How to Sterilize Canning Jars

Sterilizing canning jars
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Some canning recipes specify that you need to use sterilized jars, but they don't always tell you how to actually sterilize them. 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

What You Need:

Here's How:

  1. Place empty jars in a large pot. You may 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 sterilized jars and proceed with canning your recipe, you can leave them in the hot water for up to an hour. If you wait longer than an hour, you'll need to sterilize them again.

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.