Getting Started with Jam

A reader has asked: I’m planning on making some jams and jellies this coming summer and want to get organized. What do I need to buy?

A: I always use standard canning jars with 2-piece (ring and lid) covers. They come in half-pint and pint sizes for jam—I have even used quart jars for popular flavors. You’ll need a large nonreactive pan for cooking the jam or jelly and an accurate thermometer—the digital ones with a wire probe are best. A jar-filling funnel is always handy, plus tongs for handling the hot jars. The most important asset to home canning and preserving is patience—make sure you’re not under pressure. Relaxed conditions make the best preserves.