Sous Vide in Glass Canning Jars

Sous Vide is a method of cooking food in a water bath at a low set temperature for an extended amount of time.  The long cooking time above 130°F will kill any bacteria in the food.  Time + temperature is the key.  
Many people are wary of cooking in plastic bags or silicone bags so I experimented with cooking my meat in glass canning jars.
I used a 2.74 lb slab of grassfed cross rib roast. 
I used 2 wide mouth glass Ball canning jars with lids ( or you could use the wide mouth jars with gaskets and wire clip lids)
I defrosted the meat to the point where I could cut through it and divide it between the two jars.  
I poured the defrosted meat juice into the jars along with the meat.  (Alternatively, I could have diced the meat and probably fitted most of it into one of the glass jars. )
I did not fill up the jar with any liquid although I imagine you could fill the jar with a broth if you wanted to.  I reasoned that the air in the jar would reach the temperature of the surrounding water bath and would cook the meat over time. 
For one jar I placed the lid on the top and gently finger tightened the ring collar.  I reasoned that as the air in the jar heated, it would expand and would need to be expelled up and around the lid, so finger tightening would be best.  
I place the jar in a plastic bag before submerging it in the water to prevent any cooking water from leaking into the jar.
For the second jar, I used a food preserver vacuum accessory to vacuum air out of the jar and seal the top. Then I gently finger tightened the ring collar around the top. 
I placed the jars in enough water to cover the  tops and weighted them down with a bowl and some glass weights.  I placed some plastic film over the surface to cut down on evaporation loss.
Temperature was set to 130°F or 54°C
Sous vide for 12 hours.
Remove the meat from the jars and slice into slabs for pan searing or dice and eat as is.
The meat was tender and juicy and evenly cooked to medium rare throughout. The fat was translucent and soft and there were some “veins” of collagen throughout the meat that were ‘melt in the mouth’ delicious.  
After cooking, I usually pour off the nutrient rich meat juice and drink it right down (cooks privilege) but if not to your taste, at least save it and make a sauce out of it or freeze it and use it when making broth.
Both methods worked out well.  I concluded that it’s not necessary to vacuum seal the jars before cooking.

Recipes by: Cathy Loughman 

Final product after cooking for 12 hours. Most people would probably cut the meat into 1″ thick slabs and sear it in a hot pan before eatingI didn’t bother because I’m lazy and I like the taste of meat as is. 

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10 thoughts on “Sous Vide in Glass Canning Jars”

  1. Thank you for posting this. We are trying this method based on your post for the first time today. We cut up a rump roast and plan to sous vide to 24 hours in mason jars at 130. Will post results tomorrow. Thanks again,

  2. Hello,
    I commented on this post yesterday and wanted to share the results!! We cooked a rump roast sliced into sections in two mason jars. I seasoned the meat with a salt and pepper rub, divided them between the jars along with the blood from the meat, finger tightened the lids and cooked in sous vide at 130 degrees for 24 hours. I used a plate on top to weigh them down as the were floating up a bit. It turned out cooked perfectly to a medium rare and absolutely delicious!!!!

  3. You are giving VERY dangerous advice. That’s not how Sous vide cooking works. The air in the jar reduces the thermal transfer of heat 10 fold and keeps the protein in a VERY dangerous temperature zone….this method WILL kill somebody. For the love of God, educate yourself!

    1. Fine then Brian, fill the jar with broth to displace the air and that should assuage your concerns. I’m just saying that I don’t usually bother and the meat is cooked through and I’ve never gotten sick from it.

  4. Lynn H Williams

    I watched some Utubes on Sous Vide and their idea was that the method so evenly cooks meat that it tenderizes the meat so if it is a cheap cut it makes them as good as ribeye. It describes the collagen contains parts as melting in your mouth. I am Fasting and meat processing is appealing. Maria needs to get on with this for a new cookbook.

  5. Lets try It with broth, so no air ir the minimum amount .Also Will check the internal temperature ay half way to consider the extremist point of View, (but not never aviod safety) AND check out…
    I guess Is dangerous method because bag sellers Will be very dad…not a million plástic to sell..thanks for your research, Will try It today with neckmeat for “birria”
    Salutes from México

  6. I’m not sure I understand why you are using Mason Jars here. The process that you described is to:
    1. Put food in a Jar
    2. Seal the Jar in a plastic bag
    3. Sous Vide the plastic bag

    Why not just put the food directly in the plastic bag and Sous Vide? What benefit is obtained by adding Mason Jars? It seems like unnecessary effort with more cleanup.

  7. Found this tread doing research for cooking sous vide in vaccuumed jars. I want alternatives to wasteful plastic bags for seitan cooking sous vide and storing (in freezer). My question is does the seal of the vaccuumed jars popped during the cooking because the expansion of the food?

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