Sterilising jars

Preserving most things requires some sort of sterilised storage jar. I bought most of my big jars by scouring the op shops and Gumtree. I looked for old fowlers jars and found heaps. Up until 30-40 years ago every household had a set. Most households were used to preserving their own food and were well equipped. The fowlers jars are tough and purpose built for the job. Replaceable rubber seals and lids can be found at any Mitre 10. I also keep jars I’ve finished from things I’ve bought from the shops – eg passata bottles. Just check that the seals are still intact and not split and don’t have any mold on them. New screw cap lids and jars can be bought from places like Globe Importers or Imma and Mario’s Mercato.

Sterilising jars

Get your jars and clean them as well as you can. I run them through the dishwasher with dish washing powder. Washing in the sink is fine too. Leave on a clean tea towel to dry but don’t wipe the jar dry with the towel. Put them on a tray and put in a preheated 180C oven for 10 mins. Take them out carefully and place on a clean tea towel on your bench or table. They are now ready to fill.

Sterilising lids

While the jars are in the oven sterilise the lids at the same time. Boil the kettle and put a shallow pan on the stove on high. Add the boiled water then add the lids and rubber rings of your are using them in the boiling water for 10 mins. Take out and place on the dry tea towel, they are now ready to use.


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