Take a step away from the throw-away generation and preserve food in jars to enjoy at a later date. Preserving your summer fruit or turning food into jam and pickles not only makes goods last beyond their use by date, but also creates a delicious new addition to your cupboard. When preserving food in jars, sterilization is of the utmost importance. If jars and lids are not sterilized before use, the fruit will spoil in the jar and defeat the whole purpose of the exercise. Kitchen Warehouse, purveyor of all the preserving equipment you need, offers a guide to sterilizing your preserving jars to ensure sweet tasting jams and tangy pickles when you are ready to eat them.
Tip: To remove all residue aromas from used jars add salt to the jar, seal and shake. The salt should absorb all the unwanted smells.
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Discard any jars with nicks or cracks.
- Wash jars and lids in soapy water and shake well to remove excess water.
- Place jars on baking tray in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
- If possible, time the sterilization so that the fruit, jam or pickles are ready at the same time as the jars.
- Seal the jar when it is cool enough to handle.
- Preserving jars with lids
- Large stock pot or canning rack
- Large tongs or bottle tongs
- Serving ladle
- Leave at least 6mm space between food and the top of the jar.
- Tap the side of the jar to remove any bubbles.
- Screw lids on – screw on fairly loosely so air can escape from the bottle.
- Fill a stock pot with water and bring to the boil or use a canning rack.
- Submerge jars in water without layering.
- Use tongs to remove the jars and set aside on a folded tea-towel to cool.
- Check that lid is sealed: The lid should be depressed in the middle. If not repeat the process.