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Sterilising jars like a pro: 3 methods for the canny canner

Making homemade jam is fun, but do you know how to sterilise jam jars to keep your produce safe? Learn our three easy ways of sterilising jars for jam here.


How to sterilise jars for jam

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 you head to our third method for sterilising jars for jam. 

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.

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 got a guide on how to sterilise jam jars for those with a dishwasher, a method for sterilising jars in the oven and a simple method involving just a large pan on the hob.

Make sure your whole kitchen is sparkling clean before making jam. This will help prevent bacteria getting into the mix. Use Cif’s germ-killing kitchen products for peace of mind.

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Method 1: Dishwasher

The common answer to the question ‘how to sterilise jars?’ is to use a dishwasher.

Simply place your jars on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on hot without detergent. 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.


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Method 2: Oven

If you don’t have a dishwasher to hand and are still wondering how to sterilise jam jars, why not try the oven instead? This method involves washing the jars in hot, soapy water and then rinsing. Next, place them on a baking tray and put it into an oven pre-heated to 140-180°C. Leave for around 15 minutes and remove when completely dry. Fill the jars immediately, being careful not to burn yourself on the hot glass.

Method 3: Water bath

This method of sterilising jars for jam or other condiments is particularly recommended for Kilner jars. It’s pretty straightforward: all you need to do is remove the lids and seals as before and then place the jars in a large pan. Put the pan on the hob and slowly increase the temperature until it boils. Never place jars in water that is already boiling as this can cause them to explode and spray dangerous broken glass in every direction.

Keep the water boiling for a maximum of 10 minutes then turn off the heat and cover the pan. The jars can remain in the water until you’re ready to fill.

Sterilising jars for jam

And there you have it, three simple ways to sterilise your jars when making homemade jams! And if your baking activities leave you with some difficult stains, then don’t forget to check out our articles on How to Remove Fruit Stains From Your Clothing and How to Get Strawberry Stains Out of Clothes.

Originally published