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Canning Jar Lids (Kerr, Ball)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
A friend gave me some canning jars (Kerr and/or Ball) - I think that's what they're called - which have the two part lids. Some lids have what appears to be a coating on the inside, a few don't. Are the coated lids used for acidic contents, like tomatoes? What items are not OK to use with the "uncoated" lids, or is the metal used in those lids OK for all contents.

Signed,

Confused in California
post #2 of 25
Dear Confused (Me, Abby, and Ann Landers, eh, whot)...

Shel, a couple of things you should know:

1. All new canning lids are coated. The sealing compound is also thinner than it used to be, btw. If you actually have uncoated lids they are very old, and the plasticizer has likely leaked out of the sealing compound anyway. I would get rid of them. Or use them for capping jars used for dry storage of things like grains and beans.

But make sure they really aren't coated. Not all coatings produce that white layer. Some are clear, and the metal appears uncoated.

2. All canning lids (as well as jars, rings, and the majority of canning tools and accessories) in North America are made by the same company. There are four brands, each of which used to be independent. Last conglomorator was Jardin, but it, too, has now been absorbed by someone else.

3. Maybe reading too much between the lines, and if so I apologize, but...other than sweet spreads, virtually anything you can using a boiling water bath is high acid. So there would be little point to non-coated lids.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks - I'm not really doing any canning, just storing stock and broth, leftovers and so on, but I'd also use the jars for home made tomato sause, but again, just for short term storage in the fridge or longer periods in the freezer. Would it be safe if the contents don't come in contact with the lids?
post #4 of 25
My wife and I can all the time, and the lids are all metal except for a ring of grayish colored seal that contacts the rim of the glass canning jars.

Don't know about any "whitish" or "clearish" coating.

doc
post #5 of 25
Shel, it should be perfectly safe even if the contents do contact the lid.

However, if you're concerned, they (under the Ball brand) make plain white plastic screw-on lids, available to fit both regular and wide-mouth canning jars. A box of those (they're washable and reusable) should take care of your needs.

Doc, take a closer look at those lids. The are not raw metal on the inside. They are coated (in the U.S. it's required by law). The sealing ring is then applied to the outside edge. Most lids sold in the U.S. have sealing rings that are on the orange side, rather than grey.

Some of the lids have clear coatings, which superficially appear to be raw metal. Others have a white coating that almost looks like the old porcelain that was used to line zinc one-piece lids. The latter, of course, are no longer considered safe, even though they are aesthetically much more pleasing.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 25
I've got some really really old zinc lids....
KYH you are a wealth of info on canning jars, do you collect any of the old ones?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 25
I'm not a collector of things, Shroomgirl, which implies a systematic assemblage. Mostly I'm a user.

I've got a few older jars & zinc lids that I picked up here and there. But I use them for dry storage. They're aesthetically so much more pleasing than the new two-piece lids. I also like the old style jars that used wire bands and rubber rings. But, again, for dry storage. For actual canning I use the modern two-piece lids and rings.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 25
Hey there, KYH -- see, I have trouble finding canning jars and lids in NYC, except for high-end, imported, expensive ones in the fancy stores. ;) ;) ;)

Seriously: that is great news about the plastic ones. I may have to mail-order them. I do a lot of bulk prep of things like salsa verde, caramelized onions, chutneys, etc. that I don't actually process, but keep in the fridge. Those lids are just what I need for the jars.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #9 of 25
yep, I'm all into function also, pretty is good too. Finding gallon jars for mallows was an interesting hunt. Most jars I find at estate sales in the back of the basement.....take the whole box for $1. !!!! What's really cool is that from the beginning the size of the tops was standardized across the different companies. I can tomato,fraise du bois, black and golden raspberry jams. Freeze pesto in various size jars. Dry goods, Roasted garlic and macerated tomatoes.....
I've got various jars lining my dining room window sills....the colors are fun and finding different manufacturers is a treat.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 25
Ya know, Schroom, I've never actually seen a gallon sized Mason jar. Seen 2-gallon and 5-gallon sizes (and you don't even want to know the pricetag on those things).

The largest commonly available ones I know of are 1/2 gallon. They're my favorites for beans and grains.

My big regret: One year I found, in an antique mall somewhere in Arkansas, a bunch of half-gallon jars in blue, with the zinc caps, for five bucks a throw. We were on our way to Baker Creek, to speak at one of their festivals, and I knew Jere Gettle liked using those for seed storage. So I bought all they had, and gave them to Jere--something like 11 of them if I recall.

Lawdy, would I love to have them back.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 25
Suzanne, there's nothing new about the plastic lids. I've been using them for at least 30 years.

Here's a site that will give you a better idea of what they're like. It's also the best price I've seen.

Ball Regular Plastic Storage Caps from CanningPantry.com

I should have checked their jar prices while I was there, but didn't.

You might also want to look into 1/2 gallon Mason jars. They are not suitable for actual canning, but for your purposes might be the perfect size.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 25
My local grocer carries the Ball plastic lids. I've used them a bunch for refrigerated storage. Good stuff. My sourdough starter has that lid too.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #13 of 25
Thanks, KYH! I will check into them. :)

Actually, I prefer 8-ounce jars for my stuff, since that way it's used up within a couple of weeks after opening (if not in just one or two uses), which leaves less chance for contamination and going bad. This is home use, after all, which means a husband digging in sometimes. :crazy: He's learning, but not yet fully trained. :lol:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #14 of 25
Do you tighten down the lid on the sourdough starter jar?
post #15 of 25
No, it's on pretty loose. Just enough to keep it from drying out but let it breathe.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #16 of 25
I really like the tiny about 1/4-1/3 cup jars. they are just right for pesto....and precious raspberry jams.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 25
I've just discovered, to my sorrow, that Jardin (i.e., Ball, Mason, Kerr, Golden Harvest) has DROPPED the "old-style" canning lids, in favor of their "new" style. The new lids do not seem to me to be as heavyweight as the old style, which to me would seem to make them quicker to rust and thus fail. But what really makes me upset is that the company has dropped the "Dome" design--the raised certer circle or dimple--in these new, thin lids. That "Dome" was not there for aesthetics, as you all (I'm sure) know---it was a safety feature whereby you could tellL visually and by touch whether your product had spoiled and containing botulism -- the gases produced by the spoiled product would make the dimple "pop" up and it would be immediately obvious that the product was no longer safe to eat.

I think this feature is VITAL, and should not be dropped. It has more than once, saved me from opening a jar that was still fully sealed, and serving that to my family.

Does anyone know of ANY source, anywhere, of the "old-style" canning lids, that still have the center "Dome" feature? If I can find them, I'll buy up all I can lay hands on.
I've learned that the "new style" lids are being marketed with the same UPC code as the old ones, so it will be impossible to identify them that way.

Sigh. Why does the trend in "cheapness" even have to come to something as once-relaible as our canning products? (and I don't mean 'cheap' as in "inexpensive).

Thank you, and sorry my first post to your forum had to be in such a complaining mode.

Anyone who can help me find "older-style" lids, I'd be most grateful! :)
post #18 of 25
I've just discovered, to my sorrow, that Jardin (i.e., Ball, Mason, Kerr, Golden Harvest) has DROPPED the "old-style" canning lids, in favor of their "new" style. The new lids do not seem to me to be as heavyweight as the old style, which to me would seem to make them quicker to rust and thus fail. But what really makes me upset is that the company has dropped the "Dome" design--the raised certer circle or dimple--in these new, thin lids. That "Dome" was not there for aesthetics, as you all (I'm sure) know---it was a safety feature whereby you could tellL visually and by touch whether your product had spoiled and containing botulism -- the gases produced by the spoiled product would make the dimple "pop" up and it would be immediately obvious that the product was no longer safe to eat.

I think this feature is VITAL, and should not be dropped. It has more than once, saved me from opening a jar that was still fully sealed, and serving that to my family.

Does anyone know of ANY source, anywhere, of the "old-style" canning lids, that still have the center "Dome" feature? If I can find them, I'll buy up all I can lay hands on.
I've learned that the "new style" lids are being marketed with the same UPC code as the old ones, so it will be impossible to identify them that way.

Sigh. Why does the trend in "cheapness" even have to come to something as once-relaible as our canning products? (and I don't mean 'cheap' as in "inexpensive).

Thank you, and sorry my first post to your forum had to be in such a complaining mode.

Anyone who can help me find "older-style" lids, I'd be most grateful! :)
post #19 of 25

I save all my peanut butter lids and mayo lids as they fit good on canning jars for dry storage or just leftovers I put in frig and sometimes freezer .

post #20 of 25

though I do also like the dimple I've found that just pressing on the new ones will produce a clicking sound if not sealed.

post #21 of 25

Yup the new jars will still let you know if they are not sealed. As I sit here 5 of 12 pickle jars have sealed in the kitchen judging by the sound. Not a processed pickle but the boiling brine is hot enough to pull a seal as the jars cool. These are going in the fridge to cure where they last a year. I just push them to the back.

post #22 of 25
I've read and heard different ideas regarding boiling water baths for purpose of storing pickles for long term. Do I really need to process my pickles in a boiling water bath for long term storage. I find that anything more than just adding the hot brine and then letting them sit turns into a semi cooked almost mushy pickle.

Do any of you guys just pour the hot brine in and wait for the cooling of the jar to pull a vacuum and then store?
post #23 of 25

Only in the fridge using that method or otherwise you chance spoilage and sickness

post #24 of 25

The rubbery/orangy seal on inside of 2-piece canning lid set ups is meant to be heated up a bit before canning to soften it a bit.  Beside boiling/sterilizing jars and rings, "they" tell you to give lids a certain amount of time (check directions for specifics) so seal gets pliable.

 

I'm a yard sale & thrift store fan, and ALWAYS interested in canning jars... especially WIDE-mouth quart ones... obviously with NO chipped edges or even smallest cracks.  If you have a Food Saver vac system, they make an attachment that allows you to seal just the lid (no ring required) onto wide-mouth jars.  This gizmo if NOT for sealing perishable stuff that would ordinarily go into a hot water bath, but I LOVE it for small pastas, rice, beans, etc... dry stuff.  Lid comes off with very little coaxing from a can opener and can be re-used MANY times, as long as ya don't dent/bend.  It keeps stuff that technically doesn't go "bad" but could go stale/rancid.

 

I have a few of those zinc lids... from collecting "old" blue jars.  Thinking, in their day, there was some kinda ring or gasket that went inside to make a seal??  Bought a dozen "old" jars at a yard sale with unusual lids/rings.  They're gold/brass color with an hour-glass cut out in center.  Each has a clear glass disk that sets inside the ring... again there must be something soft/moldable to create a seal??

 

Have tried hand at pickles several times. Successful but whatever pickled seems to get a bit soft after a while stored on a shelf?  I prefer making a brine (sorta sweet & sour, usually a bit salty, sometimes spicy), boiled to make sure sugar/salt is dissolved and to let pickling spices to... do their thing!?!  I pour over and stash jar in fridge.  

 

Now "they" say you'll DIE if ya do anything short of pressure canning... well, maybe that's an exaggeration.  I DO know that pressure canning is REQUIRED for stuff containing meat!  In dead of winter, when I'm looking for ANYTHING to do around the house BESIDES CLEAN, I'll start 2 big VATS of stock... chicken & beef.  I use a basic pressure cooker/canner (that's what it said on the BOX) to process those jars.  It takes a little longer, really isn't much different from regular water bath method, doesn't need to be WATCHED (except for timer) and DOES NOT EXPLODE!  Does anybody have FIRST HAND experience of an eruption... not  "my grandmother had a neighbor... pea soup all over the kitchen... 2nd degree burns" experience??

post #25 of 25

Modern pressure cookers are pretty safe as long as you don't crank the heat and walk off. You need to keep an eye on things every 5-10 minutes. I always do big stock batches too and then pressure can them.

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