For those of us lacking the desire or time for full-on water bath canning, there's the freezer option for preserving summer's bounty. Ball, that venerable maker of glass canning jars, has seen our need and come out with a series of plastic "jars" specifically intended for the freezer. What do you think: life-saver or over-rated?
When these jars were featured in the most recent issue of Everyday Food, my reaction was mixed. I already have a cupboard full of tupperware, plastic take-out containers, and other assorted storage devices. All of these work perfectly fine for freezing foods. And beyond the plastic, regular glass canning jars are just as serviceable as plastic in the freezer. So why would I need special "freezer jars"?
But these jars have some points in their favor. They're compact and stackable. The bottoms actually lock right into the lids, reducing the probability that we'll knock the whole stack over as we dig through the freezer. A fill-line makes it easy to know how far to fill the jars to allow for expansion. The jars are made from rigid BPA-free plastic, which is definitely better than our take-out containers.
Those lids screw on tightly, too. One of the reviewers on Amazon says that she uses the jars for storing juice and carries them around all day in her purse without leaks.
The jars are also really inexpensive. They're $5.99 for five of them on Amazon. (Note to self: remember this next time you need to round-out an order for free shipping.)
I've been thinking about trading in some of my old, scratched-up, and mismatched storage containers. A few of these canning jars might be just the thing for freezing summer jam, batches of chicken stock, and even smaller portions of ice cream.
What do you think?
• Find It! Ball Plastic 8-oz Freezer Jars, $5.99 on Amazon
Related: Plastic-Free Food Storage Container Alternatives