When you start your journey to a low waste lifestyle, it can feel quite overwhelming at first.
Where to start?
How to transition to a zero waste life, and what products do I need to replace to make the biggest impact with the smallest amount of money?
I get it; sustainable living is not something that happens overnight. It takes perseverance and work, but the best part is you’re in control, and you can aim for a new goal nearly every week.
The overall goal of becoming zero waste is to reduce plastic in your home. Create less waste, and replace cheap items designed to break with high quality and more sustainably made products that last for a long time.
It’s an added bonus that glass containers don’t leach any endocrine disrupters into your bloodstream compared to Tupper Ware or any plastic containers. Plus, using fewer plastic bags means lowering your carbon footprint.
To learn more about the health problems that plastic can cause, read here.
By using mason jars you can easily portion your meals for the week, knowing that you will eat your delicious cooked food and no chemicals. It is also a great way to reduce food waste, which has become a big problem globally, but this is another article.
Now, let’s jump on over to the question of why you are all here: Can you freeze mason jars?
Can you freeze food in mason jars?
Are you ready for the answer? Drumroll, please.
Yes, you can!
It’s super easy and something we have probably just forgotten in our busy lives. I bet if you call up your grandma, she can tell you all about it. Perhaps not about if you can microwave your food in mason jars, but I am sure she knows all about freezer burn and the best results for food storage.
Mason Jars are amazing and so versatile in the kitchen. When you are trying to turn your kitchen into a zero waste paradise, there is no going past mason jars. Here are 21 different uses for mason jars from our 31 days to zero waste challenge. Check it out if you need to find some more inspiration and let me know if I missed something in the comments.
Related: 15 Actionable Zero Waste Kitchen Tips
There are a couple of different brands out there. You may find some called ‘Ball jars’ since Ball was the first company to make canning jars and mason jars in the US. Kerr is another big brand in mason jars, along with Golden Harvest. In our home, we use Golden Harvest, but plenty of brands work fine.
Make sure that when you buy mason jars, you get the ones that are freezable and preferably wide mouth mason jars since the narrow mouth doesn’t allow enough room for expansion.
The main reason why your mason jars crack in the freezer.
- The first and most common reason is that you didn’t leave enough room for the water to expand. The general rule of thumb is to leave between 1-2 inch of space.
- The second reason is rapid temperature changes. While mason jars can withstand both extremes, cold to boiling, they can not handle a quick change. Always make sure to let the content cool down to room temperature before you put it in the freezer.
How to store or freeze food in a mason jar safely?
1. Let your hot food cool down before you transfer it into your mason jar
It is always a good practice to leave your food outside or on the kitchen counter until it is cooled down a fair bit. You don’t want to pour steaming hot liquid into the jar.
2. Get the right size mason jar for the job
There are quite a few different sizes of mason jars. For herbs and spices, we use a 4 oz mason jar. You don’t need to freeze those.
For dried fruit and nuts, we use the 16 oz jars.
For grains and muesli, we use the 32 oz jars. Depending on the size freezer you have, you are best using the last two examples.
For a quick meal, I find the 16 oz jars work best.
3. Transfer your food
This part gets a bit tricky if you don’t have the right tools at hand. I would suggest a metal ladle and a wide mouth metal funnel to transfer your contents into the jar. This is our favorite wide mouth funnel.
Make sure to leave no food on the outer edges of your glass jars as that
4. Leave enough room
See, when water freezes, it expands, and that’s usually what most people are afraid of. The food containing water brings the mason jar in your freezer to bursting. The best way to avoid this is by letting your food cool down and leaving room for the content to expand.
My rule of thumb here is about a quarter for the small(16oz) and a sixth for the bigger ones(32oz).
5. Cool it even more
Once you have everything in your jar, close the lid and let it cool down, even more, you could run it under cool water or put it in your fridge (if you are in a rush). It most likely will crack if you put hot liquids into the jar and straight into the freezer.
6. Label it
Yay, you’re done. Now, it’s probably a good practice to label your jars since frozen liquid can sometimes look the same, and you don’t want to end up putting gulasch instead of cherries on your cake.
7. Freeze the mason jars
Ok, yay again, because now you are really done. You have taken all the necessary steps to avoid thermal shock and therefore your food can safely be frozen.
You can put your mason jar for up to 5 months into the freezer. Enjoy your meal.
Quick Tip: Avoid rusty lids
The lids will start to rust over time, and the easiest way to avoid that is by just having a couple of spare ones in a separate storing basket. I wouldn’t opt for reusable plastic lids, but that’s just me. If you are ok with using them, you totally can, as you will reuse them over and over.
Ok, but I still have questions?
Can you freeze mason jars with smoothies?
Yes, you can just follow the procedures I mentioned earlier.
Can you freeze mason jars with soup?
The same goes here. You can freeze vegetable soup in a mason jar after you have cooled it down. Make sure to leave 1-2 inches of space before you put the jar in the freezer. No need to get out your ruler, just leave enough space for the air to expand.
Can you freeze mason jars with bone broth?
I am pretty sure you have guessed my answer by now, right? Yes, you can follow the simple steps mentioned above.
Can you freeze glass mason jars with the metal lid on?
Using wide-mouth mason jars with the metal lid are the only jars I have been using for canning and freezing food.
You are on your way to becoming a zerowasteman/woman. By using mason jars to store your frozen soup or even baby food or spaghetti sauce you don’t have to go to the grocery store as much since you have more prepared meals accessible in your freezer. This is what zero waste is all about; preparation.
Do you want more handy kitchen tips? Check out this article!
Alright, I hope this answered all your questions, if not and you have some more, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below and I make sure to answer it. And if you thought this was helpful make sure to share it on social media and subscribe if you haven’t already.