How to Sterilise Jars
When potting, packing and sealing your jars with your favourite jam or chutney, it is important that the jars are sterilised correctly beforehand. Jar sterilisation is a simple and easy process, yet is an essential skill to a preserve maker. Jars that are not sterilised properly can cause your hard work to spoil due to bacterial contamination.
The simplest way to sterlise glass jars is to fully immerse them in a pan of water and bring them to the boil. Alternatively you can wash them in hot soapy water, though they must be thoroughly rinsed after doing so. Either way, once the jars have gone through one of these processes, they must be put in a low oven to dry completely.
Another sterilisation method is to put your jars in the dishwasher on a hot cycle. This method is a good option when you need to sterilise a large number of jars at once.
Now you know how to sterilise jam jars, but when should you do it? The jars you plan to fill should only be sterilised a short time before they will be filled with preserves. When the jars are fully dry they are ready to be filled straight away, before they cool down too much. This is especially important when potting hot preserves into jars, as they will not cool too much before the seal is applied. Following these guidelines will also reduce the amount of time within which the jars may acquire new bacteria.