There’s a big difference between knocking up an experimental jam when you don’t know what else to do with a handful of autumn fruits you picked up on your dog walk and preserving on a larger scale. You may be preserving as part of a commercial enterprise or simply because you enjoy making and eating jams, pickles and chutneys. Either way, you’ll want to consider your equipment.
While your average, heavy based saucepans are fine on a small scale or for experimenting, a good preserving pan really is essential for more extensive jamming. Only buy a pan as large as your domestic hob’s output can heat. You need enough power for a large batch to reach a rolling boil, which simply won’t be possible if your pan is too large.
Small, simple and inexpensive, but an absolute Godsend when it comes to jar filling. There’s no way to avoid serious spillage without one.
If you are experienced you are probably confident enough to preserve without one, but thermometers are cheap and can help take the guesswork out of the process.
Large jam jars
Small ones may be pretty and ideal for gifts, but if you’re preparing large quantities, you’ll need large jam jars. It’s worth investing in proper preserving jars as they need to seal tightly to maintain the condition of the produce. Ensure any small or large jam jars have a supply of plastic coated lids, as the acid in chutneys and pickles is likely to corrode plain metal. As usual you must remember to sterilise your jars and fill them to the maximum level to reduce the amount of air inside. Make sure too that you label everything clearly. Ideally you should include a title, ingredients list, production and expiry dates and storage conditions.
These will help you obtain a neat seal on hot produce. Buy in bulk.
Used to hold pickling spices while making chutneys or orange pips for marmalade. Some recipes also require straining through a fine muslin so it is a multi-tasking product. There are useful straining kits available to make the process easier too.
If you are looking at a large scale operation, remember that Wares of Knutsford supply on a fixed delivery charge, so you’ll pay the same when buying in bulk as you will buying individual items. This works out very good value when you do have a large order so make sure you consider everything you need carefully before placing your order.