[How to] Properly sterilise a jar for preserves, pickling or fermenting!

At 1 Million women we LOVE to pickle, preserve and ferment! It's a great way to enjoy seasonal produce all year round!

When I first started out pickling I made all the mistakes. My ferments exploded and turned fizzy, my pickles went mouldy, and my preserves didn't set. From my mistakes, I've learned a lot and (almost) mastered the art of putting fruits and vegetables into jars.

The one step that I think is most important - and most often overlooked - is sterilisation. If your jars are in bad condition (chips in the glass, dents on the lids) or haven't been sterilised, then nine times out of 10 something will go wrong. You need everything as clean as possible so that bad bacteria doesn't grow and ruin all your hard work. It's really simple, you just need to put in the effort!

  • Give your jars a wash in hot soapy water or run them through the dishwasher without any cleaning liquid.
  • Put them into the oven at 110°C (230°F).
  • leave for 10-15 minutes or until they are dry.
  • Take them out of the oven and allow to cool.
  • In the meantime, check that all your lids are clean (give them a wash if they need it).
  • Boil the lids in a pot of water for about 5 minutes (this seems to be the magic number!)
  • Take them out and allow to air dry on a rack or wipe with a CLEAN towel.

That's it - both lids and jars are good to go!

Now get to pickling! Check out some ideas below to get started on making your own preserves and chutneys at home.

Banner Image: Shutterstock

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