I love the fall, it is possibly my favourite seasons. The hustle and bustle of summer travel, day trips, guests and non-stop entertaining has settled down. After a carefree summer, we are now getting back into a routine and starting to prepare for the coming winter. Like the autumn of the year, life seems to be slowing down.
For many, part of the winter preparation including preserving the fruits of our labour. In my case, it would be the fruits of someone else’s labour, that I was given or happily discovered at a local Farmer’s Market!
My dilemma is in the preparation of the canning jars and lids; do I sterilize them in a pot of boiling water (messy & tedious) or in the oven (clean & easy)?
In the past I have sterilized my canning jars, lids, rings and related supplies in the oven. But, I thought I read somewhere that method was not safe, so for the past few years I sterilized in the big, messy cauldron of boiling water!
This year, I couldn’t bear the thought of that boiling mess and the fishing out of dripping wet bottles, lids and accessories. So, I Googled proper jar preparation for canning and found this!
It is from Kraft Foods, and although they are referring to jam, to me sterilization is sterilization. I trust the information they have printed, and this year I went back to the clean and easy oven method!
It’s important to sterilize jars, lids and filling utensils to prevent mould.
Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse well. Then:
“You can pre-sterilize jars & lids by using one of two methods:
- Sterilize all jars, lids and filling equipment in a 225ºF oven for 10 minutes, then keep in the oven, with heat turned off, until needed so they stay warm.
- Sterilize all jars, lids and filling equipment in boiling water for 15 minutes and keep warm.
Use tempered glass jars with two-piece lids, not leftover pickle or baby food jars. For more than twenty years General Foods Kitchens, now Kraft Kitchens, have successfully pre-sterilized and hot-filled jars for a large number of cooked jams, jellies, relishes, chutneys, marmalades and conserves. Both methods are equally effective at preventing mould growth. (Sterilization Methods – Source: Kraft Foods)”
(Remember, if any of your canning supplies are not oven safe they will have to be sterilized using the boiling water method.)
Do you preserve foods and make pickles, relishes, jams, etc?
How do you sterilize your jars?
Do you trust the oven method?