Sterilization Methods


Ensuring proper sterilization procedures during the process of making essiac tea is important. Visit our post on Tips To Reduce Mold for more ways to prevent mold from forming in your tea.

There are several ways to sterilize your essiac tea containers:

Water Sterilization

[1] (Read through all the instructions before beginning.)

1. Before you start preparing your food, place canner rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner. Fill the canner or stainless steel pot half full with clean warm water so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.

2. Center the canner or stainless steel pot over the burner and preheat the water to 180 degrees F. You can begin preparing the tea for your jars while this water is preheating.

3. Load jars and any utensils you need to sterilize into the canner or stainless steel pot one at a time, using a jar lifter or stainless steel tongs. When moving jars with a jar lifter, make sure the jar lifter is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the ring band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times. Tilting the jar could cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.

If you have a shaped wire rack that has handles to hold it on the canner sides, above the water in the canner, you can load jars onto the rack in the raised position and then use the handles to lower the rack with jars into the water.

4. Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least one inch above the jar tops. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.

5. Turn the heat setting to its highest position, cover the canner or stainless steel pot with its lid and heat until the water boils vigorously.

6. Set a timer (after the water is boiling) for at least 10 minutes.

7. Keep the pot covered for the process time. The heat setting may be lowered as long as a gentle but complete boil is maintained for the entire process time.

8. Add more boiling water during the process, if needed, to keep the water level above the jar tops.

9. If the water stops boiling at any time during the process, turn the heat on its highest setting, bring the water back to a vigorous boil, and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning (using the total original process time).

10. When the jars have been processed in boiling water for at least 10 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the lid.

11. Using a jar lifter or metal tongs, remove the jars one at a time, being careful not to tilt the jars. Carefully place them directly onto a towel or cake cooling rack, leaving at least one inch of space between the jars during cooling. Avoid placing the jars on a cold surface or in a cold draft.

12. Wait until any water is evaporated, then add your essiac tea (that is brought up to a temperature between 175-180 degrees Celsius) to the jars. They should still be hot enough to add without harming the jars.

Oven Sterilization

[2] (Read through all the instructions before beginning.)

1. Heat the oven to 275 F/130 C. Do not be tempted to heat the oven any higher, or you may risk the glass breaking.
2. Lay a double layer of newspaper or parchment paper on each oven shelf but not the floor of the oven. If you are using a gas oven, make sure your newspaper is well away from any flame. If it is on a middle shelf, you will be fine.
3. Arrange the jars on the oven shelf, making sure the jars are not touching each other. Close the oven door and sterilize the jars for a minimum of 20 minutes.
4. Using thick oven mitts, remove each jar from the oven as needed onto a heatproof mat or heat pad, making sure you fill while the jam or preserve is as hot as the jar.

Have Questions?

[1] https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html

[2] https://www.thespruceeats.com/sterilise-jars-for-jams-and-preserves-435340

Additional resources for consideration:

https://jcp.bmj.com/content/jclinpath/14/1/38.full.pdf

Picture courtesy of https://pomonapectin.com