When making your own jams, preserves, chutney, you need to make sure your glass jars are sterile to maintain their freshness. By sterilising the jars you are removing the majority of bacteria to stop the contents from perishing. Below is a step by step guide to keep your homemade goods fresh and scrumptious.
Heat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas 1. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water, and rinse well. Place the jars on a baking tray and put in the oven to dry. If you are using flip to jars you will need to remove and boil the rubber seals, do not put the rubber seals in the oven as dry heat damages them.
With your jars in the oven it’s time to prepare your food. Once your food is ready, remove the jars from the oven, whilst the food is still hot fill the jars and pack in tightly ensuring minimal bubbles. Please take care as both the jars and food will be extremely hot.
If using flip top jars you will need to remove the rubber seals from the boiled water and put back onto the jar lids. Place a waxed disc directly over the surface to create a seal, then add the lid. If you are making homemade gifts a nice touch would be to add pretty fabric tops secured with ribbons and add a label with the contents.
It’s good to have a pair of tongs to hand to steady the jars when filling or to remove rubber seals from the boiled water. My second tip is to be prepared, this is the best way to avoid burning yourself on the hot jars or contents. The tips were given to me by my good friend Sarah (jam queen) when making my first jam and were very useful!