Preparedness: More about jars and lids


More About Jars and Lids

Once you own canning jars, they are good forever unless you crack or break the jar. Even then, you can use a cracked jar for some sort of craft like painting it and putting a dried flower arrangement in it. I keep the boxes the jars come in and store the empties in them, placed upside down to keep the dust and bugs out. I run them through the dishwasher before I put the empties away, and once again before I use those jars to can in again. The canning process does heat them but giving them a good prewash enables you to check the jars for cracks and to examine the rims for chips and nicks that would prevent them from sealing. 

I would be cautious about using antique canning jars. I have some and I use them to store dehydrated items. They add a bit of interest to the pantry shelf. I can’t see using them and risking them exploding in the canner under pressure. We have better tempering methods for glass these days so stick with modern jars for canning and celebrate having a rare antique jar a different way. 

Anyone who has been around home canning knows about the metal jar lids from Ball. Ball is now, at the time I write this, owned by Newell Brands. They brand the metal canning lids as “Ball” in the United States, and as “Bernardin” in Canada. I’ve been told they also make the Golden Harvest lids, but I couldn’t find that on the company website. Newell Brands also own such well-known companies as Rubbermaid, Crock*Pot, Mr. Coffee, Oster, Sunbeam, Coleman, Calphalon, Yankee Candle, and FoodSaver to name just a few. 

I’ve tested the Golden Harvest lids and they seal great. I had no problems with them at all no matter who makes them. I paid a bit more for them, but now I know they work and I’m on the lookout for them on sale. 

The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 sent a lot of folks scurrying to find canning jars and lids. I was lucky enough to get a few boxes of Ball lids before the shortage got severe. The same for Ball jars, which come with a lid and a ring on each jar. But having enough lids for this year doesn’t prepare me for next year, which is where the Tattler and Harvest Guard lids come into play. 

Tattler lids have been around since 1976. The website is at The lids are BPA-free and made in the United States with FDA-approved materials. They can be reused indefinitely, and if a ring would wear out, you can replace just the ring. 

Using them is not difficult. I dunk mine in hot water until I’m ready to put them on the jar. Then place the O-ring into the groove in the lid and put it on the jar. Use a regular metal band to hold the lid in place. Tighten the band to finger tight only. Remember the air needs to vent from the jar during processing. The Tattler website gives great instructions on how to tighten the band to get it just right.  

When it’s time to remove the jars, there is one extra step to do to ensure a good seal. Once the jars are out of the canner, tighten the band. The jars will be hot so use a towel to keep from getting burned. Let the jars sit and cool for about twenty-four hours, certainly at least overnight, before removing the bands. To test the seal, lift the jar slightly by the lid. If for some reason the lid does pop off, put that far in the fridge and use it within a few days. I’ve only ever had this happen with one jar and I figure I didn’t get the band on correctly in the first place, so my fault. Opening the Tattler lids requires an old-style opener which you can see on their website. You can get an opener at a dollar store a lot cheaper than on the Tattler website. I plan to continue to use Tattler lids on all my jams and jellies, pickles, and other “low value” items, but I’ll stick to Ball or Golden Harvest lids for “high value” proteins. 

Harvest Guard lids are like the Tattler lids, but I’ve not used them so I can’t give a personal review. I think Tattler is the parent company. 

I've recently heard about another company, Forjars, that is new. Even their website,, says they are at least new to the canning world. I've not yet given them a look, but I plan to. As with everything else, do your research, do your own kitchen tests, and go from there. 

If you want to gather an inventory of jars and lids to get prepared for the next season, stay diligent and watch for impostors. Online sellers that are merely storefronts for other companies do not vet their vendors. It’s up to you to do your homework and spend your money carefully. 

Next up: Yes, you can afford to build a pantry.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, pantry prepping, preparedness, inventory, home food preservation, Doomsday prepping, stock rotation, first-in first-out

No comments: