Recipes, typically older ones call for an ingredient by can size such as a #303 can of pinto beans. The charts below include standardized can sizes by number as well as the volume in ounces and cups. Additionally you can find the standard can size for common foods such as soup, tuna, evaporated milk, beans, vegetables and more.

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## Food Canning History

The concept of placing food in tins (cans) dates back at least to the seventeenth century Dutch. English seamen reported seeing tins of biscuits on Dutch ships. Another sea captain, John Stedman wrote about sailors eating “roast beef packed in dripping in soldered airtight tinplate containers”.

Canning as we know it today was perfected by Nicolas Appert, born in 1750 in the Champagne region of France. Appert was a chef as well as a chemist and began experiments canning food in glass jars. Later he packed food in hand-soldered tins which eventually lead to the full-scale mass-production of food canning.

Except for commercial food preparation kitchens, little reference is made to can sizes except in some older cookbooks. Should you run across those references this chart of standard can sizes may be useful.

## Chart Of Standard Can Sizes

Most common sized cans

Numbered Can Size Cans Sizes in Inches Volume Equivalents Less Common Sized Cans
#1 Picnic 2​11⁄16 x 4 11 oz. 1 1/3 cups
#1 Tall 3​1⁄16 x 4​11⁄16 16 oz. 2 cups
#2 3​7⁄16 x 4​9⁄16 1 lb. 4 oz. 2 1/2 cups
#2.5 4​1⁄16 x 4​11⁄16 1 lb. 13 oz. 3 1/2 cups
#3 33 1/2 oz. 4 1/4 cups
#3 Cylinder 4​1⁄4 x 7 46 oz. 5 3/4 cups
#5 5​1⁄8 x 5​5⁄8 56 oz. 7 1/3 cups
#6Z 2​2⁄16 x 3​1⁄2 6.08 oz 2/3 cup
#8Z short (8 oz can) 2​11⁄16 x 3 7.93 oz 1 cup (+, -)
#10 6​3⁄16 x 7 6 1/2 lbs. (104 oz.) to 7 lbs. 5 oz. (117 oz.) 13 cups
#211 2​11⁄16 x 4​14⁄16 12 oz. 1 1/2 cups
#300 3 x 4​7⁄16 14 to 16 oz. 1 3/4 cups
#303 3​3⁄16 x 4​3⁄8 16 to 17 oz. 2 cups
Picnic (see#1 above) 2​11⁄16 x 4 10 1/2 to 12 ounces 1 1/4 cups
#1 Juice 13 oz. 1 5/8 cups
#1 Square 16 oz. 2 cups
#2.5 Square 31 oz. scant 4 cups
#3 Squat
23 oz. 2 3/4 cups

## Common Products and Can Sizes With Volumes and Servings

So lets put this in perspective for some foods you may be familiar with. Take a look at the charts below and you"ll find many of the foods with which you may be familiar. This image will give you an idea of these common can sizes.

The image above shows 5 cans out of my pantry. Starting on the left, back is a DiNapoli tomato can of whole, peeled tomatoes, 20 ounces, a #2.5 can. The next two cans are #300 cans of Swanson chicken broth and Natural Directions organic kidney beans. The front row shows a short, 8 ounce can of Del Monte tomato sauce in an #8Z Short can. Next is an 2.25 ounce can of Lindsay sliced olives packed in a can size we"ve yet to identify.

### Common Foods Assorted Sizes - Weight - Servings

Food Can Size Ounces / Pounds Grams / KG Servings
Condensed soup #2 10.75 ounces 298 g 2 1/2, 1/2 cup servings
Progresso soups / non condensed soups #303 19 ounces 538 g 2, 1 cup servings
Tuna 3 3/8" x 1 1/2" 5 ounces 142 g 2 1/2, 2 ounce servings
Sweetened condensed milk 14 ounces 396 g 10, 2 tablespoon servings
Evaporated milk 2 6/16 x 3 7/16 12 ounces 354 ml 12, 2 tablespoon servings
Tomato paste 6Z 6 ounce 170 g 5, 2 tablespoon servings

### #300 Can

A #300 canholds about 15 ounces and is one of the most common sized cans you"d find in your pantry. These cans measure 3" wide x 4 7/16" tall Canned beans, and other vegetables and some fruit can be found packed in this size can. This can is a little less than 4" high and close to 3" wide. On average you"re going to get about 3 1/2 servings out of a #300 can.

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You may find older recipes that call for #303 cans. They were slightly larger but only by a few ounces. In most cases you"d be safe using the more common #300 can. These cans are still used today for some products.

Food Can Size Ounces / Pounds Grams / KG Servings
Kidney beans #300 15 ounces 425 g 3 1/2, 1/2 cup servings
Tomato sauce #300 15 ounces 425 g 7, 1/4 cup servings
Green beans #300 14 1/2 ounces 411 g 3 1/2, 1/2 cup servings
Peaches #300 15 ounces 425 g 3 1/2, 1/2 cup servings
Diced tomatoes #300 14 1/2 ounces 411 g 3, 1/2 cup servings
Chicken Broth #300 14 1/2 ounces 411 g 2, 1 cup servings

### #10 Cans

The #10 can holds over 6 pounds and over 20 servings depending on the contents. This can measures about 6 3/16" wide and 7" high. You may find these large cans at stores like Costco or Smart & Final, less typically at the grocery store. Clearly this is a very large can. If you have a large family this might be economical for you.

Food Can Size Ounces / Pounds Grams / KG Servings
Heinz Kechup #10 7lb 2 ounces 3.23 kg 190, 1 tablespoon servings
Black beans #10 6lb 14 ounces 3.12 kg 26, 1/2 cup servings
Green beans #10 6lb 9 ounces 2.98 kg 22, 1/2 cup servings
Beef Stew #10 6lb 10 ounces 3.01 kg 13, 1 cup servings
Whole peeled tomatoes #10 6lb 10 ounces 3 kg 24, 1/2 cup servings
Hominy (pozole) #10 6lb 9 ounces 2.97 kig 23, 1/2 cup servings