Jars and Lids To sterilize your jars, simmer them in a water bath for at least five minutes before using. Jars should stay hot until filled. You can reuse jars and rings from previous years as long as they are in good condition, but new lids must be used each time to ensure a good seal.
Inspect the rims of jars for any chips, as these will compromise your seal. Soak the lids in hot water for at least ten minutes to soften the rubber edge. This will help the lids grip the tops of the jars when you screw on the rings. Small jars are preferable, as large jars (over one quart) take longer to process--and since it takes longer for the heat to reach the center of the preserves, the outer layer can become overcooked.
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