The Ball / Bernardin Complete book has tested recipes for canning three different tomato products in large 1.5 litre / quart jars.
The jars can really deal with a bumper crop of tomatoes like nobody’s business.
In an era of small urban households where people want smaller-batch canning recipes, knowing about such a canning recommendation is of course of intellectual interest only. But this large jar size for tomato products is still very much popular in farming communities such as those run by the Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites in Canada, where even just a quick weekday lunch can involve feeding a dozen farm-hands or more, and Sunday after-church meals are a “all-hands-on-deck” affair.
And there is a certain economy to using larger jars wherever safely possible, as it means fewer of the one-time-use metal lids are required.
Source of this procedure
This recommendation comes from the Ball / Bernardin Complete book, which is well-trusted by all old-hand canners. The editorial team meets if not exceeds all USDA standards and in many instances (such as requiring acidification of applesauce) can be stricter than the USDA.
The book says,
These jars may be used to process tomatoes in a boiling-water canner, but only in those recipes for which a specific time is stated for this size of jar. 1.5 L jars are not recommended for processing tomatoes or any food in a pressure canner, as suitable heat processing studies to determine safe processing times have not been established.” Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 363.
To be clear, the USDA and NCHFP do not have access to the lab data from the testing on this size of jars, only Ball / Bernardin labs do, so you need to approach them with any questions, not the NCHFP.
The recipes are designed for 1.5 litre /quart jars with two-piece lid systems. They are not to be applied to larger jars, including the two-quart/half-gallon jars.
Where to get these jars
The Ball / Bernardin Complete says, “1.5 L jars are available only in Canada.” Ibid, page 363. That may have been true when the line was originally written (it has been carried forward in subsequent revisions) but it isn’t true now.
Quattro Stagioni makes wide-mouth 1.5 litre / quart jars. They are sold with one-piece lids; you need to replace those with two-piece wide-mouth lids (or wide-mouth Tattlers) for safe home canning purposes.
We used the 1.5 litre / quart Mason-style jars from Le Parfait, in their “Familia Wiss” line of jars that come with two-piece lids. The jars are solid, high-quality glass as would be expected from the Le Parfait name.
Both brands of jars are available throughout North America and Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. These jars will be very heavy when full.
Store on very sturdy shelves. Many of them on one shelf can buckle the flimsy metal or plastic shelving from hardware chains that is popular these days.
1.5 litre (quart) jar tomato recipes