How to sterilise jars

My method for sterilising jars is quite easy and takes about the same time as a batch of jam does to prepare. Alternative methods include washing the jars and lids in an otherwise-empty dishwasher, or using sterilising tablets (the kind you would use for a baby’s bottle).

Here’s how I do it:
  1. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse in hot water.
  2. Stand the jars upside-down on a rack set on a baking sheet (I use the grill tray from my oven). Put the jars in an oven heated at 100C for at least 10 minutes (they can be left in there longer).
  3. Put the lids in a clean saucepan. Pour boiling water over the lids, add a dash of vinegar, and let them simmer away on the hob for at least 10 minutes. The vinegar stops any residue forming on them.
  4. When the jam/chutney is ready and still hot, use oven gloves to help you fill the jars using a jam funnel, and then put the lids straight away. Use caution and avoid burns!
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