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"I Can Barely Can Water" {REVIEW} of Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

Tattler reusable canning lids review

I hate canning.

I really do, but please don’t pick on me for saying it!

I don’t like trying to coordinate the timing on getting everything hot at the right time, having sterile jars and the right amount ready to go, all the water that seems like is wasted in the process, and how long it takes. I’m so tempted to learn how to can homemade stock, but I feel like it would be so much work and water that I wouldn’t do it even though I know it’s way less work on the other end when you don’t have to thaw anything.

I’m not good at figuring out how much water to heat and often have to add more, then wait longer for a boil, and I really dislike that once you realize you don’t have enough food for a full canner batch, there’s really nothing you can do to fix it.

I know a lot of people can all the time and love it, and I’m not knocking the process, I’m just saying that I’m a bumbling idiot in the kitchen and don’t juggle canning very well.

I probably just need more education, training, and practice…I just haven’t pursued it yet.

That said, I’ve always canned tomatoes because it’s (almost) the only way to have diced tomatoes without BPA-lined cans, and I usually can some applesauce every year simply because we buy a lot of apples, and I have to preserve them somehow without taking up too much freezer space.

I’ve always seen Tattler reusable canning lids around the Internet but never cared enough to look into them (I hate canning, remember?). I figured that the food doesn’t touch the lids long enough to matter all that much on the BPA issue…right?

But maybe my head was in the sand. On my most recent batch of canning, I noticed that all that bubbling while processing really makes the food touch the lids the whole time, at high heat. Is that enough to leach toxic chemicals into the food at a high enough rate to matter? (Is there any safe rate???) Some of my applesauce is even still touching the lids, probably because I’m a doof at canning. Headspace is not my forte.

That most recent batch was applesauce, the perfect thing to can in the autumn in Michigan.

I thought I made PLENTY of applesauce and expected to even have some leftover for dessert on a gray Sunday to go with gluten-free homemade pizza…but alas, I only filled 5 quarts! Not even the whole canner!

I was so frustrated, because once the jars were in the canning pot (found on Amazon), it didn’t seem like I could make MORE and add to it, and besides – I had already cleaned up the peeler/corer/slicer mess (affiliate link goes to the one I bought last year from Amazon). I ended up canning water just to make the water in the canning pot get above my jars. Sigh. Turns out for my testing purposes, canning water was a great idea because now I know what to tell you about how easily (or not) the lids open.

Tattler reusable canning lids canned applesauce

This experience is coming off the heels of my batch of canned pickles last year, which all sealed…then came unsealed as they sat in the basement. Even though the literature says not to reuse regular canning lids, friends have told me that they do it…so I did. Big mistake, I imagine, OR I just didn’t wait long enough for a real boil before I started timing.

Either way, it was a horrible feeling to dump all those pickles, all that time spent, down the drain. I was pretty down on canning in general, and then I manage to mess up applesauce too. 

“Why can’t I figure out canning? What am I missing here?” I cried out in frustration.

My husband, ever helpful, offered this: “It’s just a guess, but I’m thinking maybe apples.

Thank you, point-out-the-obvious man.

But How did Tattler Canning Lids Work?

Tattler reusable canning lids canned applesauce

Despite my ineptitude, I did manage to can some applesauce. Readers had mentioned that there’s a little learning curve with Tattler lids, so I was nervous, but I really didn’t need to be. Here’s what I found about them:

  • Since there are three pieces (including the ring) instead of two, it’s one more thing to juggle, but it’s really, really minor. I didn’t think they were any more difficult to use than the lids I’m used to.
  • Tattler’s directions are really thorough – I had to remind myself not to tighten the lids too much as emphasized in their literature. Fingertip tighten because air needs to move in and out of the jar (or just out?). That could have been my pickles’ downfall too, I suppose.
  • Since the food really does touch the lid quite a bit during processing – which for me takes FOREVER because I keep restarting the timer, worried that my pot wasn’t at a full boil long enough – I’m so happy to have BPA-free lids.
  • There’s no “pop” sound. This is a bummer, because that part of canning is really fun and gratifying. Perhaps this is where the learning curve comes in – how do  you tell if the lids sealed? That’s why I’m glad I canned water, because I could test out how tight the seal really is without risking unsealing a sealed jar of applesauce. I pulled with all my might on both Tattler lids on the jars of water, and nothing would budge. I even tried to pry the lid off using only my fingers – nothing. So you can absolutely test your seals by yanking on the lids as hard as you can.
    • (I unfortunately had one jar that didn’t seal for whatever reason, but that’s pretty normal for me. At least I found it right away and put it in the fridge for the week’s lunches.)
  • Opening the lids isn’t difficult, but I wasn’t able to use a butter knife like the literature recommends as a possibility. I had much more confidence with a flat can opener (because you don’t want to use something sharp and damage the rubber seal since you get to reuse it!).
  • I do love the reusable part. One reason I cheated (stupidly) and reused the other kind of canning lids was that it always pained me to throw them away. It seems like such a waste of resources.

So my bottom line? I do think Tattler lids are a great idea, they aren’t difficult, they are safer, and I trust the seal (well, as much as I trust anything I have done!). I’m super impressed by their lifetime guarantee and so appreciate the BPA-free quality.

Tattler also has a breast cancer awareness month promo that does NOT include the Komen Foundation, but rather an organization that gives help to women already battling cancer, funding groceries, childcare, trips to the hospital, etc. – things that women who are sick really need. I love that.

If you’d like to try some lids, please use the code KSShip here for 5% off through at least the end of this year (my list said “2014” but I’m  not sure if that was intentional or a typo).

Have you ever used Tattler’s lids? Would you like to?

PS – I’m giving away a TON of reusable canning lids through 10/31! Check out the giveaway HERE.

I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…

reviewed and recommended

…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.
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43 thoughts on “"I Can Barely Can Water" {REVIEW} of Tattler Reusable Canning Lids”

  1. I have been using Tattler lids with great success for the last couple of years. I just canned 20 pints of applesauce a few weeks ago–all sealed. They do require a slightly different procedure than regular lids, but nothing complex. Best part is that I can keep reusing them!

  2. I have been checcking your blog for quite some time and I love it! I have learned a lot of things and have used several of your recipes. I just thought maybe this time I would actually comment. First of all bless your heart for canning and writing about it. I just recently had seen the Tattler lids and thought it looked rather interesting. But now that I have read these comments and how many people don’t like them, I think I will stick with what I know. I have used the Ball lids for years and my mom did before that and we have always reused them. Only the Ball brand. And new or used I don’t boil the lids or the jars. I do check the used lids for nicks in the rubber or anything that looks like it might not be good anymore and throw those out. but I know by the writing on the lids that we have had lids that have been used multiple times. I am not that super picky about head space either, just kinda use the neckline as my guide for everything. I canned over a hundred quart of applesauce this year and actually used new lid for most of them because my used lids were already all used. I boil them for a good ten minutes, take them out and put the next ones right in and keep going, get those to a boil etc. Out of those I had 4 or 5 that didn’t seal, which I did not think was bad at all. Some would say I should boil the lids first but I don’t think it is worth the bother if I have this good success rate without.
    Now I don’t want to sound like I have all the answers ,, but I would just like to encourage you to keep trying because it really is easy.

  3. Not a Tattler fan. I can hundreds of jars of produce every year. My biggest concern is retained air in the headspace of the jar because the lids are inflexible and you manually force the seal at the end of processing instead of it being pulled by the vacuum of proper canning techniques.

    You can view my detailed comparison of Jarden and Tattler lids here:

    1. Laurie,
      Do you know what the lids used to be before they were like now – when it included a rubber gasket, like the images in “Blueberries for Sal?” Thanks for sharing your expertise – I canned 5 jars this year, so you’re clearly wiser in this field than I am!!! Hundreds…amazing. 🙂 Katie

      1. Yes ma’am. I’ve got a collection of old canning jars and some lids inherited from an older friend who passed way last year. Bail top lids (those with the glass tops, rubber rings, and wire frame that held the lid down during processing) are still manufactured by Weck. I love the look, but I trust the seal on the Jarden lids more.

        PS – If you’re ever over to Wisconsin, I’ll show you my canning pantry and root cellar. 😉 This is why I disappear from online for days during canning season.

  4. I love the idea of the reusable lids, but I’ve been advised by many people at my local extension office that they aren’t good. Because the lid is solid and doesn’t flex, you can’t tell they’re sealed properly.

    I have stocked up on the Ball now that they’re BPA free. Although, the skeptical side of me worries that they’ve just replaced the BPA with something else equally as dangerous LOL.

  5. God bless Tattler, seriously, for attempting to make lids that can be re-used. I bought some, and I have had nothing but bad luck. I didn’t tighten too much, I made sure everything was heated…and on and on. I wasn’t even making something finicky that I would have overfilled, this summer I canned strawberry butter – and almost every single seal failed. The butter was absolutely fine – it was the lids. This happened with my dilly beans, and broth also, so I decided to just stop using them. I love the idea, I really do, but in my experience I can’t get them to work. And at that point, I’m wasting tons of electricity to can the stuff again and spending lots of time I don’t have. I buy the Ball lids now, and make sure I get the ones that are BPA free. I love to can and I have thrown up my hands with the Tattler lids. I don’t get why they work for some people, but I have not gotten them to work for me…and I don’t like feeling as though I need to check my canned goods with Tattler lids once per week just to make sure the seal is still good – I don’t have that kind of time!

      1. It really seems like a big investment, I do can alot and I would have to use my canned goods up,to be able to use the lids again right?

        1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

          You’d have to use that jar up and then reuse the lid, but not everything all at once. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean. You could always test them out and use a handful to see how you like them before investing in replacing all your lids with Tattlers. 🙂

  6. I was just getting ready to switch to Tattler because the of BPA issue in Ball lids, then noticed this year they are not making them with BPA in the lids anymore! Yea!

    1. I mean to add – the one BIG drawback that I could see in the Tattler is that you CAN’T WRITE on the lids (and reuse them, that is). I like to scribble the date and contents on the lids for things I might get mixed up (cranberry sauce, berry jam, apple sauce vs. butter, etc.) The folks at Tattler suggested stickers, but then you end up with a gummy mess when you try to remove them for the next season.

  7. Beth @ Turn2theSimple

    I really only can applesauce (my husband can’t have tomatoes, so no need to do those.). I’ve used the Victorio sauce maker and it makes great sauce easily (no peeling/coring) but it is a bit of a hassle to clean. This year I just sliced apples into large chunks and put them through my food processor until finely chopped (peels included), then I cooked the apples until soft. I always process jars on a different day than making the sauce — just put jars in the fridge overnight and then into empty canner and fill empty canner with COLD water. Then heat to rolling boil and set timer. I usually pour the water through my Berky to “reuse” the water…or use it to water plants.

  8. Ok, I’m not sure if I’m missing something or not, but I LOVE to can…and think it’s extremely easy. I clean my jars…but sterilize them?! I don’t boil them to death, or even have them HOT when I put the food in them. Never felt the need for a hot pack with my pressure canner. They haven’t killed us yet or my parents and Mom’s canned for YEARS…I’ve done it for several, but only for the last 8 or 9 years, however did help Mom growing up.

    I DID have trouble when I was canning by water bath, so gave that up and just use my wonderful pressure canner (it’s one of the All American kind which is so much nicer to use…as in less scary…than the kind I grew up with). When I did a water bath my lids came off some of the jars over the winter, so the food got ruined. Like you I hated the waste of food and time…so gave up on water bath and stick with pressure canning and haven’t had that trouble so far!

    If you haven’t tried pressure canning, with an All American Canner maybe you would enjoy it more if you did! I can my stock, and since usually I’m doing several batches, I put the jars in the fridge for a day if I don’t have enough to fill a canner, till the next batch is done…then get it out, pop it in the canner and can away! LOVE IT!! Saves all that room in the freezer, AND lets me can enough stock in the winter, so I don’t need to do it in the summer and fall when I’m busy doing OTHER canning. :-))

    Just so you know, I was scared of starting to can, even though I helped my Mom growing up…till I got my pressure canner and learned it was a lot different than the one I grew up using…a LOT better in my opinion, especially if you worry about the pressure getting to high before you “catch” it.

    I’ve heard other people worry about canning, cause they think you have the have the jars just so and all…but in my opinion it’s NOT hard, cause yes the jars need to be clean, but I haven’t seen that they had to be “sterilized” to death, so can’t figure out why they hate to can so much. LOL Maybe I’m missing something I don’t know…but have done it this way for several years, without any trouble so…will continue. :-))

  9. I love Tattler Lids, simply because we can resuse them. When I first began using them, I did so with canned chicken stock in the pressure canner, and I have great success. I actually haven’t used them in a water bath canner, because I mostly do pressure canned foods.
    In response to the comment about giving canned food away, you’re right, you don’t want to let these precious babies go. However, one way around that would be to can some things with metal lids. I can all of my jams and fruit syrups with metal lids because we give away so much of it during the holidays. Then when I do spaghetti sauce or salsa, I use a mix of metal lids and Tattlers. It works out great!

  10. We tried Tattler lids and ended up returning all of ours for a refund. We followed the directions exactly and had lids that appeared to have sealed after they cooled, but came unsealed days or even weeks later in storage. Customer service said we were likely over-tightening our lids even though we followed their directions. Dumping all of that food from a known and tested recipe was it for me, so back to metal lids we go.
    SB Canning is a great blog and FB page devoted to safe canning methods, so it is usually my first go-to.
    Here is a link about canning applesauce that tells about how many pounds of apples should make a full load in the canner.

  11. I am intimidated by canning and have never really tried it, mainly because I haven’t taken the time to learn all the ins and outs, and honestly freezing is so much quicker and healthier. I love your honesty, and imagine my endeavors into the canning world would be very similar. Have you done much lact-fermenting? I have started dipping my toes into those waters, and am curious if the air-lock lids are worth it or not?

    1. Andrea,
      I’m a pretty rookie LFer too, and I haven’t tried an air-lock yet. I have a friend who used some old beer-making equipment and a mason jar and made a DIY one, and he is currently testing sauerkraut with the lock and open fermentation – says they taste totally different. ??? 🙂 Katie

    2. After pretty extensive experiments myself with airlocks and without, I think they are pretty essential – so much less possibility for outside fungus/mold/etc. The airlocks I purchased were $1.99 at the beer brewing store, along with the $.69 rubber bungs to put them in. I use ReCap mason jar lids, put the rubber bung in, airlock in, and let it ferment. Cheaper than the expensive crocks and works great. There is a tutorial somewhere on

  12. Amy Chartier

    Hi! I use the tattler lids, and I just want to warn you that they don’t always stay sealed. I have to check all my seals periodically (stored in the basement), because they come unsealed over time. Every person I’ve talked to that uses them has this same problem. I never have this problem with regular lids. I want to use the tattler lids, because they were a big investment and I like that they are reusable and BPA free, but it also means I end up dumping some jars. Just a warning. I hate to be so negative, but that’s been my experience over several years.

  13. I let the canning water cool down and then use it to water indoor or outdoor plants. I try not to dump any water down the drain that can be re-used! :).

  14. Lily! thanks for your input! I can never remember what is acid and what isn’t! I also don’t really sterilize my jars. i wash them good and when I rinse them I put that hot water in them. If I use my water bath canner then I dump that hot water in the canner when I fill the jar. It works! I am really starting to love the pressure canner. Once or twice a year I can a huge amt of stock. By using pint jars, I can stack them and get like 15 pints!
    Happy eating and canning everyone!

  15. I am by no means an expert at canning even though I have been doing it for years. By looking at the pictures of you applesauce, I’m wondering if you are consistent about head space. According to the “Ball Blue Book guide to preserving”, applesauce should have 1/2″-headspace. Their definition of Headspace “An area left unfilled between the top of the food in a home canning jar or freezer container and the rim of the jar or freezer container.”
    Some of the jars in the picture have much more and some have much less. The correct amount of headspace is essential to allow for food expansion as the jars are heated and for the formation of a strong vacuum seal as jars cool.
    I hope this is helpful.

    1. Veee,
      Oh, dear, I know you’re right too- and I knew it was supposed to be half an inch…but I am a bad estimator. The last one had a little more headspace because I didn’t have any applesauce left to fill it so I crossed my fingers and processed anyway! Thank you for the explanation! 🙂 Katie

      1. I found this somewhere on the web. I don’t know where but it helped me.
        ¼ inch = First Thread on jar
        ½ inch = Middle Thread on jar
        1″ = just below the last thread on jar
        1¼ inch = halfway down the shoulder (the rounded part on the jar)
        1½ inch= just below the shoulder

        Jams& Jellies = ¼ inch
        Pickles = ½ inch
        Fruit = ½ inch
        Tomatoes = ½ inch
        Vegetables = 1 inch

      2. More on headspace from one of my favorite canning blogs –

        It really does matter – honest!

  16. So glad you gave it another go! I’ve been meaning to try Tattler lids.
    I just wanted to reassure you that your canner does not need to be at a full, vigorous, rolling boil for your entire processing time. A gentle boil is completely adequate and probably preferable as it’s less likely to bang the jars about.
    You also do not need to actually sterilize your jars if your processing time is longer than 10 minutes (which it is for everything except a handful of jams and jellies – and I usually just process those for 10 minutes anyway). Your jars do need to be clean (duh) and hot, but that is to protect them from thermal shock that can crack your jars when you put hot food in them and then place them in a hot canner.
    Also, one of your commentors said that she always pressure cans applesauce. While it is an option if you prefer to, it is not necessary for safety reasons. Apples and applesauce are absolutely acidic enough to can in a WBC. Here is a handy chart of common acidity levels of lots of different foods (anything with an acidity below 4.6 is a candidate for WBC):
    Happy canning!

  17. Ball is actually making their lids BPA-free now. Don’t know where I read that originally, but last time I was shopping noticed it on the boxes of jars too.
    What I did for applesauce this year was cored & cut the apples, cooked with a little water, then put them (peels and all) in the food processor. Went super fast (I did 1.5 bushels and made 23 quarts of sauce) and I feel like the texture isn’t much different than when I use a food mill. Then brought it back up to a boil and added lemon juice before putting it in cans. I’ve only been canning for a couple years and it seems like it has gone a little smoother each year, and with each batch of food too.

  18. Lindsay Palazzolo

    Katie, you are absolutely awesome at everything else! After 13 years, I finally know your weak spot- canning. 🙂 🙂 I’m going to make some of your pumpkin muffins now. (It’s ok not to reply; you are uber-busy and I will talk to you soon.)



  19. I don’t particularly like tattler lids. However, can I just say, where we live everyone makes applesauce! I have a few suggestions. First, you can freeze it, it’s much faster, but of course not everyone has freezer room for it, If you can them, please use a pressure canner. first off, you only need a small amt of water! that’s so much easier. Second: I beleive that technically since apples not the right acidity, they really should be in a pressure canner. third, depending on your pressure canner and jars, you can stack them. I know, I know, the pressure canner is scary, but once you do it, you’ll love it. I have a flat top stove, so it really works well on ti.
    Also, you do NOT need that peeler/corer thingie for applesauce. I have one, I use it for apple pie filling. Just cut your apples. you heard me, just cut them in quarters. Do not peel or core! ( my mom cores, but she is weird like that!) Throw them in your coooking pot with a small amt of water and cook till soft. then run them thru a victoria food processor or squeezo. OR a kitchen aid food grinder (not as good as a squeezo) then you are done!!!! Done! Last year I did 10 baskets of applesauce by myself. I froze most of it, but canned some for gifts
    Thanks for your blog!

    1. Hi. I agree. don’t peel and core. just wash them good, cut away anything bad and cut them in quarters. the apple sauce tastes better, a bit nutty, almondy. plus gets a slightly thicker texture. it is awesome!.

        1. 🙂 i see your point! And honestly, I think the taste difference is minimal. I made apple sauce your way today, but with half plums, peeled, and a vanilla bean. good for a change. I had so many apples this year. 🙂 very fearful for the apples, plus the big room in my chest freezer that can handle the apple sauce, the apple slices, the just washed and cut in watters waiting to be applesauce apples. 🙂 I have given up on canning. so much work, and I always get it wrong! I just hope the power won’t run out for a long time. 🙂

    2. Heather, I’m curious…you’re using a glass top stove? No coil burners? I was under the impression that canning on that type of stove can run the risk of overheating the controls and, in essence, melting the stove! I have one of these types and haven’t been pressure canning because of fear of ruining my stove.

      Anyone else successfully pressure canning on a smooth top range?

      1. using a pressure canner on a glass stove is much easier than a traditional water bath canner. When I use my pressure canner I turn it to 8 (not high!) and then it’s only on that a few minutes till my pressure is reached, then I turn it to lo. it’s much much less heat than a water bath canner. I had to get rid of my granite ware canner. those bumpy bottoms just don’t work on glass stoves. I have the stainless steel canner for water bath canning, but I really love my pressure canner and use that mostly!

        1. OOps! one more comment. Using a water bath canner is actually harder on the glass top stoves. That is what some people have problems with. Even though I have the flat bottomed stainless steel canner for water bath, it is hard to get it to boil! sometimes I boil water in another pot and pour it in, just to keep it going. If you have a glass stove, pressure canners are great. Even if you don’t have a glass stove, they are great. Way way less water, way way less heat! I even have a small pressure cooker for cooking. LOVE IT!

  20. I keep thinking I would like to try these lids, but I share a lot of my canned foods. I would hate to invest in the lids and not get them back to reuse. Guess I’d need to try canning some with each kind of lid so I have a few jars that can be given away.

    My guess would be the pickle jars failed because the lids were re-used. They really aren’t designed to seal for more than one heating and I could see how they’d fail over time if used again.

    1. Marcella,
      I know, I know…dumb decision. I have reused before, however, and been fine. I might also have mistimed the processing not waiting for a rolling boil. ???

      Good point about sharing the canned food – you’d def. want to do some of each! 🙂 Katie

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