In typical, middle-class households, an instant pot max or pressurized rice cooker is a must-have product for cooking and boiling food.
With the compact size, high efficiency, and versatility, a pressure cooker is preferred in all situations, from boiling, steaming to frying and sauteing.
However, many people still don’t know that the instant pot can clean kitchen appliances like baby bottles, canning jars, etc. Well, for instance, you can pasteurize the canning jars after cooking by using instant pots.
Thus, in this article, let’s dive deep into the proper way of how to sterilize jars in instant pot. No need to wait any longer; let’s jump right in!
Why Should You Sterilize Your Jar?
Expert chefs and scientists have always advised people to sterilize canning jars before using them. So, why is there such a need to do so?
First, you should understand the microorganisms living in the environment. At normal room temperature, there are always many viruses, bacterias, and germs coexisting with us.
Though we can’t see them, they are still there, which doesn’t mean the microorganisms aren’t harmful.
However, there are some cases that you don’t need to clean jars. For instance, if you intend to do pressure canning the jars later, you don’t need to sterilize because when using a pressure canner for the jams, you will steam or cook in the oven, right?
There are many different equipment available to sterilize the glass jars. Oven, steamer, saucepan, instant pot, etc., anything that provides heat and steam in a closed, air dry environment can work well to kill all bacterias and germs.
But the pressure cooker is considered the most preferred equipment because it is easy to conduct, quick to boil, simple to prepare, and super effective.
How To Sterilize Jars In Instant Pot?
Let me brief you a step by step instructions on what you must prepare for the sterilization process—first, heat resistant jars (of course!). Second, an instant pot max with a steaming rack.
Normally, you don’t have to use this rack when cooking rice, so many people may forget about this equipment, but it’s always attached when you buy a rice cooker.
Finally, it would be best if you prepared plenty of hot water. That’s all. It’s easy to sterilize the jars in a pressure cooker quickly. Now that you have all preparations needed let’s start right away!
How To Do It:
The first thing to do is pour about 3 or 4 cups of water into your instant pot. The freshwater poured should be medium-heat, not boiling water. We advise using a digital thermometer to check the water temperature for more conciseness.
Then, install the steam rack into the pressure cooker and fix it. Place the glass canning jars onto that tray and stabilize it later on. Next, please fill the instant pot max with more hot water.
The height must be one inch above the jars. In other words, the jar needs dipping into a hot water bath so the steam release when boiling can affect the jars quicker.
Please don’t mistake our words. It’s a must to put the jar’s bottom on the steam rack; otherwise, the instant pot can be broken down. Remember to pour fresh water into the instant pot max until it is one-inch submerged in hot water.
Consequently, turn on the pressurized cooker, close the jar lids, and bring it to a boil. We advise setting the target temperature up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and the ideal processing time for boiling is 10 minutes.
In case you live in a position higher than 1000 ft, then add an additional minute for each 1000 ft of elevation.
After boiling the jar for 10 minutes, turn off the pressure cooker, and take out the jar. It is sterile, hot, and ready to use. What about the instant pot, then? Just leave the steam rack and the boiling water at the same place for pressure canning.
In an hour, quickly pour jam or juice into the hot jars as you intend to do, and can them while using the same water. Otherwise, you will have to repeat this boil cycle again if you want to have a clean, sterile jar to use.
Tips For Sterilizing Jars
Even though the sterilization process seems to be quite simple, there are some tips that you should know if you want to optimize the effect. Who else doesn’t want to work less with higher results, right? Here is the list of tips for you, based on our experience:
- Wash your jars beforehand: Before putting the jars into the instant pot (or a slow cooker), wash them under fresh soapy water beforehand. Then, dry the jars with a big clean towel. This step works well on removing dirt and partly getting rid of bacteria, not thoroughly but about 20 to 30 percent. So, you can shorten the sterilization later.
- If you don’t have a big enough pressurized cooker, use a slow cooker instead.
- Never let the jar touch the bottom of the pot: At the bottom of the pressurized cooker, there are waterproof, metal electrical cords that provide heat to the instant pot. Hence, we have to remind you not to touch these cords by putting the jar on a steaming rack.
- It’s unnecessary to sterilize the lids over jars or any part that doesn’t directly interact with the jam later.
- After sterilizing the jar, immediately pour jam into these jars in less than an hour. The longer you wait, the more bacteria and germs multiply back on the jar, and jars aren’t sterile anymore, so you have to repeat the boil cycle.
Through this article, we have discussed how to sterilize jars in instant pot. The procedure is simple but requires conciseness and keenness for thoroughly sterilizing the pot. Hence, please don’t be frustrated too much while doing this task.
To add in, here are many different approaches to the sterilization procedure using an instant pot. Below is just our recommendation, based on our experience through days and days of cooking.
We hope that our tips and guidelines are helpful for you, and you can actually sterilize your jars in an instant pot max after reading our post. Good luck!