Back in the 1850s, a man named John Mason devised what might seem today like quite a straightforward product, but for people who have a reason or desire to conserve food for later use, his invention is highly considered. We are talking about the Mason jar, which for well over 150 years has been used to store and preserve all sorts of foodstuffs, without any doubt utilized for other items such as nails, coins, and other assorted products.
What Is A Mason Jar?
A Mason jar is a molded glass jar, with a thread at its opening, and this thread is utilized to fasten a metal lid. A threaded ring screws onto the ribbon on the jar, and inside the band is a lean disc-shaped lid.
The threaded ring and flat lid are typically made from steel which has been tin-plated. It is also common to discover a thin rubber ring inside the lid, and this can be used to create a hermetic seal once the lid is screwed tightly closed. A hermetic seal only means it is airtight, albeit some oxygen can pass through.
Mason jars are often called other names like fruit jars, glass canning jars, and ball jars, which isn’t in reference to round bouncy balls, but instead into the’Ball Corporation’ that were one of the biggest manufacturers of Mason jars in the early years of their use. A variation of the Mason jar which does not have the screw-top lid is known as the’lightning fruit jar’.
How Are Mason Jars Made?
The glass used to make Mason jars is normally soda-lime glass, which you might have heard called soda lime silica glass. One of the advantages of soda lime glass is it is quite inexpensive to make, and this makes it perfect for the mass production of glass items, of which jars is a prime example.
Soda-lime glass is also used in the manufacture of other glass containers such as bottles and windows. Its usage is so widespread that around 90% of all glass items are produced with soda-lime glass.
Aside from the minimal price of soda-lime glass, the other principal reason it is used to make Mason jars is it’s extremely secure, and thus less prone to causing any chemical interaction using its own contents. This is especially desirable once the jar is being used to keep consumable products.
You may often find that the glass jar and the lid assembly are offered individually as the frequent advice is that a lid should only ever be used once on a Mason jar, and so it will have to be replaced after use.
Mason Jar Sizes
Mason jars aren’t made in arbitrary sizes, and in most cases, the mouth of the jar is going to probably be one of two dimensions if bought in the United States. The smaller size, or regular dimensions as it’s called, is 2 3/8 inches in diameter on the inside, and the outside is 2 3/4 inches. The wider sized mouth comes with an interior diameter of 3 inches, and an outer diameter of 3 3/8 inches. Although they normally only have two mouth sizes, the quantity of a Mason jar has more variants with smaller quantities being a half pint and pint, and the bigger ones being a quart and half-gallon.
How to Use a Mason Jar
The main usage for a mason jar is that of food storage and the saving of food. The normal practice isn’t to fully fill the jar with whatever is being stored but instead to leave a gap at the top. The lid is then screwed on using the band, but the band isn’t tightened completely so that air and steam can escape.
This is due to the next area of the process, and that’s to set the jar in boiling water, which sterilizes it. The band is now tightened fully so the rubber band on the lid forms a tight seal.
Subsequently, the jar is permitted to cool, and this in turns creates a vacuum at the peak of the jar. After heating the threaded ring is removed leaving the lid secure on top thanks to the vacuum we just mentioned.
Using A Mason Jar to Store Juice
Fresh juice made using a masticating juicer is likely to stay fresher for longer under ordinary circumstances as a result of the dearth of oxidation which occurs. This normally means up 24 to 36 hours if kept in the fridge. In a Mason jar, the oxidation is much more restricted. And therefore, the storage period can typically be extended for as long as 72 times under perfect circumstances.
We say,’normally’ as variables such as the freshness of the fruit used, the kind of juicer utilized, and also how well you put up the Mason jar will all have impact on that time period.