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Canning lids questions

Posted by tam91 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 28, 11 at 13:14

Well first my dumb question - how can I tell if a jelly jar lid has been used before?

(yes, I know, I should have labeled things, kept them separate, etc. Oops.)

I have some jars which the lids appear unusued - I think. Is there a way to tell for sure though?

Second, the Ball and Kerr jelly jars sell with the cute decorative lids. But all the replacement lids I've ever seen are plain and boring. Is there anywhere to buy replacement decorative lids?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canning lids questions

Yes, I would like to know, too.
yeah, i write on the lid. Found a couple that came with a thrift store jars. I even marked "honey" on top of the jars I buy now from local beekeeper guy who puts his honey up in canning quarts I buy..
I saw some "gingham" ones hanging at Walmarts.... overpriced...... Only reason I was even there cause weeks ago there jars were the cheapest..... Otherwise I avoid them like the plague.
Local Krogers had ONLY some of their "wide mouth replacement lids for 50 cents a box. Bought four even though I did not need them. They were the leftovers from the big light green cardboard display most of the groceries had on display and would not fit on the regular small section.... Cause I asked and I used to do store resets....
I will keep my eyes peeled for some decorative ones at our local salvage stores..... they have to be CHEAP to beat 50 cents. LOL
Just chiming in
Jean


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RE: Canning lids questions

It's hard to tell sometimes, since they started shrink-wrapping the jars with the lids on. The groove is deeper on the ones that have been processed. It's something you just have to eyeball, get used to looking at them as you open your processed foods so you know how deep a "used" groove is, and compare against a "new" shrink-wrapped one.

If in doubt, boil some water and pour it over the lid(s) and let it set til cool, if you can barely see a groove then they're OK to use, a used one that had been on the jar for a while would probably (I haven't tried this) still have a groove in it. And yes, I've reused lids from jars that were sealed a day or so (like the vinegar I processed to seal 3 jars for the fair and then picked up 3 days later and opened, poured them back into a big bottle).

I stopped by Walmart for an Rx last week, wandered over to canning section to see if stuff was on clearance yet, and the shelf said Ball regular lids (no bands) that had been $1.63/dozen were now $3.17! Must have been an error, I can't see why they'd be doubling in price in a month! Even though the half pint jars went from $6.77 to $7.47...


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RE: Canning lids questions,again

I would not be surprised. Greedy ******s
have youall noticed how stores put their stuff on "sale" after they raised prices......? Or how mfgs are making their packages about same look but less in them.
I used to do resets and saw them as they walked around with their bags or sheets of new shelf tags....
Plus used to do price other stores . Had a long list esp every 3 months....
Only store would not let us was YOU guessed it.... WALworlds..... at least not with a pencil and clipboard. One manger said I could use a "tape recorder"
But my fellow workers pointed out Wallyworlds price checkers in competior stores....
Ah well
Jean


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RE: Canning lids questions

Hmmm I'll have to go stare at them again. I know with most of mine - there are just about 8 jars I cannot tell. I was trying to compare them with some known used ones, but I'm still not sure. I'll give it another try.

Of course, if you could BUY new decorative lids, I wouldn't care, and would just buy new ones. I cannot figure out why they sell the jars with the pretty lids with fruit etc. on them - and then you cannot buy more lids like that. Extremely irritating.


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RE: Canning lids questions

All summer long the regular jelly jars were $6.77, then after inventory prep in Sept all the prices went up! But the lid price must be a mistake, when Ball is selling them on website for $2.25.

Wish Ball sold the deco lids as well - maybe they'll bring them back, at least the silver ones they already sell with the quilted crystal jelly jars? I haven't seen any other jars sold with different lids than those (also on the Elite collection jars). Might not bring back the white lids with fruit on them (I've got a few that look unused from Goodwill jars) unless they bring back the white bands. But who knows, if they see they're losing sales to the BH&G fancy lids...


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RE: Canning lids questions

Several places around here sell the decorative lids - red checked gingham, fruit, etc. but only in boxes of lids and bands, not on the jars themselves except for the deluxe quilted jelly jars. Walmart here currently has 2 or 3 choices in their canning section.

At holiday time Ball/Kerr often puts out a Thanksgiving and a Christmas model in the regular size and you often see various patterns of decorative lids for sale on eBay and Bernardin is currently offering the engraved swirls pattern on amazon.com.

As to how to tell if used, sometimes heating them in a small pan of hot water 180 degrees will cause the silicone sealant to re-expand on unused ones. Otherwise unless you have marked them (or tossed them when opened as most do) it can be nigh on to impossible to tell. About all you can do is use them and hope for a seal.

Dave

Also check online at lehmans.com. canningpantry.com


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RE: Canning lids questions

About the white rings and lids with fruit pattern - a few years ago, there were several postings about them. At that time, the shrink wrap types, were first coming out. Quite a few folks complained that these lids would NOT seal. I had quite a few fail as well. I refused to use them after that.

Not sure if those old posting are still available, but at least I don't see that particular style now. Although I now have a sufficient backlog of jars, and now only purchase lids, and rarely buy boxes of jars with lids.

Bejay


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RE: Canning lids questions

I use plain lids from Lehmans I got in bulk. Then, I print off my own round labels. There are some free online with a gingham print and you can write in the middle.
I also got some oval labels recently, but have not worked on making any nice graphic for them yet.

The lids you buy with the designs are too expensive, in my opinion.


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RE: Canning lids questions

Thanks for the ideas - I will check some out looking for nice lids. Too bad, I really liked the white flowered/fruit lids.

Most of my jars, I knew what was used or not. However, I just have one set of them, they look new to me, I'm just not sure. Ah well.

Thankfully, I haven't had the sealing problems.


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RE: Canning lids questions

It's not the end of the world if you end up reusing a lid. It's not like reusing a lid is going to create botulism in your jar. Your biggest risk with reusing a lid is a seal failure - the jar may not seal.

I think your best bet for the questionable lids is to mark them as questionable, put them in a separate pile, and then save them to use on low risk products like jam/jelly or pickles. I wouldn't pressure can with a questionable lid, and I wouldn't use them on a product that is prone to siphoning - like applesauce. But with a jam or a pickle, the risk is minimal - both products tend to last near forever in the refrigerator - so if the lid fails to seal in processing, just pop the jar in the fridge.


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RE: Canning lids questions

Does anyone have suggestions as to what to do with excessive rings (other than to recycle them)? Wind chimes? =)


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RE: Canning lids questions

I use the extra rings of jars of jellies I send by post, or to friends as gifts. Most who don't can themselves are intimidated at a sealed jar with no ring. The others I just bag up in a sealed waterproof bag and store. Sooner or later if one only buys lids, the rings shall ding, bend or rust. Then you're not out the money to buy the ring/lid combinations.

I also buy my lids in bulk from Lehman's. Often get them when I have another larger order. I order a lot from them, becuase we live pretty plainly and I need things one has difficulty buying like lamp wicks, treadle sewing machine belts, etc. The price is good on bulk lids and I am very impressed with the quality lid I receive from them. I seldom have a lid failure but the fancy lids of which you are speaking I got on a box of jelly jars I bought, were really nasty and every other one failed. I would never buy them again.

I also, if I want a fancy appearance, print off fancy labels on my computer. Or, you can send away for them if you don't want to print them yourself.

I also agree with Pixie Lou. I had a few I wasn't sure if they were new or not, and used them on jellies. BTW they all sealed. I know some people re-use lids. Not a recommended practise....so it's not uncommon that they would seal.


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RE: Canning lids questions

Store extra rings in a clean, dry place - you will eventually need them as the lids you have either get bent or start to rust too much. There's a point where they just have to be replaced, and the idea of going out to by new lids with bands just goes against my grain...

I always write at least the year on the lid with a permanent marker when I use it. Lids that are in pretty good shape when I take them off are recycled (in a way) - I use them on jars of jam, apple butter, pickles, etc. when the original lid gets bent or damaged when taking it off. They still need a lid to go in the fridge. When I make soups or chili and am not eating it all at once, I like putting it in quart jars while still very hot to go in the fridge. I also use those recycled lids for that, a far better idea than using new lids every time.

As far as decorative lids, how many canned foods that you buy at the store, in metal cans, has "decorative" lids? I find the best prices on lids I can find, use those, and if I want to give something as a gift I can add a nice label to the jar or lid, or even better can use a piece of decorative fabric over the lid and under the band.


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RE: Canning lids questions

I know some low income people can benefit from a gift of your extra rings. If you can find someone who needs them, I am sure they would be appreciated.
Perhaps contact your local county extension office and ask if they know of people who could use your extra rings.


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RE: Canning lids questions

I've been reusing lids for my kefir. But, I think I may try using some for jams and pickles.
The cute gingham lids on the cute jars at Walmart are Better Homes and Gardens. I don't think they come any other way except with the jars. They are also only sold at Walmart. I buy the half-pint jars to make jams for gifts, they really are cute enough to be worth the expense. I need to find some nice labels that I can use on my computer printer.
If you don't want to buy more gingham jars/lids, you could take gingham fabric and cut pieces to go on the lids under the rings for gifts. That would probably look even nicer than the fancy lids.


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RE: Canning lids questions

I was just checking and noticed that KitchenKrafts no longer carries the decorative lids and neither does the Canning Pantry that I can see. Nor does Ace Hardware. I'm starting to wonder if those designs are being discontinued. Even the Ball site doesn't show them.

Although I've used those lids in the past, now I use circular labels of my own design I affix to the top of the lid.

Carol


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RE: Canning lids questions

I go into Walmart about once a year when I absolutely must for something I can't get anywhere else. Last week, I had to make the trip and guess what? They had packs of those red gingham checked lids.


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RE: Canning lids questions

Any good farm and garden stores carry your decorative lids. you wont find them at Giant Eagle,Wal-Mart . if you find them at thrift stores more or less you're buying them used.
Most people place a decorative sticker with the date markerd on them.
Depending on what your canning most lids show their use.
The more you can the better the Eye.
best trick is once you empty jar for washing throw your lid away. ;) hope that helps.


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RE: Canning lids questions

I always write on my lids with a Sharpie, so no question of whether they've already been used. But I don't throw them away! Very useful when storing clean empty jars.

Slightly OT, but now the one Walmart has plain 8oz jars for $7.97 and the other is sold out. Ace Hardware has lids for $2.99 so maybe the $3.17 wasn't a mistake. I'm going to have to look into Lehman's - just getting too $$$ to shop locally now. Tractor Supply is the only "farm" store around here and they've been sold out for months.

I have to go back through my receipts and see how many cases of jars I bought this year, but I think it has to be more than 10. If I am going to keep selling preserves (and maybe pickles), I'm going to have to buy in bulk, either a deal with Walmart manager, or order online.


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