Do you have to simmer your canning lids? This post will explain whether or not you have to simmer your canning lids before putting them on your canning jars. Read on to get the scoop!
Canning is one of those activities, like many in the food world, that is loaded with tradition. Doing things they way that Mom or Grandma did them is really special and can influence, sometimes negatively, how we operate in the kitchen and beyond.
I’ve been asked many times, via email and via Instagram as I livestream my canning sessions, why I don’t simmer my canning lids.
Many have chided me that I need to simmer the lids so the flange is softened.
They’ve remarked that I’ve forgotten to simmer them and the jars won’t seal as a result.
I’ve been told that I can reuse used lids and that the “trick” is to simmer them for a long time to soften the flange so they can be reused.
I love tradition as much as the next Sentimental Sally, but I care a lot about accuracy so I did my research for this post to be doubly sure I was bringing you the best information.
You do NOT have to simmer your canning lids. Period.
The best part? You haven’t had to since 1969.
Ball Brand says, in this post here, http://www.freshpreserving.com/canning-lids-101.html
that the lid’s flange used to be made of latex, and then was switched to Plastisol, and ever since, no simmering has been required.
Also, BOILING the lids was never the recommendation, despite the pervasive myth that was necessary.
I have to say, the reason that I thought, originally, that there must be some mistake and that I should keep simmering as my mom and grandma had, is because Ball sells (and many other companies do too) a kit of canning utensils with a funnel (necessary), a jar lifter (necessary), and a lid lifter (completely unnecessary).
I assumed that if they sold it, it must be required. In my signature canning course, you’ll even see me showing you how to simmer your lids because I wasn’t able to get a clear answer at the time of the original recording in regards to whether we should simmer or not! When I’m able, I’ll re-record the videos showing me NOT simmering. In the meantime, you’ll know better.
Furthermore, canning lids can only be used for ONE canning process. You can use them for canning one time. After that, a reliable seal cannot be achieved.
This part is critical also. It is absolutely possible for a used lid to seal, and I know because I’ve done it on accident. The problem becomes that the seal will fail you, in a few months, on the jar on the shelf, and a festive volcano of mold will grow as a result.
That is the OPPOSITE of the goal of canning. I want you all to can and have all your jars seal, all the time! I want to help making canning easy, fast, and fun, and I’m here to tell you- shout it from the rooftops, Wildflowers- you do NOT have to simmer your canning lids!
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