This year is our first year trying Tattler reusable canning lids. They promise to be an almost indefinitely reusable lid that is also more corrosion resistant than the common metal lids. Having tried them a few times, we can speak to their functionality. If their claims about re-usability are true, we’re excited about their economic utility as well.
We have used these lids several times now, and find them to be very effective. By following their detailed instructions for use, we have yet to have a jar not seal properly. Their instructions are printed on the side of the box, and are listed on their website:
- Inspect top of jar for cracks and nicks.
- Wash, rinse and sterilize jars. Scald lids and rubber rings. Leave in water until ready to use.
- Fill jars as indicated per canning instructions for that food type.
- Wipe top of jar after filling. Place lid and rubber ring combination on jar.
- Screw band on jar loosely. Center lid on jar and hold in place with finger while you finish tightening the metal band, THEN TURN BACK 1⁄4 INCH. Product must be allowed to vent during processing.
- Process as per instructions for various foods.
- TIGHTEN METAL BAND FIRMLY IMMEDIATELY UPON REMOVAL FROM CANNER.
- When jars have cooled, remove metal band and determine by feel if lids are securely sealed. Sealed jars may be stored without metal bands if desired.
- When removing lid gently insert table knife between rubber and jar to release seal — DO NOT USE SHARP KNIFE.
- Wash plastic lids and rubber rings, rinse, dry and store for future use. Do not save any rubber ring which is cut or deformed.
While Tattler’s reusable lids are a little bit more work to use, they’re well worth the effort. These lids have a number of worthwhile benefits.
Knowing that corrosion won’t be a problem, you don’t have to worry as much about the shelf-life of pickles and other high acidity canned goods.
By reusing the lids, you don’t have old lids to throw out. Less waste is always a good thing.
They are made in the USA, so if you prefer domestically produced products (as we do), these are a great choice. The major manufacturers of the traditional canning lids are also in the USA, so this isn’t really a benefit over the alternatives, but is still a good thing.
These lids are BPA free. The disposable metal lids from the major producers have a thin lining of plastic on the inside (presumably for corrosion resistance). This plastic lining apparently contains BPA.
They’re convenient. By being able to reuse lids, that means fewer trips to the store to buy lids. It also means you have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not dependent on having to find/buy lids to be able to can.
After very few uses, these lids are more economical. If you get quite a few uses out of them, they’re A LOT more economical.
A normal package (1 dozen) of wide mouth canning lids usually costs a little over $3.25 plus tax at a local grocery store. After shipping, minus tax, the price to buy them online is similar, but probably higher for small volumes, lower for large volumes. If we assume $3.50 per package, that’s $0.29 per lid. Not bad.
Buying direct from the manufacturer, Tattler lids are sold in packs of 3 dozen for $23.95 plus shipping ($9.35 to where we are located). This means the total cost of each lid (shipping included) is $0.93 (rounded).
Given those prices, a Tattler reusable lid only has to be reused 4 times to more than make up for its price. They make the claim that their lids, when properly used, will “last a lifetime.” In their frequently asked questions section, Tattler claims that they have had reports of their customers using their lids for more than 20 years. They indicate that in general if you’re careful with the lids and only use them as recommended they should last many years. A pack of new rubber rings is only $2.50 per dozen plus shipping, making them cheaper than regular lids. Even if you had to replace your rubber rings after every use, they could still be cheaper than using regular lids (after the initial investment).
Our ONLY hesitation in using these lids is that we often give canned food away and don’t want to give these lids away with it. For this reason, when we can something we think we’re likely to give away, we’ll still be using the normal metal disposable lids on at least a couple jars, so we won’t feel like hanging onto them just for the lids.
We will be buying a few more packs of these each year, hopefully acquiring enough to use them for most of our canning. It would be nice too to be able to have enough to not feel bad about giving them away on jars of canned food, especially to other canners who might thereby discover them.
Check them out, they’re well worth your time.