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Substituting Jar Size

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Choosing the right jar for the job. If you don’t know your canning jars then choosing the right jar size can be tricky, especially if you’re new to canning. There are wide-mouth and regular-mouth jars and then there are also many different sizes that can confuse things even more! Today we are teaching you what you need to know when substituting jar size.

Jar Sizes

Quarter Pint jar – 4 oz – 1/2 cup This sweet little jar has a regular mouth and holds 4 ounces. It’s perfect to use for jellies, jams, customized condiments, jazzed-up butters, dipping sauces, and infused vinegars.

Half pint Jar – 8 oz – 1 cup The half-pint, regular mouth, jar holds 8 ounces. Of late, we love using half-pint jars for jams, jellies, marmalades, fruit syrups, chutneys, and pizza sauce.

Three Quarter Pint Jar – 12 oz – 1 1/4 cup Another version of a jelly jar. This one is three-quarter pint and holds 12 ounces. This canning cookbook does not include recipes canned in three-quarter pints.

Pint Jar – 16 oz – 2 cups Pint jars are one of the two most popular sizes of jars and come in both regular and wide-mouth sizes. Pint jars hold 16 ounces or 2 cups of canned goods.

Quart Jar – 32 oz – 4 cups Quart jars are the other of the two most popular sizes and come in both regular and wide-mouth sizes. Quart jars pack in 32 ounces or 4 cups of canned goods.

Half Gallon – 64 oz – 8 cups Historically, half-gallon jars came in both regular and wide mouth sizes. Currently, wide-mouth jars are more common. Half gallon jars hold 64 ounces or 8 cups of canned goods.

Gallon – 128 oz – 16 cups Gallon jars are perfect for when you need a lot of something. The gallon jars come in wide mouth and hold 128 ounces or 16 cups of canned goods. Gallon jars are especially useful when pickling or fermenting. The gallon jar is also a great size for bulk dry goods storage.

Substituting Jar Sizes In Canning Recipes:

Substituting Jar Sizes Each of our recipes indicates the jar size that we used during our tutorials. The canning processing time stipulated in the recipe is for the jar size we used.

There are times, however, when you may want to can the recipe in a different-sized jar. For instance, you want to can in a quart, or even a half-pint, instead of using a pint as we did. What do you do in those instances? Simple, you increase or decrease your canning processing time by 5 minutes for each jar size, without dropping below a 10-minute canning processing time. Remember to adjust the processing time based on your elevation.


The recipe calls for canning in pints at a processing time of 15 minutes. You want to use half-pints instead. In this instance, you would decrease your processing time to 10 minutes. If, however, you wanted to can in quarts you would increase your processing time to 20 minutes.

If you decrease your canning processing time to below 10 minutes at sea level, then you would need to sterilize your canning jars. We prefer to maintain a 10-minute canning processing time to omit the jar sterilization step. See subsequent sections related to Altitude Adjustments and Sterilization of Canning Jars.

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