Sterilize Canning Jars

Edited by Rich, Jonathan, Lynn, Eng and 8 others

Sterilizing jars for canning.jpg

Canning is an excellent way to store and preserve foods. Using contaminated jars promotes the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which is the bacterium that causes botulism. Botulism can cause paralysis, nerve damage, and death. Proper sterilization of canning jars and lids is important to preventing botulism.

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Tools

  • A Large pot
  • Tongs
  • Canning jars and rings
  • Soap
  • Water

Instructions

  1. 1
    Clean everything.
    Dirty hands and tools introduce bacteria and toxins to canned foods. Clean everything to reduce the chance of exposure.
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    1. Wash and rinse your hands
    2. Dry with a clean towel
    3. Wash the jars and lid rings
    4. Wash the pot
    5. Wash the tongs
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  2. 2
    Prepare the pot.
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    1. Place the jars in the large pot. The jars will float, allow water to fill the jars and they will stay submerged.
    2. Add water. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars then add more water to increase the volume by one inch.
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  3. 3
    Bring the water to a boil.
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  4. 4
    Boil the jars for 15 minutes.
    15 minutes is the least amount of time required to destroy all traces of Clostridium botulinum.
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  5. 5
    Turn off the heat.
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  6. 6
    Add lid rings to the pot.
    Sterilize the lid rings once the heat has been turned off. Place the rings into the pot until they are needed.
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  7. 7
    Add tongs.
    The tongs should be sterilized as well since they will be used to lift the jars out of the pot. Add the tongs with the lids and leave in the water until needed.
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  8. 8
    Important!
    Any jars not filled and sealed within an hour should be sterilized again.
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  9. 9
    All clean!
    The jars are now ready to be filled and sealed by your preferred method.
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Using the microwave as an alternative method

Modern technology enables us to sterilize canning jars in faster ways than the traditional way of placing these jars in a pot full of water and boiling them. One of the modern ways that is speedier is through use of the microwave oven:

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  1. 1
    The jars should be washed with soap and water and rinsed thoroughly.
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  2. 2
    Pour about two inches of water into the clean canning jar and then place it in the microwave oven.
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  3. 3
    Heat the jar for five minutes, or up to the time that the water heats to the boiling point.
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  4. 4
    Remove the jar from the microwave oven, using an oven mitt or a heat-safe glove.
    Then pour out the water.
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Questions and Answers

Is Microwave Sterilization a Safe Method

Yes, sterilizing with the use of microwave is safe.

Here's how you should microwave sterilize

  • Make sure that jars are washed thoroughly. There shouldn't be any food residue in the jar.
  • Pre-heat your microwave to 280 degrees F or 160 Celsius. The high temperature on the oven dries the jars and sterilizes them at the same.
  • Half-fill the jars with cold water then place them inside the oven. The number of jars sterilized at the same time depends on their sizes.
  • Leave the jars in the microwave for three minutes under high temperature or until the water inside them boils. It is important that the water boils to make sure that the jars are sanitized well from the inside.
  • When sanitized, leave the jars upside down inside your oven. Wait for them to dry and drain.
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Now, your jars are ready for your preserves.

Important reminders:

  • Before placing the food in a jar, it must be sterilized. However there are foods that do not need to sterilize the jar before using like containers used for meats, vegetable, fruits, fermented and pickled foods. Microwave sterilization is safe to use. Do not use old rusty lids for the jar. Buy a new lid or cellophane or wax discs to make a good seal.
  • What will sanitize the jar is the boiling water. The purpose of heating is preparing the water in the case where the warm preserves are being filled in. This prevents breakage of the jars. Even cold foods must not be placed in a warm jar. Sterilization is necessary to prevent growth of microorganisms, reaction with oxygen, activity of food enzymes, and moisture loss. A food becomes spoiled if it has insect-damage, bruise, and diseased food. Boiling the jars also requires a specific time.

I was just wondering if microwave is safe to sterilize the canning jars for water bath use. I just read a USDA sight that said no?

Safe or not safe the USDA sight said it's not safe, I was wondering if it wasn't updated

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AFTER I GET THE JELLY IN THE JARS AND PUT THE LID ON IT THEN I PLACE IT BACK IN BOILING WATER AGAIN TO SEAL THE JAR? FIRST TIMER HERE?

WHEN YOU TAKE THE STERILE JARS OUT OF THE POT AND FILL THEM THEN PUT THE LIDS ON, DO YOU PLACE THEM BACK IN THE POT TO BOIL AGAIN TO SEAL THEM?. I have tried: BEGINNER

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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Reuse lids at your own risk. Lids can be easily damaged and microscopic deficiencies can make break a seal. Reuse sealing lids at your own risk. If you are going to reuse a lid then add it with the jars.
  • Higher elevations. The boiling time increases at higher elevations. Add one minute to the boiling time for each 1000 feet of elevation.
  • Fill with warm material. Adding cold ingredients to a hot jar can causes defects, or even shattering, with glass jars. Only fill the canning jars with warm materials.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Article Info

Categories : Cooking

Recent edits by: Dougie, nice spice, sheryl hernandez

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