Tattler Reusable Canning Lids Review

One of the downsides to canning is only being able to use a lid once before having to throw it away. I know some people say they’ll use a lid twice before disposing of it, but I’m a bit more cautious and would rather not risk a bad seal. Well a company by the name of Tattler has come out with a reusable lid. The company also has different colors for their lids, and will have special runs of a particular color at times.

canned hatch chili pepper salsa with tattler lids

Side by side comparison of disposable lid and two colors of Tattler Lids

A big complaint of the conventional metal lids was that the rubber inside contained BPA, a chemical known to cause hormone issues with people who consume it. The Tattler lids are BPA free. Recently most of the companies manufacturing the metal bands have changed to a BPA free formula as well.

roasted hatch chili pepper salsa using disposable and tattler lids

Salsa using a red Tattler reusable lid

Since my wife and I tend to give away some of the jars we can we usually do a mixture of disposable and reusable lids. After using the Tattler lids several hundred times I can say I love them… and hate them at the same time.

canned hatch chili pepper salsa

Canning with a mixture of reusable and disposable lids.

Let me explain the previous statement. When the lids work they work great. I get an awesome seal and I am entirely confident in the safety of the food in the jar. However, the lids can be a bit tricky. Since the process involves a rubber gasket and a plastic lid you cannot fully tighten down on the lid as you would with a metal lid. The reason being is pressure. The internal pressure cannot vent during the boiling process in the canner if the lid is too tight. It will eventually push out, and when that happens often some of the food comes out with it. This can prevent a good seal later when it’s cooling due to food getting between the gasket and lid

To ensure the best possible seal I’ve learned to place the jar on the counter with the gasket and lid inside the metal band. I place the band on the jar and turn the band with one hand as tight as it’ll go until the jar starts to spin on the counter. Basically finger tight. I’ve had really good luck with this process.

The jars are processed the same way as the disposable lids. There is not time difference for how long they have to boil. I would recommend at the end of the boiling period to remove the lid and turn the heat off on the canner and let the jars sit for five minutes before removing them.

canning hatch chili pepper salsa using tattler lids

Tattler lids in a water bath canner.

Once the jars have been removed place them on the counter. I like to use an old kitchen towel to make sure the hot jars don’t damage my counter. Take a couple of kitchen towels, oven pads, or silicon oven mitts and tighten the full on the jars. This step is important to ensure the jars full seal.

canning ketchup

Using reusable Tattler lids

With all the above being said I do have a jar occasionally fail to seal out of a batch of jars. Normally I don’t mind as I like trying out whatever I’m making anyway. Another thing to consider is even though the lids are more expensive, after using them three or four times you’ll have broken even if you had been buying disposable lids. After that you have a 100% cost savings in lids.

Tattler has since updated their lid design and now sell an E-Z seal lid which on their website they say you can treat the same as the disposable lids. Once I’ve acquired and used some of the E-Z seal lids I’ll be sure to update this post.

Until then happy canning!

– Jason Snell

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is the time of the year for turkey. One of the best toppings for a freshly roasted turkey is homemade cranberry sauce. While opening a can is easy, it just doesn’t taste as good as a cranberry sauce freshly made.

Things you’ll need to make your own cranberry sauce:

  • 4c sugar
  • 4c water
  • 8c fresh cranberries
  • optional: zest from one orange

The process for making cranberry sauce is actually pretty easy and the result can even be canned for later use.

First up add the sugar to the water in a large pot on the stove. Apply heat and bring to a boil. The goal here is to dissolve the sugar into the water.

Boiling sugar water

Boiling sugar water

After about five minutes of boiling the sugar should be dissolved and the cranberries can now be added.

Fresh whole cranberries

Fresh whole cranberries

Before adding the cranberries make sure to give them a quick rinse in the sink to remove any dirt or debris. Now the cranberries and be dumped in and the pot brought back to a boil.

Cranberries in the pot

Cranberries in the pot

After a few minutes you’ll start to see, and hear, the cranberries bursting open. The mixture will form some foam on top which is normal. At this point the cranberry sauce will need to boil for about 15 minutes until all the berries have burst open and the liquid begins to form a sheet on a metal spoon.

Heating cranberries

Heating cranberries

I like the flavor the orange zest adds to the cranberry sauce so at this point I add in my zest.

Fresh orange zest

Fresh orange zest

At this point the cranberry sauce is basically done.

Bursting cranberries

Bursting cranberries

Since I like to enjoy seasonal foods all year long I ended up canning this batch of cranberry sauce, but you can easily freeze the cranberry sauce, or place it into the fridge for use later that day or the next day.

Freshly made cranberry sauce

Freshly made cranberry sauce

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the homemade cranberry sauce!

– Jason Snell

Canning Homemade Ketchup (or catsup)

Ketchup is a widely used condiment and tastes great on a hot dog or fries. The downside to store bought ketchup, or catsup, is that it often contains ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. My wife and I received several extra pounds of tomatoes and decided to make ketchup.

The great thing about this recipe is that it was easy to make and tastes amazing. We used the recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

Things you will need

Tomatoes
Chopped onions
Spices
Sugar
Vinegar
Coffee Filter
Canning/Pickling salt
Kitchen Aid Mixer with Fruit/Vegetable Strainer or a Food Mill

The nice thing about this recipe is that the tomatoes are sent through a strainer or food mill. This means the tomatoes only need to have the ends trimmed and the cores removed. The skins will be removed through the straining process.

To start off place the cut and cored tomatoes into a steel pot along with the chopped onion. Aluminum will react with the tomatoes and should not be used.

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Heating tomatoes for ketchup in a stainless steel pot

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Getting ready to start infusing the vinegar

While the tomatoes are cooking add your spices to a spice bag. If you don’t have a spice bag, as in my case, add the spices directly to the pot and filter out later with a coffee filter.

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Filtering out the spices from the infused vinegar.

Add in the cider vinegar to the pot. In the case of this batch of ketchup we used celery seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and whole allspice.

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Spices infusing in apple cider vinegar

Let the vinegar boil, and then remove from heat. Allow the spices to sit in the vinegar for at least 25 minutes. The spices can be discarded afterward.

Once the tomatoes have come to a boil reduce the heat and let them boil gently for about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar at this point and let it boil gently until it thickens.

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Reducing the tomatoes

After this has completed allow the tomatoes to cool. Next is when we ran the tomatoes through our kitchen aid attachment. The fruit/vegetable strainer makes life a lot easier. If you don’t have a kitchen aid mixer, or the attachment, you can use a food mill.

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Straining the tomato mixure

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Tomato pulp left over after straining through a kitchen aid attachment

After the ketchup has been strained return to the pot and add in salt and sugar. The book suggests letting it boil gently for about 45 minutes or until the volume is reduce by half. It took a bit longer for this batch. It all depends on how much water the tomatoes contain.

 

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Ketchup thickening on the stove

After the ketchup has thickened to the level you like prepare your jars for canning. Ladle in the hot ketchup and leave a 1/2 inch headspace. Boil the jars for 15 minutes, or adjusted for altitude.

After the ketchup has sealed stand back and enjoy your handy work.

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Canned homemade ketchup

Better yet, enjoy some of that ketchup on an all beef hotdog.

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Homemade ketchup with mustard on an all beef hotdog and whole wheat bun

Now you’ve got the ketchup down, on to making homemade relish and mustard… but that’s a post for another time.

– Jason Snell