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Making More Use of Mason Jars  RSS feed

 
Adrien Lapointe
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I really like Mason jars. They are obviously awesome to preserve food, but can also be used for a host of other purposes in and around the kitchen. We use them for lacto-fermentation, to mix salad dressing, to sprout seeds, as flower pots, etc.

Here are some interesting Mason jar accessories that can be useful to improve current uses or to re-purpose the jars in very interesting ways.

Sprouting Screen



We have a few stainless steel sprouting screens like this one at home. They replaced cheese cloth as our sprouting strainer. They can be used as a strainer for coffee or tea that is brewed in a Mason jar. Sort of a makeshift French press.

Where to get it

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Ebay

Pouring Spout



As I said in my intro, Mason jars are great to make salad dressings. You put in your oil, your vinegar and any flavoring you want. You close it tight with a lid, you shake and voila! you have a well mixed salad dressing. A spout such as this one is a nice addition that makes pouring the dressing much easier.

Where to get it

Amazon.com
Ebay

Pickling Kit



I like using Mason jars for lacto-fermentation. They work well for small batches, are really inexpensive, they are made of glass so I don't have to worry about nasty heavy metals that can be in ceramic crocks, and it is really cool to see the vegetables in the jars. However, they have a problem. It is really hard to get the vegetables to stay under the brine, especially if not using the wide mouth jars. Whenever vegetables raise to the top and get into contact with air, they end up spoiling and I have to remove a layer at the top when I want to eat the content of the jar. What I sometimes do to avoid this issue is put a grape leaf at the top. It works really well, but as I am writing this in December, I would be really hard pressed to find a fresh grape leaf. So this Mason jar pickling kit looks really good to me right now. With its airlock it definitely looks like a good option to ensure vegetables don't get into contact with air. Additionally, this system could be used to make a small batch of beer, cider, wine, or mead in the Mason jar.

Where to get it

Amazon.com

Soap Dispenser



Why not use Mason jars for something a bit more unusual? Why not convert them in a soap dispenser? There are kits that include the pump and the jar, but you can also just get the pump and use one your old jars.

Where to get it

Jar and pump option 1: Amazon.com
Jar and pump option 2: Amazon.com
Pump only option: Ebay

Jars Full of Light



While we are in the unusual uses aisle, why not light the kitchen with Mason jars?

There are many option in that field. One can just fit a regular incandescent light bulb on the jar using this lamp kit or go with the off-the-grid solar option. One can even go old fashion and turn the jar into an oil lamp.

Where to get it

Lamp Kit:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk
Ebay

Solar Light:
Amazon.com
Ebay

Oil Lamp:
Amazon.com
Ebay

Feed the Chickens



Last but not least, a baby chick feeder base that can be attached to a Mason jar. Granted the capacity of the jars is limited, but isn't this is a really cool use for them?

Where to get it

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Ebay

 
John Polk
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And, don't forget that many food blenders use the same screw thread as mason jars.
Your own "Magic Bullet".

(If you are buying a new blender, take a mason jar lid with you to check the screw size.)
 
Judith Browning
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We use widemouth mason jars everyday for sprouts and/or lacto fermentation, others for drinking jars and storage and canning, but you've given me even more ideas...thanks. I really want the stainless steel sprout screens and the air lock for fermentation. I just tried a jar on our blender and it fits perfectly.
Our recycling board used to have a fish fry as a fund raiser for our local recycling center and besides real cloth napkins, stainless cutlery and recyclable plates we used pint jars for the drinks.
We use regular mouth quarts for water or tea when we go to town or anywhere really and here locally still get jokes about moonshine...some traditions never die.
 
Devon Olsen
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Julia Winter
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Growing sprouts in a Mason jar is really easy--I've sprouted spelt, kamut, and broccoli in the past few weeks. You just soak the seeds overnight to start, and thereafter refill with water, swirl, and drain. The sprouted wheat berries went into bread and the broccoli sprouts went into my mouth!

I've also used Mason jars to ferment, but so far my favorite fermentation container is actually a flower vase. I like it because it is a perfect straight-sided cylinder, and I have corning ware plates that fit perfectly as a press to keep my veggies submerged. I appreciate being able to watch the process.
 
Dale Bunger
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Location: WI, USA (Zone 5) Continental ~33" avg. rainfall
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the right way to enjoy the beverage of your choice


 
Adrien Lapointe
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Dale,

is it something real? I want one!
 
Robert Ray
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I got a set of those for Christmas it's a candle holder glued to the mason jar.
 
Dale Bunger
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They are available online if you look up "Redneck Wineglass". Everyone needs a pair
 
Dale Hodgins
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I picked out one of those sprouters for my sister to give to my brother's girlfriend when a gift was needed. She doesn't do wheat and had a number of other food complaints, so I knew this would be a hit.

Coffee and tea prepared in mason jars can be kept fresh indefinitely if the proper seal is made. I've prepared a weeks worth and taken them to jobs where there is no stove. I crack the lid and heat them up inside a solar collector bag which is placed in the sun to warm.

There's a band called Wide Mouth Mason. I have a relative who claims that Masons control our economy, and legal system, but that's a different story.
 
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