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5 Best Glass Jar Favorites for Food Storage

Preview: These are the 5 Best Glass Jars for Food Storage from my Mason jar collection as well as a few I don’t like. Includes a discussion about lids.

Do you like Mason glass jars? Like many of you, the standard quart-size jars evoke memories of canned fruits and vegetables. They might be lined up at a restaurant or in your mom’s pantry.

Are glass canning jars still relevant, especially with so many exciting glass and plastic containers on the market?

My love affair with Mason jars started twelve years ago when I started blogging about vacuum-packed chopped Romaine salad. So I bought a carton of quart-sized, wide-mouth Mason glass jars to hold the lettuce.

-- a collection of Mason jars that include the best glass jars for food storage

I already owned 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.

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.

Five of the best glass jars for food storage needs (at least they are my favorites):


A wide-mouth quart-size (32 oz.) Mason jar

5 Mason Jars Stars For Your Kitchen - showing lettuce vacuum-packed in a glass Mason quart 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 jar for ease of use and care.

The quart-size jar is my favorite for vacuum-sealing salads. But, again, stick with the wide-mouth variety for ease of filling and cleaning. Not only are they easier to seal but also easier to clean.


A pint-and-a-half (24 oz.) straight-sided wide-mouth jar

-- various sizes of Mason glass jars

In addition to storage, the pint-and-a-half jar makes a decent drinking glass. Unfortunately, the straight sides don’t catch ice as you drink. I buy mine at Walmart, but they are also available online.


A 2-quart (64 oz.) wide-mouth jar

1/2 gallon Mason glass jar filled with cold-brewed coffee

I use these big jars to store my iced coffee concentrate. They are also suitable for keeping non-perishable staples in the pantry, such as rice, flour, and granola. I’ve seen them in hardware stores and online.


A half-pint (8 oz.) wide-mouth jar with straight sides

 Empty half-pint Mason jar

These small jars are my favorite way to store homemade yogurt or anything else I carry in my lunch.

I love the short, squatty jar by Kerr with a wide mouth. It’s easy to eat out of them 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.

  A pint-size (16 oz.) straight-sided wide-mouth jar

pint size Mason jars

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:

Consider the lids

lids for Mason jars
Left: flat lid and ring Right: plastic lid

The flat lids combined with the collar will seal tight and prevent any liquid from escaping 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.

ADDENDUM 10/16/21: Ball now makes leak-proof jar lids. (paid link) I love them.

However, I prefer using plastic lids when storing something that doesn’t need to be vacuum-packed. They also don’t rust like metal lids. Plastic lids are usually available for purchase wherever Mason jars are sold or get them online.

Glass jars that aren’t my favorites and why

Small glass jar with a rusty lid

These jars are from The Container Store. 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.

weck canning jar

These Weck jars are expensive, but I initially thought they were worth the price. The lids look cool. However, it turns out all those parts are hard to corral.

The glass lids cannot be vacuum-packed, and the plastic screw-on lids don’t fit either. Maybe they are suitable for heat canning, but that is not my shtick, so they are not very useful. I bought them at Crate and Barrel.

small squatty Mason jar

I used to carry 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 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 sanitary.

You could use a plastic or a two-part metal lid, but it needs to be a regular-mouth size. I prefer to use mine as a flower vase. It’s an excellent prop in food pictures for homemade Greek yogurt, too.

What do you think is the best glass jar for food storage? Is there one 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.


Friday 22nd of October 2021

Classico spaghetti sauce comes in Atlas jars. When your done with the spaghetti sauce the jar can be re-used with a standard lid. The smaller version cannot. If you ask the FDA or whoever they will say it is not approved of course. If you do a search you will find Atlas is owned by Ball. Although Classico is not my favorite sauce the jar is worth it. There is also a company called Bernardin and don't forget Kerr and Golden Harvest (budget jars found at Dollar General Stores).These used to be Ball competitors but now owned by Ball. Ball pretty much has a monopoly on canning jars. New on the scene is PUR made in China. They are sold in Ace Hardware and Menards. There have been issues with the lids not sealing but the jars are kind of square which is different. Also Anchor Hocking has very nice unadorned jars with a very slight tint reasonably priced only standard though but have had good results. Sorry this is so wordy. Hope this is helpful.


Friday 22nd of October 2021

Ooooh Becky,

Your comment is an absolute treasure trove of information. I have used the Classico jar to store vacuum-sealed lettuce and using the jar that comes with it. It would be much better to use a regular two-part Ball lid that I can vacuum-seal. Can't wait to try it. I didn't know about the jars at Dollar General. Must check those out, too. I have purchased the PUR lids at Ace Hardware in the past. Didn't even look at their jars, but squar-ish sounds wonderful. The lids worked great--no issues. The Anchor Hocking jars sound interesting with a tint. Will look for those.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this out. I'm sure it will be helpful to others.


Monday 1st of September 2014

I understand the value of the widemouth jars. However, the standard size fits my blender and I can make things right in the jar without needing to clean the carafe. Do you know if they make blenders that fit the widemouth jar?


Thursday 4th of September 2014

Tim, I have never seen one, myself. Maybe if any other readers have, they will chime in.


Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

To chime in on the Cuppow/Bnto insert, I loved the idea of it but the price was a little ridiculous. It got me thinking tho, and I found that the Del Monte brand fruit cups fit perfectly in a wide mouth jar, the rim rests on top so it doesn't fall in. (I tried Walmart applesauce cups first but their rims are a teeny bit smaller) I use them inside a pint jar with yogurt in the bottom & granola/seeds in the insert, or celery in pint & a half with hummus in the insert. I use the white plastic lids on my jars in my lunchbox successfully, but I don't carry anything liquidy, and my lunchbox stands upright (the jars are always upright). I have tried shaking smoothies in the pint & a halfs with a plastic lid and that does leak a bit :/


Friday 25th of July 2014

Hi Rachel, Your are very resourceful. Thanks for sharing.

Tammy B.

Thursday 20th of February 2014

I have to agree with you re: mason jars. (I've never liked the 'candle' jars) I will agree that the cute little jars are tough to clean, they are tough to can in as well. I have a smaller funnel for that and you can get replacement lids at the container store. On the weck jars, you can buy plastic lids for those. I love the ones I have, straight sided are great for toting my home made yogurt to work. P. S. No Betty, you cannot have too many jars. You husband is wrong. : )


Friday 27th of September 2013

Thank you for this post. I have been looking into canning jars for my yogurt and I was wondering if I was able to reuse the lids & rings if I wasn't actually canning with them.

The half pint will be a perfect size. So you do not recommend those plastic white caps for commuting? They leak? I have seen metal single lids, they are not in two pieces. Would those be more leakproof?


Sunday 29th of September 2013

Kathy, I'm not sure about the metal single lids. The metal singles I had rusted way too quickly so I tossed them. And yes the plastic white caps leaked for me--when they turned over. I use them a lot at home but just not in my lunch box.