There are different forms of food storage, but the most efficient way to store fresh fruits and vegetables to retain their nutritional value and taste is by canning. For those of you that don’t have a lot of freezer space
, canning provides a means of storing foods on the shelf for long periods without worrying about spoilage. Obviously, this isn’t a new notion for most people; even if you’re not canning foods yourself, you’ve probably seen jars of self-canned foods on the pantry shelves of friends, family members or neighbors.
Canning foods, especially fruits and vegetables, in jars preserves their freshness and elongates the shelf-life to the effect that foods which would’ve normally stayed for only few days can endure for months, and even years, if properly canned.
The most important component of canning (apart from the kind of food to be canned) is the canning jar. Imagine this scenario — you’ve labored so hard to dice and cut, you’ve extracted the juice and simmered and finally canned your fresh tomato sauce for use in winter; you’re happy with your accomplishment. Fast forward to a few months later and you happily bring down the jar of tomato sauce only to open it and come face to face with some rotten mess, all because you used a jar more suitable for storing cookies
. Alternatively, you open the lid of your pressure canner
only to see the result of your hours of hard work mixed up with shards of broken glass that couldn’t withstand the high pressure of the canner. The above scenarios are just a few examples of ruined and broken dreams that can occur if you make the mistake of canning with inappropriate canning jars.
To this end, we’re here to help you, in the form of this buying guide, to make the best selection of the canning jar that won’t fail nor waste your food and time. We’ll be looking at some of the features that make up a great canning jar such as the type of jar, capacity, lid, material and also the price. If you’re looking for a great canning jar worth its salt, then you’re in the right place; stay with us as we take you through the world of canning jars.
Canning jars don’t usually cost much, especially if you check the price per jar, but most often you can get the jars in sets of different counts, hence taking the price a little higher to a range of between $10 and $30. This price is affected mainly by the number of jars in a set and their capacity.
To prevent heartbreaks and waste of good food that are sure to arise from using some of the ridiculously cheap canning jars that we came across while carrying out this research, it’s recommended that you budget out a little more money and buy a canning jar that you’ll be proud of. These canning jars are items you’re meant to use and re-use for years to come, so why not invest in some of the top quality jars from renowned brands we featured for great and long-lasting results at affordable price points?
To choose a canning jar that’ll hold your precious fruits and vegetables safe and secure, there are several features that you need to look out for and some criteria to base your choice on. Such features include:
- Type of canning jar
- Type of lid
Construction and Design
Before you start canning, you’ll likely consider how you’ll be storing the jars, whether shelf storage or freezing so you can shop accordingly. This is because there are different canning jars for freezing and those for shelf storage. There are canning jars with shoulders which are well-suited for shelf storage while the straight-sided types are more suitable for freezing. The straight-sided type makes for more compact storage since freezer space is limited; they ensure that all available space is maximally utilized. So if you’re canning for shelf-storage, you may want to be shopping for canning jars with shoulders.
The first set of officially recognized canning jars were made from glass and has ever since been the preferred material for canning jars. Glass is used because it can withstand the high pressure needed to properly seal in the fresh goodness of the food in question, and it won’t be amiss to note here that not all glass jars are suitable for use as canning jars.
Most storage jars nowadays are plastic, and even if you happen to get a glass set, it’s bound to be light-walled and thus not designed for heating up under pressure. Using such jars is sure to result in shattering of the jar and wasting the food. Also, real canning jars, apart from being thick-walled, have specially designed threads for the lid so it can easily and securely lock in place.
It’s worthy to note that glass storage jars used in the early years are much thicker than those being manufactured recently, and thankfully most of them do have the required thread pattern on them to go with the special canning lids available. The only problem here, though, is that these jars are often seen as antiques and therefore exorbitantly priced — if you happen to come across them, that is.
Canning jars come in different capacities, ranging from dainty sizes best suited for gifting to large sizes used to store food for large families or for use for longer periods of time. One key thing to note when making your selection based on size is the size or number of uses you plan on getting from one jar once opened. Although an opened jar can keep for days or a couple of weeks in the fridge, its best to can in jars that you wouldn’t need to use out of it for long. If you have a small family then it’ll make sense to can in 4, 8 or 12 ounce canning jars, but if it’s for larger families then go for pint– or quartz-sized jars. For gifting your special recipe sauces and treats, you may want to keep your eyes open for the quaint, small-sized 4 ounce jars.
Performance and Ease of Use
One factor that strongly affects the performance of a canning jar is the lid. You may have plenty of canning jars but limited lids because some canning jar lids are made for just one-time use. This means that you’ll be left with a whole bunch of lidless jars, and many times it proves difficult to get well-matched replacement lids for the jars and hence reduce your stock of canning jars. To avoid this situation, be sure to go for canning jars with re-usable lids. Most brands nowadays design their jars with reusable lids, and for better performance, such lids come with rubber gaskets for complete sealing of the jar. The lid itself can be made from either hard plastic or metal, but it must have a rubber gasket, and, although the gasket wears out over time, you may get about 40 – 50 uses out of it so it would’ve adequately served its term before expiring.
Replacement lids for the re-usable lid type are readily available in the market so you need not worry yourself when the rubber gasket needs to be replaced; you can simply buy a new set of lids and it doesn’t cost much, either.
Some canning jars have decorative motifs on their bodies, although most of them are plain and transparent. If you’re looking to add some color and style to your pantry using the canning jars, then buying the decorated or tinted jars will be your best option (although there’s no better decoration than the different colors of canned corn, beans, juices, tomato and others as seen in transparent jars).
Canning jars are quite easy to use, with their simple two-thread lid lock that often makes a clicking sound when the lid is properly hooked; in some cases, the lid will simply slide off if it didn’t lock into place. This means there’s no guesswork involved in locking the lid — it’s either locked or it’s not.
A canning jar may have a wide mouth or a regular mouth. The wide mouth type measures 3 inches at the opening while the regular/standard jars have mouths measuring 2 3/8 inches. The wide mouthed jar is easy to fill and empty, thus it’s more suitable for storing things such as whole or chunky fruits and dill pickles.
Regular or standard mouth jars, on the other hand, have smaller openings and are better suited for pourable liquid foods including salsas, jellies, sauces, jams and pie fillings.
If you’re canning for storage in the freezer, be sure to leave some head space to allow for food expansion during freezing and also ensure that the canning jar you’re using is freezer safe.
Canning jars have several features that set them apart from other jars or containers and, having gone through our buying guide, we’re quite sure that you’re well acquainted with what to look out for in a great canning jar and thus ready to make an informed choice. So, why don’t you head on to our product review section and see the top performing canning jars we’ve lined up for you.
The Bormioli Rocco Company was established in 1825 in Italy and, having survived 2 world wars and a host of other traumatic events in its almost two centuries of existence, it proudly boasts of being the leading brand in glass making. From using primitive means of manufacturing in the past to employing modern day cutting-edge technology, its products have always remained consistent in quality and innovation. It covers four major lines of glassware production — decorative glass blocks, glass tubing, pharma grade glass and glass tableware. It also has a plastic products line and, with eight manufacturing plants in four different countries, it has built an enviable global network of manufacturing and distribution of its products, and with over 2,000 staff members it isn’t surprising that the brand has maintained its lead in the industry amidst stiff competition.
When you’re thinking of canning for gift purposes, the Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni Jar has the perfect capacity — not too big or too small — coupled with decorative retro motifs that raise your gift to a higher level. In keeping with the age-long quality and tradition of the brand, this jar is made with tempered glass resistant to breakage, rust, heat and stain so you can safely use it with your pressure canner.
What’s canning without airtight sealing? This jar provides a perfect alignment between jar and cover with a leak-proof and airtight seal that ensures your fruit or vegetable remain fresh for as long as you want. To achieve this, the metal lid comes with an inner rubber coated gasket that makes a reliable fit possible. Now you don’t have to worry about your stored food going bad or spilling out if by chance it gets knocked over.
Even if you’re not given to canning, whatever line of business you do that requires storing small items in handy and secure containers can utilize this jar because it has the right shape and size.
Although it’s designed with modern technology and for contemporary use, there’s that unmistakable quality and feel about it that’s entirely old Italian in nature; you may readily be forgiven for thinking you’re buying an antique.
The sweetest part of the deal is that the mouth is wide enough to store slices of fruits or pickled vegetables. You can also present and serve your home made specialty sauce right out of this jar without appearing out of place.
These canning jars are available in 12 different sizes, so whatever your canning needs call for, there’s a good chance that the Quattro Stagioni jars can meet them!
The Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company started off in 1884 in New York with its production of fruit jars, but, following a fire disaster that engulfed the plant, the brothers moved to Indiana and re-established there. Against all odds, it has grown to become one of the top selling manufacturers of glassware in the United States and beyond. This feat was achieved by a ton of hard work coupled with the design and manufacture of top quality products. Its products have continually met and exceeded customers’ expectations in preservation and storage hence building up trust over the years. It’s committed to handing down the tradition of quality and customer satisfaction instituted by the founding members thus assuring customers of limitless quality products now and in the future.
In case you’ve had a bumper harvest from your garden and you’re hard pressed for a means of storing up your fresh vegetables and fruits, the Ball Mason Regular Mouth Quart Jars might be just what you’re looking for. Made from durable glass, this jar is extremely strong, resistant to heat and rust and perfect for storing foods on the shelf or in the freezer. Now you can get those lovely fruits and vegetables safely stored away for future use during the long, wintry months.
There’s nothing as heartbreaking as having all your hours of hard work sabotaged by something as flimsy as a faulty jar lid. Because the freshness of your canned food depends on the integrity of the lid, it becomes extremely important to ensure that the lid of your canning jar will effectively exclude air and lock in the freshness of your food. The Ball Mason Regular Mouth Quart Jars come with lids designed with rubber bands that ensure they give an airtight lock that preserves your food until needed. Best of all, the lids are reusable and can easily be replaced at little cost.
If you have a large family, you’ll most likely want a jar that can contain enough sauce or vegetables that’ll adequately serve for a meal or two and this product is sized just right for that purpose. Take advantage of its 32-ounce size and plan your family meals accordingly. That it comes in a set of 12 jars in one package means more room, so to speak, for storing assorted fruits and veggies and displaying them to full advantage on your pantry shelf.
The regular mouth opening is just right for filling up the jar with slices or chunks of fruits and veggies but, most importantly, you’ll find it especially adept at pouring out sauces, juice and any other liquids stored inside.
And don’t you worry about the jars looking out of place in your kitchen; the lids are made with the latest brushed silver design on the exterior, which will blend with or complement almost all types of kitchen décor. That’s functionality with style; what else could you possibly ask for in a canning jar?
P.S., there’s a variety of other amazing cool stuff you can do with these jars — you can create a solar chandelier with them or paint with chalk paint and use as holder for pencils and other items in your art/craft room. You may even load one up with salad and take to work not to mention the fact that you can attach it directly to a blender and whip up smoothies and juices. Talk about versatility!
This canning jar is available in a plethora of other sizes and colors, so check them all out!
The French are known for their exceptional culinary skills and wonderful cuisine so it’s only natural that one of the best kitchen glassware manufacturers should be founded in the heart of France. Le Parfait is a household name in the industry and has been around for more than eight decades, churning out world-class glassware that stand the test of time. When it comes to food preservation and storage, it has specially designed products with features guaranteed to preserve as long as is necessary, so one can enjoy homemade delicacies and sauces at whatever time of the year. With an embossed “Le Parfait” signature and the iconic orange-colored locking band, its products stand out and are impossible to miss wherever jars are sold.
Are you new to canning or entertain fears (whether well-founded or not) of the lid on a canning jar popping off while in a pressure canner? Then you might want to start with something different, something like a canning jar with doubly secured lid and that’s just what the Le Parfait French Super Canning Jars is all about.
How does it achieve this?
To be absolutely sure that whatever food or preserves you store in the jar remain in top condition, the jar is fitted with a tight-fitting lid, an ergonomic silver color wire hinge that holds the lid firmly in place and a sassy orange-colored rubber seal to completely seal in the goodness while adding color to your kitchen shelf. That’s how!
To avoid having shattered dreams in a canner, no self-respecting French cook, nor any other cook for that matter, will go for a flimsy-looking canning jar, considering the hours spent in meticulously prepping the food for storage.
So, what’s the solution? Buy a thick-walled canning jar, short and simple. To be sure it’ll withstand the heat and pressure of either a water bath or pressure canner during the canning process, the Le Parfait French Super Canning Jar is made with the purest of glass and is thick-walled so your efforts are safe and sound.
Most canning jars either have wide shoulders or are straight sided but, trust Le Parfait to come up with a design totally different from the normal. The Le Parfait French Super Canning Jar has a distinguished-looking slight dome shape that combines the great looks of a shouldered jar and the convenient stacking feature of the straight-sided jar. Moreover, with the regular mouth size suitable for pourable foods, you can just as easily fill it up with slices of fruits or pickled veggies without struggling to bring them out when needed.
If you think this canning jar is good enough for just canning fruits and vegetables, then you couldn’t be further from the reality. This product is well-suited for airtight storage of stuff like grains, nuts, cookies and just about any other food that needs to be kept crispy.
If you need more than one jar, you can also buy this jar in a pack of 2 for a more economical choice!
In the early years of the 20th century, the J. Weck Company was formed with a vision to manufacture glassware and accessories from pure glass for home canning and storage purposes. Situated in Oflingen, Germany, it has evolved with the changing times, and though it’s been around for ages, no other brand is as proudly modern as it is. Its products are widely used in Germany and Europe as a whole by home canners. It has a special unit dedicated to the continuous research and development of new canning solutions that are in line with customers’ request and suggestions, thus they’re always at the forefront of innovative home canning jars.
The Weck Wide Mouth Jelly Jar has a yawning opening for easy filling and emptying. With this design, your prep time is drastically reduced since you don’t have to dice and chop into small pieces so you can fill the jar; all you need is to quickly cut the fruit or vegetable into large chunks or even leave them whole, put in the jar and pop into your canner.
If you plan on displaying your canned foods and preserves, this Weck Wide Mouth Jelly Jar will do an excellent job of beautifully displaying the contents while keeping them safe in an airtight atmosphere.
The ergonomically designed and unique rust-free glass lid fits like a glove on the jar opening and is reinforced by two stainless steel clips that hold the lid firmly in place. Still on the matter of sealing, this jar features an O-ring that ensures its contents are maintained fresh and crisp all through the period of sealing.
To prevent the jar from cracking up under heat and pressure during the canning process, either in the pressure canner or the water bath, the Weck Jelly Jar is made with tempered glass and is thick-walled, thereby affording more assured safety for your precious goodies. In addition to this, the quality of the glass material makes the jar safe for use in the microwave and dishwasher — and you know the implications of this convenient feature, right?
Well, let’s spell it out for you — it means that you can microwave soups and lunch directly in the jar without having to bring out another plate and adding up more dishes to do. Secondly, you’ve been spared the stress of hand washing the jar with soap and water in the sink; let the dishwasher do the job for which it was bought!
So, if you’re looking for a medium sized, super safe canning jar for your fruits, vegetables and spices, you cannot go wrong with this product.
Kerr is a well-known brand name under the Jarden Home brands and is concerned mainly with the manufacturing of high quality jars used in home food preservation. Following the tradition of uncompromised quality as handed down by the founders as far back as 1884, it’s continued to maintain its lead among its peers in the industry. Its products are durable, functional and stylish, with the sole aim of preserving Americans’ garden fresh produce so there’s always a supply of healthy, fresh food for different homes all year round. If you have a garden, or if you just happened on a particularly tempting batch of fresh fruits or vegetables at the grocery, just can the excess in a Kerr jar to retain the freshness and use at your leisure.
The Kerr Wide Mouth Glass Mason Jars are virtually unbeaten in terms of quality and durability, with their quaint sizes that make them the perfect container for gifts. They’re so cute that you’re not likely getting them back from whomever you gifted a jar of sauce, jellies or any special recipe soup to (oh well, not everybody knows that you’re supposed to return a canning jar to the owner once you’ve emptied it…).
This Kerr Wide Mouth Glass Mason Jar is ideal for canning jams and jellies, homemade yoghurt, soups, sauces and pastes among others. You could also use it to portion out lunch for family members.
Just in case you lack space in your kitchen, these little darlings come with straight sides and large lid surface area that make for nice, stable stacking platforms so you can maximize the little storage space you have. You’ll also find that this feature helps a lot in conserving freezer space if you’re storing your canned goodies in the freezer. The lid is made to preserve its contents in an airtight environment with no leaks whatsoever, and can be reused over and again until the rubber gasket wears thin.
Apart from its convenient 8-ounce capacity, the wide mouth design makes it super easy to load and access whole or chunky fruits, vegetables and dry spices. This also means that it can be used in different capacities in and around the home, such as baking custards, mini meatloaves and muffins, planters and crafts and a bevy of other things.
Please note that although there are plastic reusable lids that can be bought separately, it’s recommended that you use the metal lid if you’ll be putting the jars in a pressure cooker or canner. The rubber lids are ideal for storing dry spices, vegetables and fruits and are also safe for freezing.
Also included in the package is a step-by-step instruction on how to safely use your canning jar for canning processes in the pressure canner for best results.
We hope you’ve learned something from our reviews of some of the best canning jars being produced today. There’s no doubt in our minds that you must have come to a conclusion on the particular brand of canning jar to go with, so take the final plunge and place the order right away. Thanks for reading.