Clean, sanitary practices are a must for safe food canning. However, these methods aren’t hard! Here are three different methods of sterilizing jars in preparation for canning.
Steralizing Jars: Method One
Wash all your jars in hot soapy water and rinse in hot water. Gently place your clean canning jars into a large stock pot filled with water. Bring to a boil and boil for at least 5 minutes. Drain out any water as you remove them from the pot. Some people like to put the clean, sterile jars open end down on a stack of clean papertowels until needed. When I use this method, I prefer to pull them out of the water as I need them because they stay hot this way (however, you need to have lots of extra space on the stove top to do this).
Sterilizing Jars: Method Two
Place all the jars you’ll need (I always throw in a few extra) in the dishwasher and run it. This method is easier and takes up less space than boiling on stove top. Another plus is that you can store the hot jars in the dishwasher until you’re ready to use them, so they stay warmer longer.
Sterilizing Jars: Method Three
Wash all your jars in hot soapy water and rinse in hot water. Dry them with a clean towel and carefully place them on a rack of your oven. Turn oven on to 225 degrees and ‘bake’ jars for 20 minutes.
This is a great method because, again, it doesn’t take up valuable stove top space. And also, because it’s easy to keep the jars warm for an extended period of time. (I generally turn the oven down to warm after the 20 minute sterilization period so that jars are easier to handle.)
Regardless of which method you choose, careful prep work in canning will pay off in healthy, homemade food year round!