Mason jars come in dozens of sizes and vary in terms of height, shape, and opening diameter. Each of these jars is designed for a multitude of uses including storage, preservation, and freezing. This guide covers everything you need to know about Mason jars.
Mason jars are glass jars specifically used to preserve (or “can”) food. However, they can also be used for freezing and shelf-stable storage.
The “Mason” jar was patented by John Landis Mason in 1858. He created a glass jar with threads that allow a top to be screwed on.
Lucky for us there is a wide variety of lids and coverings adapted for Mason jar use that enables them to be used for anything from water bottles to soap dispensers to candleholders.
Mason Jar Guide: What are the parts of a Mason jar?
Mason Jar Guide: How does a Mason jar work?
What is a Mason jar mouth?
What is a wide-mouth jar?
What is a regular mouth jar?
What sizes do Mason jars come in? How much food can I fit into a Mason jar?
Quarter Pint (½ cup, 4 oz)
Half Pint (1 cup, 8 oz)
Pint (2 cups, 16 oz)
Quart (4 cups, 32 oz)
Half Gallon (8 cups, 64 oz)
Other unique sizes such as pint and a ½ and gallon are available
How to choose the right Mason jar?
Follow the jar size suggestion in your tested recipe if canning the food. If you want to use a smaller jar than listed in the recipe, that is generally okay. Sizing up when preserving foods means a longer processing time and changes a few dynamics that I will not cover in this specific blog post. However, when using jars for shelf-stable items, refrigerated, storage, or other household needs just use whatever size jar fits the product you need to store!
Can I reuse Mason jars?
Can I freeze in Mason jars?
Sometimes! Jars that have straight sides from the base to the mouth are best for freezing in. Jars with a “shoulder” before the mouth are more susceptible to shattering in the freezer. Another thing to consider is that foods expand in the freezer, be sure to leave at least 3/4” of space between the top of the mouth and your food (head space).
What is head space?
Head-space is the gap between the mouth of the jar and the food/liquid. Your specific canning recipe will tell you how much headspace to leave. When freezing, check your jar for a “freeze” line marking on the jar, or use 3/4” to play it safe.
What are the sizes of Mason jar lids?
Regular mouth: 2 ⅝” diameter, with a 2” diameter inner flat area and a ⅝” ridge around the circumference.
Wide mouth: 3 ⅜” diameter, with a 2 ⅝” diameter inner flat area and a ¾” ridge around the circumference.
What size labels fit Mason jars?
Mason jar lids have a flat center with a ridge around the outside. The band covers part of this ridge.
You’ll want stickers that only fill the flat center areas so they are not partially hidden under the band. I know from experience that placing a sticker onto the outer ridge area can cause bubbling, puckering, and restricted sticker visibility.
Regular Mouth: maximum recommended size, 2” labels
Wide Mouth: maximum recommended size, 2 ½” labels.
Is Mason jar a brand name?
It used to be! Back in 1858, the Mason jar was patented by John Landis Mason. However, since then hundreds of companies have made their version of a screw-top glass jar. Today, the most readily and reliable manufacturers to buy from are Ball and Kerr.