Sterilising Jars and Bottles for Preserving

To prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of homemade jams, preserves and sauces, it’s important to sterilise storage jars or bottles. Here’s one technique I use.

1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.

2. Wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water.
3. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on an oven tray.
If lids contain a rubber lining or look ‘fragile’, place them in a saucepan of boiling water and leave to ‘simmer’ on the stove while the jars are in the oven.
4. Leave jars in oven for 15-20 minutes.
5. When you remove from the oven, avoid contamination by moving the jars from the tray using sterilised tongs that have been dipped in boiling water for a few minutes. Avoid using towels or your hands, especially around the lid of the jar!

My tip: bottle hot preserves in hot jars and cooled preserves in cold jars.

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