Cooking with a Sous Vide machine is way more versatile than most people realize. When I got started initially, I thought the only method of Sous Viding food was to use a plastic bag, either in the form of a gallon bag or using a vacuum sealer.
However, another great way to place your food in the water bath is by using a glass jar. I personally love to use mason jars and I have tried many different brands, in all shapes and sizes! Today I am going to feature a round up of the best mason jars for Sous Vide cooking.
Mason Jars are also a great versatile piece of kitchen equipment that will have many uses outside of the Sous Vide. I use mine to store tons of different items, especially liquids like chicken stock, soups, etc.
If you are short on time, below is a table summarizing my findings. Further down I will go on to discuss the benefits of using Mason Jars, along with detailed reviews and summaries of the best ones.
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What to Sous Vide in a Mason Jar
Certain recipes lend themselves well to using Jars.
There are many different desserts that can be whipped up in a Jar, and then served and eaten right inside of it!
Not only desserts, but if you are looking to get into infusions, such as alcohol infusions, mason jars are the perfect tool for the job. In fact I have an entire article dedicated to Sous Vide alcohol infusions.
Even better still, you can drink the infusion right out of the jar!
Some examples of my favorite desserts in jars include:
- Chocolate Espresso Pot de Creme
- Pumpkin Spice Custard
- Creme Brulee
- Different Varieties of Sous Vide Cheesecakes.
- Egg Bites
This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are hundreds of different recipes you can make, get creative!
Another great recipe for mason jars is Sous Vide Coffee.
Many people also use mason jars in the Sous Vide for Canning.
In reality, for anything which involves a liquid, should likely be using a mason jar in your sous vide water bath.
Last but not least, keeping leftovers in a mason jar and then throwing it in the Sous Vide to reheat is a great way to meal prep or reheat food easily.
Jars Vs. Plastic Bags in the Sous Vide
So, what about plastic bags? And which is the better option for general cooking?
When cooking cuts of meat, chicken, steak, fish, or other similar solid foods you should be using a plastic bag. For liquids, or other items which you can eat out of the jar, go with a mason jar.
When cooking meats you want the entire surface area of the food to be exposed to the warm temperatures of the water bath.
I also would not recommend using Mason Jars for fruits and vegetables in most cases.
Something else to consider is the environmental impact. Mason jars can be reused over and over, but plastic will have to be thrown in the trash after using, contributing to waste.
If you are serious about your commitment to the environment, you should try using Mason Jars as much as possible.
What Size Mason Jar is Best?
There is really no “best” size, it totally depends on what you are cooking. You should purchase a variety of jars in 8, 12, 16, and 32 ounce sizes.
You should also consider if you will be eating out of the jars. If so, a wide mouth jar is preferred.
Don’t forget design – I know personally when I am serving for guests, I break out my mason jars with gorgeous textured glass designs.
Is it Safe to Use Mason Jars in the Sous Vide?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to Sous Vide using Mason Jars. Just make sure to place the jars in the water bath before actually turning up the temperature, this way the glass will not crack from a drastic temperature change due to thermal shock.
Make sure they are glass mason jars.
Keep in mind the jars should be finger tight, do not over-tighten them.
I would also advise against using ball-top mason jars as it may be more difficult to get a good seal.
Best Mason Jars for Sous Vide Cooking:
Ball Mason Jars
Ball is easily the most recognizable and famous Mason Jar brand, and you have likely seen them or have used them before in various recipes or food preservation capacities.
Ball makes great, high quality mason jars with tight sealing lids at a competitive price.
In fact I have grown up seeing these since this is what my Mom and Grandmother have used all their lives. We even drink water and other cocktails straight out of the jar! They are also made in America.
- Well known brand that has stood the test of time, being around since the 19th century.
- Made in America
- Cool, recognizable brand logo
- Quality Glass
- Slightly basic looking, doesn’t stand out if you are looking for something fancy.
- Prone to rust if not dried properly.
Best Looking Mason Jars:
Verones Mason Jars
Verones is a brand that makes beautifully designed jars with high quality glass. They come in many different designs and sizes.
- Beautiful designs, perfectly suited for guests.
- High quality glass
- Great for gifts and candling.
- Not American Made
- Users report that it can sometimes be difficult to get a proper seal
Best Wide Mouth Mason Jars
Ball Wide Mouth
In some cases it is helpful to have a wide mouth jar, in order to fit food in there more easily.
It is also way easier to eat directly out of a wide mouth jar as your utensils will fit better.
Again, you really can’t go wrong with Ball and these are some great ones.
- Ball is the best in the mason jar business
- Great size for pickling
- Freezable, dishwasher safe
- Some users report receiving broken jars upon opening.
I hope this article helps you along your Sous Vide journey. Mason Jars open up a whole new world of Sous Vide cooking!