canned foods
    So I did the math and here are my calculations:
    (On this chart, BW means processed in boiling water bath, 10# means processed under 10 pounds of pressure)

    Apples BW 35 min
    Applesauce BW 35 min
    Apricots BW 40 min
    Asparagus 10# 40 min
    Beans, snap 10# 35 min
    Beans, lima 10# 60 min
    Beets 10# 48 min
    Berries, except strawberries BW 30 min
    Bruss. Sprouts 10# 40 min
    Broccoli 10# 48 min
    Cabbage 10# 40 min
    Carrots 10# 36 min
    Cauliflower 10# 48 min
    Cherries BW 35 min
    Corn, kernel 10# 102 min.
    Cranberries BW 25 min
    Currants BW 30 min
    Eggplant 10# 48 min
    Fruit, dried BW 25 min
    Figs BW 50 min
    Grapes BW 30 min
    Greens 10# 108 min
    Fruit Juice BW add 10 min to quart time
    Grapefruit BW 30 min
    Hominy 10# 96 min
    Nectarines BW 35 min
    Okra 10# 48 min
    Onions 10# 48 min
    Peas 10# 48 min

    Peaches BW 40 min
    Pears BW 40 min
    Peppers, sweet 5# 72 min
    Pickles BW add 10 min to quart time
    Pineapple BW 40 min
    Plums BW 30 min
    Potatoes 10# 48 min
    Pumpkin 10# 108 min
    Rhubarb BW 25 min
    Rutabagas 10# 36 min
    Soybeans 10# 96 min
    Strawberries BW 25 min
    Sweet potatoes, wet packed10# 168 min
    Squash, summer 10# 36 min
    Squash, winter 10# 108 min
    Tomatoes BW 55 min
    Tomato juice BW 25 min
    Tomatoes, stewed BW 65min

    Beef 10# 108 min
    Stew Chunks, any meat 10# 90 min
    Fish 10# 108 min
    Game 10# 108 min
    Ham 10# 108 min
    Lamb,veal 10# 108 min
    Pork 10# 108 min
    Poultry 10# 108 min
    Sausage 10# 108 mi
    Tenderloin 10# 108 min
    Venison 10# 108 min
    Bean soup 10# 72 min
    Bean & Bacon soup 10# 75 min
    Beans, baked 10# 75 min
    Chicken soup 10# 60 min
    Hamburger sauce 10# 108 min
    Italian meat sauce 10# 90 min
    Soup stock 10# 36 min
    Tomato sauce 10# 45 min
    Veg. Beef Stew 10# 90 min

    I DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM THIS POST. IT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY, AND YOU USE SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK, AS WITH ALL CANNING RECIPES. (So I don't want all the home canning folks screaming about the USDA guidelines, as I already know them quite well.)
  2. LilRedHen

    LilRedHen Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. I saw six half-gallon wide mouth jars yesterday at Ace Hardware for $10.99. Then I looked at the price of a dozen wide mouth flats and rings and they were $5.49. :eek: I would like to have them, but thought the price was ridiculous.

  3. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    I love my half gallons.. I do not can in them tho.. I use them for vacpacking dry goods that I use more often.. Like powdered sugar/brown sugar/honey/maple syrup and herbs.
    I also like them for sun tea for me just enuf for one day.
    I prefer wide mouth as they are much easier to clean but I have small mouth ones also..
    The $10.99 you found them at is a reasonable price as they are much more expensive around here.. more like$12.99 to $14 even for a six of the half gallons.
  4. timmie

    timmie timmie

    thanks for the info .i have added it my growing library.
  5. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    My Grandmother used half-gallon jars for canning but when you have a large family, you can for your family size.

    I'm like Emerald, I use them for dry goods or goat milk. They also come in handy for tea and other drinks around the holiday season.
  6. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

    I inherited my grandmothers (small mouth)half gallon jars, they were her, and now my, pickle jars. All I am able to do in them besides pickles is hot water baths, cant afford a canner tall enough to hold them. Its a bear packing those small mouths with cucumbers for dill pickles though.

    The local Gibsons carries just about all the canning supplies you could ever want, kinda pricey for the most part though. They do stock the half gallon wide mouths with lids and rings for $11.99 a six pack. I have a few dozen in addition to those I inherited, would not trade them in for just about anything.

    Thank you for the guides, will put it in my book in case I happen to find myself with a canner that will hold the jars.
  7. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

    That's an awesome price for half gal jars. They come with the lids and rings and then you can watch for sales on lids for when you need new ones. You save and reuse the rings.

    My grandmother canned meat in 1/2 gal jars. My mom said she had this large copper oval shaped kettle. She could remember how long she boiled it for; but said the meat was always delicious. My grand mother raised 17 children on the farm. Now I'm a great grandmother and just really canning 3 years ago. I saw one of those copper kettles on ebay and sure was tempted. I use my 1/2 gal jars for dry goods and sun pickles.
  8. timmie

    timmie timmie

    my great grandmother also did sun pickles. i haven't thought about them in a long time.would you mind sharing you recipe so i can make them and see if they are as good as i remember,please?
  9. kathyprepper

    kathyprepper Active Member

    Please don't consider canning meat or anything else low acid in anything but an approved pressure canner. There are reasons for most of the USDA's guidlines. It's not possible to check the internal temp of 1/2 gallon jars. I teach canning classes and have a web site where I talk about it a whole lot. One of my biggest hurdles is getting people to understand that just because your grandmother didn't die doesn't mean you won't.
  10. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

    Have you posted the web address for your site? Lately I have been spending less time reading posts and more time in the garden so I may have missed it if you have.

    I have been canning for a long time but am not old and cranky enough "yet" to close myself off to learning something new.
  11. kathyprepper

    kathyprepper Active Member

    The blog is and the website is We are still under construction but I hope to have the pressure canning videos up and running in another 2 weeks.
  12. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

    Sun pickles

    Here you go, I do add the pepper, garlic and dill.

    Sun pickles

    31/2 c white vinegar
    6 c water
    1/3 – ¼ c salt (canning)
    1 tap alum

    Mix and pour over pickles and put out in the sun for 3 days. Bring in and place in fridge for 1 week before eating.

    Dill and garlic optional and hot pepper
  13. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Are these whole or sliced or cubed/spears or what? Sounds intriguing. :)
  14. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    Hi Kathy! I was just reading your blog and put two and two together that you were from the Nat Geo show!!! (What can I say?? I am a little slow!! LOL!) I am so grateful you are on PS to share with us!! I loved your gardens!! I wish they had shown more of it on the show and I hope you share your garden wisdom with us here on PS! If I recall correctly you are further north than I am so your growing season would be shorter. I would love to know how much food you really do grow and what produce you find does best with a shorter growing season. I only have 1.65 acres and I want to really concentrate on making it actually produce enough food to feed my family of 8!
    I have probably 5 dozen half gallon jars that I use to can with. My goal is to someday have enough half gallon jars to be able can up 52 jars each of spaghetti sauce, apple juice, grape juice, apple sauce, pears, and peaches.
    Thank you for participating in the PS forum and sharing with us! I really do appreciate it!
  15. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

    I dont make "Sun Pickles' but I do make quite a few quarts of dills each year. I have seen other peoples pickle recipes and like this one, they all use about a 2 to 1, water to vinegar mix. I am just about the only person I know of that uses a 2 to 1 vinegar to water mix.

    I came up with it myself over the years and think it is pretty good, I guess I am in the minority.
  16. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    I use equal 1=1 vinegar water mix
  17. cybergranny

    cybergranny Well-Known Member

    I've done spears and whole.
  18. siletz

    siletz Member

    I bought 1/2 gallon jars for the first time last fall to can up our homemade apple juice because I thought it would be easier than so many quarts. However, they were too tall to process in my water bath canner, so I had to find a tall stock pot and it could only fit a few at a time. So, I would suggest if you're going to buy 1/2 gallon jars, make sure you also have a pot to can them in. :)
  19. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I am so gonna try these.. I'd bet they are as good as the Lacto-fermented ones.
  20. kathyprepper

    kathyprepper Active Member

    Hi Pam. What NatGeo got wrong (A Lot!) is that we believe it would be really hard to adequately feed a family on that much land. There is limited space to feed protein, rotate crops or grow grain. Here's what we grow. Almost all of our vegetables and a good deal of our fruit although we glean most of our apples )about 600 pounds) from abandoned ochards. We raise bees and we raise pigs, chickens and turkeys co-operatively. We belong to raw milk CSA and we buy local beef from another neighbor. We raise a lot of mushrooms and forage a lot more. We have two small greenhouses that keep us in greens in the winter although it's mighty slim pickings in January. We do grow a lot of squash and potatoes. We're tapping trees this week and will manage to put up about 2 gallons of syrup in a good year. So, long story short, we grow a lot and we can locally source a lot more. It takes a village to feed a child. I love being here. Lots of good folks and nobody has flamed me for being a Massachusetts liberal yet. Yeah!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012