There are a few different styles of canning jars to choose from, but how can you tell what jars will work best for your canning needs? Let us help you choose the right jar size for all your preserving projects.
The two basic types of canning jars are regular and wide mouth. Each type comes in several different sizes that are best suited for certain kinds of canned goods. Your recipe will tell you exactly what size jars you should use.
Regular mouth jars work best for foods that need to be poured into the glass. Jams, jellies, salsas, sauces, pie fillings, etc are all ideal for regular mouth jars:
- 4 oz Jelly Jars – Best for jams, jellies, mustards, dipping sauces and small portion sizes
- 8 oz Jelly Jars – Best for jams, jellies, conserves and preserves
- 12 oz Jelly Jars – Best for large portions of jams, jellies and marmalades
- Half Pint Jars – Best for fruit syrups, chutneys, pizza sauce
- 16 oz Pint Jars – Salsa, sauces, relishes and pie fillings
- 32 oz Quart Jars – Ideal for sliced fruits and vegetables, pickles, tomato based juices and sauces
These jars are the standard in home canning. They are commonly used for crafts or gift giving as well. Lids for these types of jars can be found almost anywhere so it’s easy to replace lost pieces. The quilted crystal jelly jars are great small jars to give away your preserves in. However, some home canners feel these jars are too small and difficult to work with when canning large amounts.
Wide mouth jars work best with larger foods, whole fruits or vegetables and whenever you need a larger mouth for filling:
- 16 oz Pint Jars – Salsas, sauces relishes and fruit butters
- 32 oz Quart Jars – Pickles, tomatoes and whole or halved fruits and veggies
- 64 oz Half Gallon Jars: Juices
Many canning enthusiasts say that wide mouth jars are easier to use and to clean. They are great for goods that need to be spooned out of the jar, like pickles. However, the lids and bands are also a bit more expensive than the regular mouth jars.