Good Food Blog
Top tools for preservingPosted at 12:02PM, 11 September 2012 by Natalie Hardwick - Web assistant, bbcgoodfood.com
It's hard, we know, but the time is nearly here where we wave a reluctant goodbye to the summer for another year. But it's not all dark nights and balding trees ahead - autumn is prime time for some kitchen therapy. The glorious crop of September includes blackberries, beetroot, tomatoes and plums, all of which are perfect for cramming into jars to last the winter. Good Food magazine's editorial assistant Holly Brooke-Smith has selected her top 12 tools for making jams, chutneys and pickles.
Mechanical weighing scales, £25, John LewisAvoid a disaster by measuring your ingredients to the dot - sugar levels are particularly important when jamming. This shapely design will fit in with most kitchens.
Kitchen Craft 9-litre maslin pan with handle, £49.95, AmazonGive yourself plenty of room for maneuver with a large pan - this one holds up to two gallons of liquid. A maslin pan has a spout, carry handle and measuring gauge and can also be used for stock.
Beechwood spoons, from £1, DivertimentiSome jams and chutneys require rapid boiling, so wooden spoons are wise as they don't transfer heat. They also prevent scratches and scrapes to the bottom of your pan.
Kilner jar thermometer, £8.75, Nutley's Kitchen GardensSpeaking of upping the mercury, this vintage-inspired probe will help on the health and safety front. Clip it to the side of your pan and monitor the temperature of your preserve to ensure it's ready for jarring.
Tala jam strainer set, £6.50, Sainsbury'sBypass the dental floss by filtering out seeds. Push your preserve though this mesh sieve to achieve a smooth consistency.
Passata machine, £29.99, Seeds of ItalyThe Italians have the right idea when it comes to preserving peak season tomatoes. Pureeing, sieving and bottling a beautiful bounty means you'll always have a sauce base to hand.
Easy-fill jam funnel, £5.99, LakelandDribbles down the side of your jars are never a good look - avoid a sloppy mess by using a specialist funnel with a wide neck to transport from the pan.
Le Parfait clip-top jars, £5.85, AmazonWe're all for recycling your old glass receptacles, but old-fashioned jars look smart and uniform in a hamper- and can be used again and again.
Lush Designs Raspberries tea towel, £10, To Dry ForThere's no need for something functional to skimp on the aesthetic value - this berry-smattered beauty is one for the fruit lovers.
Westmark preserving glass jar lifter, £8.50 plus p&p, Top GourmetSo you don't have to rely on a tattered tea towel, grab yourself some pincers to safely lift steaming hot jars without scalding your mitts.
Jam jar sticker kit, £12, Cath KidstonThe distinctive floral design extends its tentacles into the kitchen storage remit - these tags beat your standard sticky label in solidly twee fashion.
Preserve gift kit, £6.50, Mac and Ninny Paper Co.The jam and chutney specialists make presentation easy with their all-in-one kits which include twine, patterned jar tops and swing tags
All kitted out and ready to attack your batch of fruit or veg? Get some inspiration from our pickles, jams and chutneys recipe collection.