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February 8, 2021 Pickling, Small Business Resources

Do I need a Button Lid?

You do not always need a Button Lid! In this post we will explain when and why you should consider a button lid.

What is the Purpose of the Button?

38-Black-Button-Metal-LidFillmore ContainerThe button on a lid indicates there was enough vacuum created in the jar or bottle to pull down the button and keep it down. It is a visual indicator that the product was properly processed. *This is not an indicator that the recipe is a safe one.

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When Don’t you want to use a Button Lid?

Do not choose a lid with a button if you are not creating a vacuum seal with your product. This may includes most refrigerated items such as unprocessed pickled products and dairy items like yogurt, kefir, and milk.  It can also include nut butters, honey, salad dressings, vinegars, shrub, kombucha and other beverages or concentrates. Makers often also use Heat Shrink Bands in their packaging.  These increase consumer confidence that it has not been tampered with.

You may use a non-button plastisol lid, depending on your process. If the heat is lower, or if it is a shorter duration, the process may create enough vacuum to create a proper seal, but not quite enough to pull down the button. In this case, you can still see that the lid becomes concave, because you have enough of a temperature differential to create the required vacuum. Some lids require a little more vacuum to pull that distinct button down. Testing is very important for any recipe.

WHY? If you are not processing your product, or not steam capping or vacuum sealing in some way, that button will not go down. Most consumers reasonably assume if the button is present, it should be down, and if it is not, something is wrong. You don’t want to confuse your customers. If you are in a pinch and must use button lids when you do not want to (stock shortages etc.), be sure to provide clear communication with your customers so that they understand.  

When Do you want to use a Button Lid?

Button Lids - Fillmore ContainerUse a button lid when the purpose of your process is to create a vacuum seal, and you want that visual indicator. Most Button Lids are single color, but a few have a message printed on the lid that refers to the button. Some processes are better suited for a button lid. These are hot-fill, processing in a water bath,  low-temp pasteurization, pressure canning, or steam-capping.

 

Post a Comment

4 Comments
  1. Vickie Posted February 25, 2021 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I always use a button lid—-love that Fillmore carries my black canning lid!

  2. Ken Millsap Posted May 17, 2021 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I recently bought 12 oz stout bottles for bottling my BBQ sauce. I also bought the 28-2000 black button metal lug lid. Yesterday I bottled my first batch of BBQ sauce. I placed the bottles in a water bath for 20 minutes. After removing the bottles none of the buttons sucked down on their own. After and hour or so I was able to press the buttons down on seven of the nine bottles with my finger and they stayed depressed at that point. Today I was able to press another button down and it stayed depressed and on one lid the button will not depress. My question is are these bottles ok at this point or should I reprocess all of them. If I need to reprocess all of them what do I need to do differently? Do I need a longer water bath ? I’ve never used the button top lug lids before so I just want to make sure everything is safe.

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 19, 2021 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ken
      Unfortunately, we can’t provide a complete answer regarding the safety of your product since we are not a process authority. We can, however, speak to the physics of the packaging. Using lug lids in water bath processing can be trickier than the CT lids because the thread exposure is less…it’s important that you twist them on enough to stay in place, but to still allow for proper venting. If enough of the air was not allowed to escape, the system won’t have enough vacuum and the lid will not be pulled down during cooling. Some bbq recipes are approved for hot fill – which is the best application for lug lids. In this process, the very hot product is poured into pre-heated jars and immediately capped with warmed lids and allowed to cool. The heat differential creates a vacuum as the system cools, and pull down the lid/button. Since we do not know what your recipe is approved for, we would recommend reprocessing.

  3. Frito Posted July 27, 2021 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    For Ken, generally we don’t press the button lids manually after processing. Upon cooling, a vacuum is created inside the bottle and the lid will be pulled down on its own creating a seal. This process may take minutes or hours.

    Let the items cool on their own for several hours. If the bottles/jars are cool and visual inspection reveals some lids have not sealed, either refrigerate or reprocess. Refer to bbq or hot sauce instructions which can be located on various social media groups or at your location ag extension for more specific help.