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How to sterilise jars for jam

When it comes to making homemade jam, sterilising jam jars is an important step for great taste and hygiene. This simple and easy guide shows you how to sterilise jars for jam to keep your product safe!

Updated

Three Kilner jam jars on a wooden table

There’s nothing better than a homemade jam or chutney. However, as any good jam-maker knows, the first task is always sterilising jars. To help you do so, we’ve put together a great go-to-guide on how to sterilise jars for jam, chutney or any other kind of homemade treat.

Cooking up other homemade treats or interested in jumping on the homebrew bandwagon. Check out our guide on sterilising glass bottles.

Key Steps

  1. Before you begin sterilising jam jars, remember to remove the rubber seals and lids to avoid them becoming misshapen by the heat.

  2. Be extra careful of the heat involved in each method of sterilising jars for jam, so as to avoid burning yourself.

  3. If you are using Kilner jars, we recommend scroll down to the section on sterilising jars in a water bath.

How to sterilise jam jars

The first step whenever you are sterilising jam jars is to remove the rubber seals and lids. That’s because any heat could push them out of shape. Next, decide which of these three useful options works best for you. We’ve outline three easy and effective methods for sterilising jars below.

Make sure your whole kitchen is sparkling clean before making jam. This will help prevent bacteria getting into the mix.

Method 1: How to sterilise jam jars in the dishwasher

The easiest method for sterilising jam jars is to put them in the dishwasher.

  1. Use the dishwasher.

    Place your jars on the top rack of your dishwasher.

  2. Use a high heat.

    Run the dishwasher on hot without detergent.

  3. Get the timing right!

    Your jars will be ready to fill as soon as the cycle has finished – so try to time it for when your recipe will be suitable for packing.

Method 2: Sterilising jars in ovens

If you don’t have a dishwasher to hand but you're still wondering how to sterilise jam jars, why not try the oven instead?

  1. Use hot and soapy water.

    Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and then rinse.

  2. Bake!

    Next, place them on a baking tray and put it into an oven pre-heated to 140-180°C.

  3. Fill immediately.

    Fill the jars immediately, being careful not to burn yourself on the hot glass.

Now you know the steps for sterilising jars in the oven, but what about how to seal jam jars in the oven? While it is possible to do so and is often touted as a quick and easy method to seal jars, sealing jars in the oven is not recommended due to health and safety concerns.

Method 3: Sterilising jam jars in a water bath

Sterilising jars for jam or other condiments in a water bath is recommended for Kilner jars.

  1. Remove lids and seals.

    Remove the lids and seals as before and then place the jars in a large pan.

  2. Bring the pan to the boil.

    Put the pan on the hob and slowly increase the temperature until it boils.

  3. Be very careful.

    Never place jars in water that is already boiling as this can cause them to explode and spray dangerous broken glass in every direction.

  4. Boil for a maximum of 10 minutes.

    Keep the water boiling for a maximum of 10 minutes then turn off the heat and cover the pan.

  5. Take your time.

    The jars can remain in the water until you’re ready to fill them.

Can you sterilise jam jars in the microwave?

While the methods used above are highly effective, they can be time-consuming (though this should not be a deterrent when it comes to hygiene). If you’re looking for a faster method, sterilising jam jars in the microwave is quick and easy.

  1. Step 1:

    Wash the jar in soapy water.

  2. Step 2:

    Place the jar in the microwave and turn onto the ‘high’ setting (around 1,000 watts) for 30-45 seconds.

  3. Step 3:

    Place upside down on a dishtowel or absorbent kitchen paper to dry.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

And there you have it – a simple and easy guide on how to sterilise jam jars for safe and hygienic homemade jam! Remember to make sure your kitchen is clean and ready to make jam by using Cif’s germ-killing kitchen products for peace of mind.

Have your jam-making methods left you a bit messy? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with these articles on how to remove fruit stains from your clothing and how to get strawberry stains out of clothes!

Originally published