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Equipment for Making Preserves?

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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.

Questions:
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?

Thanks

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  1. 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!

    1. 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.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Respectfully, that style of canning is considered unsafe in the US these days. I suggest that Bob do some googling about safe canning to determine what his family would be comfortable with.

        1. re: Vetter

          Overkill. For jams loaded with sugar, stored intelligently,consumed quickly, and 'fridged after opening--not an issue with no friends or family looking like "Walking Dead" extras as a result of this "unsafe" method. Buy Smuckers and be sure, I guess.

      2. 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!