How Many Jars Fit In An 8-quart Pressure Canner?

Pressure canners come in a variety of sizes. The one you choose will depend on the amount of pressure canning you plan to do. For single people, or for canning small batches, an 8 – 10 ½ quart (7.57 to 9.93 liter) pressure canner may be sufficient, but how many jars fit in an 8-quart pressure canner?

An 8-quart (7.57 liter) pressure canner will hold 7 1-pint (473 ml) jars or 4 1-quart (946 ml) jars. The USDA’s minimum requirement for a pressure canner is to hold 4 1-quart (946 ml) jars.  The 8-quart (7.57 liter) pressure canner is the smallest pressure canner allowed.

USDA Requirements For Pressure Canners

A photograph of the USDA building in Washington, D.C.
The USDA building in Washington, D.C.

According to the United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA), the smallest size pressure canner (the 8-quart pressure canner) must hold 4 1-quart (946 ml) jars, and it must have a rack and a lid too.  There are no minimum size requirements for pressure canners besides this. Just so you know, manufacturers offer pressure canners from 10 quarts to 41 quarts (9.46 to 38.8 liters). 

While some manufacturers claim you can process smaller amounts in a pressure cooker, the USDA does not recommend doing so for safety reasons.  In other words, the pressure canners are not large enough to create the amount of pressure to can foods safely.

More safety studies have been done on larger pressure canners too. 16-to-22-quart (15.14 to 21.8 liter) pressure canners (and larger) have proven safer than smaller pressure canners.

How Pressure Canners Are Sized

Most importantly, the size of the pressure canner refers to the amount of liquid the canner will hold, not the number of jars the canner can process. 

Also, a pressure canner will have a rack inside the canner.  In addition, the jars are placed on this rack in a few inches of water.  So, an 8-quart (7.57 liter) pressure canner allows four 1-quart (946 ml) jars to sit on the rack safely without touching each other or the sides of the canner.  Larger pressure canners may hold up to nine 1-quart (946 ml) jars in a single layer.

As pressure canners increase in size, the bottom circumference of the pressure canner does not change, but how tall the pressure canner is will change.  15- to 25-quart (14.19 to 23.65 liter) pressure canners all hold seven 1-quart (946 ml) jars on the bottom.  A 30-quart (28.39 liter) pressure canner is taller and can hold 14 1-quart (946 ml) jars because it has a rack with 7 on the bottom, then a second rack that holds another 7. The National Center for Home Food Preservation addresses this question too.

The 41-quart (38.8 liter) pressure canner is another story—its added circumference allows the pressure canner to hold 9 1-quart jars on the bottom, then another 9 1-quart (946 ml) jars on that second layer.

Bigger Is Not Always Better

While it is tempting to purchase the biggest pressure canner available, there are some things to consider. 

First is the energy required to heat the water and jars in the larger pressure canner.  It takes considerable time and a robust heat source to build pressure in that amount of space.  Unless you plan to can SERIOUS amounts of produce or meats and fill the canner on a regular basis, a pressure canner of that size may not be practical. 

Another factor to consider is the capacity of your heat source to hold the weight of the pressure canner.  To put it another way, pressure canners weigh a lot.  Moreover, with the addition of water and jars of food, it is not wise to place that pressure canner on an average regular stove.  Consider your cooktop and consult your stove’s manual before purchasing a large pressure canner.

One more thought—if you need to move the pressure canner any distance, make sure it’s not too heavy for you to move.  Most of the time, you will place the pressure canner on the heat source, add water, and then add the jars.  When processing is complete, you will turn off the heat source to let it cool.  So you won’t be moving it much while filled.

Pressure Canner Sizes

Pressure canners come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  We’ve compiled a list of the most common pressure canner sizes and included the number of pint and quart jars each one will hold. Your pressure canner’s manual will include other jar sizes too. 

If you are canning large amounts of food for a larger family or stockpiling for the winter season, a larger pressure canner will save you time. Many serious pressure canners invest in more than one size to accommodate smaller and larger canning batches.

8-quart (7.57 liter) pressure canner

  • 7 1-pint (473 ml) jars
  • 4 1-quart (946 ml) jars

10 ½ quart (9.93 liter) pressure canner

  • 8 1-pint (473 ml) jars
  • 4 1-quart (946 ml) jars

15 ½ or 16-quart (14.66 or 15.14 liter) pressure canner

  • 10 1-pint (473 ml) jars
  • 7 1-quart (946 ml) jars

21 ½ quart (20.34 liter) pressure canner

  • 24 1-pint (473 ml) jars
  • 7 1-quart (946 ml) jars

25-quart (23.65 liter) pressure canner

  • 18 1-pint (473 ml) jars (stacked)
  • 7 1-quart (946 ml) jars

30-quart (28.39 liter) pressure canner

  • 18 1-pint (473 ml) jars (stacked)
  • 14 1-quart (946 ml) jars (stacked)

41 1/2-quart (39.27 liter) pressure canner

  • 32 1-pint (473 ml) jars (stacked)
  • 19 1-quart (946 ml) jars (stacked)

Pressure Canner Brands

As can be seen, we’ve done some research on pressure canners over the years.  We recommend you also do some homework regarding ease of use, capacity, and reputation.  Firstly, know that pressure canners range in price depending on construction.

Treated right, a pressure canner should last you for years, so it’s worth it to invest in a high-quality pressure canner. 

Click here for a review of popular pressure canners

Click on these links to read more about each pressure canner:

Pressure Canning 101

On the whole, choosing a pressure canner is a big step in food preservation.  As a result, here at PressureCanners.com, we have many resources to ensure your pressure-canning success.

So, start with our introductory pressure canning guide:  Pressure Canning: A Better Way To Enjoy Fresh Food

Then check out the blog for specific canning projects:  Pressure Canning: A Better Way To Enjoy Fresh Food

How Many Jars Fit In An 8-quart Pressure Canner?

So, how many jars fit in an 8-quart (7.57 liter) pressure canner? An 8-quart pressure canner is large enough to can 7 1-pint (473 ml) jars or 4 1-quart (946 ml) jars of food in a single batch. 

Let us know in the comments below your favorite pressure canner and your current pressure-canning project.  We’d love to hear from you!

Author

  • Kim Burton is an avid canner, freelance writer, and certified Nutrition Coach living in the mountains of Colorado. She believes in providing her family with fresh organic foods. A perfect way of preserving quality foods in through canning. Kim’s goal is to make canning accessible to everyone and help you save money and time and reduce food waste using tried and true preservation methods.

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