Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

Hello Mrs. Grossman,
I just had what I would call a catastrophic failure.
I finally got the courage up to use the new tattler lids yesterday. I had 36 of them and 19 DID NOT seal. Now, I have been canning for approx. 23-24 years with a brief 6 year hiatus when I had 4 kids under the age of 6.
At one point during my marathon canning session (62 quarts of applesauce and apples) a certain person who shall remain nameless placed several loaves of frozen bread on top of several just processed jars.
I was not in the room at the time so several minutes passed with the frozen loaves atop the hot jars.
The majority of my failed lids were where the frozen loaves were placed, and then I had another 5 jars that did not seal.
Now, it is not unusual for me to have 2-4 jars not seal with regular metal lids during a marathon canning event.

So now I have doubt placed in my mind over the tattler lids being the all new ‘thing’.
It doesn’t help that I went to Amazon and started reading all the negative reviews of failures and people having the seals pop off within 2 weeks.
I want the Tattlers to succeed, I love the idea of the re-usability aspect (especially when I live in an area that takes forever to restock their empty store shelves during panic snow/derecho events), but I just can’t afford (time and food) the possibility of mega losses… Know what I mean?
PLEASE remind me about the success you have had with your tattler lids!!!… And tell me it was the frozen loaves and not me that caused the massive failures.
Do you really crank down on those lids when they come out of their bath?
I wonder if the other 5 jars didn’t seal because I didn’t crank down hard enough on the lids or maybe I cranked them too hard… *SIGH* …
Thanks for your time.

Shenan –
Oh dear! Sounds like a true canning trial and ordeal.
I can’t say for sure if it was the frozen food set on top of your jars that caused so many not to seal properly.
I have success with Tattler lids and do recommend them. I will say that Tattler lids can be a little more unforgiving than a one trip lid, and greater care and attention needs to be employed when using them.

Just remember that when you apply the lid, gasket and band – tighten the band firmly and evenly onto the jar, and then unscrew the band about ¼” or so. The food in the jar needs a little air to vent.
After processing, when you remove the jar from the canner, immediately tighten the band down and allow the jars to cool undisturbed for about 8 – 12 hours.

For those of you who may be unaware, Tattler lids are a modern and re-usable 2-piece lid system for home canning. Tattler lids consist of a white plastic lid and a red rubber ring or gasket.

Tattler 2 Piece Lid & Gasket

Tattler 2 Piece Lid & Gasket

The two-piece system uses a standard modern jar band to keep the lid and gasket securely on the jar while it is being processed in the canner.

Tattler lids work in principal a little like the old-time zinc lids or wire bail jars. Some of you may be too young to remember, but old-time canning jars used to use a rubber ring that was attached to the lip or shoulder of a jar, and a zinc lid or glass top was attached to the Mason jar with a bail wire assembly or screw threads.

Old Fashioned Wire Bail Jar With Rubber and Glass Lid

Old Fashioned Wire Bail Jar With Jar Rubber and Glass Lid

In those days instead of tightening the bail wire or zinc lid firmly onto the jar before processing, the lid was left a little loose or the bail wire was left up, so that the food in the jar could vent.

Wire Bail Jar In Vent Position

Wire Bail Jar In Vent Position

After processing the jars in a canner, the lid or the wire bail was tighten or clamped down immediately so that a vacuum in the jar could be formed.

Wire Bail Jar In Closed Position

Wire Bail Jar In Closed Position

Reusable canning lids are the ultimate in sustainability and semi self-reliance. Tattler lids are much more expensive than regular one trip lids but will easily pay for themselves over time.

I don’t exclusively use Tattler lids for all my canning needs, but I do keep at least half of my canning jars mated with reusable canning lids.
That’s because I’m old enough to remember the canning lid shortage of 1976 and I don’t ever want to go through that again if I can help it.

Chicken Stock In Canner

Chicken Stock In Canner Using TATTLER Lids

Because the lids are reusable, I use a wax pencil or a small piece of freezer tape across the top of the lid to mark the date and contents instead of directly on the top of the lid.

Below is a short video that I made the other day demonstrating the use of Tattler lids. I hope it helps.

  12 comments for “Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

  1. bunkie
    October 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for the informative video GM! I have purchased some Tattler lids, but haven’t tried them yet, only used the conventional. Will probably wait till next season to test hop. A bit nervous cause it’s something new, so will keep you video bookmarked!

  2. Wzrd1
    October 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

    The old wire bale jars are still in production in India. They were imported throughout the middle east while I was deployed there.
    Regrettably, I didn’t ship those home. :(

    Though I’ve inherited a few boxes of ball type lids, these look much better for future usage. My mother had stocked up also after that shortage in 1976.
    The only reservation I have about these is the rubber ring, I far prefer food grade silicone.
    That said, Ball has a food grade silicone ring for their plastic screw-on lids. Expensive, but silicone lasts far longer than rubber and potentially could outlast my toddler grandchildren. :)
    While I do get quite a few re-uses from the ball type lids, eventually the coating fails and they rust, as my biggest canned item is home made pasta sauce.
    Next year, I’ll have enough mint proliferated to make up plenty of mint jelly. :)
    I snuck the mint into the weed patch that once was my father’s front garden. He doesn’t care for it since he began to suffer from dementia, so now I’ve added in mint.
    Tomatoes, basil, frying peppers and chilli peppers go on the south side of the house and pumpkin, cucumbers and dill weed go in the yard garden.
    I such small places, I still manage to get quite good production. 😀

  3. October 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I have struggled with my Tattlers as well. I have been using them regularly for 3 years now. For me it is a catch 22. Once I got them my canning more than doubled. I was more excited about it and tried more things such as soups, meats, sauces, more veggies, etc. But that failure rate is still much higher for me, and many of them fail after I put them out into storage so I have to throw away my food (I hate that!!!). My sister, on the other hand, uses them as well (she’s a much newer canner) and has had very good results.

    I appreciate the recommendation of being sure they are not cockeyed and checking for rusty bands, etc. I just threw out a bunch of rusty bands just this summer, so hopefully things will go better.

    I also want to note to be VERY careful when tightening down the lid. I have had 2 just in the last canning session “spit/vent” out at me and it was very scary. I do not want to scald myself while tightening these. Cover it with a towel if you use hot mits as an extra measure of precaution.

    -Anna in Alaska

  4. HoosierGranny
    October 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    There are very specific instructions on the Tattler website. You can not use them the same way you use your Ball lids. You might want to check it out. I just ordered more when they were on sale for the first 3 days of the month.

  5. Terry
    October 7, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I was having some trouble getting my Tattler lids to seal also, being an experienced canner. It seems a tricky thing to get the bands screwed on just right before processing. Then I saw somewhere that you can practice with the Tattler lids by canning water. Fill some jars with hot water, add the lids, process for maybe 15 minutes, then remove jars and tighten bands. Then when cooled see if you got it right! This is a way to practice without wasting food.

  6. October 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I got some tattler lids for the first time this past summer and tried them on a small batch of tomato sauce. One sealed out of the four jars. But then I got to wondering – there was a white powdery substance on the rubber rings, which I didn’t bother to scrub off. Could this have been the culprit?

    Also – do you use tattlers for pressure canning? Do you go through the same process as with the water bath?

    I really want Tattlers to work for me because I hate the thought of having to buy the “one and done” type over and over again – which takes the sustainability of canning foods right out the window!

    • KMG
      October 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      I use Tattler lids for both types of canning with equal success. Tattlers are exactly like one trip lids except you turn back the band a little & tighten when the jar comes out of the canner :-) I’m not sure what the powdery white stuff is…..

      • Wzrd1
        October 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        When I started looking at Tattler lids, the first thing I looked for was a silicone seal, as rubber does degrade over time.
        I’ve also had better results with silicone seals than I’ve had with rubber over the years in other things.
        I did find these, they might work and do the job well.
        Not cheap, but they’d be worth it if they help make a more reliable seal.

        • KMG
          October 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

          Wzrd1 –
          They aren’t for canning :-( Just for storage.

          • Wzrd1
            October 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

            Silicone gaskets tend to be tolerant of both pressure cooker and hot water bath.
            When I get some extra cash, I’ll order the lids and those rings and let you know how they did.

          • KMG
            October 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm

            Thank you :-) I’d be very interested in what you discover.

  7. Vicki
    October 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Someone had a nice description of how to tighten the lids down right for the Tattler. Leaving your jar resting on the counter put the lid on and screw down just until your jars starts turning on the counter. It leaves enough vent space without food leakage. Then tighten down as soon as you remove jars from canner. Hope that helps.

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