How to Sterilize Preserving Jars

Knowing how to sterilize preserving jars is an essential part of preserving. Basically it’s just the process of making sure you have a super clean jar to start preserving with, whether you are making jams or jellies, bottling fruits and vegetables, chutney, marmalade and just about everything in between.

Six Kilner preserving jars. Two are filled with pears in a vanilla sugar syrup. One is filled with preserved cherries. TThe remaining jars are empty. Image by Emma Lee - The Irishman's Wife

There are a couple of ways to sterilize preserving jars. As long as you have good quality, preserving jars (I use Kilner jars) You can simply pop the jars, minus lids and any rubber rings, in the dishwasher, set the highest temperature setting and let it run through a full cycle.

Most of the time though, I sterilize my preserving jars by handwashing them in hot, soapy water and then popping them on a roasting tray. Put the tray full of jars into the oven at 120 degrees celcius for at least 20 minutes. Because you want to bottle your preserves into a hot jar, just keep the jars in the oven until needed.

To sterilize the jar lids, Pop the lids in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to the boil and continue to boil the lids for 10 minutes. While bottling, keep the lids in the pot in the hot water and only remove when it’s time to seal.

So there you have it. Go nuts preserving all the produce you can lay your hands on! If you need a little help getting started check out this post about Bottling summer stonefruit.


A Kilner preserving jar full of cheeries in a sugar syrup. Image by Emma Lee -  The Irishman's Wife

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