Food safety is especially important when canning your own food. If you are using a pressure canner jar sterilization is not necessary as long as the processing time is 10 min or more, but it is a must when canning foods that don’t use a pressure canner. There are two methods to sterilize jars, stove top and the dishwasher.
I prefer the dishwasher because it’s extremely easy. Place your jars in the top rack of your empty dishwasher, upside down of course, and run a full cycle. Make sure to time it so your jars are still hot when your ready to fill them, use the heat dry setting.
The stove top takes a little more prep and work but is just as successful. You can buy all the canning equipment here in one convenient package:
To sterilize your jars put the wire basket in the bottom of your kettle and place your jars on top of the basket right side up. Fill with hot water until it reaches 2.54 cm (1 inch) above the rim of the jars. Cover and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Using your jar lifter remove the hot jars and empty. You are now ready to fill and process as required for your recipe.
There is no need to simmer the lids prior to canning just give them a quick wash and you’re ready to go. Remember to never reuse your lids as they won’t seal properly the second time. You can buy new lids her: