The jars I recommend in this post are the ones I believe have the best value, considering the price, use, and accessories. I will categorise them as the best use for each type of fermentation, as my favourite jar for vegetables might not be the best for kombucha, and there you go.
Best Jars For General use
Kilner Fermentation Set 2 x 1L – Kilner is a traditional brand for fermenting and preserving supplies with excellent quality, so I like to choose them when in doubt. This kit contains two jars and two fermenting weights. The lids have the space to fit an airlock valve. It is a valuable kit at a reasonable price, and by buying only this one, you are ready to go. The jars are 1L, so I would recommend using the next jar on the list for bigger batches of ferments.
Kilner Jar with Airlock Lid, 3L – For a bigger-sized jar, this is the one! This jar comes with a silicone lid and an airlock valve, which is good for fermenting vegetables. It is the best option for larger batches.
Mason Jars Wide Mouth, 1L – I use this one for fermented vegetables (like carrots or green beans) and projects where I need less space. For example, right now, as I write this article, I have my green fermented hot sauce recipe fermenting in there since I am doing a smaller batch. The lid is a canning lid, so you can use the ring to secure your cover if you use a cloth (or coffee filter/paper towel) or to fasten your mason top airlock cap.
Best Jars For Fermenting Vegetables (Lactic Vegetables, Kimchi, Sauerkraut)
Fermentation Jar with Air-Release Valve, 1.5 L – This one is great for kimchi and other ferments that will leave the lid on without worrying about explosions or burping. The glass is thick, and a quality air-release valve is on the top. If doing a bigger batch, you can use more than one. You can also use it to ferment other vegetables, hot sauce, and sauerkraut.
The Kilner Jar with Airlock Lid, 3L, described above, is also a great and larger option.
Best Jars For Kombucha
Wide Mouth 1 Gallon Glass Jar – I like to use this one for kombucha because of its bigger size. The kit comes with two 4.25L jars.
I know some people prefer to use jars with a spigot for kombucha, and I understand the appeal, but my experience with one of those was not the best, so I don’t have one that I would recommend since I prefer not to use them.
Assess Your Needs
That said, when I was starting, I didn’t know how to choose the containers, but I knew they “needed” to be glass. Since I was unsure if I would enjoy fermented foods, I bought a jar of what I believed was sauerkraut (it was actually pickled cabbage, but I didn’t know). I ate the whole thing and decided to start fermenting using that jar. After that, it became a practice to buy fermented/pickled food and use the glass jar they came in to ferment other vegetables.
They work ok, so if you are starting and don’t feel like investing any money in it, look around and see if you buy any food that comes in glass containers. You can also check with your friends, neighbours, and family. At this stage, it is an excellent moment to analyse your needs regarding jars. Try to pay attention if the sizes are enough, if there is a lot of empty space in the vessel or if you feel there is not enough space. Do you have to put your kombucha in multiple jars, so you have enough until your next batch? That would mean you need a bigger container. After you get the feeling of which kind of food/drink you like and which sizes are ideal for you, you can step up and buy some jars made for fermentation, pickling, and canning, like the ones recommended above.
If you don’t have any glass containers that are suitable around or you don’t want the hustle, you can do the same evaluation using the Kilner Fermentation Set 2 x 1L. They are an excellent size for experimenting and come with all the necessary accessories.