You do not always need a Button Lid! In this post we will explain when and why you should consider a button lid.
The 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.
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.
Use 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 can include hot-fill, processing in a water bath, low-temp pasteurization, pressure canning, or steam-capping.
Remember…the button does not aid in the sealing or the safety of your product or the packaging. It is only a visual indicator that there is a vacuum present in your jarred system. It is important to verify that the jar, closure, formula and process are all compatible.
You may want to use these two articles as references as you determine what is best for you.