How To Sterilize Canning Jars in the Microwave: Is This Safe? »

Sterilizing jars before using them for can is one of the most important steps in the procedure. Why ? Because without sterilized jars, you could be inviting spoilage and foodborne illness into your base. A microwave is a handy appliance many have at base. You might be wondering how to sterilize canning jars in the microwave. We ’ ll run over, the difference between sanitizing and sterilizing, home displace safety practices and why a microwave is not in truth effective at sterilizing canning jars. Whether you ’ re a season home canner, or person good getting started, it ’ south constantly best to keep safety in mind. You much see people online placing canning jars in the microwave to try to sterilize them—but is this safe ? We ’ ll explore this in more detail below.

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Why it’s important to sterilize jars for canning

Sterilizing mason jars is a critical step for food base hit and prevent spoil. Most foodborne illness and spoil occurs because people don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate follow safe practices when treat, preparing, or storing foods. even if your jars look clean, they may harbor harmful bacteria. Sterilizing helps to prevent any bacterial contamination while preserving your delectable homemade food. Foods and preserves packed in clean jars have a longer ledge animation.

Do brand-new jars need to be sterilized? Yes, even glass jars fresh off the shelves require sterilization as a general dominion of ovolo. At the end of the day, the last thing you want is 30 jars of unserviceable throng plainly because you didn ’ triiodothyronine sterilize the can jars by rights.

Tip: All canning jars should be washed in blistering, buttery water and rinsed well prior to sterilizing .

Do you always need to pre-sterilize jars?

No, you don ’ triiodothyronine. Wait, didn ’ thyroxine I precisely say that it ’ s a dependable theme to sterilize jars ? ( Hang with me here. ) Yes, it ’ s a good practice to sterilize jars ; however, depending on the processing time of the recipe you ’ re using, and the method of canning, you can skip pre-sterilizing in some instances. These guidelines are set out by the knowledgeable folks at the National Center for Home Food Preservation ( NCHFP ). You don’t need to pre-sterilize jars in the following cases:

  • You’re using a pressure canner to can fruits, vegetables, or meat.
  • You’re processing foods for more than 10 minutes using the water bath method.

Any fruits, jams, jelly, or pickled foods that have a processing time of less than 10 minutes require jars to be pre-sterilized. Many recipes for jelly have short process times of 5 minutes or sol .

Is sterilizing the same thing as sanitizing?

No, sterilization is not the like as sanitation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) describes sterilization as the destruction of all microorganisms ( or other biography forms ) through the use of heat, chemicals, or other means necessary. This is quite a high gear criterion to uphold. Sanitizing merely refers to the decrease of microorganisms to a safe charge. The process of sanitizing involves foremost cleaning a surface or object to remove any dirt or debris. Follow this step by using a disinfectant to far remove ( but not necessarily eliminate ) bacteria .

How to sterilize canning jars in the microwave: does this work?

If you ’ ra short on stovetop space, and don ’ triiodothyronine want to sterilize by boiling in a pot, you may be looking for option ways to sterilize canning jars. A microwave oven much comes to mind.

many people wonder if a microwave oven by itself can effectively sterilize ( remove all microorganisms ) from canning jars ? The simple answer is: no. here ’ randomness why. Because a microwave ’ s internal temperature is very unmanageable to gauge, it ’ s a more unreliable method of sterilizing than using seethe water ( which is the recommend method ). A microwave oven works by emitting energy. The energy emitted from a microwave is absorbed by food ( or water ). This causes the food to vibrate and create clash which in change state cooks the food. Every microwave is besides unlike and may require varying heating times. In addition, microwaves have a bent for uneven heating ( ever reheated a firearm of leftover lasagna only to have the external edges burnt to a crisp and the center ice-cold ? ). So, using a microwave in and of itself is not effective at sterilizing, but it may be useful in sanitizing (reducing the amount of bacteria). Or if you just wanted to warm up an empty, clean jar quickly, this is one way to do it.

here ’ s how to sanitize or warm up canning jars in the microwave. First a few safety precautions:

  • Never place metal lids or screw bands in the microwave (but you knew that already!).
  • Be careful when removing hot glass jars from the microwave. Use oven mitts.
  • Don’t place your hot glass jars onto a cold surface such as a stone countertop—this may cause the glass to shatter.
  • The microwave method is not suitable for Kilner-style jars (those with a rubber seal).
  • Ensure you’re working with clean jars first (washed with soapy water and rinsed).
  1. Prepare an area to place your hot jars once removed from the microwave. You can set out several clean dish cloths, a wooden cutting board, or something similar.
  2. Thoroughly wet the jar inside and out by running it under the faucet. The water helps the jar warm up more evenly and quickly.
  3. Depending on the size of the microwave, you may be able to fit two or more jars at a time.
  4. Heat the jars on high for 35–60 seconds or until water dissipates.
  5. Carefully remove jars with an oven mitt.

The microwave proficiency is a agile way to sanitize ( but not sterilize ) glass canning jars IF you ’ re in a pinch. Would I use this method regularly ? credibly not. Whether your intent is to keep your jars warm, sanitize, or sterilize, there are better methods. If you want to keep your jars warm for canning, it’s better to either keep them in a pot of hot water on the stove, or run them through a heat cycle in your dishwasher. To properly sterilize jars for displace, keep reading below.

What canning experts recommend

To truly sterilize can jars for food condom, the NCHFP recommends you use the boiling water method. This requires fully submerging jars in water and boiling for 10 minutes ( if you live in an area of 0-1,000 feet aggrandizement ). For those that live at higher altitudes, you ’ ll want to add 1 additional minute per 1,000 feet of elevation. place a displace rack inside your canner or a large pot you ’ ll use for can ( you can reuse the hot water system for canning afterwards ! ). place blank jars right-side-up on the can rack and meet with water system so that at least 1 column inch ( 2.5 centimeters ) of water covers the tops. Bring water system to a boiling point and allow it to boil vigorously for 10 minutes. cautiously remove the jars one at a time with a jar booster. Remember to dump the hot water back into the canner .

Can you use a microwave to can food?

No, please don ’ thyroxine always use your microwave to try to can food ! It can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be done safely because microwaves don ’ triiodothyronine estrus foods evenly, or at high enough temperatures to efficaciously kill bacteria. When you don ’ thymine follow proper displace procedures, you run the risk of developing dangerous foodborne pathogens including botulism. There ’ second besides the hypothesis of food detonate in the microwave which not alone leaves a mess, but may cause burns.

Botulism is a harmful, and potentially deadly pathogen that develops in improperly processed foods. The strain of bacteria called Clostridium botulinus thrives in damp environments that are in the risk zone of 40–120 degrees Fahrenheit ( 4–48 degrees Celsius ). condom methods of canning are : a pressure canner, or using a water bath ( boil water ). Check out our comprehensive examination template on How To Can Food .

  1. USDA NAL Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary, Sterilizing, Accessed April 2021.
  2. National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP),  Burning Issue: Pre-Sterilizing Jars before Canning, Accessed April 2021.
  3. University of Missouri, Safe Home Canning Basics, Accessed April 2021.

Author: Theresa Tesolin

Theresa is co-founder of RusticWise. She helps people unleash their inside DIY spirit by encouraging them to get dirty and make or grow something from scratch .Read more about her here