Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ball Canning Lids Improved?

Today, I bought a dozen new quart canning jars for a new project I’m starting using #10 Cans of dehydrated foods. I noticed the label on top of the canning jars case stating a new “Sure Tight” lid that’s good for 18 months! Hmm, something new from Ball? To me that’s unusual for them in the dozens of years they have been the “Go To” reliable source of canning. Anyone have more information about these new lids? We’d like to hear about it.

Below is a copy of the PDF describing their new lid.

Here’s what the PDF had to say:

New Ball® Sure Tight™ Lids – 2017

The Ball® brand is introducing new canning lids for 2017. These lids will start appearing in stores where canning supplies are sold in May 2017. These lids will replace all Ball® and Kerr® lids. Current lid supplies are safe to use and will be sold until they are gone.

Information from the Manufacturer:
• Most significant performance improvement for home canning lids in 30 years.
• Twice the tinplate coating compared to current lids. They do not feel or look heavier than current lids.
• Additional rust resistance.
• Longer lasting seal, up to 18 months when following a tested and approved recipe. • No need to heat lids prior to placing on filled jars. Wash lids in warm, soapy water and rinse prior to use.
• No canning processing adjustments needed. Always use tested and approved recipes for safe home canning.
• All canning lids are for one canning use ONLY!
• All lids are best used within five years of purchase.
• Freezer safe. • Lid is printed with a spot to record the date the food was processed.  • BPA free.
• Made in the USA.
• For more information, see https://www.freshpreserving.com/canning-lids-101.html 

The USDA recommends that for best food quality, store home canned foods in a clean, cool, dark, dry location at a temperature between 50 and 70°F. It is also recommended for food quality purposes that you can no more food than you will use within a year; however, there is no specific shelf life for home canned foods.
Prepared by: Karen Blakeslee, M.S., Extension Associate, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, K-State Research and Extension

Ball® Canning; Newell Brands; National Center for Home Food Preservation, Dr. Elizabeth Andress, University of Georgia Extension

Reference to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation.
Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, as amended. Kansas State University, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts, and United States Department of Agriculture Cooperating, John D. Floros, Director. March 201

Photo’s of the new jars and lids in the case and the label and lid with the new label close-up.



  1. the last couple of years people have reported higher than usual failure rates for lids.
    many jars recanned and people have had to reinspect over months because seals would fail after canned goods were stored. never done that before. failures in past have usually been noticed soon after canning, not months later.
    ball must have lost lots of sales and maybe 'improving' the lids enough to pick up sales figures?
    that is the scuttlebut.

  2. I've always found their lids to be some of the best on the market, but will look forward to trying out these newer ones to see what they are like...

  3. Oh my gosh, I was literally JUST at the store, saw a bunch of new style jars and was going to post on them and then saw the "new lids" announcement. I thought to myself, "aren't they the go to company for generations? what was wrong with the old ones?". Thanks for posting.

    I have heard that there is some new guideline about not needing to heat them first in boiling water before sealing so maybe this is a response to that?

    1. The link above covers the 'not needing' preheating of the new lids and other information about the new lids.
      Change is always scary!

  4. There is really only one company making lids in the US and that is Ball, they once used several names on them and some plane no name ones but there was no competition. Now there are Chinese ones and Tatler reusable ones. We have trouble with ball lids rusting on the outside so they really needed to correct that. I use the cheapest lid I can find as they were no worse than Ball, maybe that has changed?

    1. I hope so. Big companies that dominate the market are only interested in profit and will cheapen the product to where it barely works. Maybe this change is a good sign that they have remove their head from the dark chocolate tunnel and realize peoples lives depend on their product.

  5. I'm reading through your posts to get caught up and didn't know about this. But I switched to Tattler Reusable Canning Lids awhile back anyway. Interesting.

  6. I have been canning for many years. I was very excited about not having to preheat the lids, but sadly am very disappointed. Used was a big canning day for me. I also use tattler reusable lids, so yesterday I used what I had. All my rattlers sealed great. The new ball lids? Not so great. About half of the failed. The seal "button" depressed on them all but when I went to wash the jars for storage today I found about half of the "sealed" ball jars in fact were not sealed. Contacting the company today.

  7. I have heard several times that the new Ball lids fail some at the rate of 50%. This is completely unacceptable.
    I suspect Ball has new yuppie type management that seen a way to save $0.01 per lid and did only cursory testing which did not show the true failure rate. I guess this is good news for Tattler as they will take over the market.

    1. I have had many failures with the new lids. Less since I started soaking the lids in hot water before using. I lost half the peaches I had put up this year. All appeared sealed went back a month later and half had failed.

    2. I have been canning for 50 years and would almost never have a failure in seal. I do a hot process including lids then follow-up with a steam bath. I maintain a large supply of new lids since years ago lids were unavailable for a while. Recently I bought some new jars with sure tight lids. The first 2 batches of canned tomatoes, I had 10 to 20% failures. I switched back to the old lids I had in inventory. The next 6 or 8 batches, no failures. Up to 18 months shelf life for canned goods is unacceptable. I have some canned stuff 10 to 20 years old and have only had only a few failures, most of those would be rust troughs.
      I keep my used lids that are in good condition. I use wide mouth used lids for dried fruit which I pull a vacuum on and leave the rings on, almost never have a failure on the seal with these. I use used reg lids on foods I can temporarily waiting for end of season to process a large amount at a time, almost no failures on these as well.
      I do not trust these new sure tight lids. If they start failing months down the road I will be beyond upset and will start using my used lids after I runout of the good ones.

    3. This is a follow-up on my previous post that started with

      “AnonymousNovember 23, 2017 at 1:06 PM
      I have been canning for 50 years “

      I did a web search and found one good possibility to replace Ball Sure Tight lids. They are made by Bernardin out of Canada. These lids come bulk packed, no boxes. 348 lids for $44.60 plus $9.72 shipping from Amazon, comes out to be ~ $1.80/dozen an attractive price (about 1/2 usual) though care will have to be taken to prevent them from getting scratched in storage before use. These lids are shipped packed rolled in paper in 2 stacks.

      A close visual inspection of these lids indicates they are identical, including thickness at .08” and the finish coating, to Ball and Kerr with a couple of insignificant exceptions. One the stenciling is different, obviously, and two, the dimple on the Sure Tight is less pronounced.

      My first use of these lids yielded 0 failures in initial seal as to 10% to 20% with the Sure Tight lids.

      I have some various lids in a solution of pickled beet juice containing vinegar and salt to test for long term corrosion protection. Time will tell.

      Note the photo on Amazon is not a Bernardin lid but that of an older Kerr or Ball lid, it’s like the ones I used in 2010.

      Terry, Nevada County, CA USA

    4. This is a follow-up for my last 2 previous posts the latter started
      AnonymousDecember 4, 2017 at 7:31 PM

      “Anonymous November 23, 2017 at 1:06 PM
      I have been canning for 50 years “

      It has been 6 months soaking the lids (1 older Ball, 1 Sure Tight, 1 Bernardin) in a pickling solution containing vinegar and salt. The solution now had a thick layer of gray mold on top. After cleaning the lids my observation.

      1) None of the lids had any corrosion on the inside portion
      2) All had corrosion on the outside portion, mostly on the outermost rolled edge.
      3) The older Ball had no corrosion on the flat outer field area but some starting on the rolled outer rim that forms the backing for the sealant
      4) The Sure Tight as well as the Bernardin had similar corrosion on the rolled area forming the backing for the sealant
      5) The Sure Tight lid outer flat field had hundreds of very tiny rough specks, the beginning of corrosion. The Bernardin was starting to get these specks on one edge. The older Ball was clean in this area

      My conclusion is that the lids are all very similar in corrosion resistance. Taking into consideration the problems I had with Sure Tight lids not sealing (10% to 20%) I’m using the Bernardin lids (sealing 100%) from now on even though I have a 2 year supply of the older Ball lids (sealing 100%). I will save the old Ball lids so if I have a long term problem with Bernardin I will have a backup for a while.

      Terry, Nevada County, CA

  8. Hmmm. 18 months? So have I been wrong to be keeping some of my canned jams for up to 2 to 4 years with no apparent problems? Perhaps the old lids worked for that length and now the new ones only work for 18 months. Resulting "improvement" might be "more profit" for Ball. Maybe with the thicker plating they will provide longer life for high-acid foods. Based on the most recent comments mentioning poorer sealing rates, I think I will continue pre-heating the lids as a precaution.

  9. Everyone needs to be cautious with these new lids. There seems to be a real issue with them right now.

  10. Canned 24 jars of soup yesterday. Nine lid failures. Re-canned the failures into 7 jars - 4 out of 7 failed. I've been canning for decades and have never had failure rates this high. It's driving me nuts.

  11. Made pickles today. 3 out of 7 lids buckled in the water bath. Still waiting on the popping noise I love, even thou it looks like they are sealed. Guess I need to take the rings off and double check.
    Never had an issue with the old lids.

  12. I go to a canning class that is held once a month. They have reported better seals when they heat up the new flats just like they did the older ones that said you were supposed to do it. The company said to use the canned food within 12 months..now 18 it seems just to have a date. As you said, properly canned food kept right lasts for years. Everything now by law has to have an expiration date it seems. But as we all know things last beyond that use by date. By having a date also people throw out commercially canned foods when they see the date has past. Yet the food is still perfectly ok. The food companies make lots of extra money this way don't they? ; ) :((( Sarah

  13. I do think we have to watch that the flats we use are stored out of heat. ?? I really don't know how long to keep the excess flats. Has anyone been told officially? You can find boxes of flats at garage sales but how old are they? Will they seal properly? Does the rubber get sticky or old? Just wondering. We all have extra flats at the end of each canning season. I would imagine they should stay good if thy are kept in a dry cool place until needed. But now I wonder if this is not some of the problem... ??? Sarah

  14. I have been canning for over 40 years. This year I have been using the new Ball lids and the failure rate is very high. It is ranging between 2 out 7 and 4 out of 7. This is very upsetting!

  15. The failure rate did go down when I heated the lids, but is still to high for me. I have been canning for 40 years and this year, with the new lids, I have had more failure rates. My fridge is full of canned goods that should be on my shelf!

  16. I will no longer use Ball lids. I am looking for an alternative. The failure rate is too high. I have been canning for 40 years and have never seen sealed jars become unsealed several weeks later before they changed to the silver lids. They ruined a whole dozen jar of pickles last month.

  17. It appears obvious Ball has a serious engineering issue at hand. My gut feeling is the new engineers they've hired found a way to save a few pennies. Problem is I will bet none of these younger engineers have never seen or canned anything in their lives.

  18. After 35 years of using Kerr and Ball jars and lids, due to the extremely high failure rate of their lids for the past year (both buckled and failed seal), I'm no longer a customer. I've switched completely to Tattler lids. This new "Seal Tight" is nothing more than a scam to try and convince people they've fixed the problem that has plagued their lids for the past year. This is what happens to a company when they put profits above product quality.

  19. I’m new to canning and made a batch of pickles using the Sure Tight jars. I didn’t use the band tool. How do I know if my canning was successful? I sterilized the jars and canned according to recipe directions in a boiling bath for 5-10 minutes.

    1. After the jars have cooled to room temperature the lids must be depressed. As they cool you should be able to easily hear sound like a 'pink' from every jar. This lets you know there is a vacuum in the jars. Lids should now be depressed and good for years, if not don't eat the contents.