Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ball and Kerr Lids vs Tattler Lids

Lately I have been experiencing lid failure in my canning - that is, jars that don't properly seal.  I seem to have more failures with the meat I can than with fruit or vegetables.  Some of this may be due to operator error.  Maybe I didn't wipe down the rim of the jar well enough or maybe I should have simmered the metal lids in hot water, even though the directions now say not to do so.  I don't know.

I'm not losing any product, for I just put the unsealed jars into the freezer and use them before using the ones on my shelves.  But that's not the point.  If I wanted frozen hamburger, I would have wrapped it and froze it to begin with.  I want canned hamburger in jars on the shelf.  And this last batch left me with five jars destined for the freezer, out of 13 jars, total.  That's way too many failures.

A while back I bought three boxes of the wide mouth Tattler lids and three boxes of the regular size.  Tattler lids are plastic with a rubber gasket that goes between the lid and the rim of the jar and forms the seal.  I tested these lids with fruit, vegetables and meat, all with good results.  They worked just fine.

There are two reasons I didn't buy any more Tattler brand lids.  The first is the price is more than double that of the standard metal lids.  But Tattler lids can be used again and again until the rubber gasket wears out and then new gaskets can be purchased, so the price is probably justified.  The second is a perfectly silly reason.  Tattler lids don't have that satisfying popping sound when they seal like metal lids do.  You don't know if they have sealed until you test them the next day to see if the lids are firmly attached.  I didn't like that.  Silly me.

I'm seriously considering investing in a large number of the Tattler lids.  I don't need to add shipping, for my local grocery store now carries them.  So I'm wondering if anyone else who cans has had similar problems with metal lids recently (since Ball and Kerr have made changes to the sealing component on their lids) or have used the Tattler lids and if so, with what results.

Inquiring minds want to know.  :)


  1. Especially now that plastic lids are out, they'll be trying to make the mwtal ones ever cheaper. Also,I don't the idea of food in plastic OR aluminum lids. However, I don't currently can, so I guess I shouldn't care.

  2. Kymber knows a lot about canning too, so I hope she sees this post. She and I have been talking about canning lids because I am thinking about making another effort to get into that. Depending, of course, of how my attempt at gardening works out this spring.

  3. Since Jarden (Who owns Ball, Kerr and many more) have changed their seals on the lids, Canner have started having trouble with the lids sealing. At one time they said not to boil the lids anymore. I found myself as many Canner having the lid not seal. Now I heat my water to a simmer turn the heat to the lowest heat on my stove and put the lids in. Now I am not having any lids not sealing.

    I don't know if you do this are not but when canning meat or anything with grease wipe the rims with a paper towel with vinegar. The grease will keep the lids from sealing. As a canner I know how you feel. One jar out of a canning is to much. Hope this helps.

  4. S'funny - both you and I posting about Ball jars on the same day lol

    Which lids failed you - the normal ones or the Tattler? I was thinking of ordering some on-line, but if they're questionable then perhaps I shouldn't...?

  5. Gorges...I have read some accounts that say the company has made the sealant on the metal lids thinner than it was. The older boxes say to simmer the lids before using. The newer boxes say to eliminate this step. All I really know for sure is that I am having trouble with seal failure using metal lids, in spite of the precautions I normally take in preserving my food.

  6. Harry...Although I have nearly made up my mind to go with the Tattler lids, I appreciate any and all information. I still have quite a bit of meat to can to get my shelves filled the way I want them to be filled, and if the metal lids are failing, then I think I need to change the way I do things. I'm planning another test for the Tattler lids when I can more hamburger and some chicken or turkey within the next two weeks or so. Until then, I would love to hear what experiences others have had with lid failures or with using the Tattler lids.

    Even if you don't have a garden, it might be wise to learn to both can and dehydrate food, anyway. Those are just a couple more skills that could be useful.

  7. steakandeggs...The seal failure has been an ongoing problem for the past year. Sometimes all jars seal and sometimes not. Although I mostly heat the lids before using, that didn't seem to make any difference in failures, as that happened whether the lids were simmered or not. As far as canning meat goes, I do know about and practice wiping the jar rims with a paper towel dipped in vinegar, and do that religiously. I am aware of the problems of getting meat to seal, especially about filling jars too full or not getting air bubbles out, etc. The lid failures don't seem to care if it is fruit or veggie or meat. So I really think that Jarden screwed up when they changed their sealing compound, or whatever it was they did to change the way they used to make the lids. Back then they sealed. Now they don't, always. ARGGGHHH!! I think that's why I am seriously considering taking the plunge and investing in Tattler lids. I am just tired of fooling with the Ball and Kerr lids! Thanks for your input. It is appreciated!

  8. Dani...It is the metal lids (either Ball or Kerr brand - both are made by the same company) that have been giving me trouble. Not all of the time. Just often enough to be really annoying. And that has been just in the past year or so. They changed something with the sealant on the lids and myself and other canners have experienced seal failures.

    So far I have heard no complaints about the plastic Tattler lids, but I need to do more research and testing before investing in more of them because they are a bit spendy. The fact that they can be used time and again is more than likely worth the initial cost. Metal lids can be safely used only once. So I am guessing that they are actually more expensive in the long run than are the multiple use Tattlers.

    Yup - funny we should both be thinking along the lines of canning equipment on the same day - half a world away from each other! They say great minds think alike, so I will just chalk it up to that! :)

  9. Seems odd that you are doing everything you should and they are sealing good. The only other thing I do that they said you don't have to do is bring all my jar to a boil, and fill them hot. I don't know if that helps or not but that's what I do. Of course I boil them 10 minutes if using the water bath. I have thought about getting Tattler lids but so far I have not tried them. The Tattler had a learn curve for the older lids. They say the EZ seals are sealing better than the older lids.

  10. steakandeggs...I am convinced that the changes in the manufacture of the metal lids is the cause of the lid failures. I didn't have those problems before and my methods haven't changed. Tattler lids have a little bit of a learning curve, but if a person just follows the directions on the box, there should be no problem. My first attempts at using them were successful. If I can do it - so can anybody!

  11. I am not familiar with Tattler will have to look into that. Yes metal lids nosadays suck!! I was very disappointed ..had several times I had to redo the process... I wondered if there was an alternative. Thanks

  12. Mary...There was a time when I rarely had a seal failure. But it has been happening more and more lately. The Tattler lids are not cheap, but I am beginning to believe that they are worth the cost, especially since they can be used many times. Just makes sense to me. Used to be they weren't in stores and could be purchased only online, but about a year ago my local grocery started carrying them. If you try them, let me know what you think. :)

  13. vicki,
    the more important issue with the flimsy lids is that they will unseal! you have to check all your canning regularly to make sure the seals keep.

    there is much discussion about this at the survivalist blog, patrice lewis' rural revolution, and ask jackie at backwoods home magazine. i also read about lady named 'bexar' who warned about the sealed lids unsealing.
    i have tattlers but have yet to use them.
    looked at 'weck' jars with glass lids- very pricey but may be a necessity if this cheapening trend continues.
    deb harvey

  14. deborah harvey...Thanks for the reminders about discussions of Tattler lids. I will go back and re-read those posts. I have found a couple of metal lids that unsealed over time, but my main problem is that they sometimes don't seal to begin with.

    I have seen posts and videos about the "weck" jars. I do canning in volume, so replacing regular canning jars with the more expensive "weck" jars is out of the question - unless I win the lottery. (grin) I think I will just test the Tattler lids again and probably start stocking up on them.

  15. I appreciate all of you writing own all this! It is very helpful for souls such as myself really getting what is best to use!