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.