Right about now, my family is well on our way to eating and enjoying the yummy cans of food I put up in the Fall.
When we finished eating a jar of peaches (or grape jelly or applesauce or peppers, etc.) I used to immediately throw away the lid. Then I would wash the jar and the ring and store them separately. I stored the rings in a plastic bucket with a lid.
The jars would get stored in the box they came in. That was until I was given a large supply of mason jars without their original boxes. For those jars I found and assortment of sturdy cardboard boxes to save them in.
I tried to make sure the jars were all stored upside down, but since the kids usually run them downstairs to our storage, many were placed in the box right side up.
That meant I had plenty of surprises in store for me in the form of dead spiders, their webs, and dead prey when canning again the next year. Spiders webs are sticky and hard to remove and then there’s the yuck factor. Not fun!
Now days I have a new method. Whenever I finish a canning jar, I save and wash the jar, ring and the lid.
To prevent mixing up the used lid with a new one, I mark and “X” on the top with a Sharpie.
Then I place the lid on upside down and twist on the ring.
That way no little creepy crawlies find their way into my jars.
As for storing the jars in the cardboard boxes, it’s not really the best solution. They don’t have handles and despite being sturdy, they are showing the wear and tear.
I’ve been on the lookout for a good storage box. I haven’t liked the idea of the widely available plastic storage bins with a lid, because the sides slope out and my jars could rock back and forth.
Last week I spotted Rectangular Dairy Milk Crates and think I may have my storage solution winner. They are designed to hold 24 quarts of milk, so I think they will hold a nice amount of jars.
I love that they have handles and that they can stack for easy storage. I’ve even seen similar crates that collapse when not in use.
Does anyone out there have a favorite way to store their Mason jars?