Category Archives: Preserving Equipment

A preserving pan for Christmas

A preserving pan for Christmas 

Jar of tasty homemade strawberry preserve. Strawberries harvest needed to preserve.

There are still a few weeks left until Christmas, but for many of us the time has come to work through our Christmas gift-giving list to try to come up with some inspired ideas for this year’s gifts. Whilst children are relatively easy to buy for, adults are another matter entirely, with many hours spent in households around the country deliberating what to get Uncle Bob are Aunt Susan. Over the next week or two, as the festive season draws closer, we will be sharing some ideas for stylish and practical gifts for all members of the family. Today, we are looking at our maslin pan range, so let’s see why this particular kitchen item makes such a wonderful gift.

Why a preserving pan makes a great Christmas gift

For some reason, many people mistakenly think that making jams, jellies or chutneys is both complicated and time-consuming; in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Making a simple strawberry jam or a Seville marmalade is both fairly quick and straightforward. Like any hobby, home preserves can be taken further and there are certainly more complex recipes and methods to try once you have learned the basic skills; however, once most people have seen how easy jam-making is and how little special equipment they need to get started, they are hooked. With a good maslin pan, a jam thermometer, a wooden spoon and some jam jars, anyone can start making some incredible-tasting jams and preserves.

Choosing a preserving pan

To make good jam, you need to use a proper maslin pan rather than simply using a big saucepan. We have written about the qualities of a good jam pan before, so it only remains to outline the pans in our range.

A full-sized pan is typically around eight to nine litres in size, and we have three different styles to choose from. The classic stainless steel design has stayed the same for decades and looks just as elegant and beautiful today as it did in our grandmother’s kitchen. For those who fancy something different, we also have an eight-litre pan in black enamel, and a Kilner-branded pan in a lovely deep red colour. If you think that an eight-litre pan might be too large for the person you are planning to give it to, we also have a half-sized pan made of durable stainless steel. At four and a half litres, this pan is ideal for people who want to make smaller quantities of jam or those who might struggle to lift the full-sized pan.

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Small Glass Jars with Lids

Small Glass Jars with Lids

When it comes to home preserves, it is easy to think that big is best and that a 1lb jar is the perfect size for every conceivable jam, pickle or preserve; however, sometimes the best things really do come in small parcels and a much smaller jar is more appropriate. Here we take a look at some of our small glass jars and highlight some creative and inspiring ways in which to use them.

Introducing our small glass jars

We will classify a small jar as one with a capacity of less than 120ml. We have a wide choice of different sizes within this range, with the smallest jars just 30ml in size. There are jars with lids that screw on and jars with clip top lids, jars that look just like a miniature standard jam jars and fancier jars in all kinds of shapes, from hexagonal to globe shaped and more besides.

Creative ideas for small glass jars

There are lots of times when a standard jam jar is not the right si

Three small jars of marmalade or jam on wooden table. Toned image

ze for a particular preserving project; for example, if you run a B&B or regularly have guests to stay, offering jam and marmalade in miniature pots is a great idea to steal from the big hotels. Another great idea is to use these little jars to give as gifts. Instead of presenting friends and family with a large jar of one flavour, add some variety by giving them a set of three or more jars, each filled with a different jam or chutney.

These small jars with lids also make fantastic spice jars; in addition, we have some slim jars within our range that are the traditional shape for spice jars. With a batch of jars such as these, you can do away with supermarket herbs and spices and buy fresher, more authentic versions from an independent store or ethnic food outlet. Once you have tasted the difference, you will never go back to big brand herbs and spices!

We can’t mention these smaller jars without talking about wedding favours. Brides from across the country turn to us for dinky glass jars with lids to use on their wedding tables to hold their wedding favours, with ideas including traditional sweets and more inventive options such as homemade fudge, nuts and even wild flower seeds!

Whatever idea you have for your next jam or chutney making session, why not consider using some smaller jars and seeing where this leads you?

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1lb Jam Jars for Sale

1lb Jam Jars for Sale

Whether you are new to jam making or a seasoned pro with many years of home preserving under your belt, having a good supply of quality jam jars is essential. The opportunities for making jam often present themselves rather unexpectedly, meaning that keeping jam jars in stock and ready is always a good idea. Whether windfall apples, hedgerow apples or a gift of strawberries from a gardening neighbour, n

Jars of jam and basket with cherry on background.

one of these ‘free gifts’ will go to waste if you are prepared for preserving – all can be turned into delicious jam.

Standard 1lb jam jars

The most commonly-used of all jam jar shapes and styles is the much-loved classic 1lb jar. This traditional jam jar is perfect for all sorts of jams, pickles and preserves; in addition, it is the perfect size for the kitchen table or indeed to give away as a homemade gift. We have a wide variety of 1lb jars for sale here at Wares, with the standard straight-sided 1lb glass jar one of the most popular.

These jars are known as standard jam jars for two reasons. Firstly, the 1lb size means it is incredibly easy to calculate how many jars will be needed if you are using imperial measurements in your recipe. Secondly, if you are feeling adventurous and ready to enter your jams or preserves into any kind of competition at a country show or village fete, the 1lb jar is the regulation size required by the judges. If you plan on taking the time and effort to submit your jam to outside scrutiny at a show, the very last thing you want is to be disqualified on the grounds of using the wrong jar!

Having perused the 1lb jam jars for sale in our online store and made your choice, it is time to think about what to put in them. Blackberry and apple jam is spot on at this time of year, as both fruits are freely available. On the savoury side, why not have a go at some homemade chutney if you are looking for ways to use up all the remaining tomatoes, onions, celery or cabbage from your vegetable patch? Again, a 1lb jar is the perfect size. If you have a plum tree in your garden, you may be harvesting plums right through into October and a batch of delicious spiced plum jam with cinnamon could be just the thing to use up those last fruits.

Simple is often best and we think our 1lb jars are no exception!

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Where to buy jar packaging

Where to buy jar packaging

Jam making is so enjoyable that it can quickly become addictive. We all begin by making a few jars for ourselves, then start offering them to neighbours. Before long, we realise that our jammy creations would make great homemade gifts. The one thing that holds us back from giving our produce as gifts is the fact that a jar or two of jam does not look all that impressive on its own; however, with a little extra effort and some stylish packaging, your jars of jam will look just as professional as the gift packs on display in the big department stores.  media_008__15176.1424695239.243.241

 Jam jar packaging 

We stock quite a variety of packaging for jars, bottles and other home-produced items. Our natural-coloured gift cartons are one of the simplest yet most effective ways to present jams and chutneys in a stylish way. The cartons come in two-jar and three-jar sizes for both small and medium jam jars. A gift carton such as this enables you to give a selection of preserves in one gift; for example, one jar of raspberry jam, one jar of marmalade and one jar of blackcurrant jelly would make a lovely present. For a savoury version, fill a two-jar carton with one jar of green tomato chutney and one jar of piccalilli.  

An alternative to the gift cartons is the hessian jute bags we offer. These jute bags are designed to hold two or three jars of jam or preserves safely and securely. The clear plastic windows at the front of the bag mean that the jar labels are clearly visible and these bags turn a simple gift into something really quite special.

 If you fancy making up a small hamper of goodies to give as a gift, we also stock a range of card trays. Filled with a mix of homemade produce, such as jams, pickles, homemade fudge and a bottle of homemade wine or two, these trays would make a hamper to rival the expensive ones available from high street stores. CGC506RD_WH__69492.1473240232.243.241

Jar packaging accessories 

To complement our packaging for jars, we also carry a wide range of accessories. Those gift trays would look even better tied with a colourful ribbon and with all the items secured on a bed of fine cut shred. Our ribbons come in many designs, including gingham check, spotty dots and pastel patterns. The fine cut shred is available in cream, red or green to suit any occasion.

 We hate to say it, but Christmas is coming. Stock up now so that you are ready to give your homemade produce as Christmas gifts with pride.




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Everything you need to make jam

22Everything you need to make jam

There often comes a point in people’s lives when they have an urge to make jam. Jam making is one of life’s simple pleasures and is so easy that anyone can make delicious jams, regardless of whether they are a good cook. If you have delayed making jam because you thought it was complicated or required a lot of equipment, read on to discover how simple it is and what basic equipment you need.

Basic equipment for making jam

Aside from the obvious ingredients of fruit, sugar and possibly an additional source of pectin, there are a few pieces of inexpensive equipment that you need to start your jam making journey.

Firstly, you need a jam pan, often known as a maslin pan. This is a specially sized and shaped pan, usually made of stainless steel. A full-sized maslin pan is usually nine litres in capacity; however, smaller pans are also available if you are not likely to make large quantities of jam. Don’t be tempted to try using a saucepan instead of a maslin pan, as it is all too easy to misjudge the size needed and find that it won’t hold all your jam!

The next tool you need is a good jam spoon. This should ideally be stainless steel and have a long handle to prevent burns. We even offer specially designed jam spoons with a clever curved handle that allows you to hook the spoon onto the side of the maslin pan.

The final piece of basic equipment you will need to start making jam is a jam thermometer. For jam to set properly, it is crucial that it reaches its setting point of 105°C. A jam thermometer takes the guesswork out of the process and ensures optimum results.

A jam funnel and a strainer are other optional pieces of equipment to consider. Jam funnels make it easy to pour the jam into jars without making a mess, while strainers remove any lumpy bits you don’t want in your jam.

Accessories for making jam

In addition to the basic equipment listed above, you obviously also need jam jars, lids and labels. We have the widest range of jam jars, from plain and simple jars through to fancy decorative jars that will transform your jam creations into small masterpieces. Set off with pretty labels and lid covers, your jams will soon look highly professional. You will be proudly giving away your jam as gifts to friends and family in no time at all and are likely to become hooked on jam making for life.

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Jazzing up your jam jars

Favour 3Jazzing up your jam jars

It is a fact that many people love receiving homemade gifts, such as jam and preserves. In an ever-more commercial world, a thoughtful homemade gift can make a refreshing change and is usually much appreciated; however, jam makers can be shy about giving their homemade produce as gifts, thinking that a simple jar or two of jam does not look special enough. If this applies to you, our range of jam jar packaging might just be the answer, enabling you to present your jams and preserves in a smart and stylish way.

Jam jar packaging – boxes

We have a wide selection of packaging for jam jars available in both cardboard and jute. The cardboard gift boxes come in several sizes and can hold two or three jars, depending on the style of box you choose. These simple cardboard boxes offer an eco-friendly choice and set your jams off to their very best advantage. The plain boxes can be decorated with a sticker to say where they came from. The jute bags offer the same kind of carrying capacities, with padded cotton handles and clear plastic display windows to show off your jam jar labels.

If you are buying jam jars to use as wedding favours, we also offer several styles of mini boxes that fit our smallest jars perfectly.

At Christmas, many people like to give mini hampers as gifts. Department stores and supermarkets are usually filled with these, mostly at rather inflated prices. With our range of card trays, it is easy to create your own hampers filled with a variety of homemade items. Take the large fluted card tray, for example, and fill it with a mix of your own jam, marmalade, chutney, infused vinegar and perhaps a bottle of elderflower cordial or plum wine. With pretty jam jar labels and a presentation box, the gift is sure to look every bit as professional as a shop-bought hamper.

Jam jar packaging – accessories

In addition to a full range of presentation boxes and bags, we stock lots of packaging accessories to perfectly finish off the gift. Pack your jars safely and stylishly using fine cut shred material as a base and perhaps set the whole thing off by trimming it with a band of jute ribbon, which is available in green or natural.

Whether you simply want to present your produce prettily, to give as gifts or are looking to sell at farmers’ markets and other outlets, our range of packaging for jam jars will really help to create a professional look.

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Wares of Knutsford – jam jar suppliers to the stars

DSC_3328Wares of Knutsford – jam jar suppliers to the stars

We admit that we may not supply jam jars to the stars of stage and screen, but we are very much the jam jar suppliers of choice for a huge number of jam-making and preserving ‘stars’, from prolific home cooks to those running their own jams and preserves businesses. As experts in the field of jam jars and jam making equipment, we are often the first port of call for small-scale jam producers.

Jam jar suppliers to small-scale producers

For anyone running a business producing homemade jams or preserves, sourcing the right jam jars and lids, at the right prices, is absolutely crucial. Late deliveries, inflated prices and damaged goods could all have a significant impact on a jam producer’s business, as a whole production batch could be compromised without the right number of jars and lids. If a producer does not make enough fresh stock, they do not have enough to sell at the farmers’ market or to supply their trade customers and things start to go wrong very quickly indeed. This is why our jam producer customers rate us as one of the top glass jar suppliers in the UK – they know they can rely on our jam jars and on the service and delivery we offer.

Bulk jam jar suppliers

We have put a lot of effort into analysing our customers’ buying patterns to work out which of our jam jar range to offer in bulk packs. From traditional, smooth-sided 1lb jars to fancier hexagonal jars perhaps more suited to honey, we have a bulk pack to suit all requirements. By offering many of our jars in 192-jar packs, we are able to pass on significant cost savings to our customers and ensure that the jars reach our customers in one piece, as these quantities mean minimal handling in our warehouse.

Bulk packs of jars can also be a good idea for anyone looking for wedding favour jars. Weddings are an expensive business and anything that helps to cut costs has to be good. Our smaller jars, such as the 45ml hexagonal jars, are a popular choice for brides.

If our bargain packs are not big enough to meet your needs, we can also supply pallet-sized quantities of jars at wholesale prices. Contact us for more details on wholesale ordering.

We have been glass jar suppliers for some years and have perfected the art of delivering jam jars to you on time and in perfect condition. Whether you need one jam jar or several hundred, you are in safe hands with Wares of Knutsford.

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1lb jam jars for sale

1lb jam jars for sale

Jam-making is a time-honoured tradition for many, with recipes often handed down from grandma to mother to daughter. Everyone has their own unique preferences when it comes to making jam, from what flavours and recipes to use to which method to adopt to test the setting point. When it comes to jam jars, however, there is always a clear favourite – 1lb jars.

1lb jam jars

1lb jars probably became popular for two reasons. Firstly, in the days before metric measurements, using a 1lb jar meant it was easy to work out from the recipe exactly how many jars you would need for the batch of jam you were making. Secondly, a 1lb jar stacks neatly on a larder shelf and is a good size for a family to have on the breakfast table. Smaller jars would get used up too quickly, while larger jars would end up taking too long to consume. 1lb jam jars are the perfect middle ground.

If you are thinking of entering your jams in any local competitions, such as at the village fete or local country show, the 1lb jar is the standard ‘regulation’ jar. If you have slaved over a tempting recipe and produced some amazing jam, it would be a terrible shame to find your jam did not win a prize simply because it was in the wrong size of jar.

Buying 1lb jam jars in bulk

Once you get the jam-making bug, you can easily find yourself running out of suitable jars. Whilst many people reuse jam jars, this option is not always practical. The lids can often be tainted by previous contents, especially if a vinegar-based preserve such as chutney has been in the jar previously. The WI recommends using new lids at least, if this is at all possible. We offer a range of bulk buy options on our 1lb jars, with pack sizes ranging from 12 right up to a whopping 192 – enough for even the most prolific jam-making enthusiast! These jars also come with vinegar-proof lids in a range of colours, including black, white, gold, silver and green and either red or blue gingham checks.

With so many other jam jar styles available, it is easy to get tempted away from the traditional 1lb jars; however, these jars still have plenty of potential for jazzing up. Our enormous range of decorative jam jar labels and our patterned fabric lid covers can turn a standard jar of jam into a small work of art.

If you are serious about preserves, this is very definitely the jar to start with!

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Introducing our jam making kits

22Introducing our jam making kits

If you are already a jam-making convert, no doubt people have praised your preserving skills and the quality of the tasty jams you produce. Some have probably also said that they wished that they too could make such delicious homemade treats but would not know where to start. Whether you are the accomplished jam-maker or the absolute beginner who would not know where to start, kits for making jam can be a great idea. If you already know what you are doing with a maslin pan, why not encourage others to take up home preserving with the gift of a kit? If you are a jam-making newbie, consider treating yourself to a kit to get started on your own jam-making journey.

Jam making kits for beginners

For a total novice, the beauty of jam making kits is that they contain absolutely everything you need to get started. There is no possibility of getting started on your first batch of jam and then finding that you forgot to buy a crucial bit of equipment, such as a thermometer. Our kits contain all the bits and pieces you need, including the all-important maslin pan, a funnel, thermometer, jam spoon, jars, lids and wax discs. Both the standard and the deluxe kits also contain a book of recipes to get you started. The book in the deluxe kit is the gorgeous Preserves from the River Cottage series of books.

Jam Making kits as gifts

For anyone who is keen on cooking, or on homemade crafts, these kits for jam making are the perfect gift. Not only do they get someone up and running with home preserves but also they serve as a long-lasting reminder of your generous gift. Each time the recipient makes another batch of jam, they will be reminded of you and the thoughtful and inspired gift you gave them. With a little luck, they may even return your kindness with a little gift of jam that they made with their kit!

In addition to our tailor-made kits for jam making, we stock a range of tempting recipe books to help kick-start your home preserves. We have already mentioned the Preserves edition from the super River Cottage series of handbooks and we also have quite a few other books packed full of tempting recipes and ideas. Notes from the Jam Cupboard is an interesting take on the traditional recipe book, containing plenty of jam facts, history, literary quotations and jam-making information, whilst The Jammy Bodger offers a contemporary approach to seasonal jam making and is filled with deliciously tempting recipes.

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Miniature sample jam jars

Miniature sample jam jars

Jam jars come in more sizes and styles than you could possibly imagine, from veritable whoppers down to the smallest of jars. Every jar size has a particular use and here we take a look at miniature or sample jam jars.

Miniature jam jars for wedding favours

One of the most popular uses for our smallest jam jars is for wedding favours. The small size of these jars makes them ideal for holding sweets and they look charming placed on the wedding tables; in addition, they don’t take up too much room. We have helped many brides to find the perfect jar for their wedding theme and we have come across many beautiful and charming ideas for wedding favours using our jars.

Many couples fill the tiny jam jars with sweets, such as traditional sugared almonds; however, today’s brides often get much more creative with their wedding favour choices. Homemade miniature biscuits are a cute idea, while delicious fudge is also a popular choice. Good old-fashioned pick ‘n’ mix sweets are a perennial favourite, whilst some adventurous brides are choosing to make homemade infused oils to present in our dinky jars.

Many brides who source their jars from us opt for more unusually-shaped jars, such as the hexagonal or globe-shaped jars. These pretty jars look gorgeous on the wedding table and are also a nice memento to keep after the wedding.

Other uses for miniature jam jars

It is not just brides-to-be who love our miniature jam jars, with these jars having a far wider fan base. For those looking to create some inspired homemade gifts, using these smaller sample jam jars is a great idea and enables you to put together a group of three or five different jams or chutneys. If you are giving jam as a gift to an older person, or someone who lives alone, a set of smaller jars could be a far better idea than presenting a whopping 1lb jar!

If you often have guests staying with you, or even if you run a B&B or guesthouse, smaller jam jars can be a hygienic and cost-effective solution to presenting your jam on the kitchen table. No more jars of jam that look like they have seen better days after too many different knives have been in the jar!

As you can see, there are quite a few different uses for these miniature jars, which is why we stock such a wide variety. Check out our range and see what creative ideas you can come up with.

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Add The Perfect Finishing Touch With Patterned Jam Jar Covers

Image 1Add The Perfect Finishing Touch With Patterned Jam Jar Covers

When it comes to making jams and preserves, it’s all too easy to concentrate totally on what flavour of jam to make and which recipe to follow. And that’s hardly surprising, since the jam will be the star of the show. Paying attention to the finishing touches, however, can make a world of difference to how your preserves look when they’re finished. It can turn a fairly ordinary jar of jam into something really special. If you’re planning to give your jams as gifts to friends and family, choosing a nice-shaped jar, and topping the jar off with a pretty cover will make all the difference.

Our Range of Patterned Jam Jar Covers

We stock an extensive range of pretty covers in our online store. We offer both fabric and paper covers, and some of our packs come with fastening bands and matching ribbons, to make your jam jars look very special indeed.

Florals are very popular and we have several different packs of fabric covers featuring lovely floral patterns. These are the perfect way to finish off a batch of jam, and when the time comes to eat the contents, they offer a charming reminder of summer days long past, when you were making the jam.

As well as floral designs for our fabric covers, we also have covers in fruity designs, gingham checks, and colourful spotty dots. There’s also a bright and fun ‘Jazzy’ pack, featuring four different bold and beautiful designs, again with fastening bands and coordinating ribbons.

Bumper Packs of Patterned Jam Jar Covers

One of our personal favourite packs of covers is the Preserving Accessories Pack, which contains all you need for 24 jars of jam, including gorgeous patterned jam jar covers, matching labels, waxed discs, plastic circles and rubber fastening bands. Everything you need, in fact, all in one bumper pack. The contemporary fruit and veg designs pack is our favourite, but there is another pack with more of a ‘country cottage’ design, and this has all the same contents.

If you’re feeling really creative, why not have a go at making your own fabric or paper jar covers? We stock both the transparent plastic covers and the waxed discs you’ll need, so you just need to add paper or fabric and some creative inspiration!

So next time you’re thinking of making some jam, do think about adding a splash of prettiness on top of the jar, in the form of a lovely jam jar cover. We’re sure you’ll receive positive feedback about the covers, as well as about your jam!

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Summer Jam Jar Labels

Label Jar Bottle ROSEMARY'S GARDEN-05Summer Jam Jar Labels

The summer and autumn months are perhaps the busiest time of the year for jam makers, with so many ripe fruits available. For keen cooks, the maslin pan barely has time to cool down and get washed up before it’s back on the hob, boiling up another batch of sweet and lovely jam. With multiple jars of jam, and numerous different flavours and varieties on the go, it’s important to get organised and ensure your jam jars are all labelled clearly and correctly.

Jam Jar Labels by Words of Art

Many of our labels are by Words of Art, and feature original watercolour designs by mother and daughter team, Rosemary and Caroline Wagstaff. Many labels from this range feature colourful fruit designs around the central blank panel, so you can match the label to the jam you’ve made. There are labels for plums, apple and blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and more. There are lots of other designs in the Words of Art range, including vegetables which would make the perfect labels for chutneys.

If the fruit and vegetables theme isn’t what you’re looking for, the Words of Art range also contains some other striking designs, including polka dots, and a Union Jack label, which is a particular favourite.

Novel Jam Jar Labels

As well as our more traditional labels for jam jars, we also stock a wide range of more unusual labels. Our Chalkboard Labels come in a pack of 12 assorted labels in a variety of decorative shapes, along with two chalk pens to write on the labels. The label packs from Kitchen Craft are also lovely, and come in a pack of 30 labels, with three different designs per pack.

Jam Jar Gift Tags

In addition to labels for jam jars, we also have lots of different gift tags that are suitable for tying onto jam jars. These are perfect if you want to give your jams and preserves as gifts to friends and family, as you can add a personal note on the tag, leaving the label free to record the details of what’s in the jar and when it was made. We have gift tags featuring everything from pretty florals to Scotty dogs and Moroccan geometric patterns, so there really is something for everyone.

If you’re still undecided as to which labels to choose, perhaps our fun video can help you reach a decision. It has quite a catchy tune as background music, and our fabulous jam jars do actually seem to be dancing along to the music! Check it out at the bottom of our Labels and Tags page:

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An Introduction To Jam Making Equipment

22An Introduction To Jam Making Equipment

High summer means that a wide range of fruit and vegetables are in season, making it the perfect time to start making jams and chutneys. Dare we mention too, that Christmas is very definitely on the horizon? So if you’re looking to try handmade gift-giving this year, cooking up some jam could be the ideal way to do just that.

If you’ve never made jam before, the array of equipment available can be a little bewildering, and it can be hard to know what is essential and what is a fancy add-on. In this post, we aim to guide you through some of our tools for making jam, so you can get cracking with your own jammy creations.

Jam Making Equipment For Beginners

If you are starting out making jam for the first time, you’ll need a few basic items. First of these is a jam pan, also known as a maslin pan. A full-size jam pan is 8 or 9 litres, but smaller pans of 4.5 litres are also available, if you want to make smaller batches of jam. The next piece of equipment you need is a jam thermometer, in order to test the temperature of your jam, to ensure your jams reach setting point.

If you don’t have one already, you’ll need a spoon to stir your jam whilst it’s cooking, and our silicone jam spoons are perfect for this. Whilst not strictly essential, a jam funnel makes life much easier when it comes to getting all that lovely jam from the maslin pan into the jars.

Those are really the essential tools for making jam, but, of course, you also need some jam jars to pour all those tempting jam creations into. Our jam jar range is extensive, and our website shows the capacity of all jars, so you can easily work out just how many jars you need. It pays to have a few extra jars, just in case you make slightly more than your recipe says you’ll make – after all, it would be a shame to waste any!

Finally, you need to label your jam, so you know what you’re eating at some future date. Our labels come in a huge variety of styles to suit all tastes.

Jam Making Equipment Kits

A Jam Making Kit is the perfect gift for someone keen on cooking. We have several kits available, which come with all the basic equipment you need to get started.

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Getting Creative With Shaped Jam Jars

IMG_8589_Edit__35140.1461079474.1280.1280Getting Creative With Shaped Jam Jars

If you’re a regular customer of Wares of Knutsford, it’s safe to assume you’re a fan of home preserving, canning and all things culinary. With summer in full swing, and all sorts of fruits and vegetables in season from now right through until Autumn, it’s a busy time for making jams, pickles and preserves. We all love exploring new recipes and flavours, and trying out a few unusual jam jars at the same time will add a new twist to your kitchen endeavours.

Which Shaped Jam Jars To Choose

We stock quite a collection of unusual jam jars, so it can be hard to decide which jar to use for each preserving project. Sometimes a certain type of jar lends itself to a specific jam or pickle.

Lemon curd looks delightful in our 212ml Limoncello Jars or in our 212ml Globe Jam Jars. The relatively small size of these jam jars particularly suits lemon curd, which can only be stored for 1 – 2 weeks after opening the jar.

Our Trittico Nesting Jars come in a set of three, which tuck up close together to display a group of jams or pickles. These make a perfect gift set, and we suggest filling them with a range of pickles and chutneys, perhaps a plum chutney, piccalilli and a red onion marmalade. Who wouldn’t be delighted to receive that as a gift?

If you’re looking to create an upmarket, design-led effect for your jams, then our Gourmet Jam Jars will really look the part. Shaped like a sumptuous Ali Baba basket, these jars come in a range of sizes, from 106ml up to 580ml. They’re available with plain or gingham-checked lids too.

Unusual Shaped Jam Jars

Our vintage style glass storage jars conjure up images of times gone by, when Grandma always had a cake in the oven, and some jam boiling on the stove. These jars comes in a range of shapes and sizes, and can be used for much more than jam. The large 2.2 litre jar would make a fancy biscuit jar, for example, whilst the small vintage jars with screw-on lids would look great storing sweets and treats.

One of our most unusual jam jars has to be the Teddy Bear Jar. As the name suggests, the jar is shaped like a teddy bear, and comes with a yellow plastic hat which sits on top of a standard twist-off lid. This jar is perfect for jam or honey, and makes a charming gift.

Hopefully, this round-up of shaped jam jars has provided some inspiration for jazzing up your jam!

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The perfect jam jar

DSC_3328The perfect jam jar

When it comes to jam jars, it is easy for the uninitiated to think that one jar is pretty much the same as the next. Whilst we are happy to acknowledge that we may be slightly biased, we would still beg to differ. With hundreds of different jar styles, shapes and sizes in our range, it can be quite a challenge to highlight the best jam jars available.

The best jam jar for jams and preserves

It may be surprising to learn that not everyone uses our jars for jams or preserves. Many people buy our jars with absolutely no intention of ever using them for jam! From wedding favours to chic drinking jars, and many other creative uses, our jars get repurposed in all sorts of inspiring ways. We will look at the best jam jars for creative ideas later; for now, we will concentrate on the perfect jar for jam-making.

For many people, simplicity is best. The traditional clear glass jar, in either 8oz or 12oz size, is the perfect jar for making jam. Topped with a red or blue gingham checked lid, these jars give the quintessential jam jar look. For some reason, honey seems to be presented most often in hexagonal jars, whilst marmalade typically goes into globe jam jars. It is possible that the perfect jar cannot be defined, as it depends so much on what you want to do with it.

The best jam jar for creative uses

As we have mentioned before, jam jars are not simply for making jam, as demonstrated by our creative customers. Many use our jars to hold wedding favours. Filled with sweets or truffles, they make charming personalised favours, with a really handmade and thoughtful feel to them. Our mini jam jars and hexagonal jars are the most popular for use as wedding favours. Still on the wedding theme, some wedding couples keep the vintage theme going by using the larger Mason jars as vases for the flowers on their wedding tables.

For anyone thinking of making jam to give as a gift, our Bonne Maman-style jars and Luminarc faceted jars provide a charming French-inspired look and are perhaps the perfect jars for gift-giving. It is often the small details, such as the choice of jar and the colour of the lid, that make all the difference to the end result.

Have we identified the best jam jars? We have certainly done our best to highlight some of our favourites; however, with so many to choose from, it is a tough task! Why not browse our range to find your own perfect jar?

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Introducing the perfect plum jam recipe

plums in the basketIntroducing the perfect plum jam recipe

From the local greengrocers to pick-your-own fruit farms and farmers’ markets, plums are everywhere right now. If you have plum trees in your own garden, you are probably experiencing something of a glut of plums at the moment. Whilst they are delicious to eat fresh with Greek yogurt, crème fraiche or cream, there are so many other things to do with plums. The simplest place to start is with a good plum jam recipe.

Quick and easy plum jam recipe

Learning how to make plum jam is simplicity itself. Here is our favourite recipe, which makes around 10-12 228ml jars of jam.


1.5kg plums, chunkily chopped and with the stones removed
1.5kg sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
120ml water


1. Wash the plums thoroughly and remove any stalks or leaves. Chop the plums in half and remove the stones, then chop the halves again.
2. Put the plums, lemon juice and water in a large jam pan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
3. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the plums are soft.
4. Still on a low heat, add the sugar gradually, stirring all the time. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
5. Turn the heat up and stir continuously until the mixture is boiling.
6. Use a jam thermometer to check when the jam has reached setting point (105°C); alternatively, use the cold plate test.
7. Remove from the heat and pour slowly into clean, sterilised jam jars. Seal and label the jars straight away.

A plum jam recipe with a difference

If you already know how to make plum jam using a recipe like the one above, you might like to try something a little different for your next batch of jam.

You can make spiced plum jam by adding nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon to the basic recipe. The spices give this jam a real flavour of Christmas, turning a simple jam into a delightful Christmas gift.

For a sophisticated orange and rosemary plum jam, add a tablespoon of orange extract and three or four sprigs of fresh rosemary at the start of the recipe. Remember to remove the rosemary just before you pour the jam into the jars.

Finally, if you hanker after something to complement savoury foods, try using plums to make a sweet chilli jam. Replace the sugar with just 450g of soft brown sugar and add garlic, red onions, balsamic vinegar and red wine.

It is always fun to experiment, of course, so why not create your own unique plum jam?

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Our range of screw top jars

Lifting the lid on our range of screw top jars3

When it comes to home preserves, many people start by making jam. This is one of the easiest homemade things to try and the rewards from creating your own jam are fantastic. After their initial success with jam-making, many people look to canning and preserving to further extend their repertoire of delicious homemade recipes. This is where jars with screw tops really come into their own – they are ideal for canning and bottling all sorts of things, from pickled eggs and bottled peaches to homemade ketchup and good old-fashioned pickled onions. Our range of jars with screw tops covers all capacities and sizes; therefore, no matter what you decide to preserve, there is sure to be a jar to suit your needs.

The widest range of screw top jars

Just as lots of people refer to their vacuum cleaner as a ‘hoover’, people often refer to screw top jars as ‘Kilner jars’; however, there are quite a number of different manufacturers of jars with screw tops and Kilner is just one of these. Here at Wares of Knutsford we stock jars from Kilner in addition to Mason jars, Leifheit jars and the Familia Wiss range from Le Parfait. The jars from all these brands feature a heat sealable metal disc and screw band. From large jars for canning fruits and vegetables to terrine jars and small pots for lemon curd or salsa dips, there is a jar for every preserving task.

We also stock a full range of replacement metal discs and screw bands for all our jars with screw tops.

How to use your screw top jars

The possibilities for home preserving are endless and preserving can be done all year round, following the seasons. The summer months are perfect for canning surplus fruits, whilst the winter months are when mandarin oranges come into season – these are delicious preserved in syrup ready to be used in fruit salads or desserts. Grapefruit and oranges canned together make a perfect breakfast mix, especially if topped with yoghurt or creme fraiche.

If you lean towards more savoury options, try home-grown pesto, dill pickles or pickled peppers to keep your larder stocked with tasty treats all year round.

Whether you choose Kilner jars, Mason jars or jars from Leifheit or Le Parfait, nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing a shelf full of various preserves and canned items and the knowledge that you created them all. If you have never tried home preserving before, now is the perfect time.

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Preserving equipment for 2016

preservingPreserving equipment for 2016

If you regularly visit the Wares of Knutsford website, you will probably have noticed that we have been adding lots of new products to our line-up this year. Preserving season will begin shortly and we want to make sure you know what is available so that you can go into your preserving endeavours fully prepared!

Preserving equipment – pans and buckets

A preserving pan is usually known as a maslin pan. You can use any heavy-based saucepan for making jams and chutneys, but maslin pans are specially designed for preserving. Maslin pans tend to have high sides and a wide neck to help contain spatters, which also makes them easy to fill and empty; in addition, the sloped sides are ideal to rest a thermometer on. They often come with markings on the side to help you work out quantities and have a handle for easy lifting and pouring. At Wares of Knutsford we have maslin pans in 4.5-litre, eight-litre and nine-litre capacities and finished in stainless steel, red or black.

For the home brewing crowd, there are plastic food buckets in one-litre, 2.75-litre and five-litre sizes and plastic jerry cans in one-litre, 2.5-litre and five-litre sizes.

Preserving equipment – thermometers and funnels

You can get away with making preserves without thermometers and funnels, but they do make the process easier and cleaner. We have a wide selection of preserving accessories, including funnels in plastic and stainless steel and a variety of sizes. You can choose from three different thermometers, which go up to 200°C. The Kilner thermometer comes with a lid-lifting tool or you can buy a separate set of jar-lifting tongs. On the same page you will also find a clever silicone thermo spoon with an integrated thermometer probe that allows you to monitor the temperature of the contents of your pan while you are stirring. You can also buy a twin pack of marmalade scissors and a fruit press by Kilner.

Preserving accessories – strainers, labels and jar covers

Straining cloths are available in butter muslin, cheesecloth, cotton and nylon. You can buy the bags separately or in a kit including a stand for hands-free straining.

Having filled your jars, make sure you label the contents clearly. Most of our labels are by Words of Art, a mother and daughter artist team producing beautiful watercolour labels in a huge range of designs. If you are giving away preserves as gifts, you may also want to consider adding a pretty jar cover and ribbon to complete the decorative effect.

Preserving equipment for 2016

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Preserving labels for jars

labelsPreserving labels for jars

Labels for jars are not exactly a glamorous subject but they are important – there is little worse than taking a big bite of a delicious homemade scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream only to find that you have spread it with chutney by mistake!

Preserving labels at Wares of Knutsford

We are proud of the quality and variety of our range of preserving labels. The bulk of the department is from the Words of Art range by mother and daughter artist team Rosemary and Caroline Wagstaff, featuring their delightful watercolour designs. There are labels decorated with fruit and vegetable designs that you could match beautifully to your products, with examples including citrus fruits, onions, plums, strawberries and raspberries. There is also a useful range of graphic designs that can be used not only as labels for jars of food but also for cosmetic or aromatherapy products. This range includes gingham, polka dot, line and graduated borders in olive green, ocean blue, sunshine yellow, rose red, cornflower blue, periwinkle blue and coral.

There are also some modern and funky multiuse labels featuring the royal crown, a beehive and a vintage-style Union Jack border. You can also choose from some lovely rustic designs featuring a garden gate, wellies or a glittery tiara.

In addition to Words of Art, we stock labels by Kitchen Craft in a variety of designs and others by Kilner in a chalkboard finish.

All of our labels are self-adhesive and feature a plain white centre panel on which to write.

Why you need preserving labels

Apart from the obvious – to identify the contents – jar labels often contain other pieces of useful information, particularly if you are giving your produce away as a gift or selling it. Consider adding a use-by date, storage instructions and an ingredients list to your labels. If you are giving jars as a gift, you could also add a tag on a string or ribbon around the neck of the jar with a personal message for the recipient to avoid crowding your label.

If you are selling your produce, there are some fairly strict legal requirements regarding what information you should include on the label. Contact your local trading standards office for up-to-date information, but usually a use-by date and ingredients list are among the requirements. You will also generally find that you need to name your product according to some fairly strict criteria.

Click here for Preserving Labels

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Packaging For Preserves

Packaging for preserves

At Wares of Knutsford we make an effort to listen to what our customers want, and by popular demand we investigated the idea of preserve packaging. Jars and bottles are notoriously difficult to wrap in the traditional style and our customers were looking for a better way in which to present preserves.

Since we introduced the range, it has been hugely popular and we have even added a number of other packaging items to the department. If you are planning to give homemade preserves as gifts or to sell your own produce, the right packaging can help your jars to look smart and professional.

Boxed preserve packagingBox

Our specially designed boxes make it incredibly simple to package jars and bottles, either to give as gifts or to sell as a set. Choose from natural brown card or green. The boxes come flat packed for easy delivery and are easy to assemble at home. You can choose two- or three-jar models in small and medium sizes for standard jars, and there are also two- and three-jar versions for tall, slim jars.

Bag packaging for preservesBag

Our packaging department also contains some pretty bags specially designed to hold jars. Again, you can choose from models that hold two or three jars in extra small, small, medium and tall sizes. The bags come in a natural jute colour and are made of hessian, which is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. They feature clear display windows to show off the products inside and are an easy way to turn simple jars into pretty gifts.

Tray packaging for preservesTray

If you are looking to create a bolder effect, you can use one of our card trays to create a kind of preserve hamper. The trays are available in square and rectangular shapes and in three colours – natural brown, burgundy red and olive green – with tall or shallow sides and in small, medium and large sizes.

We also supply fine cut shredded paper in brown, cream and red to help you pack out the trays to present the preserves attractively, plus brown hessian string and jute ribbon in natural and green to decorate the package. The trays can be used for all sorts of gifts in addition to jars of preserves, including all sorts of other food items, soaps or cosmetics; for example, you could give a couple of homemade chutneys with some savoury biscuits and cheese for a lovely personal gift.

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