Mason jars are a great solution for food storage. Home canners and gardeners have long relied on them for the safe storage of their produce. Just ask your grandma or grandpa if they’ve been canning with Mason jars, and you’ll probably get a nostalgic response when thinking about these items. Can You Microwave Mason Jars?
One of the common questions that often comes up among people who are new to Mason jars is whether or not they can microwave Mason jars. Some people will say you can, and others will mention never microwaving Mason jars.
Here is the answer to that question.
Can You Microwave Mason Jars?
Yes, you can heat Mason jars in the microwave. The newer type of Mason jars are designed to withstand the heat of microwaves. You can verify this by looking at the bottom of your jars, where you will find a message similar to “microwave safe” or “microwave safe”.
However, keep in mind that even though mason jars are non-reactive, they still get very hot to the touch when microwaved. Therefore, it is best not to microwave foods that require long periods of time in the microwave.
A safe way to do this would be to use Mason jars to heat foods that only take a few minutes in the microwave, such as pre-cooked pasta, soup, and cheese sauces.
How do you know if your Mason Jar is microwaveable or not?
There are several factors that can determine whether or not a Mason jar is microwaveable. Here are some of them:
1. The age of the jar
The first factor to consider is the age of your Mason jar. The older jars were made with a different type of material and were not safe to microwave. So if you have an old jar, it would be best to avoid microwaving it.
There are many ways to date the jars you have. One of the most obvious ways is to look at the logo printed on the bottle. Along with the logo, you can sometimes look at the color, size, and other distinguishing cues to help determine the age of your jar.
If you are using a Mason jar made by Ball, you can look at the infographic below to find out the age of your jar:
2. Microwave Safety Symbol
Another equally critical factor to consider is whether there is a “microwave safety” symbol on the jar. This symbol can usually be found on the bottom of the Mason jar.
If you can’t find the symbol, you can look at the message printed on the bottle or its cap. Some jars will say, “Not for microwave use.” Another thing you can try is to visit the manufacturer’s website to see if the jar is listed as “microwaveable” or not.
Microwave test to determine if your Mason Jar is safe to use?
For those who are experimental or want to be sure to microwave their Mason jars, you can do a little test on the jar.
To do this, fill the Mason jar with a cup of water and place it in the microwave. Set your microwave on its highest setting. Microwave the jar for one minute.
Remove the jar from the microwave and check if it is hot. If the jar is hot, do not reuse it in the microwave. If it’s cold, you can heat your food up and you can be sure you’re using a microwave-safe jar. It’s okay if the area around the water is warm, but the rest of the jar should be cool to the touch.
Be careful when removing the jar from the microwave and use oven mitts or potholders when removing to avoid the possibility of burning yourself.
How long can you microwave a canning jar?
The main reason most people microwave their Mason jars in the first place is to sterilize them. If this is your main goal, the time it takes to microwave the jar will depend on its size.
Here’s a general guide to how long you can microwave a jar:
- Small Mason jars under 1 quart capacity: 1-2 minutes.
- Medium 1-4 liter capacity Mason jars: 3-4 minutes.
- Large Mason jars over 3 liters capacity: 5 minutes.
To reheat quick-heat items, you just need to microwave the jar for about 1-2 minutes.
Remember once again, make sure the jar has a label that specifically states “microwaveable” before heating the jar in the microwave.
Here’s a quick guide on how to sterilize a Mason jar in the microwave:
- First, wash the jar with baking soda or use warm, soapy water to remove any dirt or debris from the jar.
- Pour water into the jar and heat it in the microwave for the duration I just indicated above.
Tips for Microwaving Mason Jars
Here are some more tips for microwaving Mason jars:
- Remove all metal components from the jar before microwaving, including the lid and screw-on lid. Metal in the microwave is definitely a no-no as it will cause an explosion in the microwave.
- If the jar is too tight, it is best to transfer the food to another container before microwaving.
- Even if your Mason jar is safe to use in the microwave, it can still build up heat and may be too hot to handle, so wear oven mitts or pot holders when removing it from the microwave.
Is it safe to microwave frozen foods that are in a Mason jar?
It is common practice today to thaw frozen foods in the microwave. It’s fast and convenient. But what about microwaved frozen foods that are in a Mason jar?
Frozen food in a Mason jar should not be microwaved because it can cause the jar to break. During the microwave process, the temperature of the carafe will rise rapidly.
When this happens, it can cause thermal shock, which is when the glass in the jar is exposed to sudden changes in temperature beyond its tolerance levels. This can cause the jar structure to expand and, at certain limit points, can cause the jar to crack and break.
The safest solution for thawing frozen food stored in a Mason jar is to submerge the jar in a container of water. Change the water every thirty minutes until the contents of the jar thaw, and then you can proceed to microwave the food.
What other ways are Mason jars used?
Mason jars are not limited to food storage. You can also use it for other things like storing items or creating something awesome with them. For example, you can use old disused jar lids to create toothbrush holders, stained glass jars, welcome signs, and many more.
As you’ve read so far, it’s safe to microwave Mason jars as long as the jar has a “microwavable” label on it. If you are microwaving a Mason jar, then certain safety precautions should be taken before doing so. Be sure to read the security tips section to make sure you are aware of the do’s and don’ts.