Ball Canning Jars

Proper preparation of canning jars is very important. It will ensure that the jars seal better, and help reduce the risk and possiblity of the contents becoming contaminated. There are different methods of sterilizing canning jars. Some people find that one process is easier and more convenient for them. Jars that are not sterilized can cause food to mold and develop botulism spores. Even when following the sterilization methods, you should still boil food before consumption for at least 10 minutes. For foods that are not to be sealed by submerging in boiling water or a pressure cooker, it is recommended that you use a glass jar that has been boiled for at least 10 minutes.

  1. Inspect all of your canning jars. Look and feel for nicks or cracks. Do not use any jar that has any cracks or nick, on the body or rim. Even if they are new!
  2. Wash the jars well in a hot soapy water. Use a baby bottle brush for regular mouth jars. Your hand should fit inside a wide mouth jar, unless you have large hands.
  3. Rinse the canning jars in hot, soap free water and store upside down on a clean dish drainer.
  4. If you do not want to hand wash each and every canning jar, simply wash them in the dishwasher with soap. Then repeat the dishwashing cycle without detergent. Be sure to use the hot dry setting. Then you can use the jars straight out of the dishwasher, just as long as they stay hot.
  5. To sterilize the jars on a stove top, simply place the jars in a large pot of water that is about the same temperature as the canning jars, then heat to a boil. Dropping cool jars in a boiling pot of water can crack or burst the glass. Once the water has reach a boil for 10 minutes the jar is ready to use. Make sure you put hot foods inside the hot jar as well.
  6. You may also slowly heat, clean jars in the oven. Place clean, cool canning jars in the oven, then turn the oven a low sitting of 225 degrees. Let the jars heat for at least 20 minutes. This is an easy method because the oven will hold more than the pot on the stove top. You also have more control over keeping the jars hot.
  7. Don't forget to sterilize your lids and caps as well. Do this by adding them to a sauce pan of boiling water.
  8. Be sure to can food that is free of bruising and isn't overly ripe. Do not use foods with rotten spots or bug bites. Clean all foods of dirt and debris before preparing. Dirty and rotten food can contaminate as well.
  9. High in acid foods, like tomatoes and fruits can be sealed by the water method. These do not require being sealed by a pressure cooker. Meats and vegetables, like green beans and beef stew should be sealed by a pressure cooker.