I'm a once, maybe twice a year home canner. It's usually in the summer when I'm tempted by flats of tomatoes or stone fruit and have conveniently forgotten how much work the canning process usually is, especially with a toddler underfoot. The rest of the year, though, the jars sit empty and are used for food storage, and that's where I've discovered how great plastic storage caps are.
Canning involves two parts to seal the jar: the flat metal lid and the metal band that screws it into place. After the canning process (hot water bath) is over, you're supposed to remove the band and store the jar with just the lid in place. I don't know about you, but once those bands come off, there's a high probability they'll get lost in a kitchen cabinet somewhere, which is annoying when I only use some of the contents of the jar but want to seal it up again to store in the refrigerator.
The problem is solved with these plastic storage caps. They fit right onto the canning jars and are dishwasher and freezer safe. They form a tight seal and are especially useful as dry storage for rice, pasta, or flour.
When you only have enough to fill the last jar partway during a canning session, you can use one of these caps instead of wasting a brand new metal lid since you won't be processing it anyway. The plastic construction also means that you will never worry about rusting metal lids and bands, which can happen when they come in contact with acidic foods. And they're not only useful for capping jars of jam or preserves; see how Emily organized her gluten-free flours with jars and caps:
Now keep in mind that these are only storage caps and should never be used to can food. But if you're like me and use the jars more for storage than for canning anyway, these caps are well worth the investment.
- Find them: Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps, 8-Count, $7.29 at Amazon
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