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1 large pot for sterilizing (and the hot water bath)
Ball® or other canning jars
Unused lids with rubber liner for sealing
Rings for securing the lids to the jars
Tongs made for canning
Just as you would not feel comfortable eating in a restaurant which did not wash their dishes thoroughly you would not be wise to skip sanitizing your jars and lids when canning. Bacteria attempts to form almost immediately and anything that promotes their growth, unsanitized jars or lids, sugar left on the jar rim, or even leaving the jars in the hot water bath to cool can all lead to bacteria.
Wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse well by hand. Put the jars into a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes (for elevations over 10,000 feet, add one minute for every additional 1,000 feet) or, if your dishwasher has a “sanitize” setting, you can save yourself some work by putting them in the dishwasher.
The lids do not need to be boiled but should be put in hot water for 5 minutes. Lids should be used only once and then replaced. You can buy packs of just lids.
Keep the jars heated while you cook so that you are not putting hot liquid in a cold jar which could break.
Now it’s time to get to work making something delicious!
For steps on finishing with a water bath and sealing the jars visit CANNING – THE FINAL STEPS.