Reusable canning lids. Yes, they exist. Yes they have existed for quite some time (since 1976 as a matter of fact). And yes, they do indeed work and they kick some major canning keester!
First, the background on how I discovered Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. This is a product I actually stumbled across on another blog and I entered their giveaway for the product because I thought the idea behind it was so darn cool. Well, of course, I didn't win, but the product just kept nagging at the back of my mind and I kept wanting to try them out, really really bad.
And so, one fine day when talking to one of our blog members, Amanda, over e-mail, I decided to look up "reusable canning lids" (since I couldn't remember the name of the company to save my life) and quickly found them from various positive reviews from blogs, their own website (of course) and just general "Wow, these things are cool!" types of comments people had made. I went to the Tattler website and saw the contact information for them and I did something completely unlike me. I wrote them and A) Asked for a sample (shocking I know) and B) Asked if I could sponsor a giveaway on my blog for their product.
They not only sent me four canning lids to try out (2 wide mouthed and 2 regular mouthed), but they also said they'd sponsor a giveaway too! I was so happy. Yet, in the back of my mind was the "Do these things really work THAT well" types of thoughts. So, day before yesterday and yesterday I gave them a test drive.
First thing to note is that the lids are two pieces. There is a plastic piece (the lid) that you seat a rubber gasket (the second piece) into and then you put that whole contraption onto your jar and tighten with your regular rings that come with your canning jars. Best part? Once you have this skill down you will be able to reuse these lids year after year, thus no throwing yet another object into a landfill and you'll save yourself money by not having to buy canning lids every year.
So, the breakdown of what I think of these things?
- They WORK! 2 times through the canner and I can't tell the lids that went through twice from the ones that went through once. Both batches have perfect seals on them and are in my pantry as we speak.
- They are BPA free (believe it or not most traditional canning lids contain BPA as do most of the canned goods we eat day to day because they coat the inside of the cans with it. Who knew?) and you don't have to worry about acid from like tomatoes corroding the lid.
- The gaskets have been known to hold up for 20 years before needing replacing
- The lids themselves come with a lifetime guarantee when you follow proper USDA processing canning (not the gaskets, but the lids themselves are guaranteed) and they have NEVER had a lid returned to them. That's saying something right there huh?
- There are directions to follow. You have to hold down the lid with one finger while tightening the metal band on the can to make sure you have a tight seal and THEN back off 1/4" to allow venting. Don't follow those directions and I imagine you'd have either really loose lids that might fail on you or lids that blow off the top of the jar because they can't vent. Then when the lids come out of the canner you have to tighten your bands to make sure the gasket is down tight to the jar to get your seal right (use a towel because it's the easiest way to do it without getting burned...trust me). So follow those directions!
- There is no reassuring "ping" as the vacuum seal sucks down like on traditional lids, so you have to wait until the jars are cooled, remove the ring and test the seal by pushing on the lid from the side to make sure you have a good seal. Not a big deal, but I did miss the pop :).
- When removing the lids you have to be CAREFUL, unlike the traditional "open it with whatever" throw away lids. I took a butter knife and very carefully broke the seal so that the gasket didn't get damaged. I would never take a traditional lid opener to one of these, let's put it that way...at least if you ever wanted to use your gasket again.
Tattler was nice enough to not only send me the small 4 lid sample of their product, but they are also kind enough to offer 2 dozen of the regular mouthed lids and 2 dozen wide mouth lids to one lucky blog reader to try out for themselves. I'm actually envious of whoever wins this *laugh*.
There are four different ways to enter this giveaway...
1) Leave a comment after this post. And please use the following format and leave your e-mail if you do not visit this blog regularly...
someone (at) somewhere (dot) com
So that I have a way to get in touch with you if you win.
2) "Like" Alaskan Bargain Hunter on Facebook
3) "Like" Tattler Reusable Canning Lids on Facebook
4) Subscribe in whatever format you choose to the Alaskan Bargain Hunter (Google friend connect, RSS feed, through word of mouth from your friend "Ed", etc.).
Leave a comment for each method of entry you do :). This giveaway will go from today, April 1st, 2011 and go through April 8th, 2011. On April 9th I'll pick a winner via random.org, post up said winner, and they will have four days to get back to me. If by April 13th the winner has failed to "show" I will pick a new winner.
This giveaway is open to legal residents of the US, so go for it people!