Sneak 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.
Are glass canning jars still relevant, especially with so many exciting glass and plastic containers on the market? 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.
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.
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):
1. 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 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.
2. A pint-and-a-half (24 oz.) straight-sided wide-mouth jar
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.
3. A 2-quart (64 oz.) wide-mouth jar
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.
4. A half-pint (8 oz.) wide-mouth jar with straight sides
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula