Sterilizing to keep homemade tomato sauce for up to a year. Hot water bath method.
The last of the ketchups and passata have been made (see previous couple of posts for recipes) and while they will keep nicely in a cool place for up to 4 months, GD and I have enough to last us the year, so we are going to sterilize our produce. To do this we need to give them a hot water bath.
Our bottles are filled to within 2.5 cm of the top and we are using screw lids, this will allow for any expansion of the sauce and prevent the lids blowing off!.
The lids are only lightly screwed on at this stage and they will be tightened fully once the process is complete.
Take a saucepan tall enough to accommodate the bulk of the bottle or jar you are using, some people have proper trivats to place in the bottom of the saucepan to save the glass rattling on the bottom and to separate the bottles so they don’t chink together, but GD and I just place a piece of tea towel in the bottom of the pan and then place some material between the bottles, and it does the job well.
Then fill the pan with enough water to reach within 2.5 cm of the top of the bottles and bring the water to a simmering boil, around 88 C, we use a jam thermometer to measure the temperature, keep it at this temperature for 20 minutes, after 20 minutes remove the pan from heat and remove the bottles from the pan, we found these tongs from amazon really helpful,
Tighten the lids now and then leave the bottles to cool before labelling.
Et Voila! sauce for the year , I think it’s safe to say me and GD are chuffed with these.