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5 Glass Jar Favorites for Food Storage

I picked 5 of my favorite glass jars for food storage in the kitchen. You’ll also find some jars I don’t much like and why. A discussion about lids is included because they can be deal-breakers.

-- a collection of Mason jars.


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.

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 my favorite glass jars for food storage needs:

#1

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 for ease of use and care.

This is my favorite jar for vacuum-packing salads. Stick with the wide-mouth for ease of filling and cleaning. Not only are they easier to seal but also easier to clean.

#2

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 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.

#3

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

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

I use 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.

#4

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

 Empty half-pint Mason jar

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.

  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…

What you need to know about lids

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

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.

Glass jars that aren’t my favorites and why

Small glass jar with a rusty lid

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.

weck canning jar

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 them at Crate and Barrel.

small squatty jar

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 glass jar you use for kitchen storage that 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.

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Tim

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?

Paula

Thursday 4th of September 2014

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

Rachel

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 :/

Paula

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. : )

Kathy

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?

Paula

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.

Sandy Coughlin

Monday 12th of August 2013

I love the anniversary blue mason jars that came out this year! So festive and pretty to use at dinner parties.