Equipment for Making Preserves?
I'm looking into some early holiday shopping and my wife has expressed interested in making preserves/jams etc.
I have no knowledge on this subject but I looked into a couple books and saw that they recommend a copper preserving pan.
What else would I need to get so she could hit the ground running?
Also, is there a good equivalent to the copper pan? The copper is like $200+ for anything more than 10 quarts. Anywhere good to look?
Agway has the good old enamel pots and all accessories, and Walmart too. I'm even starting to see them at the regular grocery store, it's starting to be a fad I guess. I got mine at Salvation Army for $1 for the whole deal but that was like winning the lottery. I've never even heard of canning in a copper pot, that sounds like crazy talk!
That's just kitchen bling. I use a old Revere ware SS stock pot--perfect size. I don't use a water bath for strawberry and damson jams or marmalade. All these go directly into sterilized jars and get a parafin top after they've cooled. Seal with Mason metal or plastic lids. Store in a cool dark place. Couldn't be easier. Do get a canning funnel unless you want hot jam bonding like crazy glue to your counter.
Yep -- those pans are outrageous. A good, heavy, WIDE mouthed pan is what you want. A big round dutch oven is even fine. Big, though -- you've got to have room to bring things to a rapid boil and keep them there. A digital thermometer. A canning funnel. A lid lifter. A canning kettle (cheapish is fine - it's just to boil the jars - spend the money on the jam pan). A couple of intro jamming books - Amazon has a zillion. A dozen half pint canning jars with lids and rings. Some nice fresh tea towels for wiping the jar rims. A cooling rack, if you don't already have one (like for cookies).
Hope that helps! I'm tired but wanted to throw something out before I went to bed and forgot the thread!