Question About Canning

Joined Dec 30, 2009
My grandfather and his sister cans most of the food they buy, recently they came up with a question that they weren't so sure about, so they were wondering if I may be able to find the answer on the internet, so I came here.

Here's the question:
If they buy large volumes of items i.e like a gallon of sauce, can they recan that item?
Joined Feb 24, 2009
On the website National Center for Home Food Preservation | Canning FAQs the following can be found...

Is it safe to jar already canned food?
Often people think that they can save money by buying larger containers of canned food, transferring the contents (or leftovers from the first use) to smaller jars and re-processing it. Others wonder if this is a way to save leftovers from any size can for a longer time than they will keep in the refrigerator.

There are several problems with these practices:
(1) We have no safe tested processes to do this. In some cases, the way the heat is distributed throughout the jar during canning will be very different if you start with already canned/cooked food than with fresh. Excessively softened foods will pack more tightly into a jar, or arrange themselves differently and the process time recommended for fresh foods will not be enough for the already canned foods. Underprocessing can lead to foodborne illness or at the very least, spoilage and loss of product. You definitely could not just transfer the food and "seal" the jar. You would need some heat treatment known to destroy any organisms transferred with the food.

(2) The expense and time of recanning foods far exceed the cost savings of bulk or large-quantity packaged foods. To re-can food, you now add the expense of a jar and lid as well as the energy to re-can the food.

(3) Most likely the quality of the food will be greatly reduced in canning the food for a second time. The heat of canning does cause loss of some nutrients, and a second round of canning will further reduce the nutritional value. Textural changes from heating will be added to those already produced.

Without tested processes for re-canning foods, there is no way to know how to reduce the canning process and the default (although not a recommendation) is to process for the full time and temperature as if starting from scratch. When you consider you are not even saving money and resources, it does not seem worth the loss of food quality to practice this re-canning of commercially canned food. Our recommendation is to not plan to do this.

This website is a good resource for this type of question .

Joined Dec 2, 2009
I buy large cans of tomato products and do this.....If they have the freezer space they can freeze in small amts in jars and seal with the new plastic lids for jars. I got mine at WM and save quite a bit this way as they are reusable. The trick is to make the portions the size needed for an average sense having to toss leftovers out. I agree with OP that to actually process large cans into small with the one use lids and bands a waste of time and money.
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