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applestar
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How do you open canned jars? Any use for used lids?

OK I know this isn't a recipe but this is where canning experts hang out. :wink:

I can't open the lids with my hand (can anyone?) So I use the side of a can opener to pry the edge and break the seal on the lids. This usually leaves a crimp.

Also, I don't really want to just throw away the used lids but I won't re-use them either. I found that if I use a sticker label on the lid, it's easy to tell that it's been used. Any use for used lids?

Oh, one more thing -- home canned jars always evoke in my mind the pinked calico circles tied on with a kitchen twine. Does any one do that or is that only practical for gift giving?

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I don't reuse lids either for canning. LOL about the calico! If I give some canned goods as gifts I do cover the lid with fabric and screw a lid back on. I just use whatever scraps I have that are appropriate for the occasion/season.

I know someone who makes needlepoint covers for the lids....

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Kisal
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I've seen people reuse canning jar lids by making a hole near the edge and hanging them from string or twine in fruit trees, bushes, and other areas to scare birds away. It's kind of like those shiny strips you sometimes see hanging in fruit trees. Some people do the same thing with old CDs. :)
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petalfuzz
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If you're using a church-key style opener, don't use the pointy end, use the flat end:

[img]https://www.thebarsupplydepot.com/catalog/bottleorcanopener.jpg[/img]

That means use the right side of the opener, not the left. Then your lid doesn't get marked.

As for using the used lids? I just recycle mine in the city bins... never though about trying to find a use for them. Maybe a hanging mobile?

Yes, I've used fabric over my jar lids as gifts, but it's easier to screw the lid on over the fabric than messing with twine, unless you're doing "in-a-jar" gifts that require a partial recipe card, of course.

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I can usually open the jars with both thumbs at the same time, used as a pry above the space where the glass threading of the jar gives the most space for the thumbs to "work."

If I can't get the lid to pop off (and, believe me, it takes some effort; if it doesn't, I worry!), I use a church key. Very slowly and gently, so I can reclose the jar many times.

Not even the best toast in the world needs a whole jar of jam at once! :lol:

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Ozark Lady
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Oops! I do reuse the lids!
But not in canning foods.

I take beans, rice, pasta etc out of their original boxes. The boxes are often areas for bugs to lay eggs.
I use my canning funnel and non-mason type jars that the canning jar lids fit, and fill these jars. Then I simply date them and place them in the pantry, I date with paper and scotch tape. Then I simply rotate my dry goods the same as canned goods. I really lament when I don't have any used lids, and have to use a fresh canning lid.

But, hey the glass jars with canning lids on them, are bug and vermin proof. If I have an outbreak of bugs in... oh beans, they can't get out to get into the other food items, like they could with bags or boxes. And it is simple to dispose of bug-infested jar, just dump in trash and wash the jar. Sure beats scubbing the whole pantry and dumping all dry goods!

(editted to add: new canning lids are not hurt by being used on dry goods. I date my canned goods with a sharpie on the lid, so I can quickly spot a used one. Also, if the lid is badly damaged in opening and won't seal, I set them aside for many uses, like nailing over mouse holes in the feed room etc.) They also can be bent to fit around water lines coming into the house and keep out pests there.)
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applestar
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Hey, this is turning into a pretty interesting thread. :D
Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I knew I could count on ya! :wink:

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To open jars I first-

Unscrew the band

Flip it over

Hold jar in my left hand, left thumb about a half inch below the top

With my right hand I place the band on the thumb using it as a fulcrum

Catch the edge of the lid with the edge of the band and pry down, pushing the lid off the jar!

Clear as mud, right! :lol:

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applestar
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I don't understand.... Do you do this over a bowl?

I think if I followed thses instructions, the contents of the jar would pour out the moment the seal is broken.... :?:

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That's what I envisioned, too: splot! all over the counter.

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Ozark Lady
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I read and re-read it a couple times. I just didn't get it, upside down? Okay if something solid in jar I get it, but with things with liquid?

I just would not be coordinated enough to not make an awfully big mess.
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hit or miss
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Not upside down! :shock:

Set the jar on a table and try it. I'll try to post some pics later.

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I get it! It's the band that you "flip over," not the jar itself!

Took me a couple of readings to catch on! I envisioned the contents of the jar all over the floor and counter, too! LMFAO
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I take off the ring, then use the back edge of a butterknife - slide this up the threads until you've got it tight against the edge of the lid, then just lever it and *pop* - off it comes.

Like OzarkLady, I reuse cleaned jar lids in dry-good storage. I've also painted them with enamel and used them as outdoor coasters - sticky ring side up.

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hit or miss wrote:Not upside down! :shock:
kisal wrote:I get it! It's the band that you "flip over," not the jar itself!
OOOhhh. :idea:)

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applestar
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OK. I've used the lids for dry good storage too. I also use the lids for pressure cooking mushroom substrate since you needs to punch holes in the lid anyway.

Does everyone else Sharpie marker the lids too? How about some labeling tips. 8)

:idea: Also, do you store/organize the canned jars
(1) by date then by contents
or
(2) by contents then by date.
... could you share photos of your preserves cupboard/shelves? :bouncey:

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lorax
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I label with water-soluble adhesive-backed labels, which I print on the computer. This way, I can just soak the jars when they're empty and the labels float away without leaving any icky residue, and my lids don't have sharpie on 'em (which I hate, especially when I go to relabel for pasta or 1/4" Robertson wood screws and there's already a big black gunky name up there proudly proclaiming that this jar is full of my Umma's kosher dills....)

I've also labeled by sharpie on gingham scraps, which I screw on over the actual lids. That's more for gift jars, though.

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I organize by contents, and try to keep things in a row. I tried to build one of the card board auto rotating things for my pantry, I couldn't make it work at all. Does anyone have plans for these? Not necessarily for glass jars, even for tin cans.

I even date store bought items, to make rotating them easier. I also notice trends... like how long it takes to use up 3 cans of this or that.
I can then use that information when restocking the pantry.
If 3 cans of green beans lasts a month... then... 6 cans is two. etc.

I make a "use me" area for items that I feel have been in pantry long enough, then when I look in pantry, I am reminded... that needs to be used.
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lorax wrote:I label with water-soluble adhesive-backed labels....
You know, I looked for those last year or the year before and couldn't find them. I'll try again. Does anyone know if they're sold in the U.S.?

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I was thinking about you last night when I opened my pickles. I am a stud so I just used my brute force and my fingers to open the lid. :lol: :P But other than that I would use the flat end on a can opener. :lol: :wink:

By the way they were awesome and nobody died so I did it right is suppose.

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lorax
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If they aren't available in the US anymore, AS, you can make your own water-soluble paste adhesive with flour and water, then use heavier bond paper and waterproof markers or a laser printer.

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By the way they were awesome and nobody died so I did it right is suppose.
BAAAAHAAAAHAHAHAAHhaha! Glad they were awesome!!! and safe ;)

I use the flat side of a church key to open the jars.

I write on the lids with a sharpie. I put the date made and what it is. With pickles, I do some hot and some not so I write "HOT" on the ones with chiles. I did baskets for christmas presents one year, of stuff that we canned over the summer. I put in some jams and jellies, I made some of those layered cookie ingredient filled jars (I think they were blondies.) And I put in some quart sized jars of my Nanny's soup base (tomatoes, corn and okra.) I cut out little circles of padding and then larger circles of fabric on top of the padding, secured by the jar's band. I printed off some cutsie little preparing instructions and gave the foods cutsie names. I glued the directions onto colored cardstock and dressed them up with metalic paint pens. I also put in some wood stirring sticks and a couple of pretty Christmas towels. Every family got 1 basket. They were very pretty baskets. My family went NUTS for them! I only did them the one year, but ever since that Christmas, I get the ole, "Remember that basket that you gave us....." Hint Hint, Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge...
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LindsayArthurRTR wrote:
By the way they were awesome and nobody died so I did it right is suppose.
BAAAAHAAAAHAHAHAAHhaha! Glad they were awesome!!! and safe ;)

I use the flat side of a church key to open the jars.

I write on the lids with a sharpie. I put the date made and what it is. With pickles, I do some hot and some not so I write "HOT" on the ones with chiles. I did baskets for christmas presents one year, of stuff that we canned over the summer. I put in some jams and jellies, I made some of those layered cookie ingredient filled jars (I think they were blondies.) And I put in some quart sized jars of my Nanny's soup base (tomatoes, corn and okra.) I cut out little circles of padding and then larger circles of fabric on top of the padding, secured by the jar's band. I printed off some cutsie little preparing instructions and gave the foods cutsie names. I glued the directions onto colored cardstock and dressed them up with metalic paint pens. I also put in some wood stirring sticks and a couple of pretty Christmas towels. Every family got 1 basket. They were very pretty baskets. My family went NUTS for them! I only did them the one year, but ever since that Christmas, I get the ole, "Remember that basket that you gave us....." Hint Hint, Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge...
I'm glad you liked my comment. But I am a little upset I didn't' get one of those baskets. Maybe you lost my address. Don't know what happened but I surely expect one this year...........or else. :wink:

Dono

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HAha! Well, I'm definitely racking up enough of the canned goods to make some nice baskets!!! 14 jars of Jalapeno jelly went in the pantry tonight! Wellllllllllllll...13 jars went into the pantry :oops: :roll: The other jar mysteriously disappeared :shock: :shock: :shock: 8) :lol: :wink:
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First after jars are processed and cooled, I take the bands off and wash the bands and the jars. When the jars are dry they are packed in boxes and put in the storage area. The bands are bagged in a ziploc and saved for later use. You do not need the band on the jar once the vacuum seal is made. They just tend to rust if left on the jar in storage.

My one exception to that is when I bottle honey. New lids are used and the jars are not processed so the band is left on. When these jars are opened and the product is removed these flats are saved for later use. Since they have never been sealed they can be used again for honey or for processed jars.

Lids that have been sealed once should not be used again for canning. I keep a few around for use on dry goods as has been said previously.

You can tell a lid that has been sealed from one that has not. Just look at the rubber and you can see an impression in the rubber where the jar rim was.

OK, how do I open a jar? I just hold the jar on the table with my right hand and hook 3 fingernails of my left hand under the edge of the lid and pull it off. I know you ladies don't like to abuse your nails like that. Use the back edge of knife to pry the lid off. It doesn't mangle the lid like a church key sometimes does. I have even seen church keys chip the jar edge.

Have a great day!

Oh, edit to add: For labels, I use those sticky ones for making mailing labels on the computer. I use my word processor to make and print the labels, then just peel them off the paper and stick them on the jars.

One more thing, if you have a vacuum sealer, you can get a gadget that lets you put a vacuum seal on a jar. This is really neat for dry goods. No bugs are going to live in that jar with no air.
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I'm loving that this thread is turning into a great collection of tips for canning. Thanks for your contributions!! :()

OK, several people have remarked, here or in other threads, that they mark their canned goods on the lid with a permanent marker. Do you use Sharpie? I learned this year that Sharpie does NOT stand up to outdoor use and fades very quickly. How does it perform in the pantry? Also, writing fades faster if the surface is not completely dry.

What do you typically write on it (well the date, obviously). Have you developed some kind of short-hand??

Those of you using labels, what kind of labels do you use -- so far we have water dissolvable adhesive from Lorax and Computer address labels from jal_ut -- and what do you write on yours?

FWIW, I've tried (1) removable labels (which don't stick too well and sometimes fall off, then when they get wet, for some reason the gummy part separates from the paper and REALLY sticks on) and (2) full-sheet computer DIY sticker paper printed with some cute jar label designs I downloaded. I have to cut them out with scissors though). I really like the water soluble adhesive idea though. I noticed that our vitamins that comes in brown glass bottles have labels that slip right off when soaked.

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Hey Appllestar - I use a pack pf multicolored sharpies. I've never had a problem with them rubbing off, but I don't write on mine for 24 hours after they are processed and very dry. I always put the date and basically what it is. Since I don't get very elaborate with my canning it's not much of a problem. :P

If I make up tomatoes several different ways red sharpie is for salsa, blue for canned tomatoes, green for stewed tomatoes. I just date in the color that describes what's inside.

Years ago, when the children were home/little and I did a lot of canning, I still just dated and put a brief description on the lid.

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I got a package of stick on, garage sale stickers, they are neon colored, little round things, about the size of a nickel.

I put name of product and date... with an ink pen, then stick it on the bottom of the jar.

I wash the jars after they have set for 24 hours, especially if pressure canned, our water is so hard it leaves a film on them.

I remove and wash the bands, and dry them in my dehydrator.

Thanks for the tip on the vaccuum sealer, I do have one, and I practiced on a soda bottle to vaccuum till it collapsed! ha ha. But, used canning lids would be fine to poke a hole in for the vaccuum sealer. I thought about that for my dried tomatoes, okra and potatoes.
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lorax
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On pickles, I do the following:

Pickle Type (ie Sweet Hots)
Veg Type (ie Zucchini, Cuke, Aji Pepper)
Date Canned
Do Not Open Before Date

On jams and sauces, I simply write the name of the stuff in the jar, and the date it was canned.

I don't stick labels until the day after canning, to ensure they'll attach properly.

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Those of you using labels, what kind of labels do you use -- so far we have water dissolvable adhesive from Lorax and Computer address labels from jal_ut -- and what do you write on yours?
For the most part a sharpie is used on the lid and if the contents are easily identifiable, the year is all that is written. Sometimes a short notation about the product. Perhaps the variety of apple that was used for sauce, or the type of fruit used for jelly, or some such. The sharpie marks last indefinetly in the pantry. You are right in observing they don't last long outdoors.

Honey gets a computer address label that names the product and gives instructions for liquifying it if it is crystalized and a caution to not feed it to infants under the age of one year.
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Canning Lid Opener

I found this little tool at my grandparent's cabin in Minnesota. It's called "E-Z-LIFT". It works perfectly for ball jar lids. Google this patent number for more details (2,059,736) "Plier Type Friction-Cap Remover". First patented in 1885. I use ball jars for something a little different than most, I use them with a Foodsaver vacuum sealing system to store my spices. I can use the lids over and over as long as I don't dent the lids when I open them and this tool does the job. If I could figure out how to post a pic on this site I would.

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lorax wrote:I label with water-soluble adhesive-backed labels, which I print on the computer. This way, I can just soak the jars when they're empty and the labels float away without leaving any icky residue, and my lids don't have sharpie on 'em (which I hate, especially when I go to relabel for pasta or 1/4" Robertson wood screws and there's already a big black gunky name up there proudly proclaiming that this jar is full of my Umma's kosher dills....)

I've also labeled by sharpie on gingham scraps, which I screw on over the actual lids. That's more for gift jars, though.
Not quite the same but Ball has come out with a new canning jar label -- no more sticky adhesive residue: https://www.amazon.com/Ball-Dissolvable-Labels-Set-Of/dp/B004NGVIIK/ref=pd_sim_k_49

This one too:
https://www.amazon.com/Bernardin-Canning-Labels-Dissolvable-60/dp/B004SCJ9OY/ref=pd_sbs_k_2

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I just use the back side of a knife. I pry between the thread that comes the closest to the lid and the lid. It pops right off and does not damage the lid so I can use it to put the jar in the frig if I have not used all of the jar.

Never reuse lids to can with but putting an open jar in the frig till it is gone is ok.

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