Gourmet Traveller

How to sterilise jars

Not only does proper sterilisation prolong the life of the product, it is also extremely important in preventing food-borne bacteria from causing severe illness. The aim Put the jars and lids through the hottest cycle of a dishwasher without using any detergent. Place the jars and lids in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil then boil for 20 minutes. Stand the jars upright, without touching each other, on a wooden board on the lowest shelf in the oven. Turn the oven to the lowest possible temperature, close the oven door and leave the jars to heat through for 30 minutes. Next, remove the jars from the oven or dishwasher with a towel, or from the boiling water with tongs; the water will evaporate from hot, wet jars quite quickly. Stand jars upright and not touching each other on a wooden board, or a bench covered with a towel. Pour hot preserves into hot jars until the jars are filled to the top (in most cases, unless indicated otherwise by the recipe). Secure lids tightly, hold jars firmly with a towel or an oven mitt while doing this, then leave preserves to cool at room temperature before labelling and storing.

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