Whether you are making a fresh tomato sauce or a pesto sauce or jams or a chutney, you definitely need to sterilize your jars and lids. Sterilizing is a crucial part of preserving to remove any bacteria, fungi or yeasts thus protecting the food you put into the jar.
The process is very quick and easy, therefore it should never be omitted.
There are many ways to sterilize your jars. You can do it in the oven, in a pot with boiling water, in the microwave, but my favorite method is THE DISHWASHER. And this is why:
You do not have to clean or dry your jars and lids. The dishwasher will do it for you.
The dishwasher method works well for every kind of jar (Kilner-style jars with clip tops with or without rubber rings as well as screw top jars).
Ideal to sterilize with no harm the metal lids too.
Just keep in mind to leave the clean jars after the cycle in the closed dishwasherto be kept warm prior to filling.
And some tips to succeed in the sterilizing process:
The general rule no matter which sterilizing method you choose is to: ADD HOT FOOD TO HOT JARS.
After you finish filling the canning jarswith the hot mixture prepared, put the lids and rings on tightly and turn the jars upside down on your counter on a towel or cloth. Leave them for 5-6 minutes. Turn the jars back upright and let them cool down and sea
Do not use old jam jar lids if damaged or rusty. They may not make a good seal.
Even if you use your old jars, buy some new lids.
It is important that you only sterilize your jars, and lids lids a short
time before you are ready to fill them, to ensure they remain warm for the filling.
I recommend you to sterilize more jars than you thinkyou will need. Should you have more mixture than anticipated it is too late to start sterilizing once the food is ready.
Don't put the labels on until the jam is cold – otherwise they won’t stick properly.