Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Freezing in Jars

I have written about my efforts thus far with Rodale.com's Plastic-Free February.  I mentioned that one could freeze in Mason jars, but what I didn't mention was that I had never actually done so.

I suppose I've been conditioned.  I open a freezer and, like most people, I expect to see paper, cardboard, or plastic wrapping, but glass seems like it would expand and break.  However, I know Mason jars can handle extremes of heat -- they even say "can and freeze jars" on the boxes, for heaven's sake.  So, this weekend, I froze some stock in Mason jars, and I am pleased to say it turned out fine.

What you see is my finished stock.  Note that I left over an inch of headroom for expansion, which turned out to be perfect.  I also did have to use plastic jar lids, but those won't be touching the food, unlike the freezer boxes I had been using.  (Does anyone know of some reusable zinc screw on lids?)

I think it is a worthwhile switch to get your freezer food out of plastic as much as possible.  And, if you get rid of those plastic boxes, that is one less thing to fall on your head when you open the cabinet door!

The Analysis

Fast:  Freezing in jars was actually quicker than ladeling into boxes because I could use a canning funnel to help.

Cheap:  I already had the jars.  If you don't, the jars will cost more than the boxes but should last longer.

Good:  A little less plastic touching our food, and a little less endocrine disruption.  (Plus, need I remind you that this particular project --  freezing about 4 quarts of stock -- saved me about $10-12!)
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  1. I didn't know you cold freeze canning jars. What about the really old ones? Really think getting away from plastic is a very good idea and very hard to do in this day and age.
    Thanks for the ifo and the picture is pretty.

  2. The metal rings are reusable almost indefinitely, and the canning lids are reusable for freezing or general storage, just not for canning.

    I use my canning jars for everything - love 'em! Haven't read enough of your site to see if you are pressure canning yet, but it's GREAT for easy meals. I always have soups, stews, and meat canned up where it's nice and handy.