Taking the time to lock fresh flavours into homemade jam and chutney is a great cooking project whatever the time of year. We've selected our favourite preserving tools to help you achieve perfection.
Whether you have a glorious harvest crop or a batch of summer berries, reducing all that vibrant flavour into a concentrated jam, chutney, pickle or preserve is one of the most satisfying kitchen endeavours you can set upon (jam pun intended).
Getting the right results is a science, however, and precision, skill and safety are all necessary requirements for success. Don't embark on a preserving session without the right cookery arsenal.
Here, we round up the best equipment for making jam and other preserves at home, plus find jam recipe ideas as well as top tips and a video tutorial. For more round-ups and best buys, visit our reviews section.
KitchenCraft stainless steel 9l maslin jam pan with handle
Give yourself plenty of room for manoeuvre with a bespoke jam pan. This one holds up to two gallons of liquid and has handy measurements up the side. A maslin pan has a spout and a carry handle, and can also be used for making stock – or serving mulled wine at a party. The handle means it can be hung from a hook for easy storage.
Divertimenti wooden spoons
Some 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, plus they're generally one of the most important kitchen utentils – so it's worth paying due attention to which you buy. We like these olive wood spoons from Divertimenti, available in various sizes, including a long-handled 35cm version.
Kilner jar thermometer
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.
Dribbles down the side of your jars are never a good look. Avoid a sloppy mess (and minimise the risks involved in handling scalding hot jam or chutney) by using a specialist funnel with a wide neck to transport the mixture from the pan.
Le Parfait clip-top jars
We're passionate about recycling old glass receptacles, but for gifts, old-fashioned jars look smart and uniform in a hamper – plus they themselves can be used again and again if washed and sterilised correctly. They can also be used for storage once the chutney or jam is used up. The rubber seal guarantees the contents are locked in and are unlikely to taint.
Westmark glass jar lifter
Instead of relying on a tattered tea towel, grab yourself a pair of specially designed pincers to safely lift steaming hot jars.
Digital weighing scales
Avoid a disaster by measuring your ingredients to the dot – sugar levels are particularly important when jamming. Ensure accuracy with every recipe by investing in a pair of electronic scales. This set by Salter can weigh up to 10kg and has easy to use buttons.
Jam recipes and tips
This review was last updated in June 2020. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.
Are you a keen jam-maker? We'd love to hear your cookery tips and product picks.