Monday, September 19, 2011
Product Review: Tattler Resuable Canning Lids
I first learned about Tattler reusable lids last fall, right after I finished canning numerous quarts of pears, apple pie filling, salsa, and peaches. I remember reading about the lids on a blog and thinking, "Now you tell me!"
In all my years of canning, I only knew about the metal ones that came with the jars. I had no idea there even was an alternative. That said, I always wondered why lids could only be used once. Wasn't there any way around that? That's where Tattler reusable lids come into play.
Tattler reusuable lids are just that -- reusable. The lids are made of a washable, heat-resistant plastic. When used with a rubber ring (which come with the plastic lids) and the regular metal canning rings, Tattler lids can help you preserve your food year after year. The best part is that once you buy them, you never have to buy canning lids again. Even the rubber rings are reusable, so long as there are no signs of damage or wear on them (you can buy replacement rubber rings for a couple bucks). The company says that if the lids ever wear out, they'll replace them for free -- and according to the website and the pamphlet that came with the lids I bought, they've never had to replace a single lid. That's pretty awesome.
These lids are a guaranteed money saver. There is some initial investment (three dozen wide mouth lids for $23.95; $20.95 for three dozen regular mouth lids), but even that isn't much. It usually costs about $4-5 for a box of 12 of the one-use metal dome lids. If you do a lot of canning, the price for lids can really add up. Plus, once they're used, they're trash. With the reusable lids, you get years of use and they eventually pay for themselves. It goes almost without saying that Tattler lids are a much smarter choice. Plus, the lids contain no BPA like the metal dome lids do. Even more reason to use them!
So this is my first canning season with Tattler lids -- I ordered mine about a month ago and couldn't wait to try them out. I only bought the wide mouth ones, but I'm going to place an order for some the regular size ones soon. I've used them with both salsa and jam so far and I can definitely say I won't go back to the old lids for the majority of my canning (I'll still buy a few of the metal lids now and then so I can share jars of my canned foods. No way am I giving away my reusable lids!).
The lids took a little getting used to for me since I've learned with and have been using the metal dome lids for so long. You can't fill the jars as much as you would with the metal lids -- you need about an inch headspace in each jar so that the lids can seal. After a few jars, though, I got the hang of the Tattler lids. You heat the lids and rubber rings like you would with the metal ones. Once heated, you put rubber ring and lid combination on the jar, screw the metal rings (as I said previously, you reuse your metal rings with the Tattler lids) on loosely to keep the lid in place, and then process the jars as you normally would. Once the jars are done processing, you have to tighten the rings on the jars immediately.
My only complaint: I like the way you can tell that the metal dome lids are sealed. When the jars cool, you just have to tap the metal lids to make sure they're sealed. Plus, I love that popping sound of the metal lid sealing into place. With the Tattler lids, you have to unscrew the metal rings (once the jars have cooled, of course) and lift gently on each lid to see if they sealed. It's not a huge bother, but it takes more time. Still, that's not enough to make me even consider going to back to the dome lids.
I definitely recommend Tattler reusable lids. To me, they're one of those frugal no-brainers.
Note: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.