Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Broken Jars of Food Make me Cry–Here’s the No-More-Tears Solution!

November 15th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Tips

One of the hazards of the real food/eco-friendly lifestyle is broken glass jars.

Best way to freeze in glass jars

Not necessarily from clumsy fingers (although that’s a possible problem too), but from either heating milk for homemade yogurt in jars in a pot and losing one to the mysterious jar-breaking forces or because of freezing food in glass and having cracks from expansion.

I always feel a little guilty when people write to me about their broken jars, because I’m the one recommending to make yogurt right in the jars and to freeze food in glass jars. Every time I think I have the solution to the yogurt jar issue, I break a jar myself and am thrown back into the “I don’t understand it” crowd. Cold water in the pot was my last fix that I thought was 100% foolproof, until I lost a jar a few weeks ago…aughhhhhh!

To tackle the problem of freezing food in glass jars, I put my science geek thinking cap on and did some genuine experimentation. Warning: Glass jars WERE harmed in the process. But food everywhere will be safer because of their sacrifice!

I’m sharing my results over at Green…Your Way today, with photos, all the gory details, and my final recommendation on freezing in glass jars without breaking anything, which I think is the unequivocal final solution that will never fail. (Waiting…waiting…no lightning striking? No reader emails yet? Phew! Keep reading!)

Best way to freeze in glass jars (5) (475x317)

Here’s a little taste:

I shared what turned out to be a pretty popular post a few years back about how to freeze in glass jars, and I have felt kind of guilty about it the past year. It felt really helpful at the time: tips on where to get repurposed jars for free, how to eye up what you have to store, the importance of headroom.

But readers reported problems: They were still breaking glass jars in the freezer (and wasting food and shedding many tears, I tell you) at an alarming rate!

I realized that my post only skimmed the surface of what someone needed to know to successfully freeze food in glass jars, and the problems people shared in the comments over the years left me with a few questions, so I decided to set up my own science experiment at home.

Here are the questions I sought to explore:

1. Do newer freezers and/or uprights tend to break jars more readily than older and/or chest freezers?

2. Does the jar’s position in the freezer make a difference? For example, being in the door, sitting right on “quick freeze” coils, or nesting on top of other already-frozen foods.

3. Do different shapes of jars impact the breakage rate?

4. How much headroom do you really need?

5. Does freezing with the lid off solve the problem?

6. Does laying the jar down help?

Come on over to Green…Your Way for an authentic science fair experience, minus the tri-fold display board. Winking smile Click HERE to read the rest.

Big Thanks to KS Sponsors

As curious as I am and as much as I hate wasting food (it makes me cry), I don’t think I would have done those experiments if I didn’t have you guys, if I didn’t have other people counting on me and who could benefit from my results.

It does take a good deal of time to manage a blog, write posts, run tests, develop and test recipes, take photographs of food (that actually look halfway decent), update social media outlets, and most importantly, keep up with comments and emails from readers. Making Kitchen Stewardship into a “real business” and blogging into a “real job” is the only way I could justify all that time, and to do that requires a “real income.” (Pats on the back and appreciation are great, but my husband says I have to share.)

Part of being a business is having sponsors, and I’m always SO pleased to introduce the companies who make this work possible (and free for you!). I work one-on-one with companies and brands I love, that I would use anyway, and it’s important to me to be authentic and open about those relationships.

This month there are six site sponsors making it all possible, and I’m so pleased to introduce you to three of them today. Please give them a quick visit and “hello” to thank them for being part of the KS community.

Molly’s Suds

Molly’s Suds is a natural laundry detergent that is simple to use, non-toxic, and Get the gunky buildup out of clothes washed in synthetic detergents with Mollys works plenty well enough for our family of five. In fact, I trained my 8-year-old on some laundry skills last week, and it was nice to have a simple system for him (no baggies, strange measuring, or multiple containers to juggle). More on how we like it at my Molly’s Suds review. Thanks to the team over there for joining our team at KS to help me help you keep natural living doable!

Trilight Health

Lympha Rub is not only the best seller, but our family favorite too.TriLight Health produces herbal supplements using a special cold-tincture method and lots of traditional recipes. They truly seem to have something for anything that ails you. We use the immunity boosters regularly and have all sorts on hand for issues: Lympha Rub for coughs, Tummy Plus, Propolis for removing warts naturally, sore throats and more. See this post for more on our thoughts on the company.

BeeswrapOrganic cotton covered in beeswax to keep your food fresh without plastic!

If you have made it a family goal to reduce plastic or reduce disposables (or both, good for you!), then Beeswrap is definitely something you want to look into. It’s beeswax-coated fabric that takes the place of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover dishes, and it’s reusable. Here’s one way we use it to avoid disposables for fancy party food.

Thanks again to ALL our sponsors (you’ll meet the other three peppered throughout posts this month) and to all the KS community who makes connections and support possible! Be sure to like KS on Facebook to catch all the juicy conversations that can’t fit on the blog, like some stuff about GMOs and aseptic food packaging this week for example.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Rebekah

    Just so you know, Katie, the first link to the article is broken :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Helen @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Whoops! Thanks for pointing that out, I’ve got it fixed now ;)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Carol G.

    I too freeze in my canning jars and at first I had a couple break, but I tried something and so far it has worked; no more broken jars! I cool the jar in the fridge overnight then put it in the freezer and in turn when I go to thaw it, I put it in the fridge overnight then set it on the counter. It needs to be taken up or down an increment of temperature before subjecting it to the sudden increase or decrease in temperatures. Works for me!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Helen @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    That’s what I do, too! Plus it’s great from a food safety standpoint. I made Katie’s bulk white sauce recipe this week and I sat them on the counter a bit to cool, stirring them every so often. Then they went into the fridge to completely chill and then the freezer. No problems!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • greenhills

    I found the fridge to freezer trick helps too. So I have a random, related question. How do you get the smell from jar lids to go away completely? I’ve tried dishwasher and baking soda so far. Any tricks? Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Oh, man, those would be two of my top two lines of defense too…it seems like for pickle jars, I’ll put boiling stock in them, and the pickle smell doesn’t affect the stock enough to matter, and then the jars are “cured” of their pickle-ness. Maybe boiling water? Maybe hydrogen peroxide or vinegar soak? A lot of people ask me this, but I must not be as sensitive to the smells because just “time” seems to do it for me. :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.