I want to cook soups and freeze them in canning jars and have ordered a product online that will vacuum seal these jars for me. I have never canned but I found online that there are canning jars that I can freeze in. I know that I must leave space in the jar for expansion. Do I wait until the soup is cooled off before putting it into the jars? Must I purchase these jars online only? Would the canning jars that they sell at Ace, etc. not be advisable for freezing?
All standard canning jars (Ball and Kerr) can safely be placed in the freezer. Jars take up a lot of freezer space and are somewhat dangerous because they can and do break easily. Cleaning glass out of a freezer would be about the last thing on my list of things to do.
A better method for freezing soup (and many other foods) is to quick-freeze it in user-friendly amounts first. I use 1-cup plastic containers for soup so that I can use 1 for one serving (nice for lunch for one), or I can pull out more if I need more servings. After they are frozen I pop them out of the plastic containers and stack them and seal them with my FoodSaver in a bag. They fit better in the freezer. You can do the same thing in inexpensive 1-quart plastic freezer containers if you need larger amounts than 1-serving sizes.
You should probably check the manufacturers instructions about vacuum-sealing soup before it’s frozen, or after; and whether that can/should be done in a jar. Call the toll-free number for more information. I always use regular canning jars to put my freezer jam in. Into the freezer,and I have never had one break on me.
The package says not to reuse the seals. Do you reuse them or throw them out after each use? You shouldn’t reuse the lids when they are used for home canning. They can be used over and over for vacuum sealing. I’ve kept my dry-goods like beans, seeds, grains, pasta, etc. in wide-mouthed canning jars of all sizes and have used the lids over and over. Eventually the sealing compound can get old and brittle and not hold a seal, in which case it gets tossed and replaced. I also soften the sealing compound on the lids in warm water before using them the first time on a vacuum-sealed jar.
Have you ever used the plastic lids? Do you know if they can be vacuum sealed as well as reused as needed? I only wish the plastic lids could be vacuum sealed – that would indeed be wonderful!!! I use those plastic lids all the time, but just for non-vacuum sealed items.
I freeze all extra homemade soup in regular canning jars, but I make sure to only fill them 2/3 full so the contents don’t expand and break the glass. If you’re careful, you shouldn’t have a problem. Make sure that if you’re placing hot food into the jars, to submerge the jars in hot water first so that they won’t break while filling. I allow my soups to cool or refrigerate over night before putting in the freezer.