Tattler Reusable Canning Lids for Greater Self-Reliance (Review)
Tattler reusable canning lids are a wonderful way to increase your self-reliance, save money, and reduce waste while canning.
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Why choose reusable canning lids?
1. Reduce Waste
I can for many reasons.
Self-reliance. Knowing where my food comes from (either my back yard or a local farmer), and how it was processed. I can can food without sugar or too much salt.
I also can in order to reduce the amount of waste our family creates. Not only food waste, but I love that we simply re-use our glass jars over and over again, and we don’t have tons of jars and cans going into recycling.
However, one downside is that normal metal canning lids are not reusable, so these need to be purchased new every year.
(Yes, I know many of you still re-use them, but I prefer to err on the side of caution, and use them as they were intended: single-use).
Purchasing reusable canning lids means almost zero waste when it comes to canning. Both the lids and the rubber gaskets are reusable.
The lids can be re-used infinitely, and the rubber gaskets can technically be re-used 10 times. However, I’ve heard some people say they have never had to replace their rubber gaskets. But the good news is, if you do happen to wear one out, you can simply buy replacement gaskets. You don’t have to throw away the whole lid.
The rubber gaskets are very sturdy; definitely not flimsy. And although I’ve only been using mine for a couple years, I don’t see them wearing out any time soon.
Since jars are also infinitely reusable (unless you happen to break one), this means that our home-canned produce is waste-free.
Unlike store-bought canned produce, which results in lots of packaging in our recycling bins.
In the year 2020, many of us learned that supply shortages are a real thing. The canning supply shelves at our local hardware store were bare for much of the year.
There were no lids to be found, and many times, there were no jars, either.
I would call the hardware store on their weekly delivery day to ask if they got any jars or lids… and the answer was always no.
I found myself scouring Facebook Marketplace to find used canning jars. But lids… that was a whole other issue.
Self-reliance is very important to our family, and canning our own food was one way we were able to increase our self-reliance.
However, “The Great Canning Lid Shortage of 2020” made me realize that we were still far too dependent on the supply chain.
For this reason, I began to research reusable alternatives, and discovered Tattler Reusable Canning Lids.
Having reusable canning lids means that regardless of what is going on in the world, I have everything I need to be able to put up our own produce so we can feed our family through the winter months.
And I don’t have to worry about our home-grown produce going to waste.
How Do Tattler Lids Work
Tattler lids are a two-piece lid system, consisting of a plastic flat, and a rubber gasket/seal. This system is used in conjunction with your regular screw bands that you would use with your typical disposable lids.
As with all lids, they should be washed before use.
You then place the rubber ring onto the lid, and place them upside down in a pot. Scald them by pouring boiling water from the kettle over the lids, and let them stay warm in the pot before using them. This keeps the rubber soft so it will make a good seal.
Tattler lids can be used for both water bath canning and pressure canning.
Tattler lids were invented by Loren Stieg in 1976, in response to a metal canning lid shortage, as The Business Times explains. The business is now owned by his son, Brad Stieg.
Here is an interesting story about the 1975 Canning Lid Shortage in the New York Times.
Downsides of Tattler Reusable Canning Lids
1. They’re Plastic
At first, I was disheartened that the Tattler reusable canning lids were plastic. Our family strives to minimize our plastic use as much as possible. Not only for health reasons, but for environmental reasons as well.
But we have a bit of a hierarchy in our home, in terms of the products we purchase; and reusable ALWAYS trumps disposable. Even if the reusable item is made of plastic.
The regular metal canning lids are actually coated with plastic on the underside – making their recyclability questionable anyway.
I would always end up with a stack of leftover canning lids that I didn’t really need, but I hated to throw away because I was never sure if they could be recycled.
I do re-use them for storing leftovers, or dry goods in my pantry, but even with doing that, there are only so many I need.
I learned that although the Tattler canning lids are plastic, they are BPA-free. And I don’t worry a whole lot about the lids I use, because they barely come into contact with the food inside.
2. Reusable canning lids cost more
As with most reusable products, they almost always cost more than their disposable alternatives.
However, our family still chooses reusables as often as possible, because we are not only conscious of our environmental footprint, but we also like to minimize long-term spending. So anything we can purchase once is much better than something that must be purchased over and over again.
Although the up-front cost of reusable canning lids is higher, they will pay for themselves fairly quickly, and then after that, we are basically canning for free.
Disposable canning lids cost about 50 cents a piece. So every jar of produce I canned was costing me 50 cents.
Tattler lids cost about $2 a piece. That means that after using them 4 times, they have paid for themselves, and everything I can after that is free.
Living a more self-reliant life often means looking at the long-term savings vs. the short-term savings.
And reusable canning lids win this one, hands-down.
3. Tattler Lids Have a Learning Curve
I confess, these lids sat in my pantry for a couple months until I got brave enough to try them. There were mixed reviews online about people having trouble getting them to seal.
They don’t work exactly like the flimsy metal seals – they require a bit of a different technique to make sure they seal.
The Tattler reusable canning lids I got, are the newer, E-Z Seal variety.
I’m not sure if that’s what made the difference, but every one of my jars in my test batch sealed. (I chose to test them with applesauce, because I figured if they didn’t seal, I could put them in the fridge, and my family would eat them up in no time!).
You have to pay attention to head space. These Tattler lids require 1″ – 1 1/4″ of head space (regardless of what your recipe calls for).
You also want to screw the bands on fingertip tight before putting them in the canner. You do this by placing your index finger in the centre of the lid, and using your other hand, screw on the screw band until the jar itself starts to turn. That’s how you know they’re on correctly.
When your processing time is complete, remove the jars from the canner immediately, then tighten the screw bands down AGAIN, and then leave the jars alone until they cool to room temperature.
(With regular/disposable canning lids, you never re-tighten the rings).
You can then remove the screw bands, wipe down your jars, and store them as normal.
All the detailed instructions are listed clearly on the side of the box, so as long as you read them and follow them carefully, you should have no problems!
So although there is a learning curve, once you get the hang of it, they are no more difficult to use than the disposable metal lids.
3. No ‘Ping’ Sound
Only canners understand the true satisfaction of the ‘ping’ sound your lids make as your jars are sealing.
You silently count the pings in your head to make sure all of your jars have sealed.
It’s your reward for all of your hard work, as you and your aching back sit down after you finish processing all your jars.
Tattler lids… have no ping. You don’t get to go to bed knowing all your jars have safely sealed.
Instead, you have to wait until morning, remove the screw bands, and pick your jars up by the lids, one by one, to see if they have sealed.
Although I miss the ping, it’s not a deal-breaker. I now find it just as exciting to check each jar in the morning to see if it has sealed. That slight feeling of anticipation as I remove each screw band.
Upsides of Tattler Reusable Canning Lids
1. Lifetime Warranty
This is the part that excited me. These reusable canning lids have been around since the 1970s (how have I never heard of them before now?!), and they have a LIFETIME WARRANTY!
I was so excited about this, because I love the idea of only having to buy something ONCE.
My jars are reusable indefinitely (unless they end up with a crack or a nick on the rim), but those lids had to be purchased year after year.
The Tattler reusable lids will only have to be purchased ONCE. If for any reason they break, Tattler will replace them for you. How cool would it be to never have to purchase another canning lid?
The rubber seals technically have a life span of 10 years, so you may need to replace the rubber seals, if they dry out and begin to crack (as obviously then they wouldn’t create a good seal).
However, the cost of a package of rubber seals is about the same as the cost of a box of disposable metal lids. They’re the least expensive part to replace, and so even if I did have to replace a few in time, I would still come out ahead.
2. Made in the U.S.A, plus they have been around a LONG time
I love purchasing products made here in North America, and my canning supplies are no exception.
Tattler canning lids are made in the U.S.A., and the company has been around since 1976. This is obviously a stable company, and won’t be going anywhere any time soon (especially if more of us jump on the reusable canning lid bandwagon!).
Verdict: I Love the Tattler Reusable Canning Lids
Overall, I am very happy with these canning lids, and I look forward to growing my collection over the next few years.
I’ll likely keep a few boxes of disposable lids on hand, for canned goods that we’ll give away as gifts, or for things like our Pickles (where we use the open kettle method of canning).
But for all the rest of our canning, we will be using Tattler lids.
I love that they’re re-usable, easy to clean and store, and increase our self-reliance. They will also save us money during canning season, as we can scratch canning lids off our list of things to buy.
I would recommend starting with one or two boxes of Tattler lids so you can experiment before making a larger investment.
Tattler lids come in both regular mouth and wide mouth options, so choose whichever type you tend to use most of.
Our family favors the wide-mouth jars, so we have mostly wide mouth Tattlers, but I do use a few regular as well.
Do you use Tattler canning lids? How do you like them? Share your experience in the comments!