In the last few years my canning repertoire has broadened. I used to make two jellies; now I create my own recipes for jellies, and also make pickles and peppers, and can items from my garden. As any canner can tell you, I have a lot of those lids left after opening a jar of homemade goodness. The bands are reusable but the lids are supposedly not reusable. But I do...reuse them. Gasp! Here's how:
1- I reuse them for canning. I know! I'm not supposed to do that. I don't recommend doing that, but I had to be honest here. I check them carefully and if the there are no dents, rust, etc...and the rubbery part around the edge seems totally in tact and not dried out, I reuse it for canning. I've never had a problem. Again, do so at your own risk. This is not a recommended practice from any canning agency.
2- I reuse the ones that have dents (like the one below) for fridge and pantry storage. What do I store? Anything I put in mason jars! Not everything in a mason jar is canned. Have you ever frozen a smoothie in a mason jar? I put bulk spices in mason jars. I put dried beans other dried goods in mason jars. These non-canned items get my reused lids. The picture below is a juice I made and stored in the fridge for the next day. If you don't need some crazy awesome seal for shelf life, you can reuse a lid that has already been used.
3- I use the lids for storing things in the freezer. I make large batches of chili, pasta sauce, bone broth, etc... and I freeze them instead of canning them. For these I use the 'second time' lids. Make sure you leave more head space here for expansion while freezing.
So when do I throw them away?
1- When they're rusted. For some reason that just grosses me out.
2- When they're too dented to keep liquid in the jar. Sometimes I (or my kids) really bend a lid. Out it goes. But if I can put a juice in a jar and put on the used lid and band and lay it on its side without the liquid leaking out, I still use it.
Do any of you reuse canning lids? Tell me how!