Friends will sometimes challenge me with the question, “can you freeze Mason Jars?” They’re nearly always surprised by the answer: yes, you can.
However, there are a few simple rules to follow so you don’t end up with shattered glass inside your freezer. We’ll walk you through them.
How to Thaw
In the Fridge
Are Mason Jars Freezer Safe?
Let’s set the record straight—literally. Yes, Mason Jars are freezer safe, but you should only use jars with straight edges for freezing, not the ones that are rounded or have “shoulders” at the top:
This is an essential rule for freezing liquids in particular because they expand when frozen and will push against the “shoulders”, causing the glass to crack.
Freezer Safe Mason Jars
Before we go over a list of Mason Jars that are safe for the freezer, we want to clarify one thing:
We’ve chosen not to include quart or gallon Mason Jars on this list because freezing in smaller portions is a best practice and curved Mason Jars are more prone to cracking.
8 Ounce Jars (1/2 Pint)
Great for freezing:
• Baby food
• Cottage cheese
12 Ounce Jars
Great for freezing:
• Cottage cheese
• Broths & Sauces
16 Ounce Jars (1 Pint)
• Sauces & broths
• Fruit & vegetables
Freezing Mason Jars – A How-To Guide
- A freezer-safe Mason Jar with straight edges
- Freezer labels
- A permanent marker
- A ladle or spoon
- A wide-mouth funnel
- Large, sealable bag (1 per jar)
- Whatever you're putting into the Mason Jar needs to be cooled first. Major temperature changes to glass will crack it. Let food cool down before putting it in the jar.
- Big changes in temperature will crack the glass, so chill the Mason Jar in the fridge for 30 minutes while the food is cooling.
- While chilling the Mason Jar, pop a wide mouth funnel onto your jar. Ladle the food or liquid into the Mason Jar but don't overfill it—this is the main reason why jars shatter in the freezer. Leave 1 to 2 inches of space at the top of the jar (more is better.)
- Put the cap back on the jar, but don't screw it tightly.
- Write today's date and what's in the jar on a label and stick it to the jar lid. These labels are perfect for jars, and they don't leave a sticky mess.
- Put the Mason Jar in the fridge for at least 1 hour before putting it in the freezer. Remember, big changes in temperature will crack the glass—going from room temperature to freezing can cause some glass to crack.
- Put the jar in a bag (or another container) before putting it in the freezer if it does shatter. Accidents do happen. Use one bag per jar.
- Place the Mason Jar in the freezer. If you're storing several jars, keep a little space between them. Avoid placing them directly side-by-side.
- After the jar has been in the freezer overnight, you can take it out to tighten the cap. If you forget to do this, it's no big deal.
The Best Wide Mouth Funnel (Progressive)
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I can’t recommend this enough: get a wide-mouth funnel for filling jars to avoid making a massive mess in the kitchen. This one is affordable, high quality, adjustable, and easy to use.
How Long Can Mason Jars Stay in the Freezer?
You can keep Mason Jars in the freezer for up to 5 months. It may not be wise to store anything in a Mason Jar that you plan on keeping in the freezer for a long time.
Freezing Mason Jars – How To Defrost
Major temperature changes to glass will crack it. Bearing this in mind, there’s only one correct way to defrost Mason Jars and 2 things you should never do when defrosting them:
How To Defrost Mason Jars In The Fridge
- Take as many jars as you need out of the freezer.
- Put the Mason Jar(s) on a plate or towel.
- Put it the jar(s) in the fridge and leave them there overnight.
How NOT to Defrost Mason Jars
- Never put a frozen Mason Jar in the microwave.
- Do not put a cold Mason Jar in or under warm/hot water.
My Mason Jar Cracked in the Freezer… What Should I Do?
If your Mason Jar cracked in the freezer, take the bag with the broken jar out of the freezer and throw it all away. This may seem wasteful, but dealing with glass shards can be dangerous and painful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s a few other questions we regularly see about freezing Mason Jars:
You may be tempted to reuse straight glass jars from your favorite jam or mustard, but don’t. Mason Jars with straight edges are the best because the glass is stronger and thicker (here are steps on how to freeze stuff in Mason Jars.)
Any Mason Jar that holds 32 ounces (a quart) or more is curved or has “shoulders.” You can technically use them for freezing as long as you leave at least 3 inches of space at the top of the jar for liquid or food to expand.
Can I Freeze Mason Jars with Metal Lids?
The only other thing to watch out for with Mason Jars is the metal lids will rust after a while. You can clean them with vinegar, but they’ll rust again.
I tried something new and bought some iLids. They fit on all Mason Jars, are reusable, dishwasher safe, PBA-free, and come in a rainbow of beautiful colors. Go on, buy yourself a present! You deserve it.
Ball Plastic Freezer Jars: An Alternative To Glass
If you’re still uncomfortable with freezing glass jars, try these plastic freezer jars from Ball or Bernardin. They both get great reviews, are dishwasher safe, and BPA-free, too.
Right, But What About…
Do you know a better way to freeze Mason Jars? Or are you looking for info on something else? Leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!