I am a home-canning nut. Each year I can at least a hundred jars of tomatoes, and dozens of jars each of jam, jelly, applesauce, pickles and peaches. Around this time of year it is not uncommon to have three hundred jars loading my pantry shelves.
Growing many of these goodies in our garden helps make this food much more affordable, but each year I always end up buying lots and lots of canning jar lids. Recently I heard about Tattler canning lids, and contacted the company to ask for a sample to try out. These lids are made of BPA free plastic and come with rubber gaskets that work to seal the plastic lids to your standard canning jars.
They come in wide and small mouth size and work in the same way that disposable canning lids work. The only difference is that when you place the lids and rings on the jar, you fully tighten the lids, and then ease the lids back 1/4 of an inch before putting the jars in the boiling water bath or the pressure canner. When the proper processing time is done, take the jars out of the water and immediately tighten them all the way again. When the jars have fully cooled, you may take the metal ring off. If you wish, you may test the seal of the jar by picking up the jar by the Tattler lid.
I tried these on a batch of grape jelly that I made, and 11 out of 12 of the jars sealed. The one jar that failed did so because of operator error-- I made the ring TOO loose, and when entering the canner, water got into the jar, which I saw as soon as I got it out of the canner. That's also when I noticed that I'd made the ring too loose. I later reused that same lid and rubber gasket on something else, and it sealed beautifully.
I am going to keep a close eye on these jars, since I have not yet tested them long term. But all my jars look great now, and I love the idea of being able to use these lids and gaskets over and over. They're pretty pricy: 3 dozen for $21. That's about triple what I pay for the disposable lids most years. But they're 100% guaranteed by the company, and the company claims that no one has ever asked for their money back. So that makes me pretty optimistic that these lids would pay for themselves within a few years. I'm thinking about asking for a few dozen for Christmas!