It started four years ago when I began blogging about vacuum-packed chopped Romaine salad. I bought a carton of quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason glass jars to hold the lettuce. I already had a few regular-mouth jars, but I quickly learned they were hard to fill and harder to clean. Since then, I have learned a lot about what I like and don’t like in a Mason glass jar. So here are my five favorites and also, a few I don’t like and why not.
NUMBER ONE: a wide-mouth quart-size (32 oz.) Mason jar
Quart jars are probably the most common Mason jar out there. They’re available in most large grocery stores, Walmart, hardware stores, and online. Stick with the wide-mouth for ease of use and care.
NUMBER TWO: A pint-and-a-half (24 oz.) straight-sided wide-mouth jar
In addition to storage, the pint-and-a-half jar is good to use as a drinking glass because of the straight sides (below). I bought mine at Walmart, but they are also available online.
NUMBER THREE: A 2-quart (64 oz.) wide-mouth jar
I use the very large jars to store my iced coffee concentrate. They are also good for keeping non-perishable staples in the pantry such as rice, flour, and granola. I’ve seen them in hardware stores and online.
NUMBER FOUR: A half-pint (8 oz.) wide-mouth jar with straight sides
This is my favorite way to store homemade yogurt or anything else I want to carry in my lunch. I love the short, squatty jar by Kerr with a wide-mouth because it’s easy to eat from without getting food on my fingers, and the straight sides make it easy to clean. You can buy them here, but I purchased mine in a local hardware store.
NUMBER FIVE: A pint-size (16 oz.) straight-sided wide-mouth jar
Although not intentional, my use of plastic bags and small plastic containers to store things has decreased immensely. However, I have to run the dishwasher a little more often. Hmmm. Guess there’s always a trade-off.
On a different but related subject….
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIDS:
The flat lids combined with the collar will seal tight and not allow any liquid to escape when tipped over. They are reusable indefinitely as long as you are not using them for heat canning.
Plastic lids are not leak-proof so I don’t use them in my lunch bag to hold liquids. At home, however, I prefer the plastic lids when storing something that doesn’t need to be vacuum-packed. They also don’t rust like the metal lids. Plastic lids are usually available for purchase wherever Mason jars are sold or get them online.
REJECTS (or cute jars I don’t use anymore except as props in pictures):
These jars came from the Container Store and I loved the engraved designs on the side. But since they have a regular mouth, they are hard to eat from and hard to clean. Worse than that, the lids rust quickly. Fortunately, a regular-mouth plastic lid can replace the metal lid that comes with it.
These Weck jars are expensive, but I originally thought they were worth the price just for the looks. Turns out all those parts are hard to keep up with. They cannot be vacuum-packed and the plastic screw-on lids don’t fit either. Maybe they are good for heat canning, but that is not my shtick, so these are not very useful to me. I bought these at Crate and Barrel.
I used to take my homemade yogurt to work in these jars I purchased at Target. People accused me of eating a candle. The rounded area inside and just beneath the rim is difficult to clean and also makes it a challenge to get every last drop of delicious yogurt out of the jar.
I suspect many of you have a jar of two like this sitting around your house. I love the color but the aged glass-lined lid turns me off. It doesn’t seem very sanitary. You could use a plastic or a metal two-part lid but it would have to be a regular-mouth size. As I’ve already mentioned–hard to load and unload, and hard to clean. I like to use mine as a flower vase, and it’s a nice prop in food pictures, too.
Do you have a favorite jar I haven’t mentioned? If so, please leave a comment about the brand and where you got it. I wouldn’t want to miss out on a great glass jar.