bcskye

Preserves In Pints

bcskye
25 days ago

Usually they say how many half pints a recipe will result in. I want pints. At the National Center for Home Food Preservation, they mention pint as well as half pints, but on the Strawberry Preserve recipe, the tell how many half pints the recipe will make. I got strawberries at Aldis today for .99 a lb. I'd really like to do pints, can I? Actually, I make all my preserves and would prefer to do them in pints. Possible?

Madonna

Comments (20)

  • annie1992
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Welcome back, Luski! Digdirt has recently stopped posting, Linda Lou and Readinglady have been gone for quite some time. KatieC does pop back in occasionally, thank goodness.

    Lots of knowledge and expertise mixed with common sense and they are sorely missed.

    I do want to add that I agree with randaloulton on a couple of things. The NCHFP most certainly IS the gold standard for home canners, and I also agree that many recipes just found out there on the internet or handed down from Grandma are not safe. However, nothing he has posted/copied/pasted addresses the SAFETY of canning strawberry jam in pints. I have acknowledged that the quality of the product may be compromised, i.e. the jam may not set. However, that's a quality issue, not a safety issue. Strawberries have a pH of between 3 and 3.9. All sources, including the NIH state: "It is generally accepted that in Clostridium botulinum both growth and toxin formation are completely inhibited at pH values below 4.6." Strawberries fall well below that pH value.

    So, he is right in part, you should follow the accepted rules which were arrived at by diligent testing and scientific data. This instance just doesn't happen to be relevant.

    Annie

    bcskye thanked annie1992
    Featured Answer
  • morz8
    25 days ago

    Madonna, don't know of a good reason you can't use your pints for preserves. I do without problem. I make raspberry every year for my BIL and always use the bigger jars.

    I know canning rules state you can always go smaller but should not can in larger than the recipe states, but as far as I know, that doesn't apply to jams, jellies, preserves. Please just don't put up tuna in quarts ;0)

    bcskye thanked morz8
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  • bcskye
    Original Author
    23 days ago

    Thanks, morz8. I've got strawberries and rhubarb to do up and am going to use the pints, I have tons of them. Tuna in quarts? No, you don't have to answer, I promise I won't.

    Madonna

  • annie1992
    23 days ago

    Madonna, there is no reason you cannot can your jam in pints, I do it all the time.

    Annie

  • randaloulton
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    You can use smaller jars than a tested recipe calls for, but not larger.


    The reason is that larger jars usually requires a longer processing time for proper heat penetration to the food in the centre of the jar, and thus would require a longer tested and verified processing time to ensure quality and food safety.


    "You may always use a smaller sized jar, but it is not recommended to use a larger jar." [ref] Treiber, Lisa. Jam and jelly season is here! Blog posting 1 July 2016. Michigan State University Extension. Accessed July 2016. [/ref]


    There are no exceptions for jellies, jams or any kind of home canning.


    If you really want to can something in pints, then look for a tested recipe from a reputable source that provides validated processing times for pints.


    For more information see here: https://www.healthycanning.com/jar-sizes/

  • annie1992
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    When making jam, putting it into a larger jar may cause an issue with the jam setting properly, but it does not make it unsafe. Even the link from MSU says

    "If jellied products are put into larger jars, you may end up with a product that does not set up."

    Jams and jellies are safe enough that they are even allowed for sale to others via Michigan's Cottage Food Law. Fruits are highly acidic and jams and jellies are usually fruit and sugar. I did speak with Elizabeth Andress of the National Center for Home Food Preservation at a training I attended a couple of years ago. She explained that variables will affect the "set" of jam and jelly, which is why recipes sometimes won't gel if you double them, but they are fine if you make two single batches. Here is a link from the National Center for Home Food Preservation regarding jams and jellies.

    https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/2019_ProcessingJJ.pdf

    It states that jams and jellies are "typically" processed for 5 minutes in a sterilized jar and 10 minutes for a clean jar. That's not enough time to worry about heat penetration, it's simply for sealing purposes.

    It's not even dangerous to seal jam or jelly with paraffin and not use a water bath at all, although it is "not recommended" because of the chance for mold growth. Of course, if you have moldy jam, you should throw it away.

    Even the USDA says that water bath processing is recommended to avoid spoilage and loss of product because of the cost of the ingredients, not because it's unsafe:

    The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Cooperative Extension recommend a boiling water canning process for jams and jellies which will make the
    potential for mold spoilage as small as possible. The cost of ingredients is high enough to make any preventable loss unacceptable."

    And so, I stand by my original assessment, that it is perfectly safe to can jam in pint jars. I will add a caveat that this opinion only extends to fruit and fruit spreads, other products which contain low acid vegetables have different rules.

    That said, strawberry jam or preserves can be notoriously difficult to get a nice set with, so I wouldn't fiddle with the recipe much, I've made several nice batches of strawberry syrup which were supposed to be jam. It's still nice on pancakes and ice cream, but not what I was shooting for.

    Annie

  • randaloulton
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I just checked with the National Center, and heard back from them. They do not support the blanket extension of USDA or National Center recipes for jams in half-pints to pints. There are a few specific cases where pint jar sizes are supported and indicated, but that is because testing of the processing time was explicitly done. Such as:

    https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/peach_pineapple_spread.html 

    https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/blueberry_spice_jam.html

    They emphasized to me that "boiling water processes for jars larger than those published with recipes cannot be extended by any formula to a larger jar." There is no exception for jams, and nothing they have written should be interpreted as such.

  • annie1992
    13 days ago

    That's true, but when I was certified as a Master Canner I was told that it was not a safety issue, it was a "quality" issue, which is often the case, but that is never pointed out. In addition, many things are not tested, as money and time are extremely limited. As recipes for jam are scaled up, they tend not to set up firmly, or at all and even something as simple as a change in the size of container can impact that.

    As I said, it's even safe to not water bath at all, and to use paraffin for sealing, but it's "not recommended" because of the greater rate of spoilage. Plus it's messy, so I don't do it and even my Grandma gave up the practice when I was a teenager, at least 50 years ago. Many jams are only in the BWB for 5 minutes, which is certainly not enough time to heat through consistently.

    So, do as you wish. (shrug) Jam will not kill you and unless you are eating moldy/spoiled jam the chances of even getting ill are miniscule. Choose the amount of risk you are willing to take, and that will be your personal choice, but make that choice informed. I'd spend a lot more time worrying about pickles and salsa.

    Since many of our experts have left this forum, they do need a new expert. I'll leave you to it.

    Annie

  • randaloulton
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    In my view, not all opinions are equal: sometimes some opinions are just plain worth more than others, particularly when it's an informed opinion coming from an industry-certified professional with 40 years of experience, degrees and certifications from working in the field. So for that reason, I absolutely go with the advice I get from the National Center -- and that includes on jam. They're legally liable for the advice they give, so it can't just be the kind of casual opinion you'll get from someone in a discussion forum or in a supermarket lineup. (BTW, there was a botulism outbreak from jam in Vancouver, BC, just a few years ago.)


    When there is so much information on the Internet, especially in home canning, it's important to be clear what are authoritative, reputable sources of information -- and no, our "opinions" just are not as good as them. It is important that we fight misinformation to promote research-based knowledge.

  • annie1992
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    That's true, but it wasn't strawberry or any high acid fruit, it was watermelon which is a low acid ingredient, as is mango, and apparently the makers did not know that and failed to add additional acidification. That can also happen with pepper jelly or herb jelly. Even today's tomatoes may not be sufficiently acidic without additional acidifiers. However, strawberries are acidic enough that botulism cannot survive in properly prepared strawberry jam, although it is notoriously fickle and can refuse to set no matter the container.

    As for the "rules", the government must attempt to mitigate all risks, no matter how minute. They are guidelines, though, not rules, and everyone should make their own decision as to the level of risk they wish to take. Conjectures about dying from strawberry jam in pint jars, though, is a step too far for me. You, of course, may do as you please. And, of course, as always, other countries have different guidelines than we do here in America, where we tend to be either more careful or over cautious, your choice. It's one of the reasons I didn't keep up my Master Canner designation, because I could not tell anyone, ever, that "not recommended" didn't always mean unsafe, sometimes it just mean that quality was compromised.

    I will also point out that there are far more cases of food poisoning from commercially prepared items than from home preserved foods. From the e coli in the beef to the salmonella in the chicken and the cyclospora in the lettuce mix, foods are contaminated. There were cases of botulism from bottled carrot juice and from baked potatoes in a restaurant, wrapped in foil and left on the counter to be reheated.

    My goal is, and always has been, to introduce more people to the joy of home canning without making it so scary or so involved that people will not want to do it. So, don't waterbath can your corn. Always use a pressure canner for meat/poultry/fish/low acid vegetables. Make sure your acidity level is sufficient in pickles and salsa, especially since they are consumed unheated. Never can salsa in quarts because no testing has been done regarding that. If you are not an experienced and educated canner, don't assume, contact your extension service for advice. Never think that just because you found it on the internet it's safe, because it is probably not, there's some seriously scary stuff out there. But don't be so locked into the possible risks that you won't attempt it at all because it's really not that dangerous.

    I am also acutely aware of the possibility of food poisoning other than botulism as several of my family members ended up in the emergency room after eating Aunt LulaBelle's (poorly) pickled mushrooms several years ago. Nothing puts a damper on a family party like Aunt Esther throwing up in the bushes. So, yes, I have personal experience enough to be ultra careful, I'm not nonchalant about the risks.

    And now I'm done. I've been on this forum for over 20 years and have updated and updated, and will continue to update my procedures when it is warranted. I've made friends and learned a lot. It's not fun here any more, though, and so I quit this conversation.

    Annie

    bcskye thanked annie1992
  • beesneeds
    13 days ago

    I'm not sure if one case of botulism counts as an outbreak. But yes, back in 2011 there was a single case of botulism that lead to a recall of 120ml jars of watermelon jelly.

    Melons, even just fresh cut, can have a risk of carrying botulism. Melons also tend to be on the lower end of the acid spectrum. So it was more likely the watermelon that was the tainted fruit, not the processing time for jar size that was the problem.


    That said... there have for sure been members around here- and yes, with certs and decades of experience such- that have done jelly/jam by the pint. Most conversations lend to the problems of quality like setting properly rather than safety issues like botulism. It's usually wiser to err on the side of the most current tested safe recipes, but some people do safely bump up the jar size, and have for years.

  • bcskye
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Annie, I now remember that when I was taking classes to become a Certified Food Preserver, it was mentioned about the setting up success in approved preserve recipes if using a pint instead of a half pint jar. I did do the pints for an approved strawberry recipe and got the right results. Getting ready to do another batch as soon as I finish starting my fruit liqueurs.

    Madonna

  • bcskye
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Annie, I'm sorry because I started this and I know you are an expert. This is how we have lost so many great experts. New people hound them and don't listen, then when the experts do leave the hounders do as well. That leaves the rest of us missing out. See you in another forum.

    Madonna

  • annie1992
    12 days ago

    Madonna, as I stated on the other thread, this was not your fault. I'm not an expert in the same realm as Digdirt or LindaLou or Readinglady, but I'm not a complete idiot either, and I've managed to gain education and expertise over the years, both when I owned the Bar and Grille and took the Food Safety courses required by the public health inspectors and when I took the canning certification courses through the extension service.

    I didn't mean that I was leaving the forum entirely, only that I was done with this particular thread.

    And I stand by my original assessment, you will not die from botulism if eating strawberry jam canned in a pint jar!

    Annie

    bcskye thanked annie1992
  • randaloulton
    12 days ago

    "The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not support the blanket extension of USDA or USDA or National Center recipes that were developed exclusively for jams in half-pints (250 ml) to pint jars. And there is no tested, supported number for jam jar processing regardless of jam type such as 5 minutes for half-pints / 10 minutes for pints, even if you see one going around. [1]


    There are a few recipes where a choice of either half-pint or pint size jars is given and supported, but that is because testing of the processing time for each size was explicitly done. Two examples are Peach Pineapple Spread and Blueberry Spice Jam.


    Boiling water canner processes for jars larger than those indicated with recipes cannot be extended by any formula or assumption to a larger jar. There is no exception for jams, and nothing the National Center has written should be interpreted as such.


    If you want to make a certain type of jam — say, blueberry — and the recipe you are looking at doesn’t give pint (500 ml) jars as an option, then look for a tested recipe that does"


    https://www.healthycanning.com/canning-jam-in-pint-jars/

  • randaloulton
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    The National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) is a publicly-funded center for research and education on home food preservation.


    It has at least two roles:

    • conduct and coordinate research to further develop knowledge in the field;
    • knowledge transfer through outreach to both educators and end-users.

    It is housed in offices provided by the University of Georgia.


    If you are looking for their web site, it is here.


    The center helps develop and disseminate current science-based advice on topics including canning, freezing, drying, curing & smoking, and fermenting.


    The advice and guidance of the NCHFP is considered the gold-standard in home canning in the world today.


    Read more: https://www.healthycanning.com/national-center-home-food-preservation/

  • randaloulton
    12 days ago

    How to learn how to recognize reputable, trusted sources of information for home canning advice:


    https://www.healthycanning.com/reputable-sources-for-home-canning-information

  • bcskye
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Randaloulton, no one is responding to your last three comments, so please desist.

    Madonna

  • randaloulton
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    I am very happy to point people to safe, reputable sources of information for home canning and I will never desist. I will not let the people spreading misinformation on the Internet prevail. For future people looking for home canning information: please do NOT rely on any information you get from Houzz. There used to be reliable people keeping things on an even keel but they have gone, sadly.

  • luski
    11 days ago

    Annie, it's been a long time since I've visited on this forum - so many changes and difficult to navigate. I'm so glad that you are still posting here. Some of my favorite recipes are from you! Who are the experts no longer here?

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