So our canning question today is about tight canning lids, specifically the lids and the screw bands. How tight should your canning lids be before canning?
Now this is before you process. What I have here is a jar of pickled peppers, and it's already been processed, but I'm going to use it to demonstrate getting that screw band on the jar.
You want that tight canning lid to be on your jar securely in the canner, but you don't want to crank it down so tight that the lid cannot vent. As the jar is heating up in the canner, it's going to vent out underneath that lid. As it cools, it's going to shrink. That's what sucks the lid down and causes the seal. That jar needs to be snug, but not overly snug.
I like to set my jar on the counter, put one finger in the middle of the jar, and use the other hand to put the screw band on. When the jar starts turning on the counter like that, that's when you know that it's ready to go and the lid is just about right.
When you take that jar out of the canner after you process, don't be surprised if that lid is really loose. It might even just be barely setting on there. The seal has gotten sucked down tight, and so it just made that lid loose enough. That's totally normal. Don't tighten the lid up because you may end up jarring the seal loose before it has totally cooled and sucked down tight. Take the jar out of the canner. Set it on the counter. Let it cool. Do not tighten the bands; just leave them alone.
If you should have a lid buckle? This has only happened to me once. The lid along the edge here, you'll see. It'll actually crinkle up, and it just buckles. Usually that's a sign that you've tightened your lid down too tight. There was no flex in there for that lid to be able to vent during processing. That's a symptom of that. That just means you have it too tight. Next time, just do it a little bit lighter.
If you have a lid buckle, don't trust that seal. It might be sealed right now, but chances are it's not going to be real tight and it may come unsealed when it's in storage on your shelf. I would make sure that you put those up front, maybe even just put them in your fridge so that you know to use them right away.
If your lid is on snug, not overly tight, you won't have any issues and your jars will turn out perfect. That's the perfect tight canning lid.
I hope that was helpful. You guys have a wonderful day, and we will see you in the next Canning Chat. We'll talk to you later.
Page last updated: 11/3/2020