March 21, 2013

Canning With Tattler Reusable Lids

I feel like I'm probably the last person in the universe to jump on the Tattler Reusable Canning Lids bandwagon. I first learned about them several years ago over at Rural Revolution. At the time I checked out the Tattler website, noted the small fortune it would cost to buy enough for the amount of jars I put up every year, and then put them on my "someday" list. I wasn't in a hurry to try them, mostly because of the huge stockpile I've had of regular canning lids. Being the stock-up sort, I always keep a year or two's supply handy, especially when I can get them at Fred's for $1 per box of regular lids. This winter I'd finally run out and decided it was time to purchase my first Tattler lids.

Each box contains a dozen BPA free lids and rubber rings.

There isn't a whole lot of difference in canning with these as opposed to self-sealing lids. They involve using two pieces instead of one, with the rubber ring first, then the lid, then the screw band.

Canning the bone broth I made a few days ago.
Rubber ring first, then the Tattle lid, finally the screw band.

The biggest difference is that they must not be screwed down tightly before going into the canner. The jars must be allowed to vent, so after tightening I loosened about a quarter of an inch turn. Upon removal from the canner, then they are screwed down tightly. To make sure the seal completes they must be allowed to cool completely, 12 to 24 hours.

The next day it was time to remove the screw bands and test the seal.

Testing the seal by picking the jar up by the lid

This is done the same way as conventional self-sealing lids, but picking the jar up by the lid. If it holds, the seal is good. Out of 17 jars I only had one that didn't seal properly.

Since they are reusable, I didn't want to write on the lid. Usually I make a note of the contents and the canning date. Instead, I used a permanent marker to write on the jar.

Contents and date written on the jar with permanent marker

This isn't permanent permanent, it will scrub off. I just find it a handy way to write notes or dates on jars. Of course if the contents are dark in color, I'll have to squint to see what it says. Also, storing with the screw bands isn't necessary. I do it because otherwise I'd have to find a place to store a big box of unused bands.

Prying the lid off gently with a butter knife.

Removing the lids is easy too. Care must be taken not to damage the rubber rings, but that's easily accomplished by prying it off with a butter knife.

My conclusion? I'm absolutely won over. I know the rubber rings will wear out and have to be replaced from time to time, but that seems better than disposable canning lids, any day.


Anonymous said...

I've been using Tattler lids for about a year now, since I found them on sale online. I really like using them. I especially like using them for things I turn over frequently -- like chicken stock.

I've tried two different methods to mark the contents -- masking tape and address labels on the lid. I bought a pack of Avery 1x2 5/8" address labels and print them out when I am done canning. I can fit three jar labels per label so I should be able to do more than 2000 jars from the $6 pack. I can print a ton of them very quickly and it makes storing and sorting them easier. Just make sure you remove the label before washing the lid, else the adhesive sticks around a while.

The biggest downside for me is I am hesitant to give away jars with these lids (obviously). If I am planning on gifting some of the jam / jelly / juice / whatever, I use a combination of regular metal lids and the Tattle lids. It is hard enough getting the jars to come back ... I don't want to have to ask them to bring the lid and rubber back too. =)

I'm glad you enjoyed them!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I have found the easiest way for me to pry off the lids is with a can opener. I use the bottle opener hook on the edge of the lid and gently lift. The lid will flex enough to gently release the vacuum seal, without slinging the jar across the counter. Let's just say I did that once or twice with the butter knife technique. =)

sista said...

I liked the idea of reusable lids without the BPA so I bought a couple dozen of these to try. I really miss the ping of a sealing lid. I find they do chip rather easily no matter if I use the butter knife or the can opener method to open the jar. To mark the jars you can use a sharpie on the lid. It washes off with the help of a 3M scrubby sponge.

Dani said...

Nope - you're not the "last person to jump on the Tattler Reusable Canning Lids bandwagon" - I am. I haven't got any yet - and it's also because of the price.

How can a plastic lid with a rubber ring cost so much...?

Glad you have yours though :)

The Squirrel Family said...

Here in the uk where canning is not popular(I had my presto canner imported) The only lids available are packs of 12 x 2 piece lids and they are the equivalent of $6us

Sometimes it costs more for the lid than the contents :) I must see if I can find any tatlers in the UK

Theresa said...

Nifty lids, if I ever can, I'm going to be sure and give these a try out. And if I ever find these at a yard sale in good condition, I know just the place to send them!

Leigh said...

Anonymous, gifting my canned goods was one of the first things I thought of too! Like you, I plan to keep regular self-sealing lids around for that purpose.

Good idea about the labels. I'll probably stick with the marker cuz then I don't have to buy anything (except the marker. Plus I don't have a printer. :)

And thanks for the tip about the bottle opener, much appreciated.

Sista, good to hear from you! I agree about that ping! And thanks for the tip about marking the lid, though I found I kind of like to have the label on the side of the jar. Makes it easier to see on my pantry shelves. :)

Dani, I agree about cost. Seems the mindset is that the manufacturer / seller has to make up the loss of repeated sales by charging a higher price up front. I suspect that for you, the cost of shipping would be rather astronomical. I was able to get them off eBay (new) with free shipping.

Squirrel Family, wow, I didn't realize you folks in Britain had so much trouble finding canning equipment. Someone over there should go into business! Check amazon or eBay.

Theresa, oh yes, very nifty. And that would be an amazing find for a yard sale!

Farmer Barb said...

If anyone thinks that the plastic reusables are expensive, look into a Weck jar. I wouldn't even give one of those to my husband and he lives with me! It seems that we all need to just have "give" items and "keep" items. The important thing is not letting recipients know you have anything else!

Nina said...

I've never even heard of these before, let alone seen them. What an interesting concept and very nice with the BPA free aspect. I'll have to see if they are available up here yet.

Farmers Wife said...

Thanks for the review. I have been wondering about the Tattler for a while now too. I think I will give them a try soon. Have a good day.

Leigh said...

Barb, thanks for mentioning the Weck canning jars. Yes, they are even more expensive and I agree about gift items. :)

Nina, you probably can mail order them (which I have to do too). And they do pay for themselves fairly quickly.

Farmers Wife, I got the best price on eBay; it came to $8.something per dozen. I'm just going to get a case periodically, as I can.

Cat Eye Cottage said...

You aren't the last person. I haven't tried them yet, but I'm tempted. It seems like there is always something else begging for my money. Glad you got them!

MadameCoquelicots said...

I tried and it wasn't that concluant in my case. Though, it might be just me :) Good job!

Michelle said...

I'm so glad you're a few steps ahead of me in this game! You get to be the guinea pig and tell me what works and what doesn't. I'm glad to know you like the Tattler lids. They are on my "someday" list, too.

Cassandra said...

I like them too! Though I only use the Tattler lids on jars I am sure I am keeping. :)

Susan said...

I am investing in them slowly. So far, I really like how they work and love that I can reuse them.

Leigh said...

Candace, isn't that the way it always is! I might have gotten more self-seal lids at Fred's but they hadn't stocked them yet and I needed to can broth. I figured it must be time to take the plunge!

Domaine, thanks! And I'd say don't give up. There seems to be a knack for them, but they're worth it.

Michelle, check out Patrice's blog (Rural Revolution). She posts a lot of her canning techniques and experiments, all interesting and helpful.

Cassandra, looks like we're all in agreement about that. :) And I've been meaning to tell you, you need a blog! So I can return blog visits. :)

Susan, me too. It is an investment, isn't it?

Laura said...

Though I seem to can a fair bit, I haven't switched yet. Part is the cost, part is the loss of spontaneity in gifting. Having to plan how many and which ones get what lids is really the main reason I haven't switched.

I applaud the idea, but just can't get my ADD self to plan that far ahead!!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of having reusable lids too! Bone broth looks yummy! :)

CaliforniaGrammy said...

You teach me something new often, Leigh. I've never heard of these lids, but like you I'd have to wait simply because of the inventory I need to use of the "old fashioned" lids currently in my pantry. But I'll keep an eye open for sales!

simply living said...

I am very picky to whom I gift my jars of goodies. Certain people don't get them anymore after several years of asking for the jars back. Or the contents go in a disposable container they can keep!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I still use some of the old time zinc and glass bale type antique jars with the rubbers. The process for tattler is the same for them as you tighten after processing. It is the original way to can only much better materials.

Ngo Family Farm said...

So glad to hear this, as I had read some reviews saying these lids didn't seal well - as in, only 50% of the time! Because of that I've been reluctant to try them. I'm wondering, though, if those reviewers may not have waited long enough for cooling or maybe didn't do the modifications to the process you discuss here...

Thanks for the info!

Sherri B. said...

This is good to know. I have held off buying them until someone I know and trust had a good report. Looks like it is time to take the plunge. xo

Julene said...

Thanks for the information about the Tattler's! I will check them out at the farm store near us!

Leigh said...

Laura, yeah, the cost is a deterrent. I'm not so concerned about gifting, because I only gift certain items to certain people so I can plan ahead. The other option would be to can at least a couple of jars of everything in disposable lids. They can still be used by Self!

Pam, I'm really loving having bone broth around. I use it for soup, gravy, stew, and cooking grains.

Janice, isn't the internet a world of wonderful information?! Rural Revolution posts Tattler lid sales regularly. I found the best price, though, on eBay.

Simply Living, I hear you. My dad and stepmom get most of my gifts because they never fail to return the jars. Every year they send me a box of jars, not only the ones I sent them full, but also jars they got from other things. I'll not expect them to deal with the Tattler lids though. I plan to keep them on the homestead.

Sunnybrook, not surprisingly, the old ways are often best! It's a blessing that the Tattler company used the original method to market to a new generation of canners.

Jaime, so far I've had excellent results. Only one non-seal out of 22 jars processed. I'd say check out the Rural Revolution website and look for her label "tattlers." She's posted what she's learned about using them, both successes and problems. It's very helpful for those of us starting out.

Sherri, the learning curve seems to be in the loosening/tightening bit. At the beginning of anything new, I just expect a few misses. I'm never disappointed and I always learn something. :)

Julene, how neat that you can buy them locally!

Cassandra said...

Leigh- I don't blog anymore but I do have a flickr account if you're bored and would like to see some garden pics. :)

There are some work pics mixed in. The garden pics are a couple of pages in.

Thanks for sharing your homesteading adventures!

Leigh said...

Cassandra, thank you! I will definitely have to come admire your photos soon.

icebear said...

i don't know how to contact you by email, but i have some of this comfrey i'd like to rehome:

if you;d like i can send it to you. if it survived this winter. i bought it hoping to find room in my garden, but never did, it lives in a large container behind our shed and i keep forgetting to water it. i guess the stuff is good for goats. let me know if you want it.

Renee Nefe said...

If I ever get around to opening my canner and trying it out here I think that I might have to try out the reusable lids. Seeing as I don't normally have a big stash of stuff to can (I've been just freezing) but it will be nice to have space in the freezer.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I've not tried them yet but have been reading about them for years. I have such a huge stockpile of traditional canning supplies and no need to switch yet. It's good to know you've given them such a great review.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

I have tried them ! have had some success , but i notice that i like the lids im used to . Ill keep trying .