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How to Sterilize Canning Jars

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How to Sterilize Canning Jars

Did these jars need to be sterilized before they were filled with food and processed?

Leda Meredith

Some canning recipes specify that you need to use sterilzed jars, but they don't always tell you how to do that. Read on for simple instructions for safely sterilizing jars.

By the way, this is the only method you should use to sterilize jars. You may come across misinformation that says you can sterilize jars in a dishwasher or oven, but neither of these methods is considered safe by the USDA.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 25 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Place empty jars in a large pot. You can use the same pot you will be using as a boiling water bath to can the jars once they are filled with food.

  2. Completely cover the jars with water.

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  4. Once the water reaches a full, rolling boil, begin timing. Boil the jars for 15 minutes.

  5. Turn off the heat. If you are not quite ready to fill the starilized jars and proceed with canning your recipe, you can leave them in the hot water for up to an hour. Longer than that and you'll need to sterilize them again.

  6. Note: Do not boil the canning lids as this can harm their adhesive rings. Instead, add the canning lids to the hot water after you turn off the heat, when the jars have finished boiling.

What You Need

  • Canning jars
  • Large pot
  • Water

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