I try to always have some frozen bone broth on hand in our freezer so that I’m never out should I want to make soup, use it to cook rice or beans, or need it in a recipe. It’s a real-foodie staple! When it comes to freezing our broth, I prefer to use glass jars over plastic storage containers since glass won’t leach any chemicals into our food. What I don’t prefer, but have had trouble with in the past, is seeing my jars break, crack, and shatter in the freezer. I’m especially heartbroken when one of my mason jars crack!
For the longest time I couldn’t understand why my jars kept breaking when I thought I was doing everything right, but I recently learned some new tips that are helping keep my jars whole. After tweaking a few steps in my broth routine with a couple of these tips, I’m glad to say that my jars are coming out of the freezer unbroken and my heart is saved from the pain of lost mason jars.
Simple Tips for Freezing in Glass
- Cool your broth. I like to cool mine before ladling into the jars and completely cooling them before freezing. I cool the broth before jarring it so that (1.) I don’t shock the jars, and (2.) I don’t burn myself in case I spill. Not that such a thing could ever happen in my kitchen. Once the broth is in the jars, I refrigerate them overnight or through the day before setting them in the freezer.
- Err on the side of less broth in a jar. I think this has been my biggest mistake in the past. I would leave 1-2 inches of space in the jars before freezing, and even though the broth wasn’t totally touching the lid, it seems that the jars were still too full. Most of them would break and crack. Leaving the jars closer to 3/4 of the way full has really helped.
- Use wide mouth masons if you have them. I think the wider mouth gives the broth more room to expand. I don’t really have many of these, so I haven’t tested this one out, but I someone even told me that they stick warm broth right in the freezer in wide mouth jars with nary a glass casualty. If I can get a collection of wide mouth masons, I might reserve them for freezing.
- Cap loosely. I have noticed that when I tightly cap my jars before freezing, they are more prone to breakage. When I just loosely place the lid on until the broth is totally frozen, the jars hold up better. Once it is all frozen, then I’ll tighten the caps if I remember.
- Leave some space between jars. When I first put the jars in the freezer, I like to leave a little bit of space between them so that their sides aren’t touching. That’s also seemed to help prevent breakage.