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glass jars for the freezer?

I have some quantity of leftover chicken and beef stock and am out of 'normal' freezer containers.
How do old peanut butter or jelly or other glass containers stand up to freezing (of course allowing space for liquid expansion)?

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  1. Do you have zip lock bags? I'd do that before glass, but admit I've never attempted glass.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DGresh

      I agree with you and would have used a zip lock but outta of 'em.

      1. re: serious

        I have frozen food in glass jars with no problem. Just don't overfill because the stock expands and pushes the lid out.
        Vodka bottles can go in the freezer with no ill effects!!

    2. I freeze in jars, but I freeze them with no lid or a loose lid then tighten up after they are frozen solid.

      1. I've got a few mason jars in my freezer and they've been fine as long as the're not overfilled, and even then, it's fine. Ever hear of freezer jam ?

        1. I use the leftover glass jars from spaghetti sauce to freeze most of my stock. No problem as long as I leave plenty of room for expansion and defrost in a warm water bath -- there can be breakage if you try to defrost in the microwave.

          1. I've used glass peanut butter jars in the freezer for years, works great!

            1. I used to make all my baby food and freeze in the baby food jars.

              1. Well, I've always used spaghetti sauce jars before, too, but this time one of them didn't work! I had lots of leftover homemade pasta sauce. Got out my empty pasta jars, filled two of them, and stuck them in the freezer last week. Went to get them out this morning and one of the jars was cracked/broken all the way around in several places. The second jar was fine. I filled them both the same (probably two full as I now read this thread) and let them cool off before freezing. This is the first time I've had one break. I think I'll probably do it again, but this time I will only fill them 3/4 full and will not tighten the lid until it has frozen. Thanks for the tips!

                1 Reply
                1. re: JudiMorrison

                  i have used mason jars in the freezer usually with no problem. Occasionally upon thawing they will crack, not sure why. Love to freeze home made soup this way. I have thawed them in the microwave on the defrost level, again with no problem, but i let the jar rest for a few minutes between zaps until it is thawed enough to pour the contents out.

                2. Many of the typical Ball and Kerr canning jars are made to be also used in the freezer. They state that the ones with straight sides are the best to freeze in. Avoid using jars with narrower lids and "shoulders".

                  1. I wouldn't do it, unless the glass containers are specifically made for freezing. I make a lot of bone broths and soups in the winter. A process that takes 3 days to do right. In the past year I've had 5 large mason jars crack on me in the freezer. The first time, I guess I overfilled, so the second time I left a very large (or so I thought) space for expansion, and left them to freeze without lids, and chilled them first in the fridge, but they STILL ended up breaking! I like using glass, as opposed to plastic, but this is a huge pain in the butt. After all the time I put into making these soups, and then they were either ruined or had to be very, VERY carefully salvaged. No one wants to eat glass shards. I probably should have thrown it all in the trash, but I couldn't bear it.

                    I'm wondering if maybe the slightly smaller mouths of these jars may have forced the pressure of the expanding liquid to push outward as well as upward. But honestly I don't care to test this again. I'm over it. I'm never freezing in random glass containers ever again.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: rnhuber

                      Mason jars must be filled only up to one inch below the shoulders of the jar - where it begins to narrow.

                      I have frozen stock in mason jars for years this way.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        I exclusively freeze stock in 1/2 liter water bottles. The bottles and caps are washed with hot, soapy water, rinsed and the put into paper grocery bags to dry for weeks or months. I have relatives who have a skeeve factor about citrus juice frozen this way. I guess they don't want anymore orange juice. (My dad has two orqnge tres, ruby red grapefruit tree, and two lemon trees in Arizona.)

                        1. re: John E.

                          We don't use very much plastic in our house. It leeches into food, harbors bacteria, and breaks down when exposed to soap.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            The plastic in the water bottles does not break down unless exposed to high heat. If the water bottles are safe for water, they are safe for broth.

                            Do you have a link in reference to the soap thing?

                            I don't think the plastic is exposed to the soap long enoigh for any breakdown of the plastic to occur, unless you have something that says otherwise.

                            P.S. All of our plastic is recycled. I generally don't get to alarmed at these sorts of things, although I do wish that manufacturers would use less packaging that uses plastic fhat cannot be recycled. Or cant it be recycled?

                    2. I use mason jars for freezing all my liquids. Plastic container have always squeaked me out, the way the stain and hold onto oil no matter how you wash them. But I am weirdo.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: foodieX2

                        I am a weirdo too. I save good glass jars and lids , in addition to a variety of mason jars, and freeze in them. If they break- no big deal. They are safe, economical and easy to use. Weirdo's unite! LOL.

                      2. I have frozen my stocks in mason jars for years. Only a couple have cracked - before I learned that the fill level must be a minimum of one inch below the shoulder of the jar. Also, they sell plastic lids for mason jars - I use those and love them.

                        Use the same lids and jars to store whole grains in the freezer.

                        1. We freeze stock in empty .5 liter water bottles. They stack well in the freezer, are easy to thaw in the refrigerator, counter, or in a sink of hot water if you're pressed for time, and won't break if you drop them.

                          1. Is it safe to freeze sauce with meat or poultry? Of course everything is cooked thoroughly and I know to allow the sauce to cool and to leave room for expansion. I suppose I know that it is okay to freeze cooked meat as well, I am mostly concerned with how long and how well it will keep. Anyone have a clue? I am getting ready to have a baby in about a month and really want to stock up on sauces and other meals to ease in time management with a newborn and a 6 year old.

                            1. A reason one seemingly identical, say peanut butter jar' will crack and it's mate won't is explained by the fact that even the most minute unnoticed scratch or chip will cause that jar to fracture. Rough handling at the store will cause tiny chips on the bottom of the jar.
                              In the late sixties I was given a 'glass making kit'. I'd go to the local bottle depot and pick out nice looking blue port bottles. Then I'd make drinking glasses from them to give as gifts and for our home. Actually it was lots of fun.
                              After a few hundred failures I began to understand why so many bottles were not cracking right. A bit of research explained the problem. I started being very careful about watching for the slightest chip or crack.