How Long Do I Sterilize a Glass Jar in a Microwave?

Written by suzanne burns | 13/05/2017
How Long Do I Sterilize a Glass Jar in a Microwave?
Only sterilise jars in the microwave that are specifically made for canning. (empty glass jar image by vadim kozlovsky from

Sterilisation is a crucial aspect of home canning. This process kills bacteria and makes home canning a safe way to cook and preserve food. Glass jars that have been manufactured specially for canning can be sterilised in a microwave.

Getting Started

Before placing your canning jars in the microwave, remove their metal seals and lids and wash them with warm, soapy water. Dry them thoroughly.

Time Frame

Fill each canning jar, also called a mason jar, halfway with cold tap water. Place them in the microwave and microwave them on high for three to four minutes or until the water in the jars comes to a rolling boil.

Final Sterilization

While the jars are microwaving, preheat your kitchen oven to 149 degrees Celsius. After the jars have cooled off enough to touch, usually five minutes, pour out the hot water and place the jars upside down on a baking tray. Keep them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the jars are dry.


Never try home canning with jars that are not specifically made for canning. Never reuse jars from the grocery store, such as peanut butter jars, pickle jars or mayonnaise jars. These jars were not made to be home sterilised; their glass is thinner and might crack in the sterilisation process.

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