A common microbiology application that requires an autoclave, like the Revolutionary Science Saniclave is to sterilize agar prior to pouring petri plates. Agar that is not sterile can contain contaminants that can interfere with an experiment. When sterilizing liquids, it is important to use a slow steam release, so your mixture does not boil over.
For microbiology applications, aseptic techniques should be employed. When bacteria is grown on petri plates, it is concentrated. Some strains of bacteria may be unknown and extremely dangerous. Be cautious. Use latex or latex-free gloves while handling the petri plates. Petri plates should be properly disposed of in an autoclave bag after they are no longer needed. Sterilization can be performed by a Saniclave. For non-medical microbiological laboratory applications, it is not necessary to use an FDA listed autoclave. The Saniclave 50 is limited in features, but may be an affordable option.