Sourdough Starter Container: Finding the Perfect Jar

On the hunt for that perfect jar to store your sourdough starter? Generally, the right container will provide your sourdough starter with enough room to expand, develop and eventually become established, allowing you to bake the perfect sourdough bread. So let’s take a look at the types of jars, that you can deem perfect for your sourdough starter!

sourdough jar

A bit About Sourdough Starter

If you’re familiar with the steps required to make sourdough starter, then you’re probably aware of the fact that the jar or container plays a key role in this exercise.

Some people prefer to remain a little old fashioned. They use a crock to contain their sourdough starter. A crock was a common vessel used for fermentation during ancient times. However, nowadays, crocks can be difficult to find and harder to clean.

Finding the right jar shouldn’t be a hassle, rather the much easier step acquired, before making the sourdough starter, and placing it into your perfect jar.

Looking For the Right Jar

Before you make a decision, it’s important to consider the various factors that will affect your choice.

For instance, try to choose a jar with a wider mouth, so that adding the sourdough starter is easy.

You’ll also want to pick a size that fits your starter comfortably and doesn’t run over the top of it. If there’s too much room in the jar or not enough room, then there could be spillage when moving around.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider how easy it is to clean each type of container. For instance, glass jars are simple enough to clean, with a little water and some scrubbing. But plastic can be tougher because it’s more difficult to scrub out the stubborn bits by hand.

If you have a small starter, you will need a smaller jar. If you have a large starter, you will need a larger one. A good starter container is not too big or too small for your mixture, and allows the fermentation process to take place in an optimal environment.

wide mouth sourdough starter jar

What Sized Container is the Best?

The container you use for your starter should be large enough to hold 100 to 200 grams of starter. The best containers are those that range from 26 to 34 ounces.

You can also use a plastic storage container with a lid, but it must have a gasket seal or tight-fitting lid. Allow the container to become fully colonized before adding any new ingredients or feeding it again.

Choosing the Perfect Jar

Choosing the perfect jar is actually an essential step in your baking journey. However, finding the perfect jar isn’t as simple as it should be.

Bear in mind that the sourdough starter with proper consistency requires plenty of room for growth, as well as your continued need of access to feed the starter in the jar on a regular basis. You’ll need to ensure that the starter can breathe through the lid of the jar, while still maintaining a tight enough seal to prevent outside contaminants from entering.

The size of the jar is also very important. Having a smaller sized jar could compromise the expansion of the sourdough starter, causing it to overflow. Here are a few potential jars you might think to use for your starter:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Wide-Mouth
  • Stoneware Crock

Glass

As a general rule, glass is a good option for storing sourdough starter. It’s easy to clean and you don’t have to worry about any weird chemicals seeping into your starter. You can see everything that is going on inside like bubbles and foamy liquid, this is important to know how well your starter is doing at certain stages.

Bear in mind that your starter will double in size, compared to what it initially began with, so make sure that your glass jar can accommodate this. The lid can burst if it is on too tight, though you can overcome this by covering it with a loose cloth or a loosely tightened lid

open glass jar near brown wooden spatula

Plastic

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy to clean container, plastic is probably a good bet. However, there are some downsides to using plastic as well.

Most plastic containers aren’t very tall, rather they’re wide and short, and this isn’t great for your starter as it will be difficult to determine whether your starter has doubled in size.

The shape of these containers also means that there’s more surface area exposed to air, which can dry the top of your sourdough starter out too quickly. This leaves it susceptible to molding, or going bad faster than if it had been stored in a jar with less exposure.

The biggest problem with plastic is that it may react negatively with acidic ingredients, such as vinegar (which is often used when making sourdough). This can cause breakdown products from plastics called phthalates which are toxic.

Plastic can also become scratched over time which could harbour bad bacteria, and could certainly ruin any kind of fermented food item like sourdough starter.

Make sure the plastic you choose for your sourdough starter is reusable and not a single use plastic.

plastic cup with lid

Wide Mouth

If you do not have a wide-mouth jar, it is possible to use smaller jars. But the results will be less than ideal.

You will need to feed your starter in small batches and then discard that portion of the starter every few days. This can lead to unnecessary waste as well as make keeping track of how much sourdough you have on hand, more difficult.

You should also consider whether or not you want your sourdough starter to be stored at room temperature or refrigerated. If you’re working with flours like spelt flour or sprouted wheat flour that are slightly more sensitive when exposed to heat, it may be beneficial for longevity purposes if they’re stored at cooler temperatures

If you’re storing at room temperature without an air tight seal around the lid: Make sure there are no leaks where air can get into it, otherwise mould will form on top of your starter within 24 hours.

empty wide mouth jar with lid

Stoneware Crock

A stoneware crock is a great option for keeping your starter in. It’s nonreactive, meaning that it won’t transfer any chemicals to your starter, and it doesn’t burst easily. You can safely transport and store it anywhere. The crock is also better at regulating temperature than plastic or metal containers.

However, since the lid on the jar is much smaller than other options (and not airtight), it can be harder to monitor growth in this container compared with others. If you do choose this option for storing your sourdough starter, make sure that you stick with regular feeding rather than just adding flour and water once every few weeks or months.

crock jars

Best Types of Jars for Sourdough Starter

When you’re ready to start your sourdough starter, you’ll need a container to hold it in. For the best jars to use for sourdough starter, look for large-mouth, wide-necked jars. The jars don’t have to acquire a fancy name at all, but they should however, be large enough to hold the starter and the opening should be wide enough for the starter to expand.

Here are some types of jars that we think are the best for your sourdough starter:

  • Sourdough Crock Jar
  • Lidded Jar
  • Airtight Jar
  • 27 Ounce Plastic Jars

Sourdough Crock Jar

A crock jar is a container made out of food-safe ceramic, glass, or stoneware that can be used to ferment and store sourdough starter.

Crocks are generally unglazed and porous, which allows the fermentation process to take place in a perfectly comfortable environment, rendering you and your starter happy!

Lidded Glass Jar

A glass jar is best for keeping the starter out of the light, air, moisture and heat – all of which can cause mould. If you choose to use a plastic storage container and find that it has moulded anyway, try switching to a glass jar instead.

A lidded glass jar with an airtight lid is recommended for storing your sourdough starter at room temperature, as this will help keep it from drying out too much; however, if you live in an area where it gets very cold during winter, then consider storing your starter in your refrigerator instead.

Airtight Jar

An airtight jar is another great option for storing your starter. They are especially good at keeping out moisture and insects, making them ideal for the kitchen. These jars can be used for other things too, such as storing non-food items or other things that you might want to keep dry.

27 Ounce Plastic Jars with Lids

Plastic jars are a great choice for your sourdough starter. They’re cheap and easy to find, plus they come with leak-proof lids. You can use the jar as a mixing bowl, then cover it with an airtight lid and store in a dark place or kitchen cabinet until you’re ready to use your starter again.

Here are some products found off of Amazon for you to try:

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Sourdough Starter Container

The key component in choosing the perfect container, is accommodating the starter with plenty of room to expand. Some may prefer to stick to the old fashioned crockpot, whilst others would take a simpler approach and reach for the tall plastic container.

FAQs

What is a Good Container for Sourdough Starter?

You’ll need a wide container to store your sourdough starter for fermentation. Wide-mouth jars, crocks, and slightly larger glass containers are all examples of good containers for your sourdough starter.

Should I Keep my Sourdough Starter in an Airtight Container?

While the temperature of the starter plays an essential role in its overall outcome, the sourdough starter does not need to be sealed in an airtight container. Though it should be covered to prevent any mess.

How Big of a Container do You Need for Sourdough Starter?

Two 8-ounce wide-mouth jars, will allow the starter to expand comfortably when its time.

Can Sourdough Starter be Kept in a Plastic Container?

Most containers for the sourdough starter are made from two types of materials: plastic and glass. Plastic containers can’t shatter, so they’re a lot more durable than glass.

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