When recipes specific a can size rather than a volume size, this table will help you shop or substitute in a recipe.

The American can industry describes the dimensions of cylindrical cans by two three-digit numbers. The first number is the can's diameter and the second its height. In each number, the first digit is the number of whole inches, and the second two digits are the number of sixteenths of an inch. So, for example, a 303 by 407 can would be 3 03/16 inches in diameter and 4 07/16 inches high.

Can sizes change over time, important if you are adapting an older recipe. Prior to 1980's), #303 was the popular size for most fruits and vegetables. Sweetened condensed milk cans now (2004) hold 14 ounces av. (formerly 15); cans of evaporated milk 5 or 12 fluid ounces (formerly 6 or 14).

Is it OK to store food in an opened can? According to the National Food Processors Association, storing food in an opened can does not pose a health risk if it remains covered. But acidic foods such as tomatoes, pineapple, sauerkraut may erode the inside of the can once exposed to the air and create a metallic-tasting product.

Top

Top

Top

American
Can Size

Weight

Cups

Servings

Uses

1/4

4 oz.

1/2

1

 Individual serving size.

3/8

6 oz.

3/4

1

Individual serving size.

1/2

8 oz.

1

2

Fruits, vegetables, specialties for small families.

1 Picnic

10 1/2-12 oz.

1 1/4 to 1 1/3

2 - 3

Mainly condensed soups. Some fruits, vegetables, 
meat, fish, specialties.

1 tall or square

16 oz.

2

2 - 3

Mainly condensed soups. Some fruits, vegetables, 
meat, fish, specialties.

12 oz. vacuum

12 oz.

1 1/2

3 - 4

Mainly for vacuum packed corn

No. 211

12 oz.

1 1/2

3 - 4

 

No. 300

14-16 oz. (14 oz.-1 lb.)

1 3/4

3 - 4

Pork and beans, baked beans, meat products, cranberry sauce, blue-berries, specialties.

No. 303

16-17 oz.(1 lb.-1 lb.-1 oz.)

2

4

Principal size for fruits and vegetables.  Also some meat products, ready-to-serve soups, specialties.

No. 2

20 oz.(1 lb.-4 oz.) or 18 fl. oz.(1 pt.-2 fl. oz.)

2 1/2

5

Juices, ready-to-serve soups, some specialties, pineapple, apple slices. In older recipes (prior to 1980's), was the popular size for most fruits and vegetables.

No. 2 1/2

27-29 oz. (1 lb.-11 oz.- 1 lb.-13 oz.)

3 1/2

7

Fruits, some vegetables (pumpkin, sauerkraut, spinach and other greens, tomatoes).

No. 3

33 1/2 oz.

4 1/4

8

 

No. 3 squat

23 oz.

2 3/4

5-6

RARE; looks like 1/2 a juice can. Pork and beans.

No. 3 cylinder or 46 fl. oz

51 oz. (3 lb.-3 oz.) or 46 fl. oz.(1 qt.-14 fl. oz.)

5 3/4

10 - 12

Fruit and vegetable juices, pork and beans. Institutional size for condensed soups, some vegetables..

No. 5

56 oz.

7

14

giant tuna

No. 10
3 pound coffee can

6 1/2 lb. to 7 lb. 5 oz.

12-13

25

Institutional size for fruits, vegetables and some other foods.

Baby food jar 3-1/2 to 8 ounces depends on size
Condensed milk 14 ounces 1-1/4 cups
Evaporated milk 12 ounces scant 1-2/3 cups
Frozen juice concentrate 6 ounces 3/4 cup
2 pound coffee 66 fluid ounces 8 cups