Sterilization remains an effective way to get rid of spores and microorganisms in storage jars. This technique will therefore help you to have healthy food reserves. In this article, we give you the steps to take to carry out this process with your pot.
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What exactly can be sterilized?
You have the possibility to sterilize all the food that will pass through your hands to store them. As a result, you could have pots of vegetables such as tomatoes, artichokes, onions… You can also stock up on meat and preparations such as terrines, compotes, jams. In short, everything that is eaten is preserved thanks to this process in order to enjoy it for months later.
As equipment, you will need a sterilizer. It is a practical instrument if you have not yet mastered the implementation of this method. On the other hand, if you do not have one, you can very well use a pot or your pot. The latter is also recommended for this purpose if you do not intend to invest in a device. So how do you go about success?
Start with empty jars
Although your cans look clean at first, sterilization remains an essential step before using them. Thus, you will be more sure that your food contained is not affected by bacteria or other pests. So they won’t deteriorate even if you put them aside for months before tasting them.
For empty jars, get your pot and make sure to immerse the pots in it. Bring the set to a boil for about ten minutes before removing them. If possible, place a cloth in the bottom so that the boxes do not clash during the whole process. This will prevent you from having elements that break due to a lack of attention. Then, turn them over on a clean cloth. Your material is now ready to be filled by preparations. You can put meat, fruits, vegetables or jam in it.
What to do next?
Once you’re done sterilizing your jars, choose the foods you want to keep. For more tastes, you can add the cooking juices of fruits and vegetables in the containers. You also have the option of putting a little sugar or vinegar in some cases.
Fill the jars with the mixture and close them afterwards. Make sure they are tightly airtight, as the air intake could promote microbial growth. Now you should start the previous process again, but this time the items will already be filled. Pour water into your utensil and immerse the pots. Do this so that there is an overshoot of 2.5 cm above the cans.
For a jar of about 25 cl, leave it in the boiling liquid of your pot for 15 min. For larger elements, i.e. 50 cl or a little more, wait 20 minutes of heating. In this way, you will be sure that the microorganisms contained will have perished thanks to the high temperature.
Finally, wipe the boxes one by one with a clean cloth and place them in an ambient environment for 24 hours. After this time, you can now store them. For information, know that sterilized materials filled with fruits and vegetables can be placed aside for 2 years. For meat, you can keep it for up to 9-10 months.
What about jam utensils?
Young and old enjoy this recipe, whatever the food used. To put the preparation in a can, it is better to use a jar with a screw system. After bringing to a boil, pour your chutneys into it and make sure there is a spacing of 2 cm. Then close everything and spill to the side. To determine if the process is complete, you will notice a slight “pop” or “clack” when opening. It simply means that the sterilization operation is a success.
In other words, you can place them in a storage place. Note that it is just as important to label the jars and write the recipe and the date of completion. This little tip will help you easily distinguish the boxes of fruits and vegetables at the time of tasting.
You can add paraffin on top of the jam to improve preservation. Of course, this is an optional step that you can freely perform or not.
Mistakes to avoid for successful sterilization
If you are not careful, you may miss this operation. Indeed, a simple act of negligence could lead to failure. For example, it could be that the cans are poorly filled. You may have put too much food in it or not enough. Generally, boxes have a small indication of the ideal volume of food and their capacity. To prevent this from happening, read the instructions for the item in question.
The seal of the jar can be worn or the top has a breach. In this case, sterilization and storage may fail. It could also be that the contours of the pot do not turn out to be perfectly clean. This factor tends to promote the development of bacteria, so you will have failed. That’s why you should always make sure that the hardware you’re using is “clean” and in good condition.
At the same time, the pot you have available should be thoroughly washed before use. If you have noticed that the lid of the jar opens by itself, the sterilization has not been successful. Do not consume the food contained in it so as not to run any risk.