Sterilizing jars is not needed when you're water bath canning, as long as processing time is more than
10 minutes. Most recipes call for at least 10 minutes processing time or
When it comes to preparing jars for canning, you should understand that processing for more than 10 minutes sterilizes both the food and the jars.
Sterilizing jars isn't necessary for pressure canning either. Everything will be well sterilized by the high heat involved in pressure processing.
You must, however, always start with clean jars. Always wash your jars before you do any type of canning. I am assuming you would know that all equipment needs to be clean before any canning.
I don't personally use any recipes that call for less than 10 minutes. I am at high altitude and everything has time added, so I always simply start with clean jars instead of sterilizing jars.
While you may be able to clean canning jars in the dishwasher, it doesn't sterilize them. If you're using a recipe that requires jars to be sterilized first, they cannot be sterilized using the oven, dishwasher, or microwave. Use the instructions on this page to ensure your jars are safe.
If by sterilizing you mean processing the filled jars (i.e., canning), then no. That is not the same at all and is never recommended. I talk more about some unsafe canning methods on this page.
Go ahead and check your recipe before sterilizing jars. Does it call for less than 10 minutes processing time? Don't forget to figure you altitude. If so, you should be sterilizing first.
Or if you've been sterilizing your jars and you are just more comfortable doing so, don't stop. It certainly won't hurt anything. Go ahead and sterilize the jars and have peace of mind.
Here's how to sterilize canning jars:
Continue with your canning recipe.
When it comes to home canning jars, keep in mind that your jars DO need to be clean and hot prior to filling them with hot ingredients and placing them in a hot canner. Here are instructions for water bath canning and pressure canning.
Page last updated: 7/18/2019.