Jamming Supplies


All parties need supplies - and jamming's no different. Like any good house party, you probably have most of the supplies you'll need to be tucked away somewhere already. But if you do need to get something, better do it now, because in June when everyone and their grandmother is starting to jam, it may be hard to locate some of these things.

These are the basics for making jam:

A large non-reactive (no iron or aluminum) pot, it is best if it has a heavy bottom to prevent scorching. the sides should be deep, but not too much, to aid in evaporation. This shape is known as a casserole, stew, or sometimes a saucepan. You could use a stockpot, and you could use an enamel coated iron pan as long as it was in good condition with no iron poking through.

But if you want to feel like you're in a cottage in Provence,
Get one of these

copper jam pan

It's the little things people.

Kitchen scale, you'll want to weigh the fruit to make sure you have the right amount as the proportions are very important in jamming. I like the Taylor Weighing Bowl Digital Kitchen Scale, 11 lb. Capacity because accurate weighing and the bowl is handy. But any good kitchen scale will do.

Thermometer, I use this digital one because when it comes to thermometers, I find digital easier to read, and therefore more accurate. as long as the stem is long enough, it can hook to the side of the pot and reach the jam, and it has temperatures that can go slightly above the boiling point then it's good. usually, these are called candy thermometers.

Knife, measuring cups, bowls, mixing spoon, see you have these already right?

To check the 'set' you'll also need:
1 teaspoon
2 or 3 small plates
stainless steel or heat resistant plastic ladle
stainless steel or heat resistant plastic skimmer

That's it you say?

Well if you want to jam and put it in the fridge, then really that is all you need. except whatever container you choose to put it in to go in the fridge.

But if you really want to jam, then you'll want to can, cause it's the canning that makes the jamming jam.

This is what you need for canning - or preserving the jam via a boiling water bath: (preserving the jam this way allows it to keep for a year or more in a larder, cupboard, pantry, cellar, closet, or under the bed if you live in a 5 story walk-up in the east village).

You can get a canning kit they are inexpensive and have pretty much everything you need and many people do use them. But it wouldn't be my first recommendation because the wire rack tends to rust after a while, and the pot is not big enough if you plan to can pickles and therefore need room for larger jars.

So let me break it down.

Stockpot, I really like All-Clad, 24-quart stainless steel stockpot because it is big enough for any size jar I would need for canning and you can't beat the quality. Plus it makes a mean batch of popcorn on its offseason. but any stockpot will do.

Wire rack, this one fits perfectly in the 24-quart all-clad stock pot and it doesn't rust. nice.

canning rack

Mason jars with lids and screw caps, these are made by Ball or Kerr. I prefer the wide mouth jars and for jam, I don't go larger than the half-pint or pint. Repeat after me: you cannot use any old mayonnaise jar. Do not use any old jar. For safety reasons, you need to use jars with metal lids with sealing rubber around the rim and screw tops.

mason jars

Weck jars, ok there is an exception. these are made in Germany and they are very cute. The principle is the same as the rubber gasket so they are safe. And if you want to feel like you are in a cottage in Alsace, you'll probably want some of these or these.

weck jars

Jar lifter or silicone gloves are very useful to lift the hot jars out of the boiling hot water. The jar lifter works perfectly for mason jars with the screw caps. If you use the weck jars you will have to use silicone gloves as the jar lifter doesn't work well with them. I found out the hard way..ugh!

Wide mouth funnel this will be your best friend

wide mouth funnel

Very small plastic spatula or chopstick, for getting air bubbles out of a jam in jars.
Kitchen towels

Paper towels

thorough, aren't I?

now start gathering, hunters!

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