Friday, January 14, 2011

STERLIZING JARS AND BOTTLES

Today I have been busy making base tomato sauce and bottling them. This is something I often do, usually once in every few months or when one batch is finished. Usually one batch of sauce gives me about 6 x 1 liter bottles of sauce.

Now you may think this is such a waste of time and so much sauce! Well trust me this is such a life saver and so convenient to have it around. I will go into the details of the sauce on my next post as this one is one is the one leading the next one! :)

If you want to make very cool, delicious and fresh home-made tomato sauce (and many other cool things like that), and keep them preserved for a while, you need some jars or bottles and sterilize them first. This is the most important step in bottling of food for preservation. It is so crucial to follow these steps to ensure you have clean germ free jars for your preserved sauces, and other foods!

So start saving all those empty jam/jelly/honey/pickle jars! Also those bottles of supermarket-bought sauces and any good glass jars or bottles with tightly fitting lids. Avoid plastic lids as these are difficult and not so suitable to re-use.  Most important is that the jars/bottles have to be airtight once food is in and kept for long.

Jars and bottles which are required for storage of preserved food such as jams, jellies, chutneys, relishes, etc., need to be sterilized properly to prevent the growth of mold, bacteria or even to prevent fermentation process. Use the following guide and be ensured of clean sterilized jars.
  
If you have a dish washer:
  1. Put the cleaned jars through the hot cycle of the dishwasher and boil the lids in water for 10minutes.
  2. Let cool and dry inside the dish washer before taking out the jars.
  3. Ensure the jars and lids are totally free from moisture.

If you do not have a dishwasher:
  1. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water, rinse and let drip dry for few minutes.
  2. Put the jars in roasting tin and heat at 140°C (gas mark 3) for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile wash the lids with soapy water and boil them in water for about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Do not put the lids in the oven with the jars. The oven will melt the inside lining of the lids and prevent proper sealing of the jars.
  5. Ensure the jars and lids are totally free from moisture.

Notes
  • Only use glass jars ideally with metal lids.
  • Please do NOT blow, put your nose inside to smell or put your fingers inside once the jars are sterilized and ready for cooked food to go in.
  • Pot the hot cooked preserved food while the jars are still hot unless the recipe calls for cool jars.
  • Before sealing the jars make sure they are dry and clean from any drippings of food on the mouth of the jars.
  • Avoid using fingers to clean up drippings.
  • Use clean and fresh kitchen paper and wipe clean before sealing the jars with the lids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice one.. next time give us something fresh+new. i could have googled this and would have got millions of ways to do this. But i seriously wish juway sees this and does something about her addiction tomato catchup.

seriously man you are better than this. Maybe i am wanting this to be something else. I am just tired of Maldivian cooking left for dead in the hands of celebrity chefs like juway.