Emma, Leela and I were browsing around the new Heath store in San Francisco when Emma spied this 2.5L Weck jar on a shelf. Emma's been steeping and brewing up a storm these days and the jar looked like a perfect size for her projects. She hesitated, we encouraged; she considered the pros and cons, we emphasized the pros; she spoke of frugality; we reminded her it was under $10. In the end, Emma bought the jar. In fact, she left the store with two. Smart girl, our Emma. I've owned one of these large sized Weck jars for a few years now, and I've never regretted buying it. It's large enough to store bulk grains, brew a batch of ice tea, hold various leftovers in the fridge, and serve as a vase for a bunch of long-streamed dahlias. I've filled it with gazpacho, clamped on the lid, hauled it to a potluck and served the soup right from the jar. The folks at Heath have found a lot of uses for it, too. From their website:
Here's how we use it: Storing leftover marinara sauce; keeping leftover chopped salads crisp in the refrigerator; turning your pantry into a visual treat by storing assorted rice and legumes; impromptu picnicking; working lunches and so on; gifting chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients for the holidays.What does Emma think? She totally loves it!
I use them exclusively for brewing kombucha because they're easy to handle and pour from, and they're lighter than other similar-sized jars. And also, they're pretty. To be honest, though, I don't know what other things people would use them for. For canning purposes, they'd make A LOT, which I suppose is fine if you think you'll eat through it once you open the jar, but it seems like ... a lot. They're a little unwieldy to use as carafes. They'd be good for kimchi or sauerkraut or other fermentation, though, because you can fit your whole hand inside (or at least I can, though I have small hands!).
Like Emma, I'm not too sure about canning with this jar, although technically that's the purpose it is sold for. Like all Weck jars, it is made from tempered glass and comes with a rubber ring and metal clamps. The rubber ring can be left off, especially for things like brewing ice tea but it's important to use it if you want the seal to be tight, like when storing grains or using it to transport food. But just as important as its versatility and practicality, this jar has a pretty, sensual shape, with a slightly wider and rounder bottom and a bit of wave in the glass. Anything I put in it always looks a little better, like it just moved to a nicer neighborhood. In fact, I use this jar so often I may take a leaf from Emma's notebook and get another one. Or two.
Available from Heath Ceramics, in stores and online, for $9.15 each.Related: The History of Weck Canning Jars from Kauffman Mercantile (Image: Heath Ceramincs and Dana Velden)