How to sterilize jars in the oven

Written by amrita chuasiriporn
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Using your oven to sterilise jars you use for canning is an effective and efficient way to prevent the growth of harmful mould and bacteria in any food you choose to can. Not only does it protect the people eating your food from potential food-borne illness, but it also protects the fine flavour and texture of your special recipes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mason jars (with lids and bands)
  • Sturdy baking tray (or 2, if you've got a lot of jars)
  • Oven
  • Oven gloves or thick, dry hand towels

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  1. 1

    Preheat your oven to 107 degrees Celsius. Make sure to adjust the oven racks to accommodate the jar's height.

  2. 2

    Arrange your jars, lids, and bands on the baking trays. Leave space between them for the hot air to circulate. If you're reusing Mason jars from previous years, remove the lids and bands from those jars so that everything is open and separated before you put your equipment in the oven.

  3. 3

    Place the baking trays with your jars, lids, and bands on them in your preheated oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and do not remove anything or open the oven door before these 10 minutes have elapsed. If more than 10 minutes elapses, that's OK, but 10 minutes at that temperature is all you need.

  4. 4

    Turn the oven off and leave the jars, lids, and bands in the oven to keep them warm until you're ready to use them for canning. Although 225 degrees is a comparatively low oven temperature, always use oven gloves or thick hand towels to handle anything you take out of your oven.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are reusing Mason jars from previous years of canning, examine the jars, lids, and bands for any dents, cracks, wear, or tear that might affect their suitability for reuse. Don't be afraid to throw out or recycle any part of your canning equipment that no longer meets the high standards set by your handcrafted and delicious recipes.
  • You may also wish to sterilise any ladles, spoons, or funnels that you'll be using in your home canning. However, before so doing, you should check to make sure that these things are oven-safe. If they are not, you may wish to consider sterilising them in boiling water instead.
  • If your jars have been refrigerated, allow them to come to room temperature before attempting to sterilise them in your oven. The shock from sudden temperature changes can cause stress on the glass, and may result in breakage.

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