Saturday, September 18, 2010

Canning Tutorial: Tattler Re-Useable Lids

I've been using the Tattler Canning lids for a while now, and I can't recommend this product enough! Yes, Tattle is an advertiser on this blog, but I'd be singing their praises with or without the ad. In fact, that is why I asked if they would like to be an advertiser... because I can whole heartedly recommend their product.




What's to love? Let me count the ways...


• The lids won't rust, so they always seem so much cleaner to me.
• They're reuseable, so you don't have to buy more lids all the time.
• They're BPA free! You can use them with confidence that the lids aren't leeching toxins into your food.
• They're easy to work with (and I'm going to show you how).
• The folks over at Tattler are so nice! (I like dealing with nice people.)


When I first heard about the re-useable lids, my hesitation was how to actually process foods with them. Sometimes I just get a bit intimidated and I am not the most confident canner to begin with. Tattler is changing that for me. Somehow I just feel more assured with these lids that they are actually sealed and working correctly for me. I hope this mini-tutorial will help you to feel confident that you, too, can use Tattler Re-Useable Lids!


Using Re-useable Canning Lids


Bring a small pot of water to a boil...


drop lids and rubber rings into the boiling water and turn off the heat source...


wipe the rim of your canning jar to be sure it is clean for a good seal...


remove one lid and ring at a time and place the rubber ring on the underside of the lid.


Place the lid on your canning jar...


add a metal band and close completely, but not tight...


then turn the lid back to loosen it by a quarter inch (1/4"). This step is crucial so that it can vent, but not as scary as it seems.


Process as you normally would in either a water bath canner or a pressure cooker. As you remove the jar, just be sure to tighten it down completely (another crucial step, but easy to do). The jar in the photo below is cool because I forgot to take a picture earlier, but you will need to use a couple of towels or oven mitts to do this because the jars are extremely hot as they come out of the canner (but you knew this already!).


Don't you just love a sight like this! Let the jars sit overnight to cool down. You will not hear the popping sound of metal contracting like you do with traditional lids. I know this will disappoint some of you, but after a while, you'll get use to the quiet! I have noticed that the white Tattler lids look a bit like they are being pulled down in the center ever so slightly. 


The next morning, remove the metal band and check to be sure the jars have sealed by trying to lift up on the lid. If it did not seal, it will come off almost instantly;  you won't have to pry at all. I've had one that didn't seal, but on reflection, I remember thinking I had forgotten to tighten one of the jars as it came out of the water bath canner. Then when I found it loose, I was sure I'd forgot!


There are a couple of drawbacks with the Tattler lids, but I find they are fairly easy to live with. For one thing, if you plan to give the jars as gifts, you'll want to be sure the recipient returns the lid and rubber ring. Or you could just use a few traditional lids for gift jars. Personally, I find that the cost of these lids is reasonable considering the life of the product. However, I don't want to just give them away either. So think about this as you're canning.

9/21/10 Update: I've come up with a little poem to request that the lids be returned which can be written on a tag and attached to the product...


"These lids are re-useable 
and kindly for that reason, 
please return me to my home 
if you want some more next season!"


The other drawback has to do with closing the jars once you've opened them. The two piece lids are a bit cumbersome when getting in and out of jars on a regular basis. It's certainly possible to patiently re-adjust each rubber ring and lid when you get into the food item, but most family members are in a hurry and the rubber ring falls into the jar and food gets on it. I've found a solution that I'm happy with for now... plastic storage caps from Ball. 


These caps are not suitable for processing in a canner, but they're great for items that you're currently using as well as for canning jars that you use for dry storage. The lids I purchased were from WalMart, but unlike the boxes below, they were in the new bright green box and on the bottom right front it clearly stated "BPA-Free". I'm not sure if they changed their formula or if they've always been BPA-free, but be sure the caps you purchase state that they are! Ball has not been openly responsive to customer complaints about their traditional canning lids containing BPA, but apparently they may be getting the message.  



I really like it when things are simple to use as well as clean and neat! It will be nice to say so long to this...


To read more about Tattler lids and how Homestead Revival™ readers are using them, check out this topic on the Community Forum.




47 comments:

  1. Amy, I am so glad you posted this! I am going to share it on my facebook page. I have been so on the fence about these lids. Now I know I will be buying them soon. Thank you!

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  2. I did not know about these. Thanks for the tip :)

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  3. I'm really excited about these, Amy, and hope to try them next year. We've been using the Ball Plastic Storage caps for years and love them. There are a lot of opened and half-used jars in our fridge come winter:-).

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  4. Thanks so much! I still had some questions and hesitations on this method, but you've cleared them all up for me now. I'm making note of this for Canning 2011 :) There was really no Canning 2010 here as there wasn't enough of anything, but I did make fridge garden pickles. I have higher hopes for next year!! Thanks, and your jars are bee-you-tiful! -Tammy

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  5. I am hoping to be able to invest in some of these before next canning season! I've read about them before, but have never used them personally. They sound easy to use and the money saving in the long run is SO appealing to me. This from a woman who is running out of canning seals yet again and needs to go buy more this AM before I can finish my canning today. :( Thanks for posting this! :)

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  6. I can the old way (for now) and have always kept the rings on. Always. Recently, I've noticed on other blog sites that the rings are removed before storage. What the heck?! Is this something new?

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  7. Just a note - as great as the plastic lids are, and I use them alot, they are not air tight. I store my dry foods with 2 part lids to keep the moisture out.

    Someday I'll work up the nerve to try canning but for now, I dehydrate.

    Thanks for your great advice.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,

      I've had the same problem with the ball plastic storage caps not being airtight. I'm pleased to say that I've found that they special silicone seals to place in them which make them very airtight!

      You can check them out here.... http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrimalKitchen?ref=pr_shop_more

      What was great for me was that you can buy the seals separate and pop them right into the lids you already have! Another thing I love about these is that you don't have to spend time lining up the seals like on the tattler lids. It's all just one piece so theres no fuss with rings or caps getting lost.

      Hope this helps your canning endeavors!

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    2. What about adding a tattler rubber with the plastic storage lid? That should make it airtight then, Right? Tattler rubbers are only 3 bucks a dozen, I think I will give it a shot.

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  8. These sound great!! May have to give them a try!! Thanks for posting!

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  9. Maybelline, You can do it either way as it is personal preference. The rings add a bit more "security", but the ring only assists in creating the seal, it does not maintain it. If you're running out of rings, go grab one off another jar already sealed. Otherwise, just leave it on for storage.

    Susan, you've made a good point that the storage caps are not air tight and if you are using the Tattler seals on just dry goods, they are not air tight either. I am keeping a few of the old traditional lids for use with my Food Saver so I can vacuum seal them. This is especially helpful with bulk herbs that I store in glass jars and dehydrated foods.

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    Replies
    1. Maybelline, I keep my bands on especially with the Tattler lids because I have a few critters that get into my basement (that's when I let Punkin, my cat downstairs for a few hours a day if you get my drift) and the metal bands protect the plastic lids. You would not believe what those critters can chew through. Otherwise I have been so very happy with Tattler. Canning is only as good as the lids you have and having to buy new ones every time you can is such a waste. I know the Tattler lids are a little pricey, but they will pay for themselves in one season when you consider how much the metal lids cost.

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing this. We were just wondering what a good reusable lid would be.
    Blessings!

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  11. Thanks for posting about these. I've been wanting to try them and they sound great!

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  12. I bought two boxes of the Tattler lids: regular and wide mouth. They worked well & were easy to use, just a bit different. I also was afraid to use them when I was too busy to stand and follow the directions. I used them on my canned tomatoes and they all sealed nicely with no problems. It just a matter of getting accustomed to them. Since I have always tightened then slightly loosened the lids b4 processing that didn’t bother me too much. Tightening then slightly loosening in order to get a good seal was what I learned some 30 years ago from my Granny and have always done that. I am going to use the jars with Tattler lids last to see how they stand up over the months. The Tattler lids are costly and I can’t see why, but then I am not in manufacturing so don’t have the vaguest ideas about production costs.

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  13. Are they glass? Are they the same as the ginormous box of clear glass and rubber band things I found down in the basement when I moved in? I always wondered if I could still use them.

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  14. Twyla, no, they are not glass, but I can see how it looks like that in the photos. They are actually plastic, but a BPA free, food grade plastic. As for the glass lids you found in the basement, I'm sure the lids are fine, but you'd be safer finding replacements for those rubber band seals. I suggest doing a bit of research on that.

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    Replies
    1. Jeff Hicks, Milw., WI.June 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      When I did web search for tattler a second listing was for a company selling rubber rings in different sizes. Check them out to see if they have som for your older glass lined zinc lids. good luck and be careful of the old lids.

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  15. Thanks for posting this. I sometimes get aggressive with the can opener and really do a number on the Ball lids. It may be to soon to know; have you heard of any problems with the plastic chipping or breaking from opening with a can opener?

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  16. Julie, Instead of using your can opener - which is tempting, I know - try slipping a table knife between the seal and the rim of the jar to release the seal gently. It should not damage the rubber ring if you are careful. Hope this helps!

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  17. I bought a few boxes of these recently and now need to find something to can so i can try them out! And, I have dozens of the Ball plastic caps. Love them.

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  18. I've been thinking of trying these lids. Thanks for posting about it!

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  19. So, I like the sound of these, but I'm not totally comfortable with them being made from formaldehyde. Any thoughts about this? Thanks!

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  20. Anonymous, Good question! Here is info from Tattler's website... http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/BPA_Free_Canning_info.html
    There just isn't a perfect solution. The metal lids must be replaced and they do have BPA, the Tattler MIGHT release a tad of formaldehyde, or you can spend a small fortune on Weck jars/lids. Each person has to make that choice. I've been very pleased with my Tattler lids and I'm going to continue to use them in the future.

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  21. Amy, thanks for the tutorial. I forgot to tighten the lids after processing my tomatoes (I was too busy trying to avoid burning myself!), but I still managed to create a seal. Whew.

    Now, reading through the directions again, I see that Tattler (what kind of name is that, anyway?!?) suggests I leave 1" of headroom. When I canned some jam, I (again, distracted by the heat!) left the amount of headroom suggested in the recipe. The seal seems good, but now I am stuck wondering:

    1) doesn't leaving so much headroom discolor the contents of the jar?

    2) what makes the Tattler so different that I cannot follow the Ball directions for headroom?

    Now that you have been using these for several months, do you have any thoughts?

    Thank you for taking the time to share so much with the rest of us, J.

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  22. Hi J! Since I only can tomato products, fruit spreads, and pickled items, I can't say that I've noticed discoloration. My fruit spreads aren't as bright anyway because I use a natural pectin. So I may not be the best person to answer that question. As far as the headroom, I believe it has to do with venting while processing, but that question would be best asked over at the Tattler site. I'm still loving my lids though! I won't be going back to the metal kind.

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  23. YES! I'm thrilled to have come across this b/c I use ball caning jars to make my yogurt (Thermos cooler method). I hate that they rust so quickly. Now I can just get some of these BPA free screw lids to salve the problem HURRAY! ... and good bye rust!

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  24. Hello Amy - thank you for the post. I am purchasing these lids today and look forward to using them. Can you tell me how long the rubbers last? We do a lot of canning every month :) so it would be nice to know how many would be good to have on hand.

    Thank you for your time.
    Joanne in Monett, MO

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  25. Hi Joanne! I'm not sure how long they last - haven't needed to replace any yet, but this link will give you an idea (it's from their website).

    http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/FAQ.html

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  26. Homesteader GrandmomOctober 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Just a note of caution, I was burned quite badly today, due to the Tattler lids I switched to last year...and I've been canning for 30+ years. Stewed tomatoes, quart jars...took them out of the pressure canner...tightened them down. As I tightened one of the jars, the lid blew off and boiling hot tomatoes were spewed all over my kitchen! My hand is quite burned. If a child had been in the kitchen...well, you can imagine how tragic that would be. Be forewarned...these lids are problematic.

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    1. The problem you mention happens when the ring is too tight when you put the jar in the canner. If too tight the jar cannot vent air and builds too much pressure. Check lids before you use them to be sure they are completely flat, then if when you open the canner you see any that are Convex, [raised] in the center, do not touch that jar, just let it cool don't try to tighten it.

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  27. Homesteader Grandmom,
    I'm SO SORRY to hear about your canning accident! Hope you will be okay soon and that the burn to your had heals quickly! Your reminder is a good one for ALL canners to remember... and Tattler lids are not unique to this problem as it can happen with traditional lids as well. Users must follow the Tattler lid instructions carefully, which can be found at this link...

    http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/Products.html

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  28. Yes! I love my tattler lids, I invested when we went BPA free a while ago. I've never used those screw on lids, they look handy, I'll bee searching those out next!

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  29. jerry williamson kingJanuary 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Thanks, for the information, you answered most of my questions. I have been using the Ball plastic lids for awhile and like them especially for jams and jelly after they have been opened. Will give the tattler a try this year.

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  30. Hi,
    I am interested in the tattler lids but my husband is not real comfortable with them and his concern makes sense...I would appreciate your thoughts. Is heating up plastic over and over again good for you and safe? Hope that makes sense.
    Trudy (AndyTrudyW@aol.com)

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    1. Great question! The Tattler Lids are plastic, but they are a BPA-free plastic. The metal lids which are mostly made by Jardin have a thin coating that has been reported to contain BPA which is not good for you and has been banned for use in products for children. I've personally contacted Jardin and asked if they plan to remove the products with BPA, but they said they had no plans to at that time. They use this on the metal lids to prevent premature rusting. So while Tattler may be plastic, in my personal opinion, it is the better choice. I encourage you to read Tattler's website (see their ad in my sidebar), but also to read a few other sources; here's two...
      http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21233.cfm
      http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/bpa-in-canning-lids-seriously/

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  31. When I used to use metal lids I'd write the month/year on the lid in permanent marker so that things stayed rotated. Anyone have any ideas on how to organize the pantry without permanently writing on my 600 Tattler lids I recently bought? My daughter suggested masking tape but that seems like a lot of tape and maybe a hassle but might work in order to keep things rotated on my shelves...

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    1. I'm wondering if you write on the plastic lids with a sharpie if it will wash off. I write on my plastic ball lids all the time and it washes off if I scrub it with the netting side of a rag that I use. Or just write on the jar with the sharpie. I do that for my milk every day. Let me know if it works for you!

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    2. I use a china pencil (wax pencil) to write on my Tattler lids, which wipes off easily. I haven't had a problem with handling the jars and having the writing come off too easily, but it's handy when reusing the lids.

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    3. you can write on them with a sharpie and it will come off easily with a paper towel with 93% rubbing alchol on it, then just wash the lid to remove the alcohol.

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  32. Just ordered some Tattler lids and am excited about using them this year. I can a large amount of food, and wondered if you had any information on foods that do not seal as well as others. I have been told that green beans required a good seal to be safe, and now I am a bit wary?...I also can a variety of meat...do the lids do well for this?

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    1. Lauren,
      I'm not aware of any problems with Tattler lids regarding green beans and meat. You might check the FAQ section on their site. You might find some info if you google it, but it's often hard to determine user error verses product quality. Tattler lids require a slightly different method and many tend to forget when canning to let the lids vent and then seal them tightly when pulling them from the canner.

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    2. Hi Lauren, I use Tattler with both meats and vegetables. I've had the same success as with the high acid foods.

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    3. I Thought of something else. When you are canning meat, be sure and clean the rims of your jars well, before you place your lids on. Meat tends to be greasy and grease can interfere with the seal. This goes for any canning lid, both old metal lids and Tattlers. :)

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  33. This sounds like something I would love! EXCEPT, the shipping to Canada is phenomenally expensive. I know you said they are an advertiser on your site, but are there other reusable options out there that sell in Canada??

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    1. Alanna, sorry the shipping is so high. :-( Can you order these through Amazon and get free shipping? Or is that only in the US? Two boxes would give me free shipping here.

      http://www.amazon.com/Tattler-Reusable-Regular-Canning-Rubber/dp/B0051PDXCQ

      I've never seen any other lids like these, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I'm just not aware of any. I just made a bunch of marmalade and the tattler lids sealed perfectly, including the ones I reused. I've very happy with them; well worth the investment!

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  34. Anyone have a problem pressure cooking with chicken. Ours turned out strongly smelling like burnt rubber, with that slight flavor as well. We are thinking the oils from the chicken reacted with the rubber seal. Any thoughts??

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