Monday, August 8, 2022

Product review: "Superb" canning lids

In June, I asked my contact at Lehman's (Glenda Lehman Ervin, Director of Marketing) for a supply-chain update, which she provided.

I was especially interested in one thing she mentioned: their bulk canning lids are back.

Among canners, Lehman's is famous for their bulk canning lids – hundreds of lids for a fraction of the price of conventional boxes of a dozen lids you find at the grocery store. Many years ago I bypassed the need for disposable lids by purchasing a lifetime supply of Tattlers, but there are still times I like using disposable lids. Yet I had never ordered a bulk supply from Lehman's (something I regretted), and for a while it seemed I had missed that window of opportunity.

This is why I was delighted to note their bulk lids are back in stock, though this time from a different producer.

"We have a new canning lid supplier (Superb – made locally just a few miles from the store), which is helping with the canning lid back orders," Glenda wrote. "Customers tell us they really like the lids, which are thicker and work well for high pressure canning."

I asked if I could test-drive a few of the lids for purposes of writing a review, and within a few days a dozen arrived in the mail.

The very first thing that's noticeable about these lids is the bright-blue gasket. The second thing is they are indeed thicker and feel heftier. The quality seems excellent. I mean seriously excellent – better than Ball lids.

Here's a lid edge-on.

And here's a "Superb" lid compared to a Ball lid. The gasket is noticeable thicker.

I tackled a double canning project early this morning, before the day got too hot. I wanted to test the lids with a water-bath project as well as a pressure-canning project. I decided on applesauce for the former, and green beans for the latter (splitting the 12 lids between the two projects). Because it's too early in the season for either of these available from the garden, I purchased apples from the store...

...and frozen cut green beans.

I started by dumping the beans in hot water to defrost them.

My canning book recommends hot-packing beans... I brought them to a boil.

While the pot was heating, I started processing the apples.

I tossed the chunks in a pot of cold water with a bit of lemon juice, to keep them from browning while I finished peeling and cutting everything.

Once everything was peeled and cut, I drained most (but not all) of the water, and put the pot on the stove. For applesauce, the apple chunks need to be "steamed" into softness. (I covered the pot with a lid.)

While the apples were steaming, I went back to the green beans, which by this point were hot. I filled six jars with beans and added a half-teaspoon of salt to each.

Then I topped the jars with hot cookwater.

Then, because I had more beans than test lids, I filled five more jars and just used regular Ball lids.

Soon everything was ready for the canner. 

(I paused to add a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the rim of the canner lid. This is recommended every few uses.)

I capped the canner and brought the pressure up to 15 lbs. and let it process for 20 minutes.

While the canner was coming up to pressure, I turned my attention back to the apples, which by this point were fully steamed and soft.

Using a slotted spoon, I scooped the soft apple chunks into a blender, a bit at a time.

A few seconds whizzing the apple chunks around, and the result was a silky-smooth applesauce I could pour directly into the jars for processing.

At this point some people like to add stuff to the applesauce – sweeteners or cinnamon or even red-hots (candy). I prefer my applesauce to be plain and unsweetened, so it was a simple matter to just pour the sauce into the jars and cap them. I only had enough applesauce to fill four jars, which meant I had two lids left over.

Into the pot of water (notice the rack at the bottom – never can anything without a rack!).

I covered the pot and turned up the heat. I couldn't start timing until the water was at a rolling boil.

At this point the stove was full – pressure canner on the left, water bath on the right.

When the water bath was at a rolling boil, I started the timer.

After all that prep work, both the beans and the applesauce finished up almost exactly at the same time. I turned off the heat on both. I let the jars of applesauce sit for a few minutes in the hot water before pulling them out (this helps keep the contents from bubbling up and overflowing the jars). The pressure canner, of course, had to come down to "zero" pressure before I could open it.

I pulled the jars of applesauce out and was mildly distressed to see the lids had not yet sealed. Oh great. I put the jars on a towel and waited. And waited. And waited.

Then...THUNK. One after the other, they all "popped" and sealed. Interestingly, the "pop" was in a base tone, not a treble tone – a much deeper sound than a standard lid. As Don joked, "They have manly pops, not girly pops." I expect the short delay in sealing was due to the thicker nature of the lids.

When the pressure came down on the beans, I pulled them from the canner and the same thing happened – a short delay, then one by one they all popped in and sealed.

I'm extremely pleased with the quality of these lids, and can recommend them without hesitation. What I can recommend even more is the price.

I picked up a couple boxes of regular-mouth Kerr lids at our local grocery store last February. They cost $4.69/box of 12 lids, or $0.39/lid.

However Superb (regular-mouth) lids from Lehman's are much more economical: $19.99 for a pack of 60 ($0.33 each), or $84.99 for a back of 360 lids ($0.23 each). (The wide-mouth lids are $84.99 for a pack of 300, or $0.28/each.)

If anyone is in the market for bulk quantities of high-quality canning lids, this is the deal for you.

In fact, both the price and the quality are hard to resist. I think I'll place an order myself. After all, I don't want to miss that window of opportunity again.


  1. Nice to hear of a USA made source for lids. I will have to say that I have never been disappointed by anything I have purchased from Lehman's.

  2. I have not been happy with Ball lids so I was happy to read your review. I decided to place an order for the 360 pack and went to check out and almost stopped the order right there as the shipping was $21.99. I know prices have gone up but that is a little steep for a few canning lids! Luckily my computer searched for discount codes automatically for me and I was able to get $8.50 off and went ahead with the sale as that was a little more palatable. Just wanted everyone to beware of shipping and taxes that are added to that total making them just as expensive as Ball lids. The quality does look better so I am looking forward to trying them out. Thanks for your review!

  3. I wonder about the staying power of the seal. The 18 month guarantee on Ball lids seems like a limit to me. So, something better is welcome.

  4. Those look fantastic! Gotta get me some!

  5. Hi Patrice. In regards to your canning “bible”, Putting Food By, do you still recommend it? I’m primarily interested in learning high pressure canning for meats, stews, etc. Some of the most recent reviews on Amazon for this book are very negative, saying there are printing issues, and/or it’s too old (2010 I think is the latest edition) to have current safety information. I don’t plan on buying it through Amazon but was wondering if the book was current enough for a beginner to pressure can safely. A lot of other more recent canning books seem to have mostly recipes and instructions for water bath canning. I’m not interested in that at this point. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for the heads-up! I have ordered these lids in the past from Lehman’s and prefer them over the other brands. Pressure canned 16 pints of chicken yesterday with nary a problem.

  7. We bought a bunch too. As already noted by another commenter, the shipping cost is OUTRAGEOUS. I have shipped items for years and based on experience, they're absolutely gouging. A real turn off frankly.

  8. I had bought 1 case of 9 sleeves of regular seals, 1 cases of 6 sleeves of wide mouth and one case of mixed, more regular than wide mouth. The sleeves held 368 I think for the regulars. We even after sharing with others in need the last 2 years, I still have the mixed box left and another mixed box from condensing. I realized though that I do not want to run out ever. I have Tattlers but have never really liked using them, they are for emergencies, I know how but prefer not to use them. So I have been pricing seals again at Fillmorecontainer , lehmens and Walmart and North40. Cheapest per seal for Ball lids is, not the store. You can only order 6 12 packs at a time but I do a lot of my shopping there and if I need to get my order up to the $35 free shipping, I add 6 packs of seals. This also spreads the cost out. I never liked shopping much online until covid hit and then the fact that masks made it hard for me to breathe hubby asked if they shipped, I said yeah, he said free, I said after $35. He said then add things to the cart when you remember you need them and then wait till you have the 35 to order it. Then I found the seals and now I just add them to get up to the free shipping amount. We have a Walmart in town (20 miles one way) and some things I order I have to pick up there so I arrange to go when I am in town or heading to the city for doctor appointments. So I am not wasting my gas either. 2.97 for 12 lids is 0.2475 each and for me that is the best price I have seen, since it is free shipping.