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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Please watch this area for important information like updates, food recalls, polls, contests, coupons, and freebies.
  • [March 19, 2020] - Effective Mar 17, this blog will no longer accept advertising. The reason is very simple. If I like a product, I will promote it without compensation. If I don't like a product, I will have no problem saying so.
  • [March 17, 2020] - A return to blogging! Stay tuned for new tips, resources and all things food related.
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures! [Update: 4ever Recap appears to be out of business.]

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Canning Experiment - Reusable Canning Lids

Over the past couple of years I have been focusing on getting plastic out of my kitchen so this canning experiment is not exactly what I would have expected.  The reason is this actually introduces plastic into my kitchen but in this case the benefits outweighs the negatives.  Let me explain a bit further.

Tattler reusable canning lids
The regular canning lids (pictured to the right) I use are metal ones with a plastisol attached that forms a seal during the canning process.  At best price I can get them for 10¢ per lid in a box of 12 at the dollar store.  I go through over 1,000 of these lids in one year.  Three problems arise with the lids.  First all canning lids as well as cans holding foods or beverages in North America have a plastic coating.  This coating contains Bisphenol-A (BPA) a suspected carcinogen.  When the coating is exposed to acidic or high temperature environments as happens with home canning the BPA leaches from the plastic into the food.  This is one of my major reasons for experimenting to find a better solution for canning.  The second problem is the metal lids are not designed to be used more than once.  This not only adds to the cost of canning each year but is also not eco-friendly.  While our recycling company is finally allowing us to put the lids in the recycle bin there is a fair amount of packaging wasted each year just in lids alone.  If I can reduce this my using reusable lids I can not only cut my costs but also reduce my carbon footprint by not using disposable lids.  The third problem is and many home canners have been voicing this concern is at some point canning lids may not be available.  I honestly don't see this happening due to the resurgence in home canning but the possibility is there.  We depend on home canning as part of our food supply so like many I stockpile the lids.  I have older jars that use rubber rings and glass lids but nowhere near the amount needed for our annual canning needs.

I discovered Tattler reusable canning lids doing an online search.  While these lids use FDA and USDA approved materials they aren't actually approved for canning or at least I could not find anything that said they were.  The company has been in business since 1976.  The lids are made of BPA-free plastic and according to the manufacturers are indefinitely reusable.  Separate rubber rings are necessary to create the seal.  Essentially the lids work exactly like the disposable lids but both lids and rings are reusable and when properly cared for will last several years.  There are reports of 20 year old lids and rings used multiple times still in use.  I bought 3 dozen of the lids at a cost of $30.28 or 84¢ per lid which is 8 times the cost of regular lids.  That means I have to use each lid at least 8 times to realize a payback.  After that using the lids will cost me nothing.  I'm not going to gloss it over as switching to the Tattler lids is pricy but they will eliminate the BPA concern, eliminate the disposability issue and guarantee a reusable source for canning lids.

I am currently in the process of testing the Tattler lids.  If they test to the performance I want with very low seal failures I plan to make a bulk order for the lids.  Five hundred lids with rings will cost me about $300 so this is an investment.  Canning is an ongoing process here so there is a high turnover of jars that would also apply to the reusable lids.  I will be seriously putting these lids through the wringer washer so to speak.  I will be looking for ease of use, stainability, cleanability, initial performance, performance after multiple uses, storage, processing methods, and aesthetics.  My first test run using the Tattler lids was quite promising.  I will do a full review of these lids along with my unbiased opinion once I have finished the testing process so please watch for that sometime in September.

3 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

I'll be watching your posts with interest. :)

Julie said...

I've always hated the waste with lids so I'm excited to see how these work for you.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Julie :) I'm quite excited to be testing the Tattler lids. I am looking forward to sharing my results.