I use my dishwasher to sterilise my jars as I find that is the most convenient for me. I simply set the cycle to a rapid wash and leave the jars in until the jams or chutneys are done. I always sterilise more jars than I need just incase I misjudge the quantity of produce to store.
If I do run out of jars, I can use the microwave method by simply washing by hand, rinsing, leaving a little water on the jar and microwave for at least 1 minute. The only downside to this is that I have to sterilise the lids separately as these can’t be added to the microwave. I boil the lids in a small pan for a few minutes, ensuring that I do not touch the inside of the lid when the sterilisation is complete.
Another method is to place the washed jars and lids in a medium oven around 180c/350f/ Gas 4for about 20 minutes. Make sure that the jars don’t touch. Turn off the heat after this time but leave the jars inside. It is important to remember not to add cold liquids to the hot jars and hot liquids to cold jars. This helps prevent the jars shattering due to the temperature change.
Regardless of which method of sterilisation you choose leave jams, preserves or pickles to settle for 15 minutes before sealing.