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Anybody canning this fall?


jwagnerdsm
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BTW, the best tip I've come across re: sterilizing the jars is to wash them well and dry them and then put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 250° (I stand them upright on a sheet pan). If you wash and rinse with very hot water, you can let them drip dry while you're doing something else...cuts down on labor.

That's really good. Boiling the cans is just no fun.

What about running them through the dishwasher? Is it hot enough to get them sterile?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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BTW, the best tip I've come across re: sterilizing the jars is to wash them well and dry them and then put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 250° (I stand them upright on a sheet pan). If you wash and rinse with very hot water, you can let them drip dry while you're doing something else...cuts down on labor.

That's really good. Boiling the cans is just no fun.

What about running them through the dishwasher? Is it hot enough to get them sterile?

Good question. I did some research online, and the only specifics I can find re: pre-sterilization of empty jars indicates that they should be boiled in water for 10 minutes if at sea level with an additional minute for each 1,000 ft. gain in altitude. That'd be 10 minutes at 212° plus, well, whatever. Math isn't my strong suit. Most residential dishwashers heat the water to 180°. The instructions I found suggested that the jars could be washed in the dishwasher before sterilizing, but said nothing about using the dishwasher for actual sterilization. My rule of thumb when dealing with potential bacterial contamination is to err on the safe side.

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I fail to see why you need to pre-sterilise the jars.

Wash to remove gross contamination, but you are about to sterilise them with the contents anyway.

The only reason I can see if you are intending to work in an aseptic environement, and not subsequently sterilise the jar and contents, but that is only really feasible for industrial processing.

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I always wash them in the dishwasher and then dunk them in the canner when I get my fruit going for jam. My canner holds 7 jars. If I'm making more than 7 jars of jam (which is common, since I don't bother making jam unless I'm making a huge batch) I just dunk the next 7 jars as soon as the first batch is finished processing. By then I usually want to get out of the kitchen and cool off for 10 mintues anyway. It's a chance to relax with a cocktail before returning for another round. :cool:

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I, too, err on the side of safety. I've got two little kids who wouldn't be able to battle a bug as easily as my wife or me. The extra half hour is takes to sterilize the jars is worth the effort. That said, I'd encourage everyone to take some time to read Jackal's EGCI course and look at his gorgeous photos.

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