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Aug 15, 2013 - COOKING TIPS

Summer Jam: 4 Tricks for Sterilizing Your Jars

Sterilizing Jars for Jams and CanningFor fans of homemade or canned fruit jam, it is important to consider their preservation method. To prevent the fruit from turning bad, better think about sterilize your jars.

There is no need for food preservatives when it comes to your gourmet preparations. The trick is to properly sterilize the jars in which you will keep fruit. For this, there are many methods of sterilization. Between grandma tricks and modern appliances, here are some ideas for sterilizing your jars safely.

1.  Learn about the features of your oven: you might not know this, but some electric ovens have a specific program to sterilize jars. So have a look at your oven user manual! It is generally sufficient to place your jars on a oven-proof plate and start the program for the specified period. The heat of the oven will effectively sterilize your jars. Be careful to correctly set up your jars in the oven, because they may break when they come in direct contact with the heat source. The oven door should absolutely not be opened during the sterilization process. Don’t remove the jars immediately after sterilization, they must cool slowly. If your oven doesn’t have a predefined program, pre-heat at 225°F (110°C) and dispose your jars, lids and bands on the baking sheet. Sterilize for 20 minutes minimum.

2. The on-the-stove method: line the bottom of the pot with a clean dish towel. Place the jars on top, taking care using another towel to prevent them from colliding. Fill the pot up to half with water, once the jars are in place. When the water starts to boil, sterilize for about 15 minutes over low heat. The jars should then slowly cool in the pan. Cover the pot with a clean cloth and leave covered for an hour minimum.

3. The dishwasher method: This technique is great if you’re running short on time. Wash the jars in the dishwasher (better if your dishwasher as a steam cleaning program) and then simply leave them there until ready to fill. Keep the dishwasher closed to keep in the steam and heat. Remove the jars a couple at a time as needed.

4. The grandmother trick: there is another way to ensure the sterilization of our jars, once the jars are filled with fruit or jam (still hot), close the lid and place your jars in a hot place for one day. Traditionally, we must put our preparations into feather cushions (real pillows). The cushions should cover our jars completely, in order to keep the heat and allow a very slow cooling. The fruits will be able to set at their own pace.

In all cases, if you use jars sealed with rubber bands, you have to change them every time. It is very difficult to sterilize rubber bands the same way as glass containers.

Aug 15, 2013
Sidney Yang
Contributor
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