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Your guide to

A Jar of preserve

Our guide has all of the information and tools you need to make the best jam, jelly, chutney or pickle. From savoury to sweet, enjoy the versatility of preserving all of your favourites as well as seasonal recipes.

Essential preserving kit

Jam pan

Effective jam pans are large and deep with wide sides and helper handles for easy pouring and maximum evaporation. They’re specifically designed for efficient heat distribution and the all important rapid boiling of large volumes. This stainless steel 8 litre jam pan from iconic preserving brand Kilner is perfect for making your jams.

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Jam funnel

The easiest way to transfer your hot jams into their jars is with a jam funnel. The looped handle allows easy movement from jar to jar. Some versions have a non-stick coating so that nothing is wasted.

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Jar tongs

Remove sterilised jars from boiling water safely with jar tongs. Keeping the processes sterile is important for making sure that your jam lasts as long as possible.

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Preserving & clip top jars

Keeping your creations airtight is vital to their longevity. Choose between a classic jar with disc or clip top jar with vacuum seal. Don’t forget to stock-up on seals for your next round of preserving.

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Muslin cloth

Strain and filter and keep your jams a smooth consistency. You can use muslin clothes for cheese and butter making or for straining soups.

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Long handled spoon

Safely stir those hot liquids. Silicone is a great material for this as it will stay cool for longer.

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Jam thermometer

A precise and carefully controlled boil as close to 105°C is essential if you want your jam to set. Jam thermometers are specifically designed with a clip attached for easy fixing to the side of your jam pan.

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Ideas, hints & tips

What’s in season right now? Pear, date and pepper chutney

Apples and conference pears are in season right now so be inspired to make your own chutney and make the most of those seasonal ingredients.

For ingredients and instructions

Keeping your jams well labelled is vital when it comes to remembering when you made them and what fruit were used. Labelling is also a fantastic way to inject your own personality and makes your jams great gifts

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How to sterilise and seal jam jars


Preheat the oven to 160c, gas mark 3. Wash new jars in hot soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.


Put the jar on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven until the jam is ready to pot.


Use a clean funnel to help you fill the jam jars. Cover the top with a disc of waxed paper and seal with a lid.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between jam, preserves, pickles and chutneys?

Jam is pulped and crushed fruit made with pectin and boiled, whereas a preserve is made from chunks of fruit in a syrup. Chutneys are seasoned with spices and can be any texture, wet or dry. Pickles are raw or whole and preserved with salt and vinegar.

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How do I know that my jam has reached setting point?

If you want to test this, place a spoonful of hot jam onto a cold plate (preferably one that has been in the freezer for 10-15 minutes) and push it around the plate with your finger. If the surface wrinkles, it has set. If it doesn’t and acts more like liquid, test again after another 3-5 minutes.

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How do I cover jam jars without a lid?

Cover each jar with a silicone disc (slippy side down onto the surface of the jam). Wet one side of the cellophane round, then stretch it over the jar, and secure with a rubber band. If the cellophane disc is not moistened, it will not become taut when the jam gets cold.

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Do I need a jam pan?

Jam pans are specifically designed to have handles, pouring lips and large bases with steep sides. These are helpful for the quick cooking of your ingredients and maneuvering with hot liquids.

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