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Old 06/23/09, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 58
canning tomatoes in 1/2 gallon jars

I am new to this forum so please forgive duplicity if this has previously been discussed.

I recently scored 1 dozen 1/2 gallon ball jars for $10 from a lady cleaning out an attic. They're in great shape.

I checked with my local Cooperative Extension office, and they said that canning tomatoes in 2-qt jars is unsafe and I should therefore use the jars for decorative purposes only.

I am certain there is info out there somewhere about processing times for 2 qt jars, as well as how much lemon juice I should add.

Can anyone help me?
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Old 06/23/09, 02:17 PM
AngieM2's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
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There is a Canning and Preserving forum down the Site a little bit that might help if the regular HT'ers don't come to the rescue.

They usually are in this forum also.

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Old 06/23/09, 02:25 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
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Welcome to HT!

This site answers you lemon juice question, but says to ONLY use small jars (1 Qt or less)

To acidify these tomatoes, add 1 tablespoon of bottledlemon juice or 1⁄4 teaspoon citric acid per pint of tomatoes. For quarts, use 2 tablespoons of bottled lemonjuice or 1⁄2 teaspoon citric acid

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Old 06/23/09, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ND close to the MonDak border
Posts: 453
I think it has to do with the fact that there are questions as to if the food in the middle of big jars are able to be processed long enough to be safe. There are good canning forums and groups along with the good cannning forum in this group.
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Old 06/23/09, 03:11 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154
Ladies canned tomatoes in half gallon jars when I was a pup. Tomatoes were more acid then then they are now. They didn't put anything in them to add acid then. They were cold packed. If you know a lady over 110 years old, she might be able to answer your questions. If you don't use them for tomatoes, they would be great for dill pickles. Half gallon jars also work well to freeze things that you want to protect from weavels or other little bugs. <>UNK
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Old 06/23/09, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
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They are currently approved for juices such as grape & apple if you'll be putting either up.
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Old 06/23/09, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The Little Chicken Ranch
Posts: 1,340
I got some 1/2 gallon jars that DH's grandma left in the barn. I am using them to put up dill pickles. I am going to make apple juice this fall, so I will try some for that also. Thanks for the input Stephen.
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Old 06/23/09, 04:16 PM
In Remembrance
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Location: South Central Kansas
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Welcome to the forums with your first post. I hope you will enjoy them all.

Windy in Kansas
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Old 06/23/09, 08:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,341
You're very welcome. FWIW, last winter when we were both sick at the same time I found out how quickly quarts of juice could disappear. This year I plan to utilize a great many more of my half gallons when I'm putting up juice.
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Old 06/24/09, 10:18 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: michigan
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I used to can tomatoes in 2 qt. jars. That was too long ago to remember much else but I didn't have any problems. They did sell the jars in the 70's. I have not seen any now days.
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Old 06/24/09, 05:09 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154
My wife bought a few half gallon jars last fall at an Amish store in northern Indiana. They were Ball jars that included the lids (rings and flats)
The jars were marked down both sides with Cup measurements. They were wide mouthed jars.
The jars are available if you can get past Walmart. Lehmans would have them, but their price would be prohibitive. <> UNK
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Old 06/24/09, 05:47 PM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 8,054
We dumped some tomatoes in gallon jars canned during WWII when grandma died back in 70s. They just didnt get used cause her kids had grown and just her and grandpa couldnt use that kind of quantity at one time. Still looked and smelled ok, but after decades gone by nobody was going to try them.
"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

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Old 06/25/09, 08:38 AM
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Location: Central WI
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We have put tomatoes up in 1/2 gallons the last two years without a problem.
Bought some last year at Fleet Farm 9 bucks a case.
Deja Moo; The feeling I've heard this bull before.
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Old 06/25/09, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northcentral Ohio
Posts: 655
Not recommending, but just passing on the article :-)

It's the second question, you have to scroll down a bit.

Good luck and welcome!
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Old 06/25/09, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 1,910
I use my half gallon and gallon jars to hold my dehydrated thing in them.
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Old 06/25/09, 10:56 AM
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Location: IA
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Ecugal, welcome to the forum. You'll love it here.

If you can find any LDS/Amish folks in the area, you could ask them this question.
A kind word, gesture or deed can mean more to someone than you may ever know. It may even change their life.
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Old 06/25/09, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 2,180
We can tomato juice in half gallon jars. We hot pack into hot sterile jars and then boiling water bath for 10 minutes. We have been doing this for 35+ years and haven't lost a jar to spoilage yet. We used to not boiling water bath them, but sometimes one would not seal so we figure the boiling water bath is cheap insurance. We often run a bushel or 2 of tomatoes through the juicer in the morning before work, leave 2 five gallon kettles simmer all day, and then can them when we get home. By the time they are canned they have cooked down to one 5 gallon kettle.
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Old 06/25/09, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: southwest mississippi
Posts: 428
We pick ripe tomatos and place in gallon freezer bags in the freezer, when we want to make anything chilli, spagetti ect. the calls for whole tomatoes we just pull out what we nedd run under some water and the skin peel sright off and dice the tomatoe up. we have been doing that you several years now - no one has died or got sick.
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Old 06/28/09, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Central Maine
Posts: 51
Was in an Aubuchon hardware store today in Belfast Maine and walked past cases of half gallon jars all shrinkwrapped new.
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Old 06/29/09, 06:50 AM
Wasza polska matka
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: zone 4b-5a
Posts: 6,912
My Complete Guide to home canning I and II by the Dept of agriculture have directions for juice, as another poster mentioned. We go thru so much juice, apple and grape, and these jars are difficult to find cheaply, that I am always looking for them. I currently have about 6 dozen, and I plan to fill them all.
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