I did hear that the steam cycle works. I would still sanitize them as well. Just a suggestion but purchase a nice big container of starsan. Not only will it only take a minute to sanitize, but it also keeps for months as long as there's not a bunch of floaty crap and the ph stays within its range. Best stuff you can get.
And in terms of tasting your beer, GO FOR IT! In fact, when I bottle, I usually have around a half a glass or more from the leftover that I can't get into bottles. I encourage it so you can see how you did before carbing it up. If it tastes like crap, it will probably still taste like crap. If it tastes great, on the other hand, it makes it that much more exciting to open your first after 2 weeks or so.