canning lids

sunny43(Z 6 Pa.)August 21, 2009

I know we are not suppose to reuse canning jar lids but, if I heated new lids and did not use them can I use them again later?

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Yes you can use them later so long as you didn't boil them to heat them up. That would compromise the compound.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 7:42PM
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I don't think that lids should ever be boiled. They just need to be heated with warmer water than skin (I'd think about 110F-120F). The purpose is to soften the compound and then the BWB/pressure canner will do the work of bringing everything (lids, bands, jars) to above 180F-212F/240F while they are heating the important contents of the jars to that needed temp for killing all the invisible bad stuff.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

They are safe to use. The temperature the water for the lids should be at is 180 degrees. They should be heated for 10 min. before use.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 10:10PM
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Thanks Linda Lou, I did not know they need to be heated for 10 mintues. I knew about NOT boiling. Always learning something new from this forum! Thank You!
June Lynn

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 10:39PM
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Last year I had a lot of new lids that I had prepared for canning( boiling,etc. then a crisis happened and all of my canning stuff was just quick thrown into boxes and put away. This year when I brought everything up I know there are a lot of new lids probaly mixed in with some old lids. I have not used any of these, but is there a way to tell if some are okay, or should I just throw them all away? Seems like a waste but I know using them if they are not good would be a bigger waste. Also, some of my rings have small rust spots, are these safe or do they also need to be thrown away?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 12:37AM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

They should all be fine as long as you never used the lids. Rings are fine, too, with a little rust. It is when they are hard to get on and off that becomes a problem.
Just a tad of rust won't hurt anything.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 1:10AM
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So I do learn something new on the forum all the time - heating lids to 180F for 10 min. I assume that would kill the pathogens lurking on the surface of the lids. Had not thought that one through after being so careful sterilizing the jars but forgetting the lids. Thanks linda_lou.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 5:59AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My lids sit in lightly simmeriung water until ready to use. I have one of the racks that holds 12 lids vertically.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 6:55PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You don't need to sterilize jars for any processing 10 minutes or more. "Hot and clean" is sufficient.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 7:39PM
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sunny43(Z 6 Pa.)

Thanks that sure saves me a lot of headaches. I knew they had to simmer for 10 minutes in water but I am never sure how many I am going to need. If I had more than I needed simmering I just hated the thought of having to toss the others.
Three days of canning and one more to go. I would love to run to the farmers market to see what they have while I am on a roll.
When do apples start coming in?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 10:39PM
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Hi everyone, I am canning for the first time tonight and I was wondering if you can heat your jars (prior to putting contents in the jars) by using the oven? I was planning to heat the oven to 180 and making sure the jars are in there for atleast 10 minutes. Is this safe?

Thanks for any help!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 11:20PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Not a good idea for oven heat. Are you realy sure teh oven is heating to 180, or does it climb up higher than that while its running. Oven temps can vary up to 50 degrees, and at a setting 180, on the dial, it may actaully be 230 degrees. Oven thermometers also are not very accurate. An oven is just too uneaven and if the jars are filled with a product thats lower in temp, the jars can crack or shatter. I just simply rinse mine in very hot water, but a quick rinse and a partial drying cycle in a dishwasher can also be a good way to prepare the jars for filling.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

If you put the jars in the oven, put them in a roaster with some water, not dry heat.
Some people do that. It is fine. I run mine in the dishwasher and leave them. That or just use the sink of water. As long as they don't break from being too cold you are fine.
Yep, no need to boil the jars. A waste of time and energy since you will sterilize them during processing as long as the time is the 10 min. or longer. I just process all things for at least 10 min. and forget about boiling the jars. Why boil them for 10 min. then process for only 5 min.? Process for 10 min. and save yourself a lot of bother.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Follow-up to my question above. After looking at the lids I don't see a real difference. I know some old ones where mixed in( I was saving them for fridge use, until I discovered the plastic ones you can buy). Is there a way to tell if a lid has been used or should I just throw the whole batch away? probaly 8-10 boxs of lids.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:14AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Used lids will have a pressure groove from the vacuum that was created depressed into the sealing compound. If the sealing compound band is uniformly smooth then the odds were they weren't used.

I would mark the tops of the questionable ones in some way so when done processing you will know which ones to keep an extra close eye on.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:29AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Keep in mind that the plastic caps are NOT LEAK PROOF! They work best if you place a metal lid on first and the plastic cap is screwed on over it to hold ot in place.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:44PM
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Thanks to both. Will check and put a lid under the plastic one.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 10:32PM
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Like LindaLou, I do my jars in the dishwasher, and I no longer sterilize, I process everything for at least 10 minutes and save myself time and bother.

My aunt puts hers in a big roasting pan in the oven in hot water and keeps hers hot that way because she doesn't have a dishwasher and the sink is always full of produce, LOL.

gardener, I agree with Dave. If there are lids that are questionable I'd mark them and make sure to check them well to be certain they don't come unsealed.

and, as Ken mentioned, those plastic lids don't seal. I love 'em, but I found that if something tips over, it still leaks....


    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 12:47PM
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Thanks for this info!

It's not on the Ball website FAQ. I just tried a new recipe, and the quanity was way off...gave me 3 jars instead of 6. So I know I can heat them again. I was careful to not boil them.

Also, thanks for the info about not needing to sterlize the jars first if processing for at least 10 minutes. The Ball website FAQ DOES mention that, but I didn't know it. Now I know not to waste my time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ball canning FAQs

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 4:13PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

I use my jars for numerous things from canning to storing dried goods and herbs. If I use the lid for storing for a time, without any sort of processing or heat, are they still useable for canning later? I generally try to make sure I'm using new ones for the canning, but sometimes DH puts things in different places.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Balloonflower, here is my experience with using an unused lid for canning, but has been used on storage items...

I also use my canning jars for pantry storage of various food items and the wide mouth ones for storing some things in the freezer. I always keep a few of the "good-but-used" lids for these, and mark them with an X if they don't have markings on them already from when they were used in the canner.

However, a while back, I ran out of used lids and went into my supply of unused, new canning lids for a temporary dry storage situation. I marked them as unused because I was hoping they would still be valid for canning. As I have recovered them from the storage items, I have used them for canning, but never more than one in a batch, just in case they didn't seal. I have not had any seal failures. I will also say that I used a couple of these for storing some things in the freezer prior to using them for canning, and I had doubts about their ability to work in the canner, but did not have seal failure on those either. After using the new lids for my storage jars, they were run through the dishwasher and dried, then used exactly as a brand new lid when canning, preheating in the pan of water with the other new lids. By having the lids marked as having been used for previous storage (but not canning), I was able to keep an eye on them for thorough inspection after canning.

This is just based on my own experience...might not work for everyone. I wouldn't use them on an entire canner load because a failure of a whole load would be a disaster. Try using only l per load so if it doesn't work for you, you only have one jar to use up immediately.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:09AM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

like jill , i also have used new lids in the freezer and they worked fine for canning. now i keep used,marked lids separate for dry and freezer storage. i've bought new jars and heard the lids pop on the drive home ! these unused lids have a partial pressure groove . it takes me a few seconds to be sure they have not been canned !
i usually just pop the lids in simmered water when i'm ready to to can. they all aren't in there for 10', and i haven't had a problem. it takes my stove a good 10' to bring the bath to a boil.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:54AM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

back in 2010 i started canning again after i picked up some jars and lids on freecycle. some lids are Ball but in a few designs. i'd like to use up the oldest first, but can find nothing online, or on the Ball site. does anyone have an idea how long lids can be stored ? i do only a few dozen jars a year. knowing when wide mouth jars came out, or when the silver lids did, would help. i canned in the 70's and had none of those then.
the ball lids, all with white coating inside, are : 1)gold with fruit design, Ball written in a dark square, and a dashed line underneath. 2) silver with "krafted for quality-sealed for freshness". 3) wide mouth, gold,fruit design with 2 dashed lines underneath. 4) silver with ball and a "125 years" banner.
then i have a bunch of golden harvest brand in sealed boxes,
metal bottoms and blank gold tops.
thanks for any help ! pat

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:34AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Pat - I can't help you date the lids because many of the patterns are available for years and even turn up for use from old store stock years after they stopped making them.

Generally the lids are good indefinitely. I know from previous discussions here that 5-10 and even older lids have been used by many and personally I have used some boxes of lids that were easily 25 years old with no problems at all. Indeed some of the older lids seal even better than the newer ones.

The quality of the sealing compound has changed over the years (I miss the old red rubber as I finally used up the last of those I bought decades ago in bulk) but any failures are usually caused by other issues, not the age of lid.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:30AM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

another worry put to rest- thanks, dave ! i just picked peaches and plums, will macerate them for 1-2 days in the fridge for jam....mmmmm.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:38PM
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The silver ones are new, if they say "made in the USA" they are newest. 125 anniversary ones are from 2010 I think. The gold ones are older, but I don't know how old since they made those for decades. Gray sealant is older than red sealant.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 2:46PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

thanks ! i have 1 kerr lid with gray sealant that i hesitated to use,
think i'll chuck it. now i remember that i did use some lids with redder sealant and colored fruit on top. a few of those failed after they were stored. i;m betting on dave's experience and will use up the gold ones first. i used them last year and they're still on.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 4:12PM
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I haven't used any with gray sealant since the ones I saw that came with jars had been used. But I've used the gold ones with fruit designs (forget if 1 or 2 lines) in the past few years with no problems, and the silver ones (with and without 125 years and made in USA). All the same. Only failures I've gotten with Ball lids have been ones that partially sealed on shrink-wrapped new jars. I did just buy some plain gold Golden Harvest on sale at the dollar store so I will have to see how those do but GH is made by Jarden same as Ball so I expect no problems.

The "made in USA" lids are the newest BPA-free coating, I save those for pickles and use the older lids for jams now.

I'm running out of rings though! I've bought so many lids over the years I have plenty of them but the bands seem to be walking away - even the WM bands which I can't figure since I don't sell anything in WM jars. And I don't store the food with rings on. But I just had to buy some new lids with the rings - getting very expensive, over $6 a dozen. Better to buy the jars (on sale tomorrow at Ace) except I have plenty of WM jars.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 5:20PM
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