A couple weeks ago, I saw an interesting piece on SurvivalBlog entitled “Reusing Canning Jar Lids.”
I’ve been following the issue of lid shortages with great interest, so this article definitely caught my eye.
The writer addressed the issue of re-using disposable lids with a scientific approach, testing his technique for recovering the use of disposable lids. “Some websites warn that reusing canning lids is ‘unsafe,’” he writes. “That’s simply not true. The lids either work or they don’t work and there’s no middle ground. … The same rule applies whether you’re using brand-new lids or recycling used lids for the 17th time: if the button on the lid is down after the jars cool, the contents are safe. If the button is up, the contents are safe as long as the jar is put into the refrigerator to be used first.”
In my canning experience, I must agree he’s right.
In a nutshell, his recommendations for successfully re-using lids is:
• Parboil the lids (meaning, drop them in water that is boiling hot, but with the heat off) to let the gaskets soften and return to their original shape;
• Confirm the jar rims are perfect (no nicks) and perfectly clean.
Over the last few years, most of my canning has been done with Tattlers, but I still use disposable lids once in a while. More importantly, I’ve used disposable lids on some of my past canning projects, but I was always careless when removing the lids – uncaring if they got bent or distorted during removal.
So from now on, I’m going to save my used disposable lids and give this fellow’s technique a try.
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