Sterilizing Jars for Canning: Step By Step Guide

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Devanath

It’s important to know how to sterilize your canning jars before filling them – otherwise their contents will go bad quickly. We’ll show you three easy method to help you get your containers germ-free asap.

If you want to make homemade vegetable broth, jam or fruit preserves, you’ll need canning jars. But you don’t have to buy new ones! Instead, you can collect the glass jars that your pickles, pasta sauce, or any other food product comes in.

Simply make sure they are perfectly clean before you use them. Sterilizing jars for canning is an important first step that you shouldn’t skip. Otherwise, you risk letting you jam going bad, and ruining all of your hard work. 

We’ll show you three easy ways to use heat to kill any germs or bacteria that may be on your canning jars, so that you can get to the fun part: filling them. 

The Best-Known Method: Clean Jars with Boiling Water

how to sterilize canning jars
Using boiling water to sterilize jars is an easy way to get rid of germs and bacteria. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Music4Life)

This first method for sterilizing jars for canning is very popular. All you’ll need is a large pot. 

Here’s how to sterilize canning jars with boiling water: 

  1. Fill your pot with water. 
  2. Place the open glasses and their lids in the water. Make sure that they are completely submerged. 
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Boil the glasses for ten minutes.

How To Sterilize Canning Jars In the Oven

How to sterilize canning jars
You can reuse any glass jar for canning as long as it has a screwed-on lid. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Ritae)

It’s also possible to sterilize canning jars in the oven. This is especially practical if you have a particularly large or oddly-shaped jar. 

How to sterilize canning jars in the oven:

  1. Rinse out the glasses with hot water.
  2. Place the glasses in the oven. Warning: Do not put the lids of the jars in the oven. Sterilize them with boiling water instead. 
  3. Set the temperature on your oven to about 270°F and heat the jars for about fifteen minutes. 
  4. Afterwards, use oven mitts to carefully remove the jars, or simply let them cool down completely before taking them out.

Sterilizing Jars in the Dishwasher

sterilizing jars for canning
Making your own jam is good for your wallet and for your taste buds. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Voidibias)

The third and final method for sterilizing jars for canning is the best option if you are working with a particularly large amount of glasses. You’ll need nothing more than your dishwasher. 

Here’s how to sterilize canning jars in the dishwasher: 

  1. Load the jars into the dishwasher the way you normally would. 
  2. Choose the hottest setting on the machine and start the wash cycle. 
  3. Remove the glasses when finished and fill. 

Important: In order for this method to work properly, the jars should be the only thing in the dishwasher; no dirty dishes. Since this method uses an exceptional amount of water and energy, we at Utopia advise you to use one of the first two methods instead. 

Furthermore: After sterilizing jars for canning, you’ll want to fill them as quickly as possible, to make sure that total cleanliness is guaranteed. 

This article was translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can view the original here: Gläser sterilisieren: Die besten Methoden mit Schritt-für-Schritt-Anleitung

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