Mason jars come in a number of different shapes and sizes, but the one thing they have in common is mouth size: wide or regular. Although the sizing is simple, the incredible number of options can make selecting the right one complicated.
In this article we outline 4 different Mason jar styles and what we recommend using them for so you know exactly which jars to buy!
Psst! Not sure how Wide and Regular Mouth sizing works? Click here.
4oz Regular Mouth Mason Jar
This size of Mason jar is perfect for storing spices, seeds, condiments, beauty supplies and small crafting items. You could ferment in these jars, but we don't recommend it because they're too shallow. These jars typically have straight sides with a universal diameter from the mouth to the base, but there are some versions available with a curved neck and large body cavity. We prefer the straight sided jars because they're easier to store and stack.
Masontops Chalk Top Blackboard Lids are the ideal lid for these jars because they won't add any extra bulk. Best of all, you can label with chalk or Top Chalk Markers over and over again for easy kitchen organization.
Straight Sided Wide/Regular Mouth Jars
Jars with straight sides are the same size from the mouth to the base, with no curve at the neck. This means food weights, like our Pickle Pebbles, will fill the entire circumference of the jar no matter where placed. This is great if you're not fermenting a full jar worth of food or if you're fermenting small shredded veggies that could easily slip past a food weight. These jars are also often used for fermenting long and lean vegetables vertically for better presentation, like asparagus, carrot sticks, or green beans. The downside to these jars is they're usually only available in smaller sizes ranging from 8oz - 24oz. If you find larger jars with a wide mouth, we highly recommend you pick them up.
Classic Wide/Regular Mouth Mason Jars
These Mason jars curve outwards from the neck and have a bulging body to increase storage capacity. This classic style of Mason jar is the most commonly found and is perfect for fermenting large vegetables and large batches. You'll find these jars have the widest selection for volume, which is why they're so popular. In addition to fermenting, these jars are are great for storing food, liquids, small items and beauty supplies.
All Masontops fermentation and storage tools are compatible with this style of jar. If you're interested in fermenting larger batches, you'll likely have to buy wide mouth jars. Our Complete Fermentation Kit is perfect for anyone looking to ferment in wide mouth Mason jars: it has everything you need!
Bale, Fido or "Swing Top" Jars
Bale and fido jars with a hinged "swing" lids aren't traditionally considered Mason jars and Masontops products aren't designed for them. If you prefer using this style of jar, it's important to note our Pickle Pebbles and Pickle Packer are the only Masontops products compatible with them. We don't recommend fermenting in fido jars because they require daily burping and can explode if the fermentation gases aren't released.
Mason Jar Brands We Recommend
To be sure you're buying a real Mason jar, make sure the packaging says "Mason" or "Canning" jar and specifies the mouth size. The safest bet is to buy brand name, like Ball, Kerr or Bernardin, and stay away from unlabeled decorative jars that may not be intended for kitchen use. Following this rule will also ensure the lids come with two separate pieces: a screw band and fitted lid. Our Pickle Pipes, Coffee Caps and Chalk Tops all need to be secured with a screw band, so be sure to save them!