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Autumn is a time when many people find themselves canning and freezing items from their gardens, trips to the farmer’s market, or even items that they found on sale at their local grocery store.
Canning can take a lot of equipment and can be time consuming. If not done properly can even cause the food to go bad or make someone ill.
Perhaps you don’t have the equipment needed to can your homemade jam or broth. Maybe you are trying to cut back on your use of plastics?
Whatever the reason you now need to know if you can freeze in glass jars.
You can freeze food inside glass jars and many mason jars will even have a freeze line on them. You have to be careful when freezing in glass jars to make sure that the glass will not crack or shatter.
Although you can freeze in glass jars many people prefer plastic as there are less issues with dropping and breaking the containers and even less issues with stacking them safely in the freezer.
So although you can use glass jars to freeze food, for many reasons using plastic is better. To see the most popular freezer storage containers just click here.
How Do You Freeze In Glass Jars?
There are two things you need to remember when freezing anything in glass jars. The first is to not overfill the jar and the second is to not put anything hot in the jar and then place that in the freezer.
Glass can shatter or crack under thermal shock. To avoid thermal shock, you will want to cool your liquid to room temperature before placing it in a glass jar and freezing it.
If you fill the jar with hot liquid then place that jar into the freezer you risk that jar cracking or shattering.
Make sure that you take the extra time to allow your food to cool completely before putting it into your glass jar.
The next thing you need to remember is that liquid expands when it freezes. If you do not leave enough room in your glass jar for the liquid to expand it can cause the jar to crack or shatter.
For this reason, it is best to use a straight edge mason jar when freezing liquid. You want to avoid jars that have “shoulders” or that curve in at the top. On straight edged jars you will want to fill the jar to the freeze line.
The freeze line is typically found just under the threads of the jar. Some mason jar brands will even have the words “freeze fill line” imprinted on the jar.
In straight edged jars filling to this line just below the threads will leave enough room for your liquid to expand while it is freezing without the worry that there will be damage to the jar.
If you need to use a glass jar with a shoulder then you will want to make sure that you leave even more room for your liquid to expand.
If using a jar that curves inward toward the lid you will want to make sure that you only fill the jar to one inch below the shoulders of the jar. This will leave plenty of space for your liquid to fill as it expands while freezing.
To store your glass jars in the freezer you will want to place them in a cardboard box so that they do not risk being jostled about by other items in your freezer. Any cardboard box will do, this is just to keep your glass jars separated from other items in the freezer.
This is especially useful if you are using a chest freezer to store your jars. They do sell some pretty cardboard storage boxes specifically made for mason jars on Amazon.
Can You Freeze Soup In Glass Jars?
You might be wondering what you can freeze in glass jars now that you know that you can safely freeze food in glass. Can you use glass jars to freeze soup?
You can freeze soup in glass jars. However, there are some soups that do not freeze well so the first thing you will want to do is make sure that the soup you want to freeze will hold up well in the freezer.
You do not want to freeze any soup that has pasta or rice in it. The pasta and rice do not hold their texture well when frozen and then reheated in a soup.
You can, however, prepare the soup as you would but forgo adding the pasta or rice when freezing it. You can add the pasta or rice later when you are reheating your soup after taking it out of the freezer.
You will also want to avoid freezing soups that are dairy based. The dairy will separate from the soup when you are reheating it, giving you a grainy and unappetizing texture.
Go ahead and make the soup without adding the dairy and freeze it that way. Add the dairy later when you are reheating the soup.
How To Freeze Soup In A Glass Jar
Now that you know that you can freeze soup in a glass jar and the two major kinds of soups to avoid freezing you will need to know the best way to freeze your soup.
You will first need to prepare your soup. If you are making a chicken noodle soup or chicken and rice soup just leave the noodles or rice out while preparing your soup. You will add those later when you are reheating it.
Once your soup is fully cooked you will then need to allow it to cool to room temperature before you fill your glass jars.
The best jars to use when freezing soup are straight jars. These jars will have the same width opening as they have bottom. The sides of these jars are perfectly straight and do not curve inward at all.
Make sure that your jars are clean and dry before you fill them. I like to sterilize my jars just as I would if I were canning.
To sterilize your mason jars you will place them in a large pot with warm water. The jars need to be fully submerged in water. Bring the water to a boil and allow the water to boil for ten minutes. Remove the jars from the water and allow them to dry completely before use.
Once your jars are sterilized and ready for use you can fill them with your cooled soup. You will want to make sure that you leave enough room in the jar for your soup to expand as it freezes.
It is best to leave two inches at the top of the jar for expansion, three inches if you are using a jar with shoulders (a jar that curves in toward the top).
When it is time to reheat your soup, you will want to make sure that you take your soup from the freezer and allow it to thaw either in the fridge or on the counter.
Do not heat the glass jar with the soup in it as it can shatter or crack. Once your soup has thawed, remove it from the glass jar and then reheat your soup.