The Easy Way to Sterilise Jars for Preserving
We do a lot of preserving. It took me a while to find the easy way to sterilise jars. I used to sterilise jars in hot water. This was quite a lot of work and a bit high risk with all that boiling water. But actually you don't need to do that.
There is an easier way to sterilise jars. Simply:
- Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1 (or plan to put them in when you've had the oven on for something else).
- Wash jam jars in warm soapy water. If they've had other stuff in them make sure you get rid of whatever-it-was, soak them for a while if necessary to do that. Rinse jars well.
- Dry them to get rid of the obvious surplus water.
- Stand them upright on a baking tray and heat in the oven until they're completely dry, I usually leave them for about 10 minutes to be certain.
- Fill them with your preserve of choice whilst they, and the contents-to-be, are still hot.
For the lids: boil them in water for about 5 minutes to sterilise them. Do the same with Kilner Rubber Seals, do NOT be tempted to put them in the oven. Unless you want the smell of burning rubber permeating through your house. Not that I've done that or anything...
I re-use jam jars over and over again. Not least of all because it's a lot easier to get lids delivered than new jars, with far fewer breakages ! However I use new Jam Jar Lids where I can. I only re-use old ones when we're going to eat the contents at home shortly afterwards, not when the jars are not going to sit in the cellar for months on end. If you want to be sure of a good seal over a long period I would recommend always using new lids are widely available, on Ebay and similar websites.
Incidentally, always label your jars. You think you'll remember what is in them. You won't :)
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