What are the best jars for sourdough starter? Looking for the best jar for your sourdough starter? If you answered yes, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll show you how to store a sourdough starter in some of the best jars and containers.
Putting your sourdough starter in the right container is very important if you want to have the best chance of making good sourdough. With the right sourdough starter jars, your sourdough starter will have enough room to grow, develop, and get established. This will give you the best chance of making perfect sourdough bread.
Find out how to make a sourdough starter from scratch or how to feed one that you already have.
This guide will show you how to choose the best jar or container for sourdough starters.
What’s the best jars for sourdough starter?
You can make a sourdough starter in just about any kind of jar or container. As long as they are clean and the right size, most things will work.
But there are jars and containers that will work much better than others. You should use a clear, medium-sized glass jar with a lid that can be screwed on tight or left loose.
The best sourdough starter jar should, at a glance, be:
- Medium sized
- Clear or see-through
- Straight-cut (no shoulders)
- The top can be left off.
I used a simple coffee jar to start my sourdough starter. It was clean and did its job. But it had a pretty small mouth, which caused problems in the long run, so I switched to a Ball Mason Jar (I now keep my starter in a 16oz/490ml Ball Jar). I love my Mason jars so much that I make butter in them.
This guide aims to help you find the perfect jar for feeding and maintaining your sourdough starter well into the future.
Watch Your Starter Grow!
For sourdough, a clear container or glass jar is best because you can always see what’s going on.
Many bakers use crocks or stone jars that you can’t see inside of. This might be fine once your starter is going, but you can’t see what’s going on inside and judge what’s going on.
A clear sourdough container allows you to see:
- How active and bubbly your starter is
- how much it has gone up and when it will reach its highest point.
- No matter if mold or bad bacteria are growing,
- If hooch has grown on your starter,
- Any other strange things you should know about.
The Size of Your Jar
More than you might think, the size of your sourdough starter jar does matter.
Choose a container that is about the right size. If it’s too small, your starter will probably try to get out and make a big mess. If it’s too big, it will be hard to tell what’s going on.
Your sourdough starter is a group of tiny organisms that are still alive. It has yeast and bacteria that come from the wild and live in the jar you choose. I always think that a medium-sized jar is the best place for a sourdough starter to rise.
The best jar to use is one that can hold between 100g and 200g of sourdough starter (I like to keep between 50 to 100g on hand). A jar that can hold between 16oz and 32oz is ideal. The best jar has a wide mouth and no sides.
Sourdough: Plastic or Glass?
The best way to store sourdough starter is in a glass jar, but many people do store it in a plastic one.
Even though there are a few cons, one of the pros of keeping your starter in a plastic container is that it is less likely to crack or break from the growing starter. Also, you don’t have to worry about breaking the jar if you drop it or stir it too hard with a metal tool.
It’s really up to each person. There are just a few things you should know if you want to use plastic.
Plastic can get scratched and hold bad bacteria, which is not good for your sourdough starter. You also need to make sure you choose a BPA-free plastic container that is safe for food.
Also, make sure that the plastic you choose for your sourdough starter can be used more than once.
Choose Jars with Wide Mouths
Sourdough starter grows, gets food, and stays alive best in jars with wide mouths.
Over the course of your starter’s life, you will need to take out a lot of starter and add a lot of flour and water. If the mouth of your jar is small, it will be harder to feed and care for your starter without making a mess.
A jar with a wide mouth will make it easy to add flour and water without making a mess. It also makes it a lot easier to stir your starter, which is a very important step.
I like to use a jar with a wide mouth and no sides. The “neck” of the jar is the shoulder. When you use a jar with straight sides, it’s much easier to keep the jar clean, which makes mold less likely to grow.
Your container’s lid is important.
When it comes to sourdough starter, the lid of the container you choose is very important.
When you first start using the jar, you want a lid that can be left off. But you still need to be able to tighten it when you put the starter in the refrigerator.
I like the metal collars on the Ball Jar lids because you can use them to cover the jar with a paper towel or coffee filter while you’re making the starter for the first time. Then, when you’re ready, you can add the metal piece (or swap to a plastic lid).
I don’t like how easy it is for these metal lids to rust, so I suggest keeping some plastic lids on hand. These are much easier to clean and usually last longer. You can find them easily in stores or buy them online.
The rubber seals that come with the plastic lids are usually left off when I use them for my sourdough starter.
Many people also like these fermentation lids, which make it less likely that the pressure inside your jar will crack or break it.