Why should you sterilize glass jars before using them to store your preserves and jams? This is because sterilizing jars is essential to your product’s success and longevity. Sterilizing is an important part of food preservation to eliminate fungi, yeasts, or bacteria. This helps in protecting the food stored in the jar. Jars that are not properly cleaned will contaminate the food, causing it to spoil quickly.
Sterilization is a simple process so there is no reason to omit it in the canning process. In this article, we are going to show you how to clean and sterilize glass jars properly along with important reminders and tips when sterilizing. So keep on reading to know more!
Here are important reminders you should take note of before you sterilize glass jars.
Never boil your jar’s metal lids and their rubber sealing rings. Always check the interior of the metal lids and see if they have a ring inside before sanitizing your jars. Although the rubber or plastic will not completely melt, the lid will no longer fit properly onto the jars.
The extreme boiling water’s heat can destroy the lid’s rubber ring which can result in a broken seal. This can lead to contamination of your jar’s contents. Simply submerge the lids and rings into simmering water for ten minutes to clean them thoroughly. You can also use the water you used for sanitizing the glass jars to clean the lids and rings once the water has slightly cooled. You can also check this guide on how to sterilize canning lids.
Sterilizing glass jars is pointless if your working place is not clean. Even though you have cleaned your jars, they can easily be contaminated with bacteria from the surrounding areas. If you will be setting your glass jars on dish towels for drying, make sure that the dish towels are clean.
If possible, can your preserves immediately after sterilizing your glass jars. If the sterilized jars are left for an hour or more, you should sterilize them again before you can your products. And when you can, do not put hot products into cold jars or cold products into hot jars.
Sterilizing means subjecting your glass jars under high temperatures so you need to make sure that you handle your jars with care. Use oven mitts too to avoid burning yourself.
Before sterilizing your glass jars, make sure to clean them first. You have two options for cleaning your jars: rice soaking and scrubbing.
Now, let us proceed to the five methods on how to sterilize glass jars.
The first method is by using a microwave. This is ideal for regular glass jars but not for jars with metal lids and Kilner-style ones.
This sterilization method is good if you own a steam dishwasher or if your machine has a setting for high temperature. You can use this method for Kilner-style glass jars and jars with screw tops, rubber rings, and clip tops.
The dishwasher sterilization method is obviously an easy one, but it uses up plenty of water. Plus, it is hard to time the cycle’s ending with the time when your product is ready for canning.
This is the most reliable method to ensure that your jars are thoroughly clean before putting your preserves in them. It takes longer though compared to the other methods because the process takes about 30 minutes. The oven method also works well with jars that have rubber rings and clip tops.
The fourth method is by using a stove if you do not have a microwave, dishwasher, or oven. Below is a short video showing how to sterilize glass jars using a stove:
The actual sterilization process using a stove will approximately take around 25 minutes.
The standard way of sterilizing glass jars is by submerging them in boiling water. But, your location’s altitude will affect the boiling temperature of the water. If you are in higher altitudes, the boiling point is lower so you need to make adjustments on the time your jars will spend in the boiling water.
Ten minutes is the recommended boiling time at sea level up to 1,000-feet elevation but you have to add 1 more minute in every additional 1,000 feet.
Distilled white vinegar can be more effective in killing bacteria compared to sanitizing solutions available commercially.
Recycling glass jars is a great way of reducing the amount of waste we generate that destroys the environment. By recycling jars, not only are you helping save the earth but it also allows you to reduce your packaging expenses. And if you are looking for a reliable glass jar manufacturer, you can rely on Roetell. We supply a wide variety of food-grade glass containers for different applications.
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We help you avoid the pitfalls to deliver the quality and value your glass bottle and jar need, on-time and on-budget.Contact Roetell