Q: What is the first thing that pops up in your mind at hearing the words Mason jar: canned food or preserving or pickles? We bet you’ve also thought of Halloween decorations, Christmas handmade bulbs and somewhere to put a bunch of flowers. Have you ever wondered if you could place one of those super convenient Mason jars in the microwave? Yes. And here’s how to do it right.
How Can I Microwave Mason Jars?
Microwaving Mason jars is better to call sterilization or pasteurization.
This is a wonderful way to quickly prepare the cans for preserving a generous harvest of fruit and vegetables.
Sterilizing Mason jars results in the absence of harmful microorganisms. That is good news when you are talking about preserving food for a long time, so it survives winter and is still good to eat.
When you are too busy to sterilize jars in a traditional way on the stove, try to microwave them fast and get same perfect results.
To microwave Mason jars, you should prepare them first:
- Wash the jars thoroughly, even if it seems to you that they are pure clean
- Clean the jars with regular baking soda (if they are almost clean) or use detergent to remove any spots
- Rinse the jars with detergent
- Sort out all the jars with cracks, fractures, or non washable contaminants (or the jars will shatter in the microwave)
Remember that you are prohibited to turn on an empty microwave oven. Pour a little boiling water (2-3 tablespoons) in each Mason jar to create a hot steam effect. Also, fill the 3-liter Mason jar with 50 ml of boiling water.
Put the jars in the oven leaving a little space between them (if the jars are small, up to 0.5 liters, there’s a lot of place for them.) If you want to sterilize a three-liter jar, place it on the side on a linen napkin folded in several layers.
After sterilization, fill the jars with fruits or vegetables.
By the way, there are two methods of sterilizing Mason jars in the microwave:
- Jars filled with 2-3 tbs of water. You will take out hot and wet jars. (Use only dry towel or potholders to take the jars out with both hands, and don’t touch their mouth)
- Empty jars and a glass of water. You will take our dry jars. Put the prepared cans in the microwave and place a glass of water near them. Make sure the glass is 90% full so the water won’t run out at boiling.
Does It Take Long to Microwave Mason Jars?
The longest period of microwaving jars is when all the water in the glass steams away. Once the water has turned into steam, the process can be completed. Actually, the sterilization period depends on the size of the jar:
- Less than 1 liter jars – 1-2 minutes
- 1-4 liter jars – 3-4 minutes
- More than 3 liter jars – 5 minutes
Can I Microwave Full Mason Jars?
Yes, you can easily microwave Mason jars full of vegetables or fruits. Unfortunately, you need to sterilize lids separately in a pan since they can’t be microwaved.
Sterilization of full Mason jars is actually pasteurization.
That’s how you pasteurize food in the jars:
- Fill the jars. Don’t close them
- Pour in the marinade or syrup
- Place the jars in the microwave and pasteurize at 700-800 Watt
- After boiling, microwave for 2-3 minutes more, take out and close
You may also fill only 2/3 of the jar with the syrup or marinade, microwave until boiled, then top up the boiling liquid and roll up the jar.
Place the jars upside down on a fabric, wait until they cool down and store as usual.
Don’t be afraid that the product will change its taste or structure after microwaving.
Among other recommendations, keep in mind that you don’t microwave frozen Mason jars to avoid temperature difference and shattering (if you urgently need to defrost something in the Mason jar, place it in a bowl with cold water first. Change the water occasionally.)
Please use only new Mason jars so they won’t shatter when microwaved.