Letter Re: Cooking Beans and Canning Meat

Dear Mr. Rawles:  
In response to Marie H.’s essay on canning beans and meat, I’d like to add a few thoughts.  

The ability to preserve food through water-bath and pressure canning is, in my opinion, one of the most important of the domestic arts survival skills there is.  But as every experienced canner knows, the Achilles heel of canning is maintaining a supply of lids.  The problem with the everyday canning lids you find at the grocery store is that they must be discarded after every use.  Oh sure, I’ve experimented with reusing lids with some success, but the fact remains disposable lids are meant to be disposable.  

This means canners must stock up on as many lids as possible prior to a Schumer situation.  Lehman’s sells bulk lids, for example, or you can do as I did for many years and pick up a box or two of lids every time you go to the grocery store in a pathetic attempt to store up as many as possible.  

But no matter how may boxes you have stored away, you will eventually run out of lids.  Therefore I would like to introduce your readers to the best-kept secret in the canning world: Tattler brand Reusable Canning Lids.  

Yes, reusable.  Unlike disposable Kerr or Ball lids, Tattler lids can be reused indefinitely.  The lids are in two parts: the plastic lid which has a lifetime guarantee, and the rubber gasket which can be used about twenty times.  The gaskets are cheap and I recommend stocking up.   I ordered some Tattler lids last summer and put them through their paces, and came away so impressed that I’ve been an outspoken proponent ever since.  Tattler lids use a slightly different technique than disposable lids but the instructions in the accompanying literature are clear, and once I got the hang of things I’ve never had a lid fail.   Needless to say Tattler lids are more expensive than disposable, but only if looked at in the short term.  But in the long term, you never need to buy lids again.  If you’re an avid canner as I am, this can mean significant savings – and peace of mind.  I saved my pennies and purchased 1.000 lids (500 wide-mouth, 500 narrow-mouth) and I can’t even begin to describe the sense of satisfaction that large box of lids gives me.  

I have an illustrated review of the reusable lids on my blog if anyone is interested.  This is a superior product that, frankly, could save a lot of lives someday.  In my opinion, no one who takes preparedness seriously should be without a pressure canner, a thousand canning jars, and a thousand [reusable] lids among their survival supplies.   Thank you, – Patrice Lewis, Editor of the Rural Revolution blog