Sterilising your glass jars and bottles is a crucial step to remove any bacteria from your vessel to stop your preserves from spoiling.
It’s a super simple process so there’s no reason to skip it. One important thing to note is that you want your vessel and preserve to be at the same temperature to ensure that your glass jar or bottles do not crack. So make sure to fill your hot jars with hot preserve or allow them to cool if you’re pouring in a cordial at room temperature.
Any lids that are damaged or rusty should be disposed of as they may contaminate your preserve. Chipped jars or bottles should also be disposed of.
We tend to use the dishwasher for sterilising jars as it’s by far the easiest way to sterilise a large batch of jars or bottles. It’s also perfect for lids with rubber seals.
Simply load up the dishwasher with your jars, bottles and lids and run on its highest temperature setting for a full cycle.
Once the dishwasher has finished it’s cycle remove and fill your jars and bottles.
Preheat your oven to 120 degrees Centigrade.
Wash your jars in hot soapy water, removing any rubber seals.
Allow to drain but do not dry.
The rubber seal can be placed in freshly boiled water and left for a few minutes before being used. Place the jars onto an oven tray lined with a clean tea towel (if using a gas oven make sure the tea towel is well away from the flame!) and allow to sterilise for 15-20 minutes and are completely dry.
Wash and rinse your jars or bottles and place in a deep saucepan along with their lids.
Completely cover your vessels with cold water.
Bring the pot of water to the boil, cover with a lid and allow to bubble away gently for 15 minutes.
Place a tea towel on your worktop with a cooling rack on top. Remove the jars and allow to dry briefly before filling.