Storage rules: sterilization first
For jars that really last a long time, the sterilization of the product and the equipment must be perfect: scald your glass jars beforehand for 5 minutes, and let them dry inside out before filling them with your preparation, and plunge again, closed, into boiling water. Strictly observe the cooking times of the recipe, because it is important that the food is brought to 100 ° C to be sterile.
Discover also: Our best homemade jar recipes
How long to keep your jars?
In general, it is advisable to consume its preserves within 12 months after manufacture: even if they remain good afterwards, it is the first year that your jars offer the most flavors. Preserves and jars are generally made every year. So you should logically finish your preserves from last year before preparing new ones.
⋙ Fermentation: recipes and tips for making lacto-fermented vegetable jars
Where can I keep my homemade jars?
It is always advisable to keep them away from light (for glass jars), and at a temperature below 23 °. A closet will do the trick, a cellar or a garage not too subject to temperature variations.
How long to keep your jars of homemade vegetables?
We generally recommend keeping your jars of homemade vegetables between 12 and 18 months maximum. In absolute terms, a sterilized can can be kept for years, however, it is advisable to consume it fairly quickly, since the nutritional values and some of the flavors in the food will disappear after 18 months. If the jars are a little dated, we trust their eyes and nose to know if they are still good: if the green beans have turned brown, or if the can gives off a suspicious smell, we throw away!
And then we will want to redo jars next summer, so we might as well consume them throughout the year to avoid bottled cupboards.
How long to keep your homemade jams?
Homemade jams can easily be kept for 2 years or even longer, even if they risk losing flavor in the long term. It is by opening the jar that we will discover if they are still good! If they are covered with a moldy layer, nothing forces you to throw them away: you remove the layer of mold, and the jam is still consumable.
However, you should know that the less they are sweetened, the less they keep. It is even strongly advised to keep jams that contain less than 40% sugar in the fridge. Once they are started, and whatever their sugar content, they must be kept in the refrigerator.
How long to keep fermented vegetables?
Lactofermentation, or storage in brine (salt water), makes it possible to store many vegetables (pickles, olives, pickles, etc.) without going through the sterilization box. The lactic ferments which develop destroy all the bacteria, the vegetables will therefore be able to keep for many years. This is the process that allows the longest conservation.
Another significant advantage of lacto-fermentation: all the nutritional values of food are preserved.
Canned food: do I throw it or not?
Commercial cans have expiration dates, but these can easily be exceeded without risking poisoning. Make sure that your cans are not swollen, this would be a sign that the food has started to indoors, or even to rot. Throw everything away! If your can, once opened, has a bad smell, don't even try to taste it, and throw it away immediately.
Canned sardines: the exception that proves the rule
You found an old can of sardines in the back of your closet, but it dates from before the year 2000? Do not hesitate to taste canned sardines that are several years old: surprisingly, they improve over time, like good wine! This tip is also valid for duck confit, or other preparation cooked in fat.However, check that there is no bad smell or suspicious color on your food before tasting it.
Ready meals or raw products: what storage times?
Vegetables in sauces or cooked dishes (ratatouille, coulis, stews, casseroles) keep as long as natural vegetables.
Read also :
⋙ Our amazing recipes with preserves
⋙ How long to keep food in the freezer
⋙ These foods that don't need to be refrigerated, and our tips for keeping them longer
⋙ Anti-waste: our conservation tips and tricks