The Basics of Preparation and Gift-Giving
Sterilizing Jars and Bottles
Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. The rubber seal should be intact and viable. It's best to use new ones. Two-piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.
To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, oils, vinegars, vinaigrettes, etc, etc; wash jars, lids, tongs, etc with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes. Also, they say a quick wash in the dishwasher works, but I still do it the old-fashioned way!
Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes. Cool down before handling!