1: Slowly bring water to the boil in a large stockpot or preserving pan. As it starts boiling, fully immerse the jars and lids in the water to sterilise them before filling. Leave everything in the water until the food is ready for filling into the jars, at least 10 minutes, longer if you live in altitudes above 300 metres (see tip in Bottling basics). You can leave them everything in the water until you are ready.


2: Place a clean damp kitchen towel on the kitchen counter. The towel serves as a damper between the hot jar and the cooler counter surface and prevents the jar from cracking. If you are short of counter space away from the hot stove, line a large sturdy tray with a damp kitchen towel.


3: Using tongs or a special jar lifter, carefully lift the jars and lids out of the water, and place them on the kitchen towel.


4: Using a jam funnel, ladle the piping hot food into the jars up to the rim. Unless you intend to process the jars in boiling water afterwards, do not leave any headspace when using twist-off jars.


5: Clean the rim of the jars with a clean damp piece of kitchen roll to remove any spills.


6: Place the lids onto the jars and screw the lid on tightly. Place the jars upside on the towel immediately with at least 5cm space between each jar. Let sit for 5 minutes, then turn the jars back over and let cool undisturbed at room temperature. If you leave the jars upside down during cooling off, the content will set underneath the lid.

Lifestyle Chef