If you’ve never seen these, they are a re-usable jar lid that takes approximately 3 uses in order to break even. In other words, if you used 3 metal, non-reusable lids, you’d pay for one of these. I jumped into these about 3 years back with both feet, and though I’ve had a few stumbles, am finding them, overall, very worth the expense and extra bother of using them. And, of all things, THEY HAVE A NEW BASE COLOR! They’ve had other colors in the past, but you always pay extra for them. The green is now a standard. Squee!!!
The lids come in two sizes, quart and pint, and in two pieces, the plastic lid and the rubber. You provide your own ring.
The pro’s: Never replace your lids unless broken or damaged. YAY!!! I have enough lids in the basement to never have to make the 9 pm run to the hardware store and find them walking away from the locked door.
The con’s: When you’ve canned enough to use all your lids into current circulation, you must buy more. Also, they’re a little touchy to work with. Not terrible, just different.
My experience with these says that they are better suited to pressure canning than to hot water canning. The problem that arises with these jars is, that if you are not careful and do not follow the instructions exactly, lids don’t seal. This is not a problem until you’ve tried to seal something twice and failed. By then you are swearing and giving the lids the hairy eyeball, cursing the tar sands they rolled out of. The answer is very simple. Remove the lid and rinse it. Put it back on according to instructions – tighten the lid reasonably tightly, they say “finger tight” – I say don’t try hard to tighten, because my “finger tight” is very different from say, my husband’s, who hammers rivets on an anvil at least 8 hours a week. His finger tight is more like my “Thor has tightened this down and it must now be removed with Mjolnir” tight. Which usually involves slapping said tight lid onto a rocky surface and then prying the dang thing off with a spoon…
Where was I? Oh yes, anyway, if you can easily back the ring off the jar, you are usually good. Tighten until you start to feel it stop. Then back up a quarter turn. Can them. When you pull the jars out of the canning pot, don’t take the rings off! Let the jars cool down until the next day. THEN take the rings off. If anything doesn’t seal, take the lid off, rinse an put it back on. You may also want to run a clean, wet, paper towel over the glass sealing surface and try again. If it doesn’t seal a second time, you may want to try a third, but this is usually when I give up and put it in the fridge. If you’d like to continue, feel free! When you are done, you get this goodness, all sorts of great looking jars on your shelves! (These are beans, btw, which I’m doing in batches of this size from dry. This is about a 4-6 month supply for us.)