Is it safe to freeze soup and chili in glass jars?

I don’t like using plastic containers to freeze chili. It always stains the plastic and won’t come off. The lids don’t seal very well.

There’s also the concern of chemicals leeching into the food.

I’d like to use clean mason jars and lids. But don’t want to sterilize and vacuum seal using boiling water bath canning. That’s a lot of work for soup or chili that’s intended for the freezer. I’d put canned soup on a shelf in the pantry.

Is it safe to wash jars, fill and freeze? I know the food needs to cool in the fridge for an hour or two. So the glass doesn’t shatter. This would be a small batch and eaten within three months.

I would be concerned that the freezing would cause the glass to crack due to expansion as the food freezes. But if it broke and you disposed of it I don’t see the concern.

Clean jar and then to the freezer? I wouldn’t think twice about it. Probably much better than a used Tupperware. I will be interested to see what others say.

Expansion is a concern. There’s a freeze line mark on mason jars. Never shock any hot glass with a trip into the freezer.

To really play it safe, put the empty jars in the freezer first, then put cold chili in, then freeze without the lids on, then cap them.

That’s a Great suggestion Chefguy.

Thank you.

I use semi-disposable translucent 16 oz/pint containers like you’d get, say, at the fancy olive bar or with your potato salad from the deli for freezing chili. Most of mine come from a local Polish grocery store having originally contained delicious soups. This sort of thing. The lids are totally tight and they don’t stain in the freezer. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I saw stained plastic that hadn’t been microwaved. Microwaving can heat fats above the melting point of the plastic and cause bubbling and staining. I always transfer thawed food to glass or ceramic containers before reheating.

They’re also a good size for one large or two smaller portions of chili or soup.

I just reuse disposable containers like from potato salad lunch meat tubs ect that way if they do get grody just toss em in the recycling bin

I find leaving about an inch or so at the top of a quart jar filled with liquid or semi-liquid food gives plenty of room for the stuff to expand without cracking the jar. Yes, let the contents cool before transferring the closed jar to the freezer.

I reuse jars from honey, mayonnaise, peanut butter, whatever for this purpose, and it’s always worked fine. Sure, I can get some ice crystals on the top of frozen food in a jar with some kind of plastic lid that’s not hermetically sealed, but I don’t care.

I ordered a case of take-out Chinese food containers from a restaurant supply outfit. They work beautifully for all kind of left overs and in my lunchbox. They do work well in the freezer but naturally they don’t seal perfectly. Keep them upright until frozen solid and use them up fairly quickly (within 3 months) unless you like freezer burn.

Just to be clear, you can’t water bath can chili and keep it in the pantry. You need to pressure can pretty much everything that’s not fruit.

I use a set of Pyrex storage bowls and haven’t had any problems. They’re not cheap, though. Consider, though, with frozen mason jars, you probably don’t want to put those straight into the microwave; you’ll have to let it thaw out first. I haven’t had problems going straight from the freezer to the microwave with a single-serving bowl of chili or curry.

Embrace the plastic!

Glad sells nice little one or two serving (depending on how much you eat) bowls with tight fitting lids that hold up nicely, don’t leach weird tastes and are easy to thaw out your food. Warm water rinse, and flex the container, and it pops right out.

Nice thing about them is you can squeeze out any air trapped inside, which I find preserves the product far better and prevents freezer burn, or whatever you want to call it.

Only down side is they will break if you drop then while frozen, but then again, so will glass and you can salvage your food from broken plastic, but I wouldn’t want to take that chance with glass.

I’ve got probably 40 or so, as I make spaghetti sauce like a Bad Dog with my homegrown tomatoes and freeze it for the long winters. Always a treat on Sunday night!

Ziploc freezer bags are the way to go. You can freeze them flat on a cookie sheet and storage is easier. They defrost nicely too. No ice crystals.

I’ve seen pics of people using binder clips to hang the frozen bags, beck, sometimes off the wire shelf in most freezers. Easy to label, and it’s almost like flipping through a file cabinet. A delicious file cabinet.

To the OP I have used jars (reusing salsa jars, mostly) to freeze soup. Nice thing is then I can microwave my lunch straight in the jar, once it’s thawed of course, which makes office meals a little simpler.

Yep, that’s what we do. We have a freezer full of soups frozen flat in ziplock freezer bags.

This is what I do too. Throw them in hot water for a faster defrost.

Another vote for ziplocks. You can lay them flat in the freezer so they don’t take up much space, and they’ll thaw in a matter of minutes under some warmish water.

My mom used to freeze leftover soups and sauces in Mason jars and probably 80% of the time the glass ended up cracking. I suspect it wasn’t thermal shock, instead expansion caused it to crack. It was always near the bottom, too. So I’ve always avoided freezing liquids in glass containers.

My problem with Ziplocks is that it’s just more plastic in the landfill.

Sixthing ziplocks bags. Chiming in because I just happen to be thawing a bag of passata right this second. I have what must be 50 bags in the bottom drawer of the freezer from this summer’s tomato glut. There’s no way I’d have been able to store that much in boxes or jars.