How to Vacuum Seal Almost Any Jar in Your Kitchen

How to vacuum-seal almost any jar in your kitchen.

I have a hard time throwing out jars.

They are the perfect container for dry goods, for leftovers in the refrigerator, and of course for liquids. I'll buy a product in a glass jar before buying a similar product in a can or plastic jar.

Glass jars can be reused; cans cannot, and I prefer not to reuse plastic, so cans and plastic are both "garbage" that need to be disposed of.

And when your homestead doesn't come with curbside garbage pickup every week and recycling is pretty much unheard of in your neck of the woods, disposing of things is difficult.

In my childhood years, we spent summers walking along the edge of the 4-lane highway with a wagon, picking up glass bottles. When returned to the corner grocery store, we'd get 5¢ per bottle, enough to keep us in Pepsi and candy. But in this day and age of recycling awareness, glass isn't even recycled anymore.

So my kitchen is filled with jars: canning jars as well as reused jars from spaghetti sauce, mayonnaise jars, salsa jars and more.

Gallon-sized jars make great canisters for various flours and sugar. Half-gallon jars and smaller hold pasta and rice and other dry goods in my kitchen.

Reused jars from pasta sauce, salsa and so on are great for storing dehydrated foods such as chopped onions, peppers and sliced mushrooms.

How to vacuum-seal almost any jar in your kitchen.

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For longer-term storage of dehydrated foods and dry goods such as pasta and rice, you can vacuum-seal reused jars to ensure freshness. Vacuum-sealing prolongs foods' storage life by eliminating oxygen that breaks down food over time.

The secret to using almost any jar in the kitchen? Using a FoodSaver appliance to vacuum seal the jars.

You can use canning (Mason) jars, but you can also re-use those spaghetti sauce and salsa jars too!

What can you store in vacuum-sealed jars?

Any food that you don't use often is a good candidate for vacuum-sealing, which will lengthen its storage life. If you buy a product in bulk, such as rice or popcorn, you can transfer a small amount to a smaller jar for convenient use and store the rest in larger jars that are vacuum-sealed.

For instance:

  • Dry goods such as rice, popcorn, pasta
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Freeze dried foods - when you open a #10 can, put the bulk of the product in large jars and vacuum-seal, and put a smaller amount in a jar for daily use
  • Bulk spices
  • Oatmeal
  • Powdered milk
  • Candy - buy candy on clearance after holidays and vacuum seal for later use

    How to vacuum-seal almost any jar in your kitchen.

    How to vacuum-seal a canning jar

    Canning jars are sealed with the FoodSaver canning jar attachment. To use it, just place the flat lid on top of the jar - you don't need the ring to hold the lid on - then set the canning jar vacuum seal attachment on top, connect it to the hose attachment and press the "Start" button on the vacuum sealer appliance. (The hose attachment comes with the FoodSaver unit. If yours has been misplaced, you can order a new hose attachment here.)

    There are two different canning jar sealers, one for regular mouth jars and one for the wide mouth jars, so be sure to get the one that fits the jar size you use most. Or get both.

    If the lid just won't seal, try these trouble-shooting tips:
    • Use two lids. I know, that sounds crazy. But it often works. Place the two lids, one on top of the other, on top of the jar and use the canning jar vacuum seal attachment as directed. When it's finished sucking out the air, remove the attachment. The top canning lid will come off, but the other will have sealed to the jar.
    • Or try a different lid.
    • If you still have problems, use a different canning jar. There might be an imperceptible dip in the rim of the jar.

    How to vacuum-seal almost any jar in your kitchen.

    How to vacuum seal non-canning jars

    But did you know you can even vacuum-seal most reused jars? It requires a different method but it's just as simple. As long as the jar lid has a "rubber" ring inside, it can be vacuum-sealed. In the photo above, you can see the white ring inside the lid from this empty jar of yeast.

    That rubber ring is the secret!

    Some jars have a green ring, or a red ring. The color doesn't matter, as long as it has this rubber-like substance inside the lid.

    How to vacuum-seal jars.

    To seal this kind of jar, you'll need a FoodSaver vacuum canister set. The canisters come in a set of three, in various sizes.

    Just tighten the lid on the jar and place it inside one of the canisters. I choose the canister closest in size to the jar so there is less air to suck out.

    Attach the hose attachment that comes with your FoodSaver to the top of the canister. (If you've lost yours, you can reorder a hose attachment here.) Attach the other end of the hose to the FoodSaver unit and push the "Start" button. The vacuum sealer sucks the air from inside the jar and from inside the canister too.

    When it's finished the unit will turn off. Just remove the hose attachment, press the button on top of the canister and open it. The jar inside is now sealed.

    The last step is to label your jars; don't depend on your memory. Hot peppers can look identical to sweet peppers, and chopped red peppers look amazingly like chopped carrots. Trust me on that!

    How to vacuum seal bottles and jars with plastic lids

    You can't. I'm sorry.

    Instead, use those jars with plastic lids to hold leftovers in the refrigerator. Soy sauce bottles with long necks and plastic caps make nice bud vases for flowers from your garden, or you can use them to hold vinegar, which doesn't need to be canned or preserved.

    (If you'd like to try making your own vinegar for just pennies, get a free copy of my ebook by subscribing to The Acorn, my weekly-ish newsletter.)

    What NOT to vacuum seal

    Don't vacuum seal [or use an oxygen absorber] to preserve sugar or brown sugar. You'll end up with a brick.

    Store your labeled, vacuum-sealed jars in a cool, dark place for maximum storage life.

    For more simple living and money-saving ideas, subscribe to The Acorn, my weekly-ish newsletter, and join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I'd love to see you there!

    The following images contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.

    Related posts:
    How to Find and Buy Used Canning Jars

    This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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    1. Kathi, I never heard of this before! Oh I would love to be able to do this. What a lovely idea, and what a lovely way to preserve food. Thank you so much for sharing.

      I'm praying for you Kathi. Thank you so much for being so faithful to the Lord Jesus, and may He bless you.

      I praise the Lord as well, for leading me to your blog. May He be with you, and keep you through this trying time.
      In Him, Carra

    2. Anonymous8:01 AM

      Wow! :) That's nice. I hadn't heart of that either.

      May Jesus be with you, Kathi!

    3. “Managed IT services”9:10 AM

      Fantastic! Best Vacuum Sealer is all I do too. However, I feel like we home cheese makers really lose out on the complex flavours and textures of aged cheeses that are naturally aged. In particular, the drier a cheese gets, the saltier it becomes. Without that saltiness, I'm often left wanting a more definite taste of 'sharp' than I can get from a vacuum sealed aged cheese.

    4. Wow... it's look so delicious! Thank you for your post.

      1. You're welcome, Sarah. I'm glad it was helpful.

    5. I’m thinking of buying this model for my household to save left overs and avoid throwing away perfectly good foods just because they grow stale out in the open air.

      1. I really like this model, Sam. I hope yours will serve you well too.

    6. I think many people in the kitchen need a professional food vacuum sealer, because it will make your food stay fresh, so your body more healthy

    7. FoodSaver is much better than other brands. I bought one of them and till now I'm so happy because of that decision. Thank you for sharing this post Kathi!

      1. The FoodSaver is the only brand I have any experience with, Nana, and I'm extremely happy with it. It is a workhorse in my kitchen; it sounds like yours is too. :-)

    8. Great tip! I have a vacuum sealer,but I don't know this use of it.I wish I knew this tip sooner. Thank you, Kathi, keep up the good work!

      1. Learning this tip is game-changing, Abigail. All those empty jars in the kitchen are even more useful now!

    9. I found your site last night through Pinterest. I picked up a seal a meal at the thrift store yesterday for $3 and came with the hose attachment. It sealed a bag of noodles, so I hope the attachment port works for the mason jar (that I just purchased). Then, i'll be brave to purchase the canisters to start reusing jars. Thanks for sharing!!

      1. What a deal, Sarah! I hope it works for you!

    10. Hi Kathi, I didn't know you could use other jars! Awesome! However, I've tried and can't get it to work. I checked the for foreign matter on jar and lid, screwed on the lid, put it in the canister and inserted my hose and procedded to vacuum but it doesn't evacuate. Am I missing something? Got any tips or something I should be watching for?

      1. Hi Roxanne, did the jar have a rubber strip inside? Some don't, and sometimes they just don't work. I'd try another jar and lid and see if you have success. It *should* work, I've sealed dozens and dozens! (Oh, make sure your air hose is working, too. Stick your finger against the end of it, can you feel suction? They sometimes develop a hole.)

    11. Hi Kathi. This is awesome. I would not have thought to use my food saver. I have been reading up on boiling jars etc. to preserve my food. How long will the food last in the jars this way? Thanks so much for the info. God Bless.

    12. Hi Shelly, first off, you can't save *fresh food* using this method. That will need to be canned in either a water bath or pressure canner. But you can store dry foods this way: rice, pasta, dry beans, grains, oatmeal, popcorn, etc. I haven't tried crackers but I think this would work well to keep them from going stale on a short-term basis (not for long term storage). Powders are a good candidate too, but put a piece of paper toweling or something similar on top of the food, under the lid, so that the vacuum action won't pull up the fine powder, which can ruin the motor of your Food Saver.

    13. I use my jar vacuum sealer all the time and love using it. Found you on Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

    14. I love the idea, but I'm not sure my kitchen has the room for one more gadget. Something for us to keep in mind, though-
      Thanks for sharing!

    15. Well, thank you for putting this out there! I have a Foodsaver and never knew it could be used this way. I will have to get the canister set but I have the hose!! Such good tips, too! I can see me sucking up the fine powder, but not now because you said to put a piece of paper towel on top of the food, under the lid, so I will!
      This is BLOWING MY MIND!! Again, thank you so much for sharing!!
      Many blessings to you and yours!

      1. You are so welcome! Have fun with it!

    16. How do you seal the large jar pictured, the one with dog treats?? Is it possible? Thank you in advance!

      1. I haven't found a way to vacuum seal a gallon-sized jar, so I use them for sugar and flour and dog treats.


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