Mason jars have been around for over a century. In 1969, the first mason jar – a glass jar sealed with a threaded zinc cap and jar mouth – was patented by John Landis Mason as a means of preserving food. The mason jar was first conceived as a means to save costs by making food produce last longer, as well as for soldiers to carry food on the move. With the advent of the refrigerator, the preserving properties of mason jars were no longer as important (although it is rather inconvenient to lug a huge refrigeration unit around for your food!). As such, mason jars have become repurposed for a multitude of uses from drinking mugs to vintage wedding decorations.
Why use a mason jar today?
1. It still saves you money
With the ever rising food and living costs in Singapore, preparing your own meals can save you up to $200 a month! Mason jars allow you to save time by preparing your meals in bulk for an entire week, and have them safe and fresh any time of the day.
2. Mason jar meals help you keep a disciplined diet
“If you keep good food in your fridge, you’ll eat good food.”
Nutritious meals with a good mixture of nutrients can be a hassle to prepare. By preparing them in advance, the relative convenience of heating up a healthy meal ensures you stick to your diet rather than walk out for another fast food meal.
3. Mason jars are environmentally friendly
Global warming, lack of clean water, overflowing landfills are just some of the huge environmental problems created by the consumerist culture of today. Unlike plastic takeaway boxes, a single mason jar can be reused over and over to last a lifetime and does not leech toxic waste into our water supply while decomposing over a thousand years. You’ll also not have to spend money purchasing more every other week.
4. They make everything taste better
A new study led by Professor Charles Spence of Oxford, has shown that good looking food tastes better too. Though not technically part of taste, sight influences perception of food and drink. Taste, smell, and sight feed into our brain together to create the complete description of flavour. Make the goodness of your painstakingly prepared anti-aging smoothie even better by preparing them in a vintage mason jar mugs – ready to inject some goodness into your body anytime!
How to choose a mason jar
Mason jar volume
- Mason jars with shoulders are great for general storage, while straight-sided jars work best for freezing. Many recipes will also recommend a jar size ideal for preserving.
- The following can serve as guidelines:
- 4 oz Jelly Jars
Jams, jellies, mustards, ketchups, dipping sauces, flavored vinegars and small portion sizes.
- 8 oz Jelly Jars
Jams, jellies, conserves and preserves.
- 12 oz Jelly Jars
Jams, jellies, and marmalades.
- 8 oz Half Pint
Fruit syrups, chtuneys and pizza sauce.
- 16 oz Pint
Salsas, sauces, relishes, and pie fillings.
- 32 oz Quart
Fruit slices and vegetables, pickles, tomato-based juices or sauces.
- 16 oz Pint
Salsas, sauces, relishes and fruit butters.
- 24 oz Pint & Half
Asparagus, pickles, sauces, soups, and stews.
- 32 oz Quart
Pickles, tomatoes, and whole or halved fruits and vegetables.
- 64 oz Half Gallon
Apple and grape juices.
- 4 oz Jelly Jars
- Regular Mouth mason jars work best with pourable foods such as jams, jellies, salsas, sauces, pie fillings and vegetables.
- Wide Mouth mason jars work best with whole fruits and vegetables, allowing for easy filling.
- Canning lids with hermetic seals must be used when home canning. The rubber ring along the rims of these lids is responsible for forming an airtight seal during canning, preventing your food from going bad. Canning lids should be used only once as the impression of the mason jar rim on the rubber seal can prevent effective sealing if reused, increasing the risk of food going bad. The rings they come with can be reused.
- Screw-on lids with strawholes are great to pop over a drink. The rubber strawhole allows you to insert and drink from a straw while preventing the liquid inside from spilling out.
- Some mason jars come with a handle for easy holding, and are especially useful for drinks. They are sometimes called mason jar mugs.
- With the manufacturing capabilities of today, mason jars are no longer the boring, transparent glass jars they once were. Tinted glass, quirky text prints, embossed patterns, it is important to get a design that you love as it will be with you for life!
Types of mason jars
Mason Canning Jars
These jars are made from thermal shock-resistant glass that can withstand an enormous range of temperatures, making them ideal for canning. They come with canning lids and bands that create a hermetic seal when used in home canning. This prevents your preserves from going bad by preventing oxygen from getting into the food.
Our canning jars come from Ball®, who invented the first mason jar and has been the leader in fresh preserving since 1869.
Mason Jar Mugs
These fun jars come with a convenient handle and in a plethora of exciting designs that turn any drink into a hip concoction! Mason jar mugs come with a strawhole lid that accomodates a straw while preventing accidental spillage. They are great for storing drinks for later consumption, or just a good evening beer.
Screw-lid Mason Jars
These are general purpose jars designed for simplicity and convenience. Without the extra bulk of a handle, they take up less space on your shelves. The simple screw-on lids make them an excellent container for general storage of dried foods like nuts, grain, and drink powders with great ease of access. They are also frequently used for vintage DIY fairy lights or repurposed into holders.