The typical canning lids available everywhere cannot be used more than once. They also contain BPA, which has been shown to be a health hazard. Not only are Tattler lids reusable almost indefinitely, but they also are BPA free. I was eager to give them a shot.
Each canning lid consists of a rigid plastic lid and a flexible rubber ring. The rubber ring takes the place of the sealing compound. You must also use metal canning lid rings but they are NOT included with the Tattler lids.
The procedure for using the lids is a little different. It is easy, but it definitely takes some getting used to.
- Scald the lids and rings. Keep hot while you prepare your product.
- Place the rubber ring on the lid and center the lid on your canning jar.
- Barely screw on the metal ring. Make sure the canning lid is centered on the jar, then hold the lid down with one finger as you tighten the metal ring.
- Once the ring is tight, unscrew it by 1/4 inch to allow for venting during processing.
- Process the jars according to your recipe directions.
- Once you have removed the jars from the cannner, carefully tighten the ring completely.
The trickest part of the procedure is tightening the ring after processing. The jars are extremely hot and even though I was using a pot holder, I still managed to burn my fingers.
So, do these lids work? After processing several jars of blackberry jam both with standard and Tattler lids, I would have to say yes. My first batch of 8 jars, all using Tattler lids, yielded three that failed to seal. I have never had a jar fail to seal in all my years of canning, and so I was really disappointed. However, I have learned from sad experience that if a product has received rave reviews and I have issues with it, it is more than likely operator error! I decided to try again.
My second batch of jam had 5 jars with standard lids and three with Tattlers. All the Tattlers sealed and two of the standard lids didn't seal. In my third batch, one of the standard lids didn't seal. I think the problem is more me than the canning lids! I'm thinking that maybe I didn't clean the rims and threads well enough before I put the lids on.
All in all, if you do a lot of canning, I think Tattler lids are well worth the investment. They are more expensive initially, but last practically forever. From a preparedness standpoint, they are essential. From an environmental and health perspective, they are great, too. I recommend them.
Here's the recipe I used to put the Tattler through its paces. It is my favorite rendition of blackberry jam. I prefer to crush my berries with a food mill so I can control the amount of seeds that end up in the finished product.
Blackberries to yield 4 c. crushed - read directions below. I find it takes me about 50 oz. of berries.
7 c. sugar
1/2 t. unsalted butter (this will help reduce foaming)
1-3 oz. pouch liquid pectin
Process blackberries through a food mill fitted with a berry screen. Run the pulp through the mill twice to extract the maximum amount of juice. Measure out 3 c. of juice and add 1 c. of the pulp back to yield 4 cups total.
(Note: If you do not have a food mill, you can just crush berries with a potato masher. Your jam will have more seeds and texture, but it will taste just fine.)
In a large saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, and butter. Over medium-low heat, heat the mixture until the sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the pectin and boil for one minute. Stir, stir, stir! Remove pan from the heat and skim off any foam.
Allow jam to cool 5 minutes, gently stirring a few times. This will help keep the juice and fruit evenly distributed in the finished product. Ladle the jam into hot jars, maintaining 1/4 inch headspace. Add your lids and process the jam for 10 minutes in a 200 degree water bath.
Yield - About 8 half-pint jars