When it comes to storing leftovers, homemade sauces, or prepping meals in advance, mason jars have become a kitchen staple for their durability, versatility, and airtight seal.
While many people use them for canning and preserving, you may have wondered: can you freeze mason jars?
The question is important. After all, freezing is one of the most convenient methods for prolonging the shelf life of numerous foods.
Will they crack, break, or spoil food inside the freezer? Read on as I share all about mason jars and freezer safety.
Can You Freeze Mason Jars
Yes, you can freeze mason jars.
However, it’s essential to be cautious and follow the right steps to avoid breaking them.
The key lies in properly preparing and handling the jars before and during freezing.
Firstly, always allow hot food to cool down before transferring it into the mason jar. Placing hot food directly into a cold glass jar can cause it to crack or break due to the sudden temperature change. Once the food has reached room temperature, transferring it into the jar is safe.
Selecting the right size mason jar for your needs is crucial. Use wide-mouth mason jars for best results, especially when freezing soups, stews, or leftovers. Smaller jars are ideal for individual meal portions, while larger jars may be better for storing bulk quantities of food.
When transferring food into the mason jars, ensure that you leave enough room at the top for expansion during the freezing process. Overfilling the jar could cause it to break once the food freezes and expands. A good rule of thumb is to leave about an inch of space between the food and the jar’s rim.
Labeling your mason jars before freezing them is a helpful habit to develop. Clear, descriptive labels will help you quickly identify the contents of each jar and keep track of the freezing date.
Once your mason jars are prepared, place them in the freezer, ensuring they are upright and not touching each other. This allows for proper air circulation and prevents the jars from breaking due to contact or pressure from other items in the freezer. If you have a small freezer and there is less space, you can wrap the mason jars in a towel to avoid glass from other jars touching each other.
When it’s time to thaw your frozen mason jars, proper procedures should be followed to avoid any issues. Allow jars to thaw gradually in the refrigerator rather than exposing them to sudden temperature changes that could lead to breakage.
We highly advise against using non-branded jars for freezing purposes. Jars that originally contained store-bought items such as jam, olives, or pickles typically have a thinner glass than Mason jars. This increased fragility makes them more prone to breaking when placed in the freezer. We recommend utilizing well-known and trusted mason jar brands such as Kerr, Ball, Atlas, or Bernardin for a safer storage solution.
Watch the video below :
Also read: Are Mason Jars Microwave Safe?
Mistakes to Avoid when Freezing Mason Jars with Food
Let me now share with you a few things you need to avoid when freezing mason jars with food.
Filling It with Hot Food/Liquids
Do not place hot food/liquids directly into the mason jar while freezing. Rapid temperature changes can cause the glass to crack or break.
Also, sealing it while the food is hot can cause the lid to warp and lose its airtight seal, leading to freezer burn and spoilage.
Using Jars with Shoulder
When picking mason jars for freezing, choose jars with straight sides and wide-mouth openings.
Jars that have shoulders or a narrowing at the top can cause the glass to break due to the expansion of the food during freezing. Stick to wide-mouth jars without shoulders for safe freezing.
Overfilling the Mason Jar
Overfilling mason jars with food can cause breakage when freezing.
Always leave some headspace, or space, at the top of the jar to allow for the expansion of the food.
Using Standard Lids (instead of Plastic Lids)
Metal lids can get rusty and may not provide an airtight seal when freezing. Plus, plastic lids are more resistant to temperature changes and help prevent freezer burn.
Sealing the Lid Too Tight in the Begining
When sealing mason jars for freezing, avoid tightening the lid at first. Leaving some room for expansion will help prevent the glass from breaking due to pressure.
Once the content has frozen, you can tighten the lid to secure it.
Forgetting to Label
Finally, don’t forget to label your mason jars with the contents and the date of freezing.
This will help you keep track of what’s in your freezer and ensure that you consume your frozen food while it’s still at its best quality.
Also read: Why Do Glass Plate Break in the Microwave?
How to Freeze Food in Mason Jars
Freezing food in mason jars is a convenient option for preserving leftovers, soups, and more.
To achieve the best results, follow these steps to freeze food in mason jars without any issues.
Step 1- Choose the Appropriate Size Mason Jar
Wide-mouth mason jars like these 16-oz jars work well for freezing one to two portions of food. For larger portions, 32-ounce jars work best.
Also, remember that some mason jars are designed specifically for freezing, having a wider opening to prevent breakage when the food expands during freezing.
Step 2- Check the Temperature
Before placing any food in the jar, ensure your freezer temperature is set to 0°F. Using a refrigerator or freezer thermometer, check the temperature for accuracy.
It’s important to avoid freezing jars close to hot surfaces or placing hot food directly into the freezer, as it can cause other items to thaw.
Let the food cool completely before transferring it to the mason jar.
Step 3- Fill the Food
Once the food is at room temperature, use a funnel to easily pour or scoop the contents into the jar, minimizing spills and mess.
When filling the jar, it’s important to leave some headspace, which is the space between the top of the food and the jar’s rim.
This allows room for the food to expand as it freezes and prevents the jar from breaking.
As a general rule, leave at least half an inch of headspace for most foods, and one inch for liquids like soups and stews. You can also look for jars with a “freeze line” indicator for safe freezing.
After filling the jars with cooled contents and leaving the appropriate headspace, secure the lids to prevent any air from entering, which could cause freezer burn.
Step 4- Label Your Jar
Finally, label your mason jars with the date and contents so you know when it was frozen and what it contains. Use a permanent marker or freezer-safe labels to avoid smudging or peeling.
Now, your food is ready to be stored in the freezer.
Watch the video below:
Also read: Can Mason Jars Go In The Oven?
Benefits of Freezing with Mason Jars
Freezing with mason jars offers numerous benefits.
Some of them include better food preservation, reduced plastic waste, and efficient space management in your freezer.
First, using mason jars helps in preserving the freshness of your food.
Moreover, mason jars are made of tempered glass, which makes them suitable for freezing purposes.
The environmental aspect of using mason jars for freezing is also noteworthy. These jars are not only reusable but also reduce plastic waste.
You’ll be making a conscious choice to switch from disposable plastic bags to eco-friendly options like mason jars.
Wide Size Range
Another benefit of using mason jars for freezing is that they come in various sizes.
You can choose the size that best suits your needs, whether you are storing meal-sized portions or smaller items like herbs and sauces.
This flexibility allows for better organization and space management in your freezer.
Using mason jars in the freezer can also help you save money.
By buying food in bulk and freezing portions in mason jars, you can take advantage of sale prices while ensuring your food stays fresh and maintains its quality.
You’ll also avoid wasting food due to spoilage.
Mason jars are multifunctional and can be used for storing a wide range of foods.
Aside from freezing, they are also ideal for refrigerating, canning, or keeping dry goods in your pantry.
Also read: Can Mason Jars Handle Boiling Water?
How Long Does Food Stay Good When Frozen in Mason Jars
When you freeze food in mason jars, it can maintain its freshness and taste for an extended period, depending on the type of food.
Generally, food can be stored in mason jars in your freezer for up to six months.
Labeling your mason jars with the date you freeze the content is a crucial step in helping you track their freshness.
This way, you can quickly identify the items in your freezer and know when it’s time to consume or discard them.
Here are the types of food you can freeze in mason jars and their respective storage durations:
- Fruits and vegetables can last up to eight to twelve months in the freezer. However, blanch them before freezing to preserve their taste and texture.
- Soups and stews can be stored in mason jars for three to six months. Be sure to cool them down completely before transferring them into the freezer.
- Meats and poultry can generally stay good in the freezer for up to six months, while ground meat can last up to three months.
- Liquids such as broths, sauces, and milk can be frozen in mason jars for around three to six months.
|Food Type||Freezer Lifespan|
|Fruits and Vegetables||8 to 12 months|
|Soups and Stews||3 to 6 months|
|Meats and Poultry||Up to 6 months|
|Ground Meat||Up to 3 months|
|Liquids (Broths, Sauces, Milk)||3 to 6 months|
How to Defrost Frozen Mason Jars?
Defrosting frozen mason jars is an important step in ensuring the quality and safety of your food.
First, remove the frozen mason jar from the freezer and place it in your refrigerator.
This method is the safest way to thaw your frozen food, as it keeps the temperature consistent and helps prevent bacterial growth.
It may take a few hours or even a day for the contents to thaw completely, depending on the size of the jar and the type of food.
Condensation can sometimes form on the jar’s exterior, making it slippery when handling. Be cautious when removing the jar from the refrigerator to prevent any accidents.
In some cases, you may need to defrost your mason jar more quickly. Using a microwave is an option, but it’s essential to do it safely.
First, remove the metal lid from the jar and replace it with a microwave-safe cover.
Microwave the jar in short intervals, stirring the contents between each interval to ensure even thawing. Be cautious, as the jar and contents can become hot.
If you choose the microwave method, it is crucial to consume the thawed food immediately to prevent any bacteria growth.
On the other hand, if you thaw your mason jar in the refrigerator, it can usually be stored and consumed within a day or two.
Drawbacks of Freezing Food in Mason Jars
Overall, Using Mason jars for freezing food can be a safe and practical method if proper precautions are taken.
One of the main concerns when freezing food in Mason jars is the risk of breakage. The glass material of the jars can be susceptible to breaking if not handled with care during the freezing process.
When freezing liquids or foods with high water content in Mason jars, it’s important to remember that the content will expand as it freezes.
If there isn’t enough headspace in the jar, this expansion can cause the glass jar to break.
Another aspect to consider is the risk of thermal shock. Mason jars are made of tempered glass, which can withstand temperature changes better than regular glass.
However, the jar may still crack or break if exposed to sudden extreme temperature differences.
You can successfully overcome the drawbacks by being mindful of potential breakage risks, allowing enough headspace for expansion, and avoiding thermal shock.
Different Types of Food That Can Be Frozen in Mason Jars
Glass mason jars are perfect for freezing various types of food, ensuring that your freezer stays organized and that your food remains fresh and appetizing.
You can freeze vegetables like peas, corn, and chopped bell peppers in mason jars.
Be sure to blanch them first to preserve their color, flavor, and nutritional value.
Fruit and Berries
Freezing fresh berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, in mason jars, is a great way to have a just-picked taste year-round.
You can also freeze fruit juices and purees, such as applesauce or peach compote.
Soup and Stock
Mason jars are perfect for storing homemade soups and stocks.
When freezing liquid items like soup and stock, remember to leave some space at the top for expansion to avoid breaking the jar.
Chili, Sauces, and Leftovers
Freezing chili, pasta sauces, and even your leftover meals in mason jars is an excellent way to have ready-to-eat meals whenever you need them.
Just thaw, heat, and enjoy!
Preparing and freezing your baby food in small mason jars allows you to have complete control over the ingredients.
The jars ensure that your baby gets fresh, nutritious food without preservatives.
Nutrient-rich bone broth can be frozen in mason jars to have on hand for sipping or use in recipes. Just like with other liquids, don’t forget about the freeze-fill line.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about freezing mason jars:
How to Freeze Mason Jars without Breaking
Freezing mason jars is a great way to store food, but it’s important to follow some guidelines to prevent breakage.
First, let your food cool down before transferring it to the jar.
Choose the right size jar for the job and make sure to leave sufficient headspace, about 1-2 inches, to allow for expansion when the contents freeze.
Does Freezing Mason Jars Weaken the Glass?
Freezing mason jars should not weaken the glass if used and handled properly.
Always use jars specifically designed for freezing, and follow guidelines for safe freezing to ensure the glass remains strong and durable.
Can Desserts Be Frozen inside Mason Jars?
Yes, desserts such as ice cream, mousse, and cheesecake can be frozen inside mason jars.
Just remember to leave adequate headspace for expansion and make sure the dessert is properly sealed to prevent freezer burn.
Can I Freeze Milk inside Mason Jars
You can freeze milk in mason jars but leave enough headspace for the milk to expand when frozen.
Shake the jar gently after putting the lid on to expand the milk throughout the jar evenly and leave about 1-2 inches of headspace.
Can You Freeze Mason Jars with Smoothies
Mason jars make excellent containers for storing and freezing smoothies. Just prepare your smoothie as usual, pour it into the jar, and leave enough headspace for expansion.
Secure the lid tightly and place the jar in the freezer.
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