Regular vs. Wide Mouth Jars

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by CarolynRenee, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. CarolynRenee

    CarolynRenee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,395
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    The Beautiful Ozarks
    Any time I have to buy canning jars, I always buy the wide mouth jars because they are soooooo much easier to clean. I've been given plenty of regular mouth jars & of course, can't bear to part with them even though I can't stand cleaning them.

    Is there a specific reason / function for the regular mouth jars?
     
  2. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Surprising to you perhaps but many would ask that question in reverse - is there any use for the wide-mouth jars? ;)

    Based on annual sales figures, many much prefer the regular mouth jars to the wide mouth. Myself included. I will only use any wide-mouths I have inherited - never bought any - when I run out of regular mouth jars.

    The wide mouth jars were a much later addition to the jar line so there are far, far more regular mouth jars in circulation than wide-mouth ones. Wide-mouth are more expensive as are the lids and the regular lids are much easier to find too. And more problems are reported annually on the wide-mouth than on the regular mouth jars. WM are well-known for more seal failures and as easier to damage because of the weaker shoulders, and depending on the type of canner, less WM jars will fit in a load vs. regulars.

    The regular mouth jars will hold anything a wide-mouth jar will and are easily cleaned with a handled scrub brush. Many report they have less problems with floating fruit and vegetables using regular mouth jars, again because of the narrower shoulder, and they are easier to store if you stack jars on storage shelves.

    But it all boils down to a personal preference and if your preference is wide-mouth, that's fine.
     

  3. Riverdale

    Riverdale Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,741
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Gratiot Co, Michigan
    We use regular for pickles and veggies.

    Wide mouth for meat and chicken.

    :D
     
  4. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,620
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan's Thumb
    I agree with everything judylou has said. The only advantage of the wide mouth jars is when you want to can meat, especially whole pieces as with pork loin - it's easier to get the pieces out of a wide-mouth jar.

    I have run out of regular jars and have gone to the store to get more rather than use the wide mouths.

    As a side note, I have found that you may get a better seal if you decrease the headspace in the wide mouth jar, say down from 1" to about 5/8".
     
  5. Falls-Acre

    Falls-Acre Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Location:
    Western VA
    I haven't canned meat yet, however I prefer regular mouth quart jars and wide mouth pint. I like the WM pint because I use pint sizes for jams. It's easier to get the jam out of the jar with a WM.
     
  6. Texasdirtdigger

    Texasdirtdigger Texasdirtdigger Supporter

    Messages:
    4,494
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    N. Texas and E. Texas
    I tend to use my regular mouth jars for fresh peas, beans, sauces. Wide mouth for stuff I need to be more percise in packing.
     
  7. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,480
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    I love the WM...the only thing I don't like is that if you tap them together - you can pop a flat off if you removed the ring. The flats are at exactly the same level. RM can't tap each other's flats....LOL!!

    I find that the stores run out of WM first around here and there are only RM left. I use both equally. I Like my green beans, pickles, beets, jelly/jam, potatoes, and pears in WM. Anything runny can go in regular.
     
  8. olivehill

    olivehill Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,259
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    This:

    I suspect has much to do with this:

    And this:

    more than anything rooted in actual usability.

    First of all, people are creatures of habit. Since many, perhaps most, of those who can today are older their canning habits were largely rooted in the use of regular mouth jars, probably before wide mouth came out with any real popularity. By that same token many already also have a good stock of regular mouth jars established and wouldn't want to switch and/or have the hassle of dealing with two different types/sizes of jars.

    People who can, as a general rule of thumb, also tend to be frugal, the added expense of the wide mouth jars -- $2 per flat last time I looked -- is a deterrent for sure. And because, as you noted, regular mouth are in greater circulation getting yard sale and second hand deals on jars is much easier if you're using regular mouth jars. Another added bonus for the frugal at heart.

    By extension of the above we might assume wide mouth jars are being used by those new to canning more regularly than those with a lot of canning experience. With this in mind I wouldn't be too quick to jump on blaming errors on the jars. Newbies make mistakes and are more likely to have failures than those who have been canning for many years.

    I agree with you that whatever one prefers they should use, I'm just not so sure the usability of the regular mouth over the wide mouth has anything to do with the current popularity of one over the other.
     
  9. bluebird2o2

    bluebird2o2 bluebird2o2

    Messages:
    1,203
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    pa
    The wide mouth lids are expensive and hard too find here.I rarely use them.
     
  10. Gladrags

    Gladrags Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    222
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    I love wide mouth jars for things I spoon out -- pickles, etc. I also like the way they look; can't put my finger on it, but they just look cool.

    Then again, most of my regular mouth jars are antiques handed down from my mom, and I really like the way they look!
     
  11. CarolynRenee

    CarolynRenee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,395
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    The Beautiful Ozarks
    I just knew I would get a "your the weird one" for liking Wide Mouth jars! :)

    Truthfully, it's been SO long since I purchased canning jars that I don't remember the price differences. If I were to go shopping today for bunches of jars & saw a $2 per flat difference, I would probably buy the RM jars & just use the handled scrubby & deal with the cleaning "issue" I have.

    I did kind of wonder if the fact that there was more surface area on the WM vs. the RM jars if the sealing would be more likely to fail. I've only had one jar in a batch of apple pie filling fail, and it was the RM jars, but I'm sure it was operator error and not lid error!
     
  12. SueMc

    SueMc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,762
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Location:
    Central IL
    I like the wide mouths just because I'm used to using them. I have accumulated quite a few regulars that I use too.
    DH just picked up 58 ($30) boxes of unopened regular flats at an auction the other day so I'll be using regular jars for a while!
     
  13. Solarmom

    Solarmom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    501
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Central FLorida
    Wow, I actually prefer WM jars- I like the uniformity and the straight sided "look" when they are stacked. I haven't had any noticeable differences other than I just don't like to clean the RM jars, eh, call me lazy. I still have a few dozen RM that I got from my Mom, I remember making pickles with these when I was a kid. so I don't give them away. When I make canned goods to give away, I always give away the RM ones! I don't mind using the RM one too much especially when I'm making juice. I guess we all have our preferences. Very interesting topic. I look forward to hearing some more on this....:)



    Kris
     
  14. CarolynRenee

    CarolynRenee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,395
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    The Beautiful Ozarks
    Me too!

    It's like the fruitcake syndrome.....there are really only about two dozen Regular Mouth jars in the world, but they just keep being passed on as gifts!! :)
     
  15. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,832
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    I prefer RM jars because the lids cost so much less. I do have some WM jars which I use when I run out of RM so I buy a couple of boxes of WM flats each year. The extra costs always makes me happy I'm using RM 99% of the time. Until my arthritis got bad my small hands would fit in a RM jar so I had no trouble washing them. Now days I use a brush. I do like WM for pork loin as its almost impossible to get it out of RM jars.
     
  16. majik

    majik Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    703
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Ann, that's interesting. Just last night my husband said "how come all the canning jar mouths are so narrow? I can't get my hand in there." He has arthritis too. And I assured him that we did have some wide mouth jars...but they are expensive here too, so I use the RM mostly. Although if I want a dish washing helper, I may need to switch over!
     
  17. mistymomom

    mistymomom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    Mo
    I like the WM ones too. Especially for big stuff like whole beets and peach halves. I've never had them fail yet. I use what ever I have though. I guess I never paid attention to the fact that the lids are more expensive on the WM, just bought what I needed. In fact I better go get some more lids for the pears.
     
  18. julieq

    julieq Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,032
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Idaho
    The wide mouth jars are SO much easier to clean, and easier to stuff with pears, peaches, etc. But we purchase as many used jars as we can find reasonably priced and most of them are regular mouth sized. And of course the regular sized lids are cheaper... If we were wealthy we'd probably change over to all wide mouth for quart sizes, but for now we'll go with the cheaper alternatives!
     
  19. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Alaska
    I use both, it depends on what I am canning. For things that tend to float (green beans, for example) I prefer a RM. For the salmon, salsa, and etc, I prefer the WM.

    You guys wouldn't believe how much a case of quarts costs here now, wow!
     
  20. daisybell

    daisybell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    I completely agree about the cleaning of RM jars. They are a pain. But a friend of mine found a solution, especially if cleaning a lot of jars at a time. Buy a "new" round toilet brush, file down the handle to fit your drill, insert in jar and turn on the drill. Make sure you turn off the drill before you pull the brush out of the jar. This works wonders for cleaning.