As you can probably recall, I asked if there was any interest in ordering some reusable canning lids in my last email. I got a pretty solid response, so we're going to go ahead with an order. I'd like to get orders in and placed within the next couple of weeks so that I can deliver them to you with your strawberry orders coming up in April.
So without further ado:
Tattler lids are reusable canning lids. They've been used since the 70's, and are BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic lids that come with rubber gaskets(no latex involved) to seal your jars. They are NOT approved by the FDA for home canning. That said, neither are many other practices we can't seem to let go of in the home canning industry. :)
In addition, Tattler's website explains the plastic that IS used and backs up the safety of it through research. I'm sure that most of you know that I am not a fan of ANY plastic in general, but I do feel that until BPA is taken out of our metal lids, I'd rather go with this option. If you are interested, here is the link to that discussion: http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/BpaFree.aspx
Depending on use, the rubber gaskets last sometimes upwards of 10 years. Tattler performed a study on how many uses they would last through, and got to 14 over a period of several weeks before they ended the study because they ran out of time (remember, this is a small company). So, as of the 14 use, they were still looking good. That was using them for water bath canning and pressure canning combined. I have heard one person express concerns about the rubber rings drying out in the desert valley of Las Vegas and thus shortening the life span of the rubber ring. To this, I would say that if you are worried about them drying out, then you can always keep them in a jar until they are used again. This keeps the air from extracting the moisture out continually. But honestly, I've met quite a few people in the valley that have already taken the Tattler plunge, and I haven't heard of that issue.
According to the website, you can tell that they have properly sealed after processing by gently lifting on the lid after they've cooled down. If it failed to seal, the lid will come off "without much difficulty".
Now, the most important thing - to use them:
Tattler Reusable Canning Lids - Instructions for Use
1. Inspect top of jar for cracks and nicks.
2. Wash, rinse and sterilize jars. Scald lids and rubber rings. Leave in water until ready to use.
3. Fill jars as indicated per canning instruction for that food type.
4. Wipe top of jar after filling. Place lid and rubber ring combination on jar.
5. Screw band on jar loosely. Center lid on jar and hold in place with finger while tightening the metal screw band finger-tip tight. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. Product must be allowed to vent during processing.
6. Process as per instructions for various foods.
7. TIGHTEN METAL BAND FIRMLY IMMEDIATELY UPON REMOVAL FROM CANNER.
8. When jars have cooled, remove metal band and lift gently on the lid to determine if any failure has occurred. Sealed jars may be stored without metal bands if desired.
9. When removing lid, gently insert dull side of table knife (or similar object) between rubber and lid or jar to release the seal - DO NOT USE SHARP KNIFE.
10. Wash plastic lids and rubber rings, rinse, dry and store for future use. Do not save any rubber ring which is cut or deformed.
The link for these instructions in here: http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/howtheywork.aspx