Canning 101: How to Use One Piece Lids

one piece lids

I find myself functioning within the “better late than never principle” more often than I like to admit. My frequent delays bedevils many in my life (particularly my punctual husband), but as I built this career as a writer/teacher/canning crusader, I find that there is nearly always more for me to do than there is time in which to do it. So tasks back up, I take days to answer questions and I don’t always do everything I promised within the timeframe I had hoped.

Like this post on canning with one piece lids. I had intended to write it the week I posted the Fillmore Container giveaway, but it just didn’t happen then. Happily, it’s happening today. Better late than never, right?

different lid styles

So. When it comes to home canning, the USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommend that we use mason jars with two piece lids. These two part lids are recommended because they are easy to use, known to seal reliably, and it’s easy to tell if the jars sealed (remove rings and grasp edges of lid. If it holds fast, it is sealed).

One piece lids are a little bit more mysterious. For a first time user, there’s not a lot of information about which one piece lids are right for home canning, how to prepare them for canning and even how tightly you should turn them to ensure a good seal.

covering with water

When you buy one piece lids for canning, you want to get ones that are lined with plastisol, have a button in the center (to better show that it has sealed) and are expressly designed for boiling water bath canning (do not order the ones that are for hot fill only). You don’t want to use lug lids, as they don’t fit mason jars.

When you’re ready to can with these lids, place them in a small saucepan (just like you would with your flat lids), cover them with warm water and place on the stove.

boiling lids

Bring the lids to a gentle boil, reduce the temperature and simmer the lids for approximately 10 minutes before applying the lids.

removing from water

When you’re ready to close your jars, use a jar lifter to pull the lids out of the water, one at a time. Make sure to have a towel or hot pad handy so that you don’t burn your hands while tightening down the lids. When you screw this lids on, you only want to tighten them to the point when you feel the rim of the jar make contact with the sealing compound. Don’t go any tighter or the air won’t be able to escape and you will have compromised your seal.

processing

Place capped jars into your boiling water bath and process as you would any other jar. When the time is up, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the pot and let the jars remain in the hot water for an additional five minutes. This extended heat exposure helps reduce siphoning and gives the sealing compound just a little bit more time to soften and develop a relationship with the rim of the jar.

sealed one piece lids

Remove jars from water bath and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. Don’t hover over your jars, give them some time to create their vacuum. These lids often take longer to seal than their two piece brethren, so don’t start panicking if they take an hour or more to finally pop.

When jars are cool, test seals by pushing down on the lid of the jar. If the lid is firm and the button is concave, they are ready to be stored in the pantry. If you have any doubts about the quality of your seal, place the jar in the refrigerator and use the product promptly.

 

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49 Responses to Canning 101: How to Use One Piece Lids

  1. 1

    Thank you Marisa! This post has perfect timing, even for seasoned canners.

    • 1.1
      Marie Foohey says:

      What about the Leifheit jars where the cap does not depress

      • Marisa says:

        To the best of my knowledge, even the Leifheit lids will depress a little.

      • Tom says:

        Hi Iam responding how to use the one piece lids. I had talk to a guy about a year ago and he made salsa, he told me he turned the jars upside for 10 minutes 212 degrees I thought that was kind of strange was he telling me the rightway. Also about the plastic lids for canning barbque sauce ia that a good idea. Please email me and let me know what you think. Thanks

        • Marisa says:

          That’s a process that is commonly used in commercial food facilities, but is not recommended for home use.

  2. 2
    Pamela says:

    Scary! I think I will try that after I get more confidant about my two-piece seals.

  3. 3
    Mr. P says:

    I’m curious to know how you feel about using them. It seems they have a great advantage, in that you can use the same lid to close the jar when storing in the fridge after opening.
    I don’t think we can get this type in the UK, but I would definitely switch if we could!

  4. 4
    Connie says:

    I actually love them plus I recycle the lids after they’ve been used. Once I open a jar using the band and lid and haven’t eaten or used the entire product, I replace it with the used one piece. Makes it easier to open and close — no fumbling!

  5. 5
    Smedette says:

    I’ve always wondered about the one-piece lids. Thank you.

  6. 6
    Martine says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m answering my own question, but these can only be used once, correct? Just want to make sure it’s clear so folks don’t re-use them if they aren’t meant to be. Thanks for an interesting post – might try these next time I have a canning binge!

  7. 7
    Patricia says:

    Thanks for this timely information. These would also be great to have for storing things in the jars after they have been used.
    A quick question: I have some jars my sister gave me that have no threads for screwing on a lid. They almost seem to have had a lid that must have snapped on. Do you recall these jars? I think they are Ball jars, but I don’t know what to do with them. Perhaps I will just use them as votive candle holders. They are small and squat and quite pretty.

  8. 8
    Cheryle says:

    Can you post sources for buying these lids- so thrilled about this and alway wondered. To that same point. Short of Wrek jars, do you have source sugg for plain jars sans the Ball logo etc ? Lets the fine tomatoes shine vs it all seen through MASON
    Thanks
    C

    • 8.1
      mary w says:

      Go up to the link in this post for Fillmore Container Give Away. She’s got info on their plain jars and one-piece lids.

  9. 9
    Lacey says:

    Just want to say that I love the bottom photo! I’ve been trying to think of ways to liven up my food photography, and the texture of that placemat is awesome.

  10. 10
    Lisa says:

    Hi Cheryle, we’re company that joined up with Marisa for the jar giveaways…We have a large variety of clear, smoothsided jars on our site. I fyou’re curious, there are some examples of some of those pretty jars “at work” …filled with goodness on our facebook & blog.

  11. 11
    Jessica says:

    Boo yah! That’s awesome! I’m going to experiment with one piece lids before training my clients – this is a great and super timely post. Thanks!

  12. 12
    Howard says:

    There is a link in the original Fillmore Jar Giveaway post to “one-piece lids” which goes to a Fillmore Container page of lids, but oddly enough that page does NOT show the correct lids for hot-water bath and pressure canning. Only “hot fill” lids are shown.

    I gather that “hot fill” is the industrial equivalent of the now-deprecated “open kettle” method of canning. Probably in an industrial setting, this method of canning is safe because everything can be kept sterile.

    The correct lids are called “G70 CT Gold Button Retort Plastisol”; here is a link to the correct page:

    http://www.fillmorecontainer.com/G70-CT-Gold-Button-Retort-Plastisol-P277.aspx

    I just received a dozen of these lids today, and plan to try them soon.

    If anyone finds another source of these retort or “high temperature” lids, please post a link. I have found nothing, aside from the Fillmore lids. It would be nice to be able to get them in wide-mouth size.

  13. 13
    Michelle says:

    Do you know if the one-piece lids have BPA in them?

  14. 14
    Hungry Huy says:

    I have always been curious about canning. I too am interested if these plastisol one-piece lids have BPA in them. What are the advantages of using these 1-piece over the 2?

    • 14.1
      Marisa says:

      I don’t know if these lids have BPA in the lining or not. I would imagine they do, though, as it’s the industry standard.

      The advantages of using these lids are that they look more professional (great for people who want to gift or sell their products) and that they are easier to use once the jars are open.

  15. 15
    Rose Hill says:

    Marisa – great post. I am a novice canner, but I know that in Germany we had one piece lids and I could never understand why I needed to mess around with rubber bands and such.
    I read somewhere that one can use mayonaise or other jars that have a good thread and a screw on lid in good condition, as long as they are properly sterilized.
    On the popping, they don’t really seem to make a popping sound, but they are properly sealed and they can take several hours or even as long as the following day. Maybe that has to do with altitude and temperature.
    Canning to me is one big experiment and I’m luvin’ it!
    I’m definitely ordering some of those jars and lids – thank you for all the great information!

  16. 16
    Casey DelliCarpini says:

    Thank you! I don’t know if my lids have buttons… Can’t wait to try these!

  17. 17
    lynn says:

    Thanks so much for your timely post. I’ve been pondering these jars for some time, but the USDA has me well scared. I did break through my phobia and purchased 3 dozen jars to fill with preserves for Christmas gifts. I just have an anal question to get me over my phobia…I purchased the 6 0z jars, so I’m guessing I should process per the written instructions for the time given for 2 piece lids/1 pint jars. I shouldn’t process any more or less for the 1 piece plastisol?

  18. 18

    [...] the jars in a large pot of water, and the lids in a sauce pan. Marisa has a great tutorial on canning with one-piece lids if you’ve never done it before, so instead of reiterating the steps I’ll just point you [...]

  19. 19
    Angela says:

    Can you please tell me the real purpose for boiling lids for home canning? Is it a sterilizing process…..to soften the plastic seal……??? And, if a jar does not seal, can you try to reprocess with the same lid or do you have to toss the lid and use a new one?

    • 19.1
      Marisa says:

      It is not to sterilize (that happens during the boiling water bath). It is to soften the sealing compound. If you process a jar and the lid does not seal, it is best to start fresh with a new one.

  20. 20
    Ann B. says:

    Has anyone used the Bormioli jars from Italy? They have 1 piece lids and I’ve never used this brand.

    • 20.1
      Katie says:

      I use them regularly and they work well. Similar process to the Fillmore product. A bit expensive, but pretty jars if you have a few gifts you’re giving. Lids cannot be reused, but additional lids can be purchased for jar reuse. I purchase mine at the container store.

  21. 21
    Janell says:

    If the button pops down after pushing on it and does not pop back up (stays firmly concaved) would you say it has sealed?

  22. 22

    […] which though not approved by the USDA, can be safely used if you follow a few simple instructions (here’s my tutorial on how to use the continuous thread one-piece lids, and here’s the lug […]

  23. 23

    […] one-piece lids. Here’s a tutorial from Food in Jars about how to use continuous thread (CT) one-piece lids, and lug […]

  24. 24
    Rae says:

    Great article – thank yoU! I’m looking for ways to can roasted garlic spread. It’s pure garlic (no oil), and is the consistency of maybe a marmalade. I’ve ordered a hex jar and a square jar – both with lug caps, to experiment with. I also have small jelly jars and 1-piece canning lids like the ones you use in this article. What do you think would be most effective, or would any of these options work? Is there any danger of the glass breaking if I introduce them into the hot water bath when the spread is at room temperature?

    Thanks for your help!
    Rae

    • 24.1
      Marisa says:

      Rae, a spread made of just garlic is not safe to can in a boiling water bath. Because it’s low in acid, the only safe way to preserve it is in a pressure canner.

  25. 25

    […] hesitant regarding the lug lids having never used them before. Marisa of Food in Jars has a great instructional guide. Though it’s elevating some of my fears, I’m still a little doubtful of the whole […]

  26. 26

    […] can be sealed with either a standard regular mouth lid and ring or a one-piece plastisol-lined lid (here’s my post on canning with these one-piece lids). They are a little shorter than conventional half pint jars and just a bit taller than the wide […]

  27. 27
    DeeDee M says:

    Where did you get the orange ‘do-flicky’ < high tech canning term, in the next to last pic? mine are all made of metal and seem spindly.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    I recently bought some hex jars and one piece lids. They do not have buttons to pop so how does one know that they have sealed sufficiently?

  29. 29
    AL Arsenault says:

    I recently bought some canning lids that are solid 1 piece lids, they have no center button, are these ok for canning in boiling water bath, I am a pickle maker in Maine with my own business and am unsure if these lids are duds and I take this as a loss and if I should stick with the two piece lids?

    • 29.1
      Marisa says:

      The best thing to do is to check in with the company from whom you bought the lids in order to determine whether or not they are safe for canning. The presence or absence of the button isn’t the only indicator.

  30. 30

    […] about canning techniques including how to use one-piece lids, how to can in hex jars, and how to help prevent jar breakage and other canning tips […]

  31. 31

    […] which I know not everyone has worked with, but is really not much different than a two-piece lid.  Food in Jars has a good instructional over here explaining how to use them, so I won’t completely rewrite it, but the main tip is that you only need to screw on the […]

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