HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Small jars for spices, what sizes work best?

While the magnetic tins look cool, they're just too expensive for me to buy enough of them.

So I was thinking of ordering some of those really small glass bottles that hotels have with jam in them.

I'm looking on Amazon and I see 1oz, 1.5oz, 2oz..... 4oz is the size of a baby food jar.

Wondering what size would be best? 1oz seems pretty small, just 6 teaspoons... Easiest thing to order I guess too, I can get 60 of them (with jam!) for ~$30.

Then there's empty scientific type glass bottles I see here, 2oz jars, $24 for 24 of them.

Maybe the baby food sized jars are best though?

Any recommendations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Penzy's is a spice seller. They have some information about containers and quantities.

    Spices "expire", how much of each spice do you use, or does it matter if the spice is fresh?

    1. It really depends on the quantity of spice you are buying. If you are buying store bought "glass jars" of the national brands, why don't those work for you?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sid Post

        I figured I would keep a quantity in jars in an available and organized way, and then keep the leftovers from the larger bags stored out of my kitchen. It's out, of, control... :) I'll look at small mason jars before I order something, I was just thinking straight sided would mean more efficient organization etc. Square would be best, because they're the most efficient space wise, and you can level off a measuring spoon on the side of the jar.

      2. I don't think one size fits all. It all depends on the spices you're storing and the quantities you typically use. Whole nutmeg, for example will need a larger jar than saffron. I use Mason jars in sizes ranging from 4-ounces to 16 ounces for some spices. I also buy separate one-piece plastic lids, rather than using the 2-piece ring/lids that come with the jars.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CindyJ

          Yeah good points, and I never thought about unground spices... I'll have to go through my spices and see what ones I want to keep "on hand" in jars and plan for each one I suppose.

          I was thinking I'd keep a couple of baskets with small jars in them for each type of cuisine. So keep my indian spices together, chinese, my bbq rubs, etc.

          Good thinking on the one piece tops, that will save a lot of aggravation thanks!

        2. I like jars about the size that pimentos come in because they are wide enough I can grab a pinch of whatever it is.

          1. I primarily use 8 ounce mason jars, kept in a drawer, like this:

            2 Replies
            1. re: jljohn

              Wow, jljohn, I would love to have that spice drawer. Envious big time here :-). I buy my spices in bulk from Atlantic Spice, and have been keeping the bags in a 4-drawer rolling cart in my kitchen, but I love this idea for easy access.

              1. re: cndij

                Yea, that was a solution born out of necessity. Years ago, we kept spices in their original containers in a large basket. But as that overflowed, we needed another solution, and we had way too many for any spice rack. Small mason jars were the cheapest solution, so I bought four dozen. But they really only work well on small shelves or in a drawer like this. In our old place, I had them all stacked in a cabinet, and it was a pain and hazard (picture spice jars tumbling to the counter as I rummaged around for what I needed). I have long thought about making a little 'bookcase' for them--something that I could mount on the wall in the kitchen that would hold about 60 jars and only stick out about 4 inches from the wall--but for now the drawer works great!

            2. I would recommend sizing your jars so that you will have approximately 6 months worth. This will ensure that your spices and herbs will be fresh. For me that means large jars of oregano and curry, and small jars of turmeric and sage.

              1. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to keep an herb garden, buy even smaller quantities of dried. I used to use fair amounts of dried thyme, oregano, basil, sage, tarragon, and bay leaves but have not used any of them except for dried oregano on pizza in long enough I ought to pitch the jars. Alo I used to use a fair amount of curry powder. I still use it for curried ketchup and in chicken salad, but freshly ground mixtures in all Ionian dishes.

                1 Reply
                1. No. I have tried it a few times but didn't find they were worth the effort.

                  1. Seems to me I have seen small jars - both glass and plastic - cheaply priced in craft stores, though I don't know which section. I know for sure that small tins are available from online craft sources. Then you just buy adhesive-backed rubber magnetic tape, and affix it to the tins. Stick the tins to the door or side of your refrigerator.

                    1. Ok I think I figured this out. http://www.specialtybottle.com has a bunch of glass options for very cheap, 6oz square jars for $1.06, 1.5oz Hexagon jars for $.54, 4 oz for $0.67, etc.. They even have little vials with cork tops for things you use just a tiny bit of. Would be nice to keep a bunch of those rarely used things in a very small container and have them readily available.

                      Aluminum atomizers for $1.34... This place is like the http://www.monoprice.com of glass jars, where've you been all my life.

                      Now I just can't decide between square or hexagon... Hrmmmm

                        1. I use canning jars for the spices I buy in bulk and my homemade spice blends and rubs. Everything else stays in it's original container.

                          1. I keep herbs and spices in the jars I buy them in, and store the jars in the YouCopia SpiceStack. It comes in two sizes - choose the one that fits your needs.


                            1. Pimento Jars for a few...then 1/2 pint....pint....and quart mason jars. Lids are plastic recycled Mayonnaise jar lids.....

                              1. I bought 1/4 cup jars from Penzeys, to use with bulk spices sold without jars. Sometimes these are a little too small for the amount sold in one baggie, but I find it the most efficient size for home use.