Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Canning 101 - Estimating - How Much Produce Do I Need

One of the challenges for me when canning is determining how much produce I need, or number of jars will I get from what I have on hand?  I don’t have a crystal ball, and since most of us did not grow up canning as a norm I need a reference point.  I found that point in an old canning book my Mom recently gave me.  Ball Blue Book The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing, dated 1983.  I bought the newly released version of another, and I find it more difficult to use than the old standard she gave me.  
Now, how to estimate the number of jars needed.  It would really stink to have all the produce on hand, and not have enough jars or lids, so planning is essential as far as I’m concerned.  I guess there’s always the freezer or dehydrator as back up, but I like to be prepared and know what I’m getting myself into. 
Here’s a rough list of produce, and the average weight needed for a 1 quart jar.  Please note, it will depend on how you pack the jars.  Is the product sliced, chopped, left in half, etc.?  But this should give you a great idea of what you’ll need to plan for.

Produce                                                               Pounds needed per 1 quart jar

Apples, Apricots, Tomatoes                                                   2.5 to 3

Applesauce                                                                                2.5 to 3.5

Berries                                                                                         1.5 to 3

Cherries (unpitted)                                                                    2 to 2.5

Peaches, Pears                                                                             2 to 3

Plums                                                                                             1.5 to 2.5

Tomatoes for juice                                                                        3 to 3.5


Green Beans                                                                                  1.5 to 2.5

Beets                                                                                                2 to 3.5

Carrots, Sweet Potatoes                                                               2 to 3

Corn (measured weight includes husks), peas                          3 to 6

Squash                                                                                              2 to 4

We’re getting ready to start our fall garden.  We were a bit delayed due to an issue at The Compound a couple of weeks ago, but hope to get the seedlings started this week, so I can do some more canning.


  1. I've never planted a fall garden but am thinking about it this year. Would love to know what you are planting.

    1. I hope to get the seedlings in this weekend, and I'm sure I'll post about what I plant. Now's a good time to get in the cabbage, broccoli,and lettuce does really well during the fall. It's a bit hot right now for planting in the straight garden, but if you have a shady spot, you can get some of it started.

    2. Thanks Izzy,

      In addition, I was also thinking about brussel sprouts and cauliflower too.

    3. Yep, anything in that same category of food will do well. I also had success with carrots. I didn't have enough time for the tomatoes last year, since we had a cold snap in November. But I'm going to try again.


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