The containers, lids and seals needed to preserve using the bottling methodology have to be robust enough to be boiled in water at more than 100°C and then produce an airtuight seal to prevent bacterial growing inside the containers. Whilst you can save and use any jars with sealable lids and get good results it is recommended to use specialsit equipment such as Kilner Jars.These jars have either clip lids which seal by themselves or component screw lids which you tighten after steralising to produce a seal. If using saved jars aim for theones with a button lid that pops out when the seal is broken. Whatever you choose to use make sure they are in A1 condition. Check for holes, cracks, chips, dents and any signs of age or wear and tear. The best way to check that the lids seal properly is to fill the containers with water and leave them upside down for 20 mins, any signs of leakage and they should not be used.
You are going to need
- Enough glass containers, lids or clips and seals to hold the food you want to preserve, it makes your job easier if they are the same height and size.
- A lidded deep pan or pressure cooker to steralize the jars and contents - remember you can steralise several loads however the pan needs to be deep enough to hold enough liquid to cover your containers and have the lid on.
- A false base to stand the containers on in the pan, scrunched up kitchen foil works fine.
- Cloths or tea towels to pack around the containers whilst they are being heated
- Tongs to lift the containers out of their water bath, these do need to be the special ones shaped to fit the outside of the containers rather than ordinary kitchen tongs.
- A thermometer - if using the slow water bath steralising method
- A wooden spoon for compacting the produce into the jars
- wooden trivets or a wooden board or some other non metalic base to stand the containers on whilst they cool, metal surfaces lower the temperature too quickly and the glass may break.
- A saucepan to make your liquor in
You can buy a set of all the specialist equipment if you want to however it will work out more cost effective to check what you already have in your kitchen before you dash off and buy more. This is especially so if you are trying this for the first time.