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Q and A: cookings beans at a high altitude and Tattler lids — 10 Comments

  1. I have not had good success with Tattler lids or with their customer service. I have followed all of the advice that the Tattler folks gave me (as well as watching the recommended uTube videos, ets), with no improvement in my 30-50% success rate. Tattler will not accept the lids back for a refund (not even the unopened ones). Per their advice, I have tried various levels of tightness, re-tightening after removing from the canner (both immediately and waiting 10-15 minutes since I was told to try both options), using them only for quarts (Tattler admitted that “they don’t work as well with the smaller jars”), making sure cooling is slow by covering with a towel, venting for at least 10 minutes before putting the weight on the canner, using at least 1 inch (usually more) headspace, meticulous cleaning of the rims and seals, and waiting longer (at least 48 hours) to remove the rings.

    It should not be this hard for an experienced canner! Any suggestions that I have not already listed?

  2. Diana,

    The only time I’ve had failures with Tattler lids is when I first tried using them and used them as if they were two piece metal lids, tightening the ring down firmly tight before putting into the canner then just sitting them to cool after processing. I had three failures out of seven pints. So I called Tattler. I knew I was at fault. Yep, I was. I should have barely tightned the rings before putting into the canner then snugged the rings down right after taking the jars out. Surprise! No more failures! Operator error!

  3. Regarding tattler lids. I use them almost exclusively. The New directions are to finger tighten “lightly”, then upon removal tighten up. The original instructions of tightening and backing off a quarter gave a lot of failures.
    I also heat the white lids and rings. I own a thousand tattler lids and can that much every year. They work!

  4. I’ve lived all over the place and all sorts of beans are a staple for us, my son works all over the world and still uses “mom’s” old method. It works for us. I put my beans in a colander which is in a large deep dish,sprinkle with liberally baking soda (I Know/old wives tale) cover with boiling water, let sit until lukewarm, rinse well with warm water,cover with clean water,bring to a hard boil,reduce to simmer & season.Simmer until done.here in Texas @1000′ feet thats 1 -1 1/2 hrs depends on bean.

  5. Electric pressure cookers do not get as high of a pressure as stove top ones. If the high pressure of a stove top one is 15 pounds, then the electric is 12-13. You will have to add in a little time to your recipes….try trial and error.

  6. Do not salt the beans until they are soft. I have lived at 4000′ elev. and now down at 2000′. Same goes for my lower elev. If I forget and add any sort of salt, even when pressure canning, the beans are still rawish. This even happens with dry beans I grew and very fresh. Once the beans are softened, I will add them to the dish I am making so any salt will not impede the cooking of the beans. Why this is the only factor I found when beans would not soften and cook up “right”, I have no clue.

  7. I tried the Tattler lids and had 3 failures out of 6 jars. I’ve never had any failures with regular lids. I know some people swear by the Tattlers, but I wasn’t impressed. I’m at 6000 ft.

  8. I live at 4500′ in CO and I have the same problem and my beans are not old. I have to soak mine at least 12 hrs and then do a slow cook for about 2 hrs or put them in a crock pot recipe. I’m going to try Jackie’s suggestion and just can them up.

  9. The Tattler lids are supposed to be turned 1/4 of an INCH back, not 1/4 of a turn. Unless this was a typo, it is highly likely they failed to seal because the screw-bands were on way too loose.

  10. Sandy, I live at high altitude too, and beans used to be a problem. They never cooked up right no matter what I did. Problem solved when I learned about brining beans before cooking them. Full instructions are at the America’s Test Kitchen web site. No it doesn’t make the beans salty, but I found that I do have to use kosher salt – no iodized salt as it leaves a nasty taste. And follow the instructions about rinsing well – I sometimes soak the brined beans in plain water for an hour before cooking them. Your beans will be perfect and cook quickly after you brine them. I’ve done many types of beans and it worked on all of them.