Canning jars are essential tools for preserving food at home. They come in various sizes and shapes, from large glass jars to smaller plastic ones.
Whether you're a beginner or a keen canner, you'll know that finding the right canning jars for your needs can be a challenge. So how can you can your produce correctly if you don't know what you're looking for?
Well, good news - we've compiled this guide of the best places to find canning jars. So, whatever your needs or experience, if you stick with us, you'll be sure to find the right canning jars for you.
If you're more of a 'hands off' shopper, and you like purchasing and receiving your goods from the comfort of your home, then let's consider Amazon.
Amazon has an impressive range of canning jars available on its website. You can choose from a variety of different jars, including:
- Glass jars
- Plastic jars
- Ball jars
- Mason jars
- Wide mouth jars
- Quart size jars
- Pint-size jars
- Gallon size jars
And many more!
There are also other products available on Amazon, such as:
- Rubber bands
- Other accessories
So, whether you're buying a new set of canning jars for yourself or for someone else, you won't go wrong with Amazon. As avid home canners ourselves, we thought we'd hit up Amazon's range and try some out for ourselves.
We purchased Amazon's own four-pack of large jars with airtight plastic lids, and we have to say, we were impressed! These jars are perfect for storing jams, jellies, pickles, sauces, marinades, soups, and even fruit competes.
The lids seal well, so they're ideal for long-term use. The quality of their lids also makes them easy to handle. Overall, these jars are great value for money, and they're certainly worth checking out.
- Easy to use: Amazon is easy to navigate, and the payment process is a breeze.
- Good quality: Most canning jars on Amazon appear to be high-quality, including Amazon's own jars and those manufactured by other retailers.
- 'Hands Off': Depending on what you're canning, you may prefer to see the jars for yourself before buying them. It can be challenging to picture dimensions and potential purposes for your jars without seeing them before you buy them.
Walmart offers a wide range of canning jars on its website. You'll find everything from small quart-sized jars to gallon-sized jars and everything in between. Walmart's selection includes:
- Glass jars (including pint-size jars)
- Plastic jars (including pint-sized jars)
- Ball jars
- Mason jars
- Wide mouth jars
- Quart size jars
- Pint-size jars (for dips, dressings, etc.)
- Gallon size jars (for jams, preserves, etc.)
And many more ...
Walmart has a truly astounding variety of canning jars available. If you're looking for a specific type of jar, you should be able to find it here. For example, if you want to make jam, you might want to look into Walmart's selection of mason jars.
These jars are ideal for making jams, jellies, and preserves, and they come in a variety of sizes. They're also dishwasher safe, which is always handy when you're busy.
For example, we tried their pack of six Ball Glass Mason Jars with Lids & Bands. This pack comes with two pint-size jars, two half-pint jars, and two quarter-pint jars. Each jar is made of glass, and each lid features a rubber band.
So, once you've finished using your jars, simply pop the lids back on the jars and store them away until next time. These were easy to use, and we loved the variety in the pack, which meant we could can more than one type of product from our one purchase!
- Variety: Walmart offers a vast range of canning jars, so there's bound to be something that suits your needs.
- Quality: Walmart appears to offer very high-quality canning jars.
- Price: Walmart tends to charge higher prices than most online retailers. They may not be suitable for canners on a budget!
This may not be the first option that springs to mind - but seriously, have you considered looking in a hardware store?
Looking in a hardware store for canning jars may seem unconventional, but it's a great place to explore. We recommend Lowes in particular.
There's no need to shop around for hours online trying to find the right canning jars; just head over to your local Lowe's store and take a look at their vast array of products!
Lowe's sells a wide range of canner jars, ranging from pint-sized jars to gallon size jars. Some of these jars include:
- ¼ gallon jars
- ½ gallon jars
- ¾ gallon jars
Mason jars (both regular and wide mouth)
There are literally hundreds of different types of canning jars available, so it pays to do some research before heading out shopping. The best way to narrow down your choices is by checking out the dimensions of the jars.
For example, if your recipe calls for a 4 cup or 8 cup jar, then you know precisely what size jar you need.
In addition to jars, Lowe's also sells other canning equipment such as:
- Canning lids
- Canning rings
- Canning weights
- Pressure cookers
- Water bath canners
- Instant Pot Canning
- Other tools
We thought we'd put their wide variety to the test, so we tried out their Four Piece Multi-Size Tempered Glass Canning Jar. These jars are perfect for storing all kinds of things, including jams, pickles, sauces, and even marinades.
You'll get four different sized jars, ranging from ¼ gallon to 2 gallons. All of the jars feature tempered glass and metal bands, and they're dishwasher safe.
The only downside to this set is that they don't include any lids. However, we found that you can easily buy lids separately.
In fact, we bought a pack of eight lids, which cost us $1.99. So if you want to make sure that you always have enough lids for your jars, then buying extra lids is definitely worth considering.
- High quality: Lowe's has been selling canning jars for years, so you know that they're going to provide high-quality jars.
- Price: Lowe's sells its canning jars at low prices, making them an affordable choice.
- Hit and Miss Stock: Although Lowes has a wide variety of canning jars available, the stock can be hit and miss when you go in-store. You might not always find what you're looking for, and stock changes regularly.
Another place you should DEFINITELY be exploring for canning jars is Home Depot. They sell everything from small jars to larger ones.
Home Depot sells a large selection of canning jars, ranging from pint-size to gallon size jars. Their most popular sizes include:
- Pint-sized jars
- quart-sized jars
- half-gallon jars
- gallon-sized jars
- two-gallon jars
You can use these jars for everything from jam to pickles to salsa. Just remember that you'll need to adjust the recipes accordingly.
Like Lowe's, Home Depot also sells a number of canning accessories, including:
- Pressure cookers
- Other tools
We were intrigued to see how Home Depot's range of canning jars would rise to the challenge, so we tested their 12-Piece Glass Mason Jars Set. This set includes 12 jars, ranging from 1 pint up to 3 quarts in size. Each jar features a rubber seal, and they're made with tempered glass.
All of the jars come with lids, but there aren't any rings included. So, if you plan to use the jars for something like spaghetti sauce, you may want to consider picking up a few sets of rings.
The only downside to this set of jars is that they don't come with instructions. But, if you're new to canning, then this shouldn't really be much of a problem.
- High Quality: Like Lowe's, Home Depot offers high-quality products.
- Wide Variety: Home Depot offers a huge variety of canning jars, allowing you to choose precisely what you want.
- Pricey: The price tag on these jars isn't cheap. At around $10 each, it's hard to justify spending that kind of money on just one set of jars.
Thrift shops are great places to look for canning jars. Not only do they offer some pretty good deals, but you can often find unique items that you won't find anywhere else.
When we went thrifting, we came across a set of six pint-sized jars. These jars feature a clear plastic lid, and they're perfect for storing jams or other preserves.
These jars are priced at under $2 each, making them a great bargain. We even saw another set of four similar jars for sale for $1.50!
If you're interested in getting more than just one set of jars, then you could check out Thrift Shops Online.
Stuck for inspiration? Here's a list of online thrift shops you can check out:
Don't forget to take advantage of all the free shipping options offered by many of these sites. That way, you won't have to worry about paying extra for shipping costs.
If you're lucky enough to live near a thrift shop, then you should definitely stop by and take a look. It's a great way to save money while still supporting your local community.
- Unique Items: Some thrift stores carry a lot of unique items, which makes them worth checking out.
- Bargains: Many thrift stores offer great deals on quality goods.
- Limited Selection: While most thrift shops will have plenty of different types of canning jars available, not every store carries the same brands as others.
- Shipping Costs: Buying from an online thrift shop means that you'll need to pay for shipping costs. If you live far away from the store, then this might end up costing you quite a bit of money.
To make sure you get the best deal possible when buying canning jars, here's a quick guide to help you figure out what type of jars you'd prefer.
Quantity vs Quality
While both quantity and quality matter when it comes to choosing the right canning jars, you should always go with the higher-priced option. This is because you'll likely use the jars multiple times over the course of their life span.
If you buy cheap jars, you run the risk of throwing them out after just a few uses. On the other hand, if you spend a little more on a quality jar, then you'll be able to reuse it time and time again.
The size of your jars also matters. You don't necessarily need to buy the biggest ones available, but you shouldn't settle for anything less than 8 ounces either.
This is because smaller jars tend to hold less food, so you may have to purchase more of them to complete your project. For example, if you want to fill 12 half-pint jars, then you'll need 24 full-size jars.
Types of Jars
There are two main types of canning jars: glass and plastic. Glass jars are made from high-quality materials, while plastic jars are cheaper.
Glass jars are much sturdier than their plastic counterparts, which means that they last longer. However, glass jars are heavier too, which means that they require more effort to move around.
Plastic jars are easier to handle, especially if you're new to canning or simply don't have a lot of experience.
They're also lighter, which makes them easier to transport. However, they aren't nearly as durable as glass jars.
Glass vs Plastic
There really isn't any clear winner between the two when it comes to canning jars. Both types of jars have their pros and cons, so you should choose the one that works best for you.
For instance, glass jars are generally considered safer than plastic ones. However, they are also heavier and more expensive.
On the other hand, plastic jars are usually cheaper, but they do break easily.
In addition, some people find that glass jars are better at keeping foods fresh. This is because glass doesn't allow air in, which keeps bacteria from growing inside.
On the flip side, plastic jars are easier to clean. Plus, they're lightweight, making it easy to carry them around.
Filling Your Jar
Once you've chosen the type of canning jar that you want, it's time to start filling it up. The first thing you'll need to do is wash the jars thoroughly.
To ensure that you remove all traces of soap residue, place them in a large bowl filled with hot water. Let them soak for about 10 minutes.
Next, drain the jars by placing them upside down in a colander set over a sink. Finally, dry them completely using paper towels when you're done rinsing off the jars.
Once the jars are dry, it's time to add your food. Start by measuring the amount of food you want to put into each jar. Then, pour the food into the jar until it reaches the top.
Finally, screw the lid onto the jar and tighten it securely. Make sure that you use an appropriate-sized lid. Lids come in different sizes, depending on the size of the jar itself.
If you're not sure what size lid to use, check online or ask someone who knows how to can.
Care And Maintenance
After you finish filling your jars, make sure to label them properly. Write the contents of the jar on the outside of the lid, along with the date.
Also, write the name of the recipe on the front of the jar.
The next step is to store your jars in a cool, dark place. If possible, keep the jars away from sunlight.
You can also freeze your jars after you've canned them. Just be sure to leave enough room in the freezer for your jars. Also, don't forget to label them before storing them in the freezer.
Also, when freezing your jars, try to avoid stacking them. Instead, lay them flat in the freezer.
You can also keep your jars in the refrigerator. But, this isn't recommended unless you know what you're doing. Refrigerators tend to get very cold, which could cause your jars to crack.
To prevent this problem, place your jars in a container that has been previously used for storage. You can also wrap your jars tightly in aluminum foil.
However, it's important to remember that it must be refrigerated immediately once you open a jar of food. Otherwise, the food will spoil.
Canning Safety Tips
Before starting to can, you should always read the instructions included with your canner. These directions will tell you exactly how much pressure to maintain while cooking. In addition, they may include information about proper ventilation.
When canning, you should never fill more than half full. Doing so could result in boiling over. And, if the heat is too high, you risk burning your food.
When canning, you should also follow the manufacturer's guidelines. For example, if your canner comes equipped with a dial gauge, you should only adjust the setting as instructed.
If you don't have a dial gauge, you can still find out how much pressure is needed by checking the weight of the lid.
If the weight increases, then you need to reduce the temperature. However, if the weight decreases, increase the temperature.
Lastly, you should take precautions against fire. Always wear rubber gloves when handling lids and rings. Also, make sure that there's no flammable material nearby.
And lastly, never use any type of alcohol when canning. Alcohol can burn, even at low temperatures.
Frequently Asked Questions
What To Look For In A Used Jar?
A good-quality canning jar should feel heavy and sturdy. It should also fit snugly inside the canner.
Why Are Canning Lids So Important?
Canning lids help ensure that all of the air is removed from the jar. This helps preserve the freshness of the food.
What's The Price Of Canning Jars?
In general, you can expect to pay between $10-$15 per jar. Prices vary depending on where you buy them.
How Do I Sterilize My Jars?
You can either boil or steam your jars. Simply put the jars into a large pot filled with water to boil.
Bring the water to a rolling boil. Then, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in hot water for 10 minutes.
Afterwards, remove the jars using tongs and place them upside down on a clean towel. Let them cool completely.
Then, carefully wipe each jar with a damp cloth. Be careful not to scratch the glass.
Alternatively, you can steam your jars. Simply set up a steamer basket in a pan of simmering water.
Put the jars in the basket. Cover the pan with a lid. Steam the jars for 20 minutes.
Remove the jars using tongs. Wipe them off again with a damp cloth.
How Long Does It Take To Process Canned Goods?
It takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to process your food. The length of time depends on whether you're processing your food in a pressure cooker or a regular canner.
For best results, consult your recipe guidelines for more information.
Related Canning Recipes
If you're like me and grow garden cucumbers in raised beds, you'll absolutely love my canning recipes.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about canning. As mentioned earlier, it's an easy way to store food without having to worry about spoilage.
In addition, there are plenty of places you can shop around to find long-lasting, high-quality cans, from thrift shops to better-known stores.
So, what have you learned today? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!